Thursday was a day for New Mexican families with children and those across the country to celebrate. On that day, the IRS began sending most American families with children their new Child Tax Credit monthly payments. Most will receive $250-$300 monthly for each child under 17 to help with everyday expenses far too many families struggle to cover. These new regular payments are part of the expansion of the Child Tax Credit passed by Congress in March. About 39 million households will get the payments automatically, but parents of an additional 3.5 million children who have not filed federal income taxes in the last two years will need to sign up.
This is a great achievement that could cut child poverty nearly 50 percent over the next year. But we must make sure it lasts. The current Child Tax Credit expires at the end of 2021. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández and Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján need to hear now from constituents as additional legislation is being drafted in Congress to help families recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. Tell them to make the expansion of the Child Tax Credit permanent.
The science community seems to agree that the Southwestern United States, including Santa Fe, is in the midst of a megadrought that could last for decades. Multiple water reservoirs are at all-time lows, including Lake Mead (Nevada-Arizona) and Lake Powell (Arizona-Utah) at less than 40 percent capacity and Elephant Butte Reservoir in Southern New Mexico at 7 percent capacity. In addition, two of Santa Fe’s reservoirs are at exceptionally low capacity levels (“New Mexico drying up,” July 14). According to the article, “Nichols and McClure Reservoirs are at, respectively, 55.6 percent and 13.2 percent.” Making matters worse, the Rio Grande is literally drying up.
What is the city’s response to this disastrous water issue facing Santa Fe — build, build, build? According to the city’s Land Use Department, there are over 5,000 residential units being built or approved to be built in Santa Fe in the near future, with more on the way. The city’s own estimates for residential water consumption indicate that 5,000 residential units will consume approximately 146 million gallons of water per year.
What are Santa Fe city officials doing to ensure current residents have enough water to survive the megadrought? In my opinion, the city should reduce the number of people moving to Santa Fe by limiting the number of residential units being built on every plot of vacant land in Santa Fe. Keep in mind, once a residential unit is built, it will consume water well into the future.
New Mexico should follow the lead of states such as Arizona and Texas that have banned teaching of critical race theory in public schools. Critical race theory purports to be anti-racist, but in fact it is a racist scam that calls for legally enforced racial quotas.
It teaches students as young as first grade to believe in racial guilt and assume that one’s race is the primary determinant of one’s power, place, and role in society. We don’t teach phrenology or cult religion in schools, so this is not a matter of free speech for teachers.
Critical race theory is a cult religion and should be immediately removed from the public sector on First Amendment grounds, since the First Amendment prohibits the state establishment of religion. I call on House Speaker Brian Egolf and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth to introduce legislation banning critical race theory in New Mexico.
In the throes of the pandemic, are we paying attention to the persistent drastic changes in our planet’s climate?
As temporary guests at the bountiful table of our hostess Earth, are we becoming more respectful as stewards of our only home? We must listen and attend to the warnings of forces that will engulf us. The Earth is being overwhelmed with consequences of the reckless greed of her inhabitants. Those consequences are dire indeed, and may possibly be irreparable.
Our human challenge will become surviving the deluge of the destruction that our thoughtless actions have waged. This reality is part of the wounded past that bleeds into the present. This reality demands our collective attention as we transition into our threatened future. Calls for prevention are critical. More so the urgent need to prepare for survival of the global disasters lurking to unfold.
Edi Lenore Powers