Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

A dozen people stand in a semi-circle in a large rotunda in the center of the New Mexico Legislature. Six of them hold signs that together have 17,000 tally marks, representing the people in New Mexico denied the right to vote because of a felony conviction. They are surrounded by the polished stone walls of the Rotunda at the state capitol in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The New Mexico Voting Rights Act is coming back, lawmakers and advocates say

By: - January 23, 2023

June 26, 2018 is a day Adam Griego will never forget as long as he lives: the beginning of his voyage into incarceration, first in Texas, then Oklahoma, and eventually the federal prison in Florence, Colorado. Once someone is caught in the criminal legal system, Griego said, it keeps an incredibly tight grip on them […]

N.M. Legislature approves study of district offices, staff for every lawmaker

By: - January 20, 2023

Both chambers of the New Mexico Legislature in the first week of this year’s session approved an initial move to provide all 112 lawmakers with field offices and full-time staff. The Senate on Thursday afternoon approved House Bill 1 in a 33-5 vote. The House approved it on Wednesday. Called the feed bill, it sets […]

CWA Local 7076 Treasurer Anne Keller (left) wore a union jacket to the rally on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. outside the Roundhouse as lawmakers gathered for the start of the legislative session.

State employees rally in favor of telework as legislative session begins in New Mexico

By: - January 18, 2023

Allie Alaimo is a chemist who has for three years helped review and issue oil and gas permits for the state of New Mexico as an advanced environmental scientist with the Air Quality Bureau. She brought her 2-year-old daughter Ivy to a rally in support of telework on Tuesday morning outside the Roundhouse, holding signs […]

Clean air in schools could become New Mexico law

By: - January 17, 2023

Even though New Mexico requires public schools to upgrade their heating and air conditioning systems to clean indoor air well enough to remove coronavirus and other harms, people can’t just look up whether their local school district actually meets those standards. A legislative proposal — with backing from unions representing New Mexico teachers and sheet […]

A woman works on a computer in her home office as her elementary age daughter sits on the floor and colors.

Union: NM calling state employees back to in-person work without much of a plan

By: - January 16, 2023

Nicholas Carnes is a compliance officer for the Oil Conservation Division at the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. At the beginning of the pandemic, New Mexico’s public health order in March 2020 required state employees to telework. Carnes, a CWA member from Española, felt like it was a step forward for the […]

Early childhood educators and advocates hold a rally at the New Mexico Capitol Rotunda after a presentation to lawmakers asking for more money to support and expand access to child care or pre-k programs on Dec. 15, 2022.

Health and safety measures to expect at the Roundhouse in 2023

By: - January 13, 2023

During the 2023 legislative session, it’s looking like there will be no requirement for vaccination against COVID-19 to enter the Roundhouse, nor any requirement to wear masks. Rules specific to the two legislative chambers around COVID safety from previous sessions will not carry over into this year’s 60-day session beginning Jan. 17, according to the […]

New Mexico Supreme Court hears arguments on whether it can weigh redistricting lawsuit

By: - January 10, 2023

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday afternoon about whether the state’s courts have the power to weigh in when someone challenges the constitutionality of political maps drawn by the Legislature. The case centers on whether the justices have the authority to entertain claims by the New Mexico Republican Party […]

Doctor: New Mexico leaves incarcerated people’s health problems untreated

By: - January 9, 2023

People complain all the time to Dr. Janet Arrowsmith about the health care they can or can’t receive in the free world. But she says people incarcerated in New Mexico’s prisons and jails are going through something exponentially worse. Arrowsmith, a public health physician and retired internal medicine clinician, has not directly examined patients in […]

Family of teen killed in SWAT raid to sue city for wrongful death

By: - January 6, 2023

Police threw a tear gas grenade into a home in the International District in July, burning the house down with a teenager inside, according to fire officials. His family intends to sue the city of Albuquerque for wrongful death, according to their attorney, but the city’s failure to provide records may create a barrier. An […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham to ask Legislature to create new health agency

By: - January 4, 2023

As she was sworn in to a second term, New Mexico’s head of state announced she wants to create a new state health agency with the goal of getting more people insured. Details are still sparse about the function of the New Mexico Health Care Authority, an initiative announced by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in […]

‘We’ve always been surplus’: Individual tragedy and collective trauma from COVID

By: - December 23, 2022

The last meeting of the Ojo Caliente area chapter of the penitential confraternity known as La Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno was Friday March 13, 2020, three weeks into Lent. It was also the same day the United States first declared the public health emergency for COVID-19. Luis Peña showed up to his […]

At least 10 people are seen in an open-air container train car, many of them resting next to the side of the car. One person adjusts their clothing, a jug of water hanging from their shoulder by a strap. The sky above them is bright but cloudy.

Driven from home by U.S. sanctions, Venezuelans hope to find work

By: - December 21, 2022

A 20-year-old bank worker left her home country of Venezuela in September with her partner and her uncle, each of them hoping to find work to provide for the family they left behind. She gave up on her dreams of studying law because her job didn’t pay enough for anything more than feeding herself, and […]