New Mexico is being recognized nationally for keeping democracy alive. Our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham; members of Congress; courts; local and state representatives’ organizations; and citizens are engaged in numerous policies being recognized. We were the first to remove and ban a Jan. 6, 2021, participant, Couy Griffin, from serving as a local county commissioner and holding a public office. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver backed and the Legislature just passed a voting rights bill to make voting more accessible. Attorney General Raúl Torrez is enforcing laws to protect our citizens from local ordinances that ban abortion health care and securing LGBTQ rights. We are working toward becoming a model for other states in protecting citizens from environmental hazards, establishing climate resiliency and containing energy costs.
Back to fundamentals
It seems to me the ongoing debate about what belongs in the center of the Plaza needs to go back to the fundamental questions: What is the purpose of a memorial? Is it about remembering the past or educating the future? What in the past do those in the future need to know? If they knew that, how would it influence their actions or behavior for the better? Then, perhaps it will be possible to answer the question, “What form should the memorial take?”
Round, with water
The complexity of the obelisk debate is a natural consequence of the great diversity in Santa Fe. But it has proved itself to be endless. The problem is the prospect of winners and losers. What if there were an approach without winners and losers? One such alternative might be a round water fountain with no iconography or inscriptions. As a beautiful blank slate, the fountain could accommodate temporary decorations and all cultures would be able to make use of it.
Vote on it
Perhaps it is time to put the question of whether to rebuild the obelisk in the Plaza to a vote. It may be the only fair way to deal with it.
The article (“Historic tax bill would create opportunity for all New Mexicans,” My View, March 9) is misleading in at least three respects. First, short-term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income, or at the same rate as “wages that hard-working New Mexicans earn through work.” Second, before people realize capital gains, they first paid tax on their wages. A capital gain is taxed when wages are initially earned and a second time when the gain is realized. To claim profit from investments is taxed at a lower rate than earnings ignores that the gain is essentially taxed twice.
Third, economist Kelly O’Donnell should know the essence of investing is forgoing purchasing power today in the hope of greater purchasing power in the future. If O’Donnell’s investments earned 10% over the past year, nothing has been gained because of inflation, yet tax on the nominal gain will still be owed.
Hold the hearings
The indefinite postponement of Senate Rules Committee hearings on the confirmation of James Mountain as secretary of the Indian Affairs Department and Debra Garcia y Griego for a second term as secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs was troubling. It leaves the citizens of New Mexico being served by two unconfirmed appointees with serious, unexamined issues.
It also deprives the public of an examination of an example of the questionable administrative performance of Garcia y Griego, including her abrupt firing of the director of the Office of Archaeological Studies, the esteemed archaeologist and educator Eric Blinman. Many of us who know Blinman and his work have sent letters of support for him to the governor and to members of the rules committee. I have not received any replies. We should not let the postponement of the confirmation hearings allow the issue to fade away. I certainly believe a reinstatement is in order.