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 person in a suit stands in an office, backed by a pride flag.

Queer nonbinary New Mexican reflects on expanded NM human rights law

By: - May 8, 2023

Content warning: This story includes discussion of suicidal ideation. As Spanish-speaking Mexican immigrants from the town of Gómez Farías in Chihuahua, Mexico, Arturo Castillo’s parents struggled to get their house in the South Valley near Coors and Blake. When Castillo’s family first immigrated, they lived in a small room with their father and mother who […]

CYFD advisory panel will hold closed door meetings as part of agency audit

By: - May 5, 2023

New Mexico’s state child welfare agency, which consistently faces questions about transparency, has created an advisory panel that will hold some of its meetings behind closed doors as part of a systematic review of the organization and the services it provides to foster children. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham created the Children Youth and Families Department […]

petroglyph of a star, crescent moon and hand print at Chaco Canyon

NM congressional lawmakers revive effort to protect Chaco from drilling, mining

By: - May 4, 2023

New Mexico’s congressional delegation on Wednesday again introduced the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, with support from Pueblo governments and environmental organizations. Fossil fuel drilling threatens air and wildlife in national parks, advocacy group finds The legislation would prevent future leasing and development of oil, gas and minerals on more than 316,000 acres of […]

End of COVID exposure app part of long ‘unwinding’ process

By: - May 2, 2023

As part of the broader “unwinding” of its response to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the phone application New Mexico uses to tell people when they may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 will go dark on May 11. Funding for the NM Notify app has run out, New Mexico Department of Health Communications Coordinator David Barre […]

Free COVID vaccine clinic during Gathering of Nations weekend; Nearly 22% of New Mexicans are up to date with booster shots

By: - April 26, 2023

There will be a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Gathering of Nations Powwow. The clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, in the back corner of the Manuel Lujan Jr. Building at Expo NM, located at 300 San Pedro Drive NE in Albuquerque. The clinic is being organized […]

‘Stop stigmatizing us’: South Valley residents reflect on how they are perceived

By: - April 25, 2023

SOUTH VALLEY, N.M. — Unless there is a murder in the South Valley, local media doesn’t typically come here. If you watch or read the local news, anytime you hear about the area bordering southwest Albuquerque, “it’s always because someone got shot or someone got robbed,” said Robert Ryan, who was born in New Mexico’s […]

What the new COVID vaccine guidance means for you or your loved ones

By: - April 21, 2023

Only one in five New Mexicans who are eligible for the Omicron booster have received the updated shot as of Thursday, according to a news release by the New Mexico Department of Health. This news comes as the federal government retires the vaccine used for the original wild-type strain of SARS-CoV-2 and instead authorizes just […]

Two people sitting at a dais look to a third person standing away from the camera.

Albuquerque cannabis equity findings have sat on a shelf for a year

By: - April 19, 2023

Cannabis legalization in New Mexico was touted as being a way to repair the harms caused by the War on Drugs, while also creating opportunities for New Mexicans to participate in a new industry, said Shawna Brown. The city of Albuquerque in August 2021 created the Cannabis Equity Working Group, after the passage of the […]

Edgewood anti-abortion ordinance likely to face challenge at NM Supreme Court, scholar says

By: - April 17, 2023

Elected officials for the Town of Edgewood are expected to vote later this month to effectively ban abortion within the town’s limits. However, the ordinance will likely face legal challenges, including an uphill battle at the New Mexico Supreme Court, which on March 31 ordered similar local ordinances to have no effect. The Edgewood ordinance […]

Lawsuit: NM prison guard tells Black man, ‘Let me guess, you can’t breathe?’

By: - April 13, 2023

This story contains graphic descriptions of violence, sexual abuse, and a racist threat. During a shakedown in the spring of 2021, a New Mexico prison guard, with his foot on the back of a Black man who lay on the floor of his cell surrounded by other guards, taunted him by saying, “Let me guess, […]

Lujan Grisham vetoes bills meant to treat, not punish, addiction

By: - April 12, 2023

New Mexico has for decades led the nation around harm reduction policies that try to address substance use disorders without incarcerating people. Two different but related proposals to strengthen those protections were passed by the legislature but vetoed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Last week, Lujan Grisham vetoed two sentencing reform bills which could have […]

New Mexico governor signs over 200 bills into law

By: , , and - April 7, 2023

The end of 2023’s legislative session led to over 240 bills getting through the Roundhouse. By the end of Friday, the last day for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to sign legislation, more than 200 measures from the 60-day Legislative session became law. All the pieces of legislation that passed the Roundhouse and arrived at Lujan […]