Today marks the first anniversary of the online incarnation of La Jicarita. It’s been a remarkable year. We published just over 100 stories that have been viewed more than 20,000 times by people in more than 90 countries around the world. That’s more investigative and enterprise reporting than any other magazine, online or print, writing about environmental politics in New Mexico. And we did it all with a small but growing core of editors and contributors who have gone unpaid for their work and unreimbursed for their expenses.
And so today also marks the beginning of a three-week fundraising campaign. Between today and February 21st, we need to raise $2,500 to keep the La Jicarita you’re reading right now up and running. That doesn’t even cover our expenses, but it does let La Jicarita live for another year. So during the fundraising campaign we’ll post essays each week describing what we’ve accomplished over the past year and what we plan to do in the next. This essay is my argument why you should donate your hard-earned money to La Jicarita.
Where do you get your news? Since you’re reading this you likely get at least some of it from La Jicarita. And you know that La Jicarita does what no other news organization in New Mexico does. From covering the politics of water in tiny Chupadero, New Mexico to the baleful impact of transnational mining conglomerate Freeport-McMoRan, we report on important stories that everyone else ignores.
And we stay on those stories. No other news organization in New Mexico has covered Governor Martinez’s all-out assault on the environment like we have. On issues like climate change mitigation, the dairy industry, oil & gas and mining, Governor Martinez has made it clear: she’s an enemy of nature and anyone who cares about clean water and clean air. Only La Jicarita is holding her feet to the fire as she stacks the Environmental Improvement Board and the Environment Department with industry lackeys, as she bails on key climate change mitigation measures, and as she lets industry rewrite every environmental regulation in the state.
And we cover these important issues without the “New York Times” neutrality that dilutes so much of what calls itself journalism. There aren’t two sides to an administration that poisons groundwater. There is no on-the-other-hand way to report about a federal government that builds weapons of mass destruction in Los Alamos. And so at La Jicarita we don’t pretend that these issues are apolitcal—or that we should be apolitical either.
And we write these stories to help New Mexicans resist the kind of misanthropic attitudes that plague so much environmentalism in New Mexico. We founded La Jicarita in order to support and demonstrate solidarity for the people, organizations and communities who struggle to protect working landscapes and the places we live: the small towns that rely on acequias and the small-scale cattle permittees who depend on access to forests for their livelihoods. But we also recognize that nature is not only found in the forests and open spaces outside of New Mexico’s cities. So we write about the war on the poor reflected in brutal patterns of police violence in Albuquerque, the struggles for environmental justice in Albuquerque’s South Valley and the ongoing fight to shut down the bomb-making factory in Los Alamos.
And we need your help to keep doing this. We don’t charge for access to our website or for our stories and we never will. And so that means we need your help to keep publishing La Jicarita. We need to start paying our contributors (we’d love to pay $50 for essays and articles and photographs, a figure that amounts to less than $.05/word), and we need to maintain and even improve the website.
Please click on the yellow “Donate” button on the top right corner of our website and contribute via PayPal, or send a check (made out to La Jicarita) to La Jicarita, HC 65 Box 206, Chamisal, NM 87521. Remember La Jicarita is a 501(c)3 non profit organization so any donation you give us is tax deductible.