GATHERING IN THE WEST | Native Americans aim for more influence; North Dakota slips as an oil producer | New
Native Americans want to increase their voting power
SANTA FE – A coalition of Native American communities has proposed redrawing the political map of New Mexico to strengthen the influence of Native voters in the election.
The changes proposed by the 19 Native American pueblos of New Mexico and the Jicarilla Apache nation, described on September 20, would reshape a swinging congressional district where Republicans regained control in 2020. They would also lead to more potential Native American voters in six State House and three Senate Districts in Northwestern New Mexico.
“Through the proposed boundary changes, we have worked hard to maintain tribal voting power, develop new electoral districts with Native American influence, and bring New Mexico closer to parity after a century of disenfranchisement and suppression voters, âwrote contributors to the proposals.
The proposals have been submitted to a committee that will provide recommendations to the Legislature at the end of October. The Democratic-led legislature can draw its own lines. Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham must approve the redistribution, and legal challenges are possible.
New Mexico is home to 23 federally recognized tribes, whose growing political weight is reflected in the election of Deb Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, to Congress in 2016 and her promotion this year to secretary of the ‘Interior.
The share of New Mexicans who identify as indigenous by race or combined ancestry is 12.4%. Alaska is the most predominant US state, followed by Oklahoma and New Mexico.
State’s oil production slips to third behind New Mexico
North Dakota regulators say the state has officially lost its status as the nation’s second-largest oil producer after New Mexico.
North Dakota produced just over one million barrels of oil per day in July, the most recent month for which data is available from the state’s Oil and Gas Division. July production marks a decrease of 56,000 barrels per day or 5% from June, reported the Bismarck Tribune.
Texas continues to dominate the nation in oil production. The Permian Basin spans parts of New Mexico and Texas, and it’s arguably the biggest competition for the Bakken Oilfield in North Dakota. The southern oil-producing region is closer to major refineries and export terminals, and attracts significant drilling and investment in the oil and gas industry.
North Dakota ranked second, behind Texas, in oil production for nine years. He lost that status to New Mexico in July. The two states had been neck and neck for several months.
As of September 18, New Mexico had 82 rigs, far more than the 27 operating in North Dakota.
Besides the right to brag, the position of a state has other implications. Rankings can affect an oil company’s ability to find investors to fund a project in a state, North Dakota regulators have said.
Casper assesses employee vaccination incentives
City of Casper officials recommend a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program that would award $ 250 to fully vaccinated employees.
Under a proposal discussed at the preparatory city council meeting on September 21, the program would also award $ 100 to each fully immunized spouse or dependent who lives with an employee. Additionally, employees would receive $ 50 for a COVID-19 recall.
The incentive program, which will run until the end of the year, would apply retroactively to employees who have already been vaccinated. The retroactive part would not apply to spouses and family members.
The proposal comes as the city faces a growing number of employees who have had to be quarantined or isolated due to exposure to COVID or actual illness. More than 40 city workers began the week of September 7 in quarantine or isolation, according to city figures. In July, that number was single-digit.
The memo estimates that vaccination rates in the town of Casper mirror that of the overall vaccination rate in Natrona County, which stands at around 36%. The city is working to increase this rate to at least 65%.
The total cost of the program to the city would be approximately $ 124,000.
The proposal comes as Wyoming continues to struggle with a low vaccination rate compared to the rest of the country, as well as strong political opposition to mandatory vaccines. The city’s program, on the other hand, would be voluntary.
Other cities and institutions in Wyoming have offered vaccination incentives, including the City of Laramie and the University of Wyoming.
GOP Senate candidate gives green light to Afghan refugees
PHOENIX – The United States should not accept Afghan refugees, including translators and others who helped the United States military during the 20 Years War, said Republican Senate candidate Jim Lamon, taking a hard line against a group of immigrants who received broad support. of both parties.
Rather than bringing them back to their homeland, the United States should help Afghans who participated in the war flee the Taliban and resettle in the Middle East, Lamon told The Associated Press on September 15.
âThey should go to countries that are friends with them and with us,â Lamon said. âWe cannot continue to be the refugee camp of the world.
Lamon shows up in an overcrowded Republican primary to face Democratic Senator Mark Kelly in one of the most closely watched Senate races of 2022.
His stance on refugees comes as GOP candidates across the country question how to balance grassroots skepticism about immigration with broad public support to provide refuge for Afghans who have risked their lives. helping the United States.
A handful of former Trump administration officials are working to turn Republicans against Afghan refugees, seeking to make Afghanistan’s collapse another opportunity to push forward an intransigent immigration agenda. But they are in favor of Afghans who get special immigrant visas moving to the United States.
Lamon aggressively courted Trump’s approval, going so far as to run a campaign ad in Bedminster, New Jersey, as the former president toured his golf course there.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and House Speaker Rusty Bowers, both Republicans, released a joint statement last month hailing the “fair share” of Arizona refugees and pledging that the State refugees would help them settle.
University sentenced to reinstate transgender professor
OKLAHOMA CITY – A college in southeast Oklahoma that has discriminated against a transgender English teacher must permanently reinstate the professor, a federal appeals court has ruled.
On September 13, the 10th United States Court of Appeals in Denver ordered the reinstatement of Professor Rachel Tudor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and ordered a lower court to recalculate the amount of remuneration and fees of lawyer to which she is entitled.
A federal jury in Oklahoma City previously awarded Tudor more than $ 1 million after finding the university discriminated against him and wrongly denied him his tenure. But the trial court later reduced that compensation because of a state cap of $ 300,000 on non-economic damages. Both parties appealed.
Tudor started working at Southeastern in 2004. She began portraying herself as a woman in 2007 by wearing women’s clothing, styling her hair feminine and calling herself Rachel, according to her lawsuit against the college. After being denied tenure in 2010, Tudor filed a discrimination complaint. She was fired the following year.
The US Department of Justice also sued the university, which led to a settlement with Southeastern agreeing to conduct mandatory anti-discrimination training and implement policy changes to reduce discrimination.
In a statement, the president of the university, Thomas Newsom, declined to discuss the court’s decision.
GATHERING IN THE WEST | NM joins national effort to conserve land; Judge proposes to trade vaccine for fines
GATHERING IN THE WEST | The roundup of wild horses is accelerating; Granholm meets with Navajo leaders
GATHERING IN THE WEST | New Mexico still the most Hispanic state; data highlights rural labor shortage