Happy New Year from La Jicarita

By KAY MATTHEWS

This January La Jicarita begins its third year as an online magazine of environmental politics. From our roots in the environmental justice movement of northern New Mexico we have grown into a journal that follows the connections to the state’s urban areas, southern industries and landscapes, military bases and laboratories, and corporate backrooms. When I look back at the range of stories and issues we covered I’m amazed:

• the nuclear weapons industry’s stranglehold on New Mexico at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories;

• the violence and killings perpetrated by the Albuquerque Police Department (currently under federal investigation for use of excessive force);

• the struggle of norteño ranchers to hold on to their grazing permits;

• bourgeois primitivism, or self-improvement rather than socio-ecological justice;

• the massive Kirtland Air Force Base jet oil spill;

• threats to the acequia community from both the market economy and its own practitioners;

• the Santa Fe Opera’s history as an institution of the cultural Right;

• Forest Service paternalism;

• climate change;

• the renewed threat of uranium development in Native American communities;

• Governor Susana Martinez’s capitulation to the state’s oil and gas and mining industries;

• catastrophic fire, schizophrenic management, and the struggle to maintain resilient forests;

• the commodification of water;

• Walmart labor practices and the “green capitalism” spin;

• book reviews;

• communities against cell tower development;

• genetically modified food;

• Reis López Tijerina’s place in history;

• the controversy over how to protect communities from fracking;

• agricultural rejuvenation and sovereignty;

• and the privatization of education.

And there’s more to come. We’ll follow up on the lawsuit against Mora County by the oil and gas industry and the latest court decisions in other parts of the country recognizing the authority of communities to regulate that industry. We’ll keep readers abreast of Martinez’s latest efforts to eviscerate environmental regulation (and what appears to be her jockeying for a position on the national Republican ticket). Contributor Stephanie Hiller is looking into local agricultural enterprises and efforts to regenerate farms and ranches as older folks look to retire. We’ll stay alert to Santa Fe County’s intention to transfer over a thousand acre feet of water from northern Taos County to the Pojoaque Valley. And we’ll report on how teachers, parents, and kids around the state are fighting to stop the Martinez administration from buying into the neoliberal agenda to privatize our schools. To sign Stand4KidsNM’s petition opposing corporate reforms go to this website:  https://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-corporate-education-reforms-in-new-mexico. The text of the petition is included below.

La Jicarita welcomes submissions from all of you who would like to contribute to the conversation and extends a thank you to those who have helped us these past two years: Stephanie Hiller; Sam Markwell; Laura Garrison; Matt Huber; Nick Estes; Eric Perramond; Jim Faris; Lucy Lippard; Don Hancock; Sophia Martinez; Suzy T. Kane; Richard Moore; Jakob Schiller; Mark Sardella; Jeanne Green; Marilyn Gayle Hoff; Akilah Sanders-Reed; and Benito Aragon. Thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch for letting us reprint an article and for reprinting La Jicarita articles; and V.B. Price of New Mexico Mercury and the Los Alamos Study Group for article reprints.

And many thanks to our readers and subscribers (483 of them).

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STOP the Corporate Education Reforms in New Mexico!

Petition by

Stand4KidsNM

Petition to Governor Susana Martinez:  Unconfirmed Public Education Department Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera has forced a corporate reform model of education on the children of New Mexico while intentionally bypassing the school districts, parents, elected school boards, superintendents, teachers, the State Legislature, and the People of the State of New Mexico. We demand that these rushed, partisan, non-scientific, non-research-based corporate ‘reforms’ be halted immediately and that our local and national education experts, education colleges, university professors, parents, community stake-holders, and elected legislators in the State of New Mexico collaborate together, at the same table, in order to carefully evaluate our needs and responsibly plan the future direction of the public educational system in New Mexico. Parents, teachers and citizens of New Mexico cherish our public schools, respect and revere our dedicated and caring teachers, and want what is best for our children and their learning communities. By signing this petition, we officially declare a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Secretary-Designate Hanna Skandera (a politician with NO educational licenses, teaching experience, credentials or degrees) and demand an immediate CEASE and DESIST from the Governor of New Mexico in pushing, promoting and promulgating the existing corporate educational reforms that have been implemented by intentionally circumventing and bypassing the democratic processes cherished and demanded by the citizens of the State of New Mexico.

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