Letters to the editor, December 2, 2016
Thank you, The New Mexican, for boosting our spirits with a front page article about former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano’s gift of a kidney to former state District Judge Michael Vigil (“A transplant match made in Santa Fe,” Nov. 23). Finally, something to remind us that good things do happen to good people, everyday heroes still do exist and kindness trumps bad news. I hear about people who read something in a magazine or newspaper and are brought to tears, but this is the first time it has happened to me. Thanks. I needed that.
No to Real ID
It turns out the new rules to obtain driver’s licenses went into effect the week my license came up for renewal. I opted for the driver authorization card (“Real ID license requirements causing confusion at MVD,” Nov. 23). I am a U.S. citizen not in favor of the national identity card (Real ID). When they start identifying immigrants at routine traffic stops, I’ll be there to test the system, because I’ll have the same license. Another reason: Neither license is easier to get than the other. You must prove country of origin (passport, original birth certificate or official document from your native country). You must show a tax ID number (original Social Security card, pay stub with tax number on it, etc.). Several proofs of residency are required. (Recent utility bills or bank statements sent to you at your physical home address. Too bad if all your accounts are in someone else’s name.) My new license will not allow me to board a plane (I have a passport). Nor can I enter a federal building (passport) or military base (I’ve served already). Will anyone join me in protesting the national identity card (Real ID) pretending to be a New Mexico driver’s license?
After this contentious election, many are concerned with issues like women’s reproductive rights, racism, separation of church and state, the environment and other threats to individual rights. There is one thing we can all do during this time of year when we consider our year-end contributions. Give to the groups that work on these issues — Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL pro-choice America, NAACP, the National Organization for Women, Common Cause, Moveon.org, Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund and Anti-Defamation League. These are only a few of the groups working toward protecting rights that might be under threat from the new administration. There are many more. Choose your favorites and give generously.
A good day
For the first time since the election, I opened The New Mexican to a relatively positive front page. The state Motor Vehicle Division still has until 2020 to get its Real ID process together (“Real ID license requirements causing confusion at MVD,” Nov. 23). Convicted felon Greg Solano proved he is basically a nice guy (and I remember all the good things he did as sheriff), as are probably many among us who fall sometimes, by giving Judge Michael Vigil his kidney (“A transplant match made in Santa Fe,” Nov. 23); Donald Trump assuaged our fears by saying he won’t prosecute Hillary Clinton, might stick with the Paris climate agreement and decided beers and cigarettes are more effective than waterboarding or other torture. Neither he nor Clinton have committed any crimes, despite possible fraud or wrongdoing in emails, foundations and universities. A public defender actually tried to enforce our Bill of Rights (“Man jailed in murder has not received due process, attorney says,” Nov. 23), and Santa Fe High won over West Mesa (“Coach Cole era begins with win in opener,” Nov. 23). Is it possible our country could survive? I am currently reading Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton and note that we have survived worse.
According to YES! magazine, since the election, record donations have been made to organizations supporting values perceived to be threatened by the result of the recent election. Nationally and here in Santa Fe, Citizens’ Climate Lobby — a non-partisan, grass-roots organization dedicated to passing legislation to deal with climate change — has seen a similar surge. This is a silver lining. People are looking for ways to make a difference.
You can find out more about CCL at one of six free screenings of a National Geographic Years of Living Dangerously episode in which CCL’s work is featured. Screenings will be Dec. 8 and 9. Discussion and participation opportunities will follow. For times and locations, visit www.facebook.com/ccl.newmexico or look for fliers posted around town.
New Mexico state coordinator
Citizens’ Climate Lobby