New Mexico does not have a gun safe storage statute in law.
One year ago, a thirteen-year-old boy by the name of Bennie Hargrove was shot during lunch time on the grounds of Washington Middle School by another student who had access to his parents’ handgun. The gun was stored in a manner that the shooter could access it easily.
Bennie saw the shooter as a bully who was harassing and taking advantage of another student. Bennie decided to take on the role of peacekeeper and carry out the practices of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by utilizing non-violence practices to help resolve a dispute. Instead, Bennie ended up losing his life to violence.
New Mexico does not have a gun safe storage statute in law. Last year, I took on the task of trying to get a gun safety act passed and in law in New Mexico by introducing House Bill 9 during the 2022 legislative session. The bill required gun owners to keep their guns securely stored when they are not in close proximity to their firearms. If the owner of the firearm failed to do so, they would be subject to penalties. Those penalties included being charged with a misdemeanor if the unsecured firearm was brandished in public causing fear and mayhem in a public or private location, but no one was killed. The penalty increases to a fourth-degree felony if the firearm was used to cause great bodily harm or death to another person.
What happened to the students who witnessed the horrific shooting death of Bennie Hargrove? Many of them are experiencing mental and emotional trauma from having observed the incident. Accordingly, I introduced House Memorial 43 to create a Task Force to focus on the need to address the mental health and mental wellness of our students, not only if they witness horrific incidents, but also because many of our youth lost family members or were affected by illness and economic hardships in their households during the recent COVID pandemic.
Wellness rooms are a proactive approach to supporting students’ well-being. These rooms will give students a safe space on campus to go when they are experiencing emotional difficulties, instead of simply going home for the day – or choosing not to attend school at all. Studies have repeatedly found a direct relationship between a student’s mental health and academic achievement. Addressing this need is critical for both students’ personal wellness and their education.
I am asking every person to commit to joining me in doing everything you can to help our children stay safe and to address the issue of their mental health and mental wellness. Let’s get a gun safe storage act passed in New Mexico and get mental health and mental wellness rooms in every middle and high school in New Mexico. Remember, children are our future. Let’s help our children by supporting the legislative priorities described above.
Purpose shall be to remain current on political issues affecting African American communities throughout the State of New Mexico at local, state and national levels, to inform the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) about such issues, and to work together to seek resolution to such issues when appropriate to do so.
Our Black Caucus, with the help of every member, is helping to develop strong policies for the benefit of every person in New Mexico. We look forward to your continued participation in the great work of the New Mexico Black Caucus where we are helping to build a state guided by strong collaborations.
Thank you for your generous donations and/or dues which enable us to achieve our purpose and goals.
Laura M. Montoya has been a public servant for more than two decades. She currently works as the appointed Treasurer for Mentoring Kids Work New Mexico. In 2012, she was elected Sandoval Treasurer. She recently won the Democratic Primary for State Treasurer and will be on the November ballot for that position.
Above are six pro-choice Albuquerque women competing in swing-seat districts who need our help. Keep a Pro-Choice majority in the New Mexico House of Representatives by splitting a contribution between these women - Meredith, Natalie, Joy, Charlotte, and Marian before the end of the day.
These six seats are deemed the most vulnerable State House toss-ups on the ballot this November, and your generous support puts them in a stronger position to win their races.
Matthews (HD 27) Herndon (HD28) Dixon (HD20) Little (HD68) Garratt (HD 29) Figueroa (HD 30)
Walk with us behind the Black Caucus Banner in the State Fair parade, September 10, 2022 at 08:30 A.M. The parade begins at around Louisiana and Central, and will head west to Girard.
The Biden administration has approved $32 billion in student loan forgiveness over the course of the last year, according to the Department of Education. Not only is more on the way, but there are still opportunities for borrowers to apply for relief, even as Biden reportedly considers even more widespread student loan cancellation.
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been in Russia custody for over six months, after being arrested for cannabis possession.
She was convicted in the Russian courts on drug possession and ordered to remain in prison. Thus far negotiations for her release along with another American have failed. The US government said it is committed to her release.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) is back and in-person on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, through Sunday, October 2, 2022, in Washington, D.C.!
This year’s theme is "Advancing Our Purpose. Elevating Our Power."
WALMART ORDERED TO PAY $4.4 MILLION IN RACIAL-PROFILING LAWSUIT
By Rashad Grove | August 24, 2022
A Black man has been awarded a $4.4 million settlement after being racially profiled while shopping at Walmart in Oregon, reports CBS News.
Last year Michael Mangum filed a lawsuit against Walmart and one of its employees, alleging that in March of 2020 he was followed around a store in Wood Village, Oregon by a security worker and was asked to leave once he confronted the employee. According to the suit, Mangum was shopping for a light bulb for his refrigerator. Read More.
2022-23 Grant Program now open!
In its third year, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses will award $1.3 million in total grants and resources to support the long-term growth of Black-owned small businesses as they continue to navigate challenges including inflation, labor shortages, access to capital, and supply chain disruptions. [August 24, 2022] Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and American Express announced that the Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) is now accepting applications for its 2022-23 grant program, which will provide $5,000 grants to 272 Black-owned small businesses to help them meet critical needs and invest in long-term growth. Eligible business owners can apply for the grant online here, starting August 22 through September 6, 2022
NAACP: Hey Black America
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson talks about the water crisis in Jackson, MS and what we need to do in order to assist these efforts as all roads for change lead to midterm elections this November.
US News: Student Loan Relief Highlights Burden on Black Borrowers
But more work needs to be done to make higher education accessible and affordable, said Wisdom Cole, national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division. “When we think about education and higher education, fundamentally, it’s the promise of an equitable future,” Cole said. “We have so many Black graduates who go through the system, graduate, and are not able to see that future because they disproportionately risk taking out loans.”
Missouri Independent: NAACP, League of Women Voters sue to block Missouri’s new election law
The League of Women Voters of Missouri and Missouri NAACP filed a lawsuit Monday attempting to block a wide-ranging elections bill they argue violates the right to core political speech by curtailing voter engagement.
Permitting an individual to bring a claim against a public body or person acting on behalf of or under the authority of a public body for a violation of the individual's rights, Privileges or immunities arising pursuant to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of New Mexico.
Creating Department Liaison; creating an advisory council; providing powers and duties; requiring racial sensitivity and anti-racism training or professional development for school personnel.
Prohibiting discipline, discrimination or disparate treatment in schools treatment in schools based on the hair or culture headdress of a student.
Help ensure that previously incarcerated individuals had access to voting after they completed their prison sentences.
The legislation to provide alternative methods for children to testify who have been abused, other than being in the same room as their abuser, traumatizing these children again and again.
Legislation to act on capping interest rates so low income families could have access to financial resources at reasonable rates.