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Milan Ortiz-Ruiz

 Milan Ortiz-Ruiz is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached on Twitter @ milanortiz_or 

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APS school board election prepares to bring changes to the district

On Nov. 7, Albuquerque Public Schools will hold an election for school board members. District 1, 2 and 4 each have representatives running for a spot on the school board. Community focuses and values have been voiced throughout fall 2022 within organized community meetings and numerous individual conversations. Consistent concerns regarding the need for schools to emphasize literacy, math, post-secondary readiness, and the skills, habits and mindsets that lead to success, according to APS Goals and Guardrails. 

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ASUNM Senate discusses voter turnout and mental health

  The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico held their first full Senate meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and discussed ways to improve voter turnout and available mental health services for students. ASUNM represents the student body by being the first group the University’s ...


Trans and non-binary students report mixed experiences with SHAC

  Over the past two years, several trans and non-binary University of New Mexico students have reported mistreatment and lack of access to hormone therapy at Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), according to Juniper Reimagined’s outreach coordinator, Ophelia Aragon. This has resulted in a delay of medically necessary gender-affirming care. