KUNM

Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent more than a decade in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She covered poverty and public health until September 2016 when she became a general assignment reporter at KUNM. 

Ways to Connect

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

An Albuquerque police officer was honored in front of the whole country during the State of the Union address earlier this week. While on duty, he met a woman who was addicted to heroin and adopted her baby. More and more pregnant women are struggling with addiction in the state. But attitudes can be harsh, services are limited and funding is tight, leaving people with nowhere to turn.

Pexels via CC

An Albuquerque police officer will be among President Donald Trump’s guests at the State of the Union tonight. Officer Ryan Holets met a pregnant woman struggling with addiction on the streets last year and wound up adopting her baby. Many women are facing the same situation—and the detox and treatment options are limited. 

Courtesy of Somos Un Pueblo Unido

For years, the state department that is supposed to enforce wage laws was turning away some people who were trying to get their employers to pay them for work they’d done. Workers and advocacy organizations got together and sued, demanding New Mexico uphold its own laws. They won, and now some people can re-file those claims.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People took to the streets all over the world, around the country and here in New Mexico for a second year of women’s marches. The concerns they raised were broad, including protecting the environment, fighting systemic racism, health care access, police violence and immigration reform. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Women’s marches sprung up for a second year in villages, towns and cities around New Mexico this weekend with a call to vote in the coming elections and change the political climate. While the movement has been criticized nationally for a lack of diversity, Albuquerque’s rally was led by women of color. 

Hanlly Sam via CC


Let’s Talk New Mexico 1/18 8a: Call now 277-KUNM or 277-5866. Albuquerque’s City Council passed the Pedestrian Safety Ordinance late last year, which makes it illegal for people to stand near freeway ramps or in medians and to interact with drivers. It’s also illegal for drivers to interact with people standing in those spaces.

 

Do you think the law is helpful to public safety and will help prevent pedestrian deaths or traffic accidents? Or do you think it targets people experiencing extreme poverty in Albuquerque? Is the law a violation of free speech or other constitutionally guaranteed rights?

Andrew Lyman / NM Political Report

Gov. Susana Martinez will give the final State of the State address of her second term on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the start of the legislative session. She’ll likely be framing her legacy as someone who’s been tough on crime.

Victor Onimole / KUNM

Construction workers tore up Albuquerque’s main avenue for well over a year installing ART, or Albuquerque Rapid Transit. And even though the new stations light up at night, the system isn’t working. The city’s new mayor said at a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9, that ART has a ways to go before it’s operational. 

Let's Talk 2017

Dec 20, 2017
Eglin Air Force Base via CC

Let's Talk New Mexico 12/21 8a: It was a year for hard questions about race, politics and identity. Some folks will tell you it’s because the media and social media are highlighting our divisions. Others will say it’s because national politics are pinned on dog-whistle rhetoric tinged with racism and xenophobia.

Mark Woodward for SFR

Around the country we’ve seen tensions escalate between elected officials and journalists. Here in New Mexico, the story is the same. And four years ago, the Santa Fe Reporter sued Gov. Susana Martinez, saying her office violated the state’s Constitution when it shut out the paper for covering her administration’s use of private email for public business.

Mark Woodward

The Santa Fe Reporter filed a lawsuit against Governor Susana Martinez alleging her staff blacklisted the paper after critical coverage. Four years later, a judge has issued a decision in that case, saying the paper’s free expression rights were not violated but that the Governor’s Office did break the state’s open records law. 

Federal Communications Commission via CC

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on rolling back net neutrality protections and to weigh media ownership rules again on Thursday, Dec. 14. Surveys show the changes are not supported by people across the country, regardless of political party. KUNM spoke with Viki Harrison, the executive director of Common Cause New Mexico, about what these policy shifts could mean in New Mexico.

Michael Zanussi via CC

Hundreds of homeless people around the U.S. are the victims of violence just because they are homeless, according to a survey published last year. And in Albuquerque, police say 15 people who were experiencing homelessness were killed in 2017. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Let’s Talk New Mexico 12/7 8a: Emerging reports of sexual abuse and misconduct are toppling more men in power every week. Newspapers are investigating allegations against men in politics and entertainment. Celebrities sparked a flood of #MeToo stories by sharing their experiences on social media. But what do you do when you don’t have that kind of fame or cultural cachet? And when more is at stake than just another job? And what about people who work in businesses without policies or HR departments? Let’s talk #MeToo, and the workers of New Mexico who haven’t yet been centered in this national conversation.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After an extra long campaign season in Albuquerque, voters gave Democrat Tim Keller a big win in last night’s runoff mayoral election against Republican Dan Lewis. Keller said the high voter turnout and decisive victory constitutes a mandate. 

