Yesterday morning I attended U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce's news conference at the University of New Mexico with Rep. Marsha Blackburn who chairs the House Committee on Infant Lives. Yesterday evening I attended the Take Back the Night Rally which is focused on ending sexual violence, and it featured several speakers, including U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
I had an early morning appointment with an insurance adjuster regarding my car accident in the A.R.T. Neutral zones last week, so I dropped by Hodgin hall early with some chalk!
The folks who work in Hodgin Hall came out an informed me that they were going to have to wash off the chalk before the Congressman spoke. I sighed and stated, that I checked UNM policy, and given the city and UNM's support of Milo Yiannopoulos, I asked if Rep. Pearce needed a safe space? They must have come to their senses, as they left it there.
I was able to make it back, and the tension was palpable!
My left ear was standing in front of a very loud pro choice lady in a pink hat who kept screaming out slogans and my right ear was standing in front of a very angry red faced man telling her to shut up! As a hard core moderate independent voter, it was torture! There were several speakers, State Rep. Rod Montoya and State Rep. Yvette Herrell who stated how embarrassed they were by this failed state's flagship university, UNM! I would argue the 32% cuts in higher education between 2008 - 2015 are just as mortifying. There was a priest, Father Imbarrato who called UNMH a baby killing machine, which is odd because UNMH serves the poorest and underprivileged citizens of this state, like the NICU!
The only journalist at the Press Conference who asked a real question was Rick Nathanson from the ABQ Journal. The T.V. Reporters were zombie like, so I piped up with a question. Brian Fejer, Duke City Fix - With the abortion rate at an all time low, what did it say about GOP Priorities that this state has the highest unemployment in USA, 51st worst state to raise a family in, and that 72% of births are funded by medicaid, what about paid maternity leave and universal childcare? Pearce replied this was about the rule of law!
They had to keep the GOP politicos locked up in Hodgin Hall until the event, and there were several U.S. Marshal's, who did their best to ignore a the scuffles in the crowd. When Republicans visit campus it costs a lot in security. I filed a freedom of information request to see how much they spent to host the Milo Yiannopoulos, seems like quite the racket!
In contrast, Rep. Lujan Grisham walked up to the duck pond, with just her legislative aide, no body guards. The vibe at the #TakeBackTheNight rally was much lighter, even though it was also dealing with a difficult and troubling subject!
There were several speakers, Boomers, who spoke about how much the culture has changed in the last several years. There was a lot of talk about the Department of Justice report into sexual assault at UNM and how much progress has been made at the University. I still believe that hiring a crony, with no experience in safety or management, was a really bad move!
D.A. Raul Torrez, former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
This lady has got The Verve!