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Coalition Aims To Increase Equity In N.M. Redistricting Process

District map for the New Mexico House of Representatives adopted after the 2010 Census
District map for the New Mexico House of Representatives adopted after the 2010 Census

Following last year’s Census, New Mexico lawmakers will redraw congressional and state legislative districts this fall. A coalition of community organizations has launched a campaign to ensure the public have a say in where those lines are drawn.

The Center for Civic Policy's New Mexico Civic Engagement Table is teaming up with 25 community organizations that work with people of color, immigrants and other underrepresented communities for the People’s Power, People’s Maps campaign. They say they want to make the redistricting process more just and equitable by educating and engaging the public. 

The organizations worked together last year to reach traditionally hard-to-count communities for the 2020 Census. Rosalinda Dorado, civic and outreach organizer with coalition partner El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, says this follow-up is essential.

“Our work ensured the resources were allocated back into our communities,” she said of their Census outreach. “And now we are determined to be included and counted in redistricting.”

The campaign includes educational forums beginning July 22 covering topics from tribal redistricting to prison gerrymandering. 

Native American Voters Alliance Education Project Executive Director, Ahtza Chavez, says Black and Indigenous people of color need to have a voice at the table. 

“All we’re asking for is a fair process and fair maps that include communities of interest and BIPOC communities,” she said. “So that we can all prosper together in the state of New Mexico.”

The group also plans to launch a social media campaign and a central website for information.

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Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage comes from the New Mexico Local News Fund, the Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners, with support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.

Copyright 2021 KUNM

Nash Jones grew up in Albuquerque and recently returned home after 11 years away living in Portland, OR, and Oakland, CA. Nash’spassion for the spoken word is centered around storytelling, so they work to focus their episodes of Spoken Word Hour on that specific practice. Nash appreciates Story’s ability to build empathy and understanding across difference and hopes their episodes of Spoken Word Hour can help to do just that. Nash is a storyteller themself and has performed on stages across the Bay Area and now, Albuquerque. They sit on the Board of Directors of Storytellers of New Mexico, a statewide nonprofit, and are the producer and host of Duke City Story Slam, a monthly live storytelling event in Downtown Albuquerque.