Nicolás Boullosa via Compfight CC

Tiny homes are being praised around the country as an affordable solution to homelessness. Voters in Bernalillo County approved 2 million dollars a year ago to launch a tiny home village project for people experiencing homelessness in the Albuquerque area.

The city of Albuquerque says the monitor charged with overseeing reform of the police department is not neutral and has an ax to grind. James Ginger released his sixth report on APD’s progress. The Albuquerque Police Department also just last week  rolled out its own website: APDreform.com. A coalition of community groups called APD Forward says the site is little more than spin meant to hide lingering problems on the police force. 

APDreform.com

The Albuquerque Police Department has been involved in a reform process for years after federal investigators pointed to a pattern of officers using excessive force. The monitor charged with overseeing progress released the sixth report on Wednesday, and has been critical of the department’s willingness to make real changes. 

Pexels via CC

The state Supreme Court created a commission to look at how adult guardianship works in New Mexico, and to figure out how to improve the system. After a series of public meetings, the group released 17 recommendations, mostly aimed at accountability. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

When the oil and gas industry takes a dive, or when extractive industries tank, so do economies in rural areas, where a lot of the jobs come from drilling, or mining, or power plants. A business incubator is helping entrepreneurs on the Navajo Nation with the idea that local skills and talents—and cash flowing in and out of local businesses—are key to independence from environmentally damaging corporations. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Oil and gas drilling and mining companies come to rural areas offering jobs and cash, but they also dig into the land, pull resources out of it and create pollution. There are some folks in these regions who say the trade off isn’t fair in the long run. One organization is working on the Navajo Nation to stabilize the boom-and-bust economy of extraction by boosting local entrepreneurs and small business.

Keller And Lewis Faceoff For ABQ Mayor

Oct 4, 2017
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Voters whittled the eight-candidate ballot for mayor down to just two contenders: state Auditor Tim Keller and Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis. About 97,000 people voted in Albuquerque’s election on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and that’s significantly more ballots than the dismal citywide election four years ago.  "Today citizens of our city came out to vote like they haven’t in a long time," Keller told a crowd of supporters.

Ryan Hyde via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Employers in Albuquerque will not have to offer paid sick leave to workers in the city for the foreseeable future. Sick leave opponents edged out supporters by less than 1 percent. The final tallies in the municipal election rolled in near midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 3. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Will voters in Albuquerque decide on Tuesday, Oct. 3, that businesses in the city have to provide paid sick leave to workers? Opponents say it will hurt small businesses, and advocates say it will lead to healthier communities. Another facet of the debate is emerging: the necessity of paid sick leave for people who’ve been assaulted.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The question before Albuquerque voters on the ballot tomorrow: Should all employees be able to earn an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work? Advocates who help people experiencing violence at home say it’s crucial.

Wikimedia Commons via CC / Creative Commons

All over the country, people who signed up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have been speaking out about President Trump’s decision to rescind that program. And a federal judge said on Thursday that he’s going to try to rule quickly on the lawsuits filed to challenge the end of DACA, which shielded many college students.

Down in Las Cruces, New Mexico State University sits just 40 miles from the border. Former Republican Gov. Garrey Carruthers is the chancellor there. He said the university has no idea how many DACA students attend NMSU, because they don’t ask people about their status when they enroll. Trump’s decision, he said, was a violation of trust.

Wikimedia Commons via CC / Creative Commons

Let’s Talk New Mexico 9/21 8a: It’s the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds heading into the municipal election on October 3. Some mayoral and Council candidates in Albuquerque are calling for more police officers on the force and a new police chief. What do you think it will take to decrease the number of violent crimes and property crimes?

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Hundreds of young people who were brought into the U.S. as kids without citizenship status attend colleges around New Mexico. Many were shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. President Trump announced the end of DACA Tuesday, Sept. 5, and will begin phasing out the program in March, which will affect 800,000 recipients nationwide.

Hundreds of people marched at the University of New Mexico campus Tuesday afternoon to demand equality and rights for immigrant students.  

succo via Pixabay / public domain

National elections get a lot of attention and press, but local ones? Not so much. And some folks say it’s those local races that have a bigger impact on your everyday life.

There are a slew of candidates running for mayor in Albuquerque. And the last two city elections here saw low voter turnout. The deadline to register to vote in October is the end of day on Tuesday, Sept. 5, but Viki Harrison of Common Cause says that’s way too early. 

Pixabay via CC

Fifteen states and D.C. let people register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. But that’s not the case here, and for the election in Albuquerque in October, the last day you can register to vote is Tuesday, Sept. 5. 

Pages