Marisa Demarco


Marisa Demarco is a reporter and musician 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. 

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Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Advocates have been trying to get a question on the ballot about whether all businesses in Albuquerque should be required to offer paid sick leave to workers. They faced a setback in court on Monday night.

Damian Gadal via Compfight CC

Funding for people with developmental disabilities in this state has been tight for years. And one organization might have had thousands less than it should have. The state auditor says a program director may have siphoned federal funding into his personal bank account.

William Brawley via Compfight CC

A judge decided Friday afternoon that Bernalillo County’s ballots for the November election can’t be printed until the issue of paid sick leave is sorted out. Advocates filed a lawsuit after the initiative failed at a Bernalillo County Commission meeting. 

WyoFile via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Advocates wanted voters to make the call about whether all businesses in Albuquerque should be required to offer paid sick leave to their workers. The measure died before the Bernalillo County Commission on Thursday.

fredcamino via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 The man accused of drugging, assaulting and killing a child in Albuquerque slipped through the cracks of the probation system because of a missed email, according to the state Corrections Department. Twenty-two other people may have as well.

Jonathan Thompson / High Country News

Folks on the Navajo Nation still haven’t received the compensation they were promised after the Gold King Mine spill last year, according to leaders there. On Saturday starting around 6:30 a.m., people will walk and run from Hogback to Shiprock to keep the focus on long-term effects in the community.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It can be hard to get motivated to exercise. But what if your doctor wrote you a prescription for it? One physician in Albuquerque is leading the charge against inactivity.


  The U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing last week that it’s unconstitutional to keep people behind bars just because they can’t afford to pay bail. Some bail bondsmen in New Mexico argue people in poverty shouldn’t be allowed to skirt the law.

insunlight via Flickr CC

There are 13 federal prisons around the United States that are run by private companies. One of them is in New Mexico. And today the Department of Justice said it’s going to stop using corporations to run federal prisons.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s expensive and it takes years to get a new drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So researchers at the University of New Mexico are going back through the medicine cabinet of drugs developed for things other than cancer and testing them on cancer cells. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The lack of paid sick leave in the U.S. contributes to the spread of disease and emergency medical costs, according to the American Public Health Association. There are no federal laws about it, but some states and cities have passed their own. Advocates in Albuquerque gathered enough signatures to put the issue before voters in November. 

Ryan Hyde via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 8/11 8a: 

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. workers don’t have the option of staying home with pay when they aren’t feeling well. There aren’t any federal laws about who gets sick leave, but the issue could go before Albuquerque voters in November.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The feds released a report on the most dangerous intersection in central New Mexico for pedestrians. It links improvements there to the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, or ART

Joe Gratz via Flickr CC

In an ongoing, decades-long conflict about whether public assistance in New Mexico is available to people who need it most, a federal judge has recommended that the Human Services Department secretary be found in contempt of court.

Melissa Tso member of the Red Nation and the Party for Socialism and Liberation

Police violence against people of color has been at the forefront of national debate in recent months. And in New Mexico, a group advocating for indigenous concerns called the Red Nation has been active on this issue since the killing of James Boyd two years ago.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

All around the country, states are trying to address a mounting number of untested sexual assault evidence kits. And even though New Mexico’s budget is tight, the Legislature found $1.6 million to work through the backlog here. At a meeting in Albuquerque on Monday, stakeholders gathered to talk about what’s next.

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The first report from a state investigation into whether state employees falsify food stamps applications revealed evidence of the practice, but so far, no written orders from higher-ups. The report was released Friday after a judge ruled that it had to be made public.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For the first time since allegations surfaced that state employees falsify food stamps applications, New Mexicans heard testimony from public officials Thursday.

Marisa Demarco/KUNM


A federal judge unsealed the results of a state investigation into falsification of food stamp applications by state employees Wednesday. That means the internal Human Services Department report will be released to the public. Public Health New Mexico's Marisa Demarco spoke with KUNM's Chris Boros. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  A federal court hearing on whether New Mexico is fit to process applications for food stamps and Medicaid is set to wrap up on Wednesday, July 6. Top brass from the state Human Services Department are expected to testify in response to allegations from employees that applications for emergency food aid were falsified to avoid missing deadlines.

Despite working as a home health aide in New Mexico for nearly two decades, Kimberly Jones was struggling to get the hours she needed to make ends meet. She was living in a hotel room, and every day she had to make a choice.

"Do I eat or do I pay for the room? Or how can I squeeze them both? Because, you know, the hotel wants their money," Jones says. "They don't care if you eat or not."

Jones applied for food stamps. She says the state worker she met with told her she was eligible for expedited assistance, and she'd get her benefits within a week.

Daphne Carrillo

UPDATE Wednesday, 29, 11:00 a.m.: The Dog Head Fire is 91 percent contained. A total of 12 residences and 44 minor structures have been damaged. The U.S. Forest Service says the wildfire was human-started, but they are still investigating how it happened.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Abortion rights supporters in New Mexico are thrilled with the Supreme Court’s ruling today, but it might not immediately reduce the number of women coming here from Texas for abortions. 

Daphne Carrillo

The Dog Head Fire has consumed almost 17,000 acres in New Mexico since Tuesday, and it remains entirely uncontained. People are leaving their homes and property, and more mandatory evacuations may be called this weekend.

KUNM spoke with Commissioner Wayne Johnson, who was stationed at the Bernalillo County’s emergency operations center Friday evening.  

Courtesey of Equality New Mexico

Though the country is focused on Orlando, another mass shooting happened in southeastern New Mexico last weekend, where a man is accused of shooting and killing his family. People in Roswell gathered on Tuesday to grieve. 

Right after the federal Department of Justice released a lengthy report slamming the University of New Mexico for mishandling sexual assault cases, UNM President Robert Frank held a news conference and questioned the investigators’ methods. KUNM's Marisa Demarco sat down with Frank to find out how seriously UNM’s president takes the federal criticism.

UNM via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The Department of Justice has scrutinized just two universities in the country about campus assault and harassment: The University of Montana and the University of New Mexico. Results of the DOJ probe in Montana were revealed in May 2013. The findings letter for UNM came out at the end of April this year. via / Creative Commons License

There’s expectation in the air when students go off to college—an expectation of independence and learning—and even safety. But for many people on campuses around the country who experience sexual assault or harassment, the illusion of safety can fall away. Now, the federal government has begun looking at why.

Arianna Sena / KUNM

  KUNM Call In Show 6/9 8a: The results of a federal investigation about how UNM handles sexual assault are out, and the report is sharp and critical. We’ll talk to folks from the university as well as advocates for survivors about their reactions and what’s next for the university.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Hungry people in New Mexico may have been denied expedited food assistance after their applications were falsified and put on hold. That’s according to testimony from state workers in recent weeks during an ongoing hearing about whether the Human Services Department is fit to process applications.