To kick off 2016, this edition of Green Fire Times is focused around interrelated “Visions for the Future of New Mexico.” The lead article is from former U.S. Senator Fred Harris, and we are featuring excerpts from the recent book he edited, New Mexico 2050 (UNM Press).
New Mexico continues to be identified at or near the bottom of many lists—from education to poverty to unemployment—at the same time that many positive things are happening here. New Mexico is a wonderful place to live, except for those who find themselves at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. That sector is automatically much more susceptible to being impacted by a plethora of ills. Addressing the important issue of how to enhance the quality of life for a large class of dispossessed people, of course, raises the compelling question of “What would an ideal education for New Mexico’s children and youth look like if they are to become whole people and prepared for the challenges of these times?” Angelo Gonzales, executive director of the central New Mexico cradle-to-career education partnership, Mission: Graduate, has suggested that part of education reform should involve internships—connecting students with real-life opportunities within the for-profit and nonprofit business communities.
As this edition of Green Fire Times demonstrates, New Mexico is home to some highly progressive individuals, groups and movements. The articles presented here offer ideas on how our poor quality-of-life indexes can be reversed in order to develop a healthier, more equitable and culturally vibrant state.