Author

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.

Republican AG candidate, NM secretary of state have days to prepare for hearing

By: - September 12, 2022

The Republican candidate for New Mexico attorney general and the state’s top election official have less than a week to prepare for a hearing on whether the GOP contender really does qualify to be on the ballot. First Judicial District Court Judge T. Glenn Ellington on Friday ordered candidate Jeremy Michael Gay and Secretary of […]

Complaint: Republican candidate for state AG hasn’t lived in NM long enough to run for office

By: - September 8, 2022

A former Bernalillo County official alleged on Wednesday that the Republican candidate for New Mexico attorney general has not lived in New Mexico for long enough to be qualified to run for the office. Jeremy Michael Gay, of Gallup, is running against Democrat and Second Judicial District Attorney Raúl Torrez to become the state’s highest-ranking […]

Those seeking new omicron boosters left to fend for themselves safety-wise

By: - September 8, 2022

New Mexicans started getting the new omicron-specific coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday but were left to figure out on their own how they will safely get the shot. The CDC and state governors around the country this year rolled back public health protections, including indoor mask mandates for essential services and business that advocates say would […]

New omicron-specific vaccines and boosters due out this week in NM and available to everyone over 12

By: - September 7, 2022

New Mexico public health officials are expecting the new omicron COVID-19 boosters to arrive at health care providers across the state this week. The bivalent boosters, approved by the FDA on Aug. 31, are meant to provide protection from severe disease and death resulting from an infection with the strains of coronavirus known as omicron-BA.4 […]

New Mexico’s labor movement is alive and well

By: - September 5, 2022

The labor movement doesn’t typically get sustained media attention, but it is alive and well in New Mexico. In recognition of Labor Day and as part of our reflections on our first year, we’ve collected our coverage of work and workers since we started. One prominent example of the push for rights and wages here […]

COMMENTARY

Digging into New Mexico’s long fight for workers’ rights with “Salt of the Earth”

By: - September 5, 2022

Exactly 69 years ago, a group of blacklisted filmmakers and a cast of professional and local actors completed the filming of “Salt of the Earth” in Grant County, N.M., over Labor Day Weekend in 1953. That’s according to a declassified report by an FBI informant, now part of the archives at the Center for Southwest […]

Lawmakers to consider throwing out fees for traffic tickets and criminal charges

By: - September 2, 2022

Whenever someone gets pulled over for a traffic violation or charged with a low-level crime in New Mexico, extra fees generate millions of dollars for the government each year. But the state’s judicial branch wants to get rid of them entirely, because they disproportionately impact poor New Mexicans and sometimes cost more to collect than […]

Brazilian asylum-seeker who died by suicide held in ‘horrific conditions,’ attorneys say

By: - September 1, 2022

A Brazilian asylum seeker who died by suicide while being held by immigration officials in New Mexico was detained indefinitely and had been unable to get clear or consistent information about when he would be removed from the prison, according to attorneys monitoring conditions inside. Kesley Vial came to the U.S. from Brazil seeking protection, […]

New Mexico governor and thousands of New Mexicans have COVID

By: - August 30, 2022

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday morning tested positive for COVID-19. The New Mexico chapter of the survivors’ group Marked by COVID the next day wished Lujan Grisham a speedy recovery and said her infection “underscores the uncontrolled high community spread of the virus in New Mexico and the fact that no one is safe […]

NM Supreme Court denies pandemic prison releases

By: - August 25, 2022

New Mexico’s highest court on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit filed in 2020 seeking the release of incarcerated people to protect them from getting infected with coronavirus. Jennifer Burrill, the head of one of the organizations who brought the suit, said she is frustrated by the decision because it throws out the case on procedural […]

People in NM prisons often held at the wrong security level, report shows

By: - August 25, 2022

There is technically a law library at the maximum security Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe, but someone like Michael Armendariz can’t just walk in and pull a book off the shelf. All New Mexico prisons “have legal library services,” said New Mexico Corrections Department spokesperson Carmelina Hart. This is true, but someone classified […]

Lawmakers to propose making pandemic rental assistance program permanent

By: - August 24, 2022

A slate of housing reforms that would make it harder for landlords to evict people and make permanent the emergency rental assistance program necessitated by the COVID pandemic will be introduced in the 2023 legislative session, according to a presentation to lawmakers on Monday. In 2021 and 2022, Reps. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) and Angelica […]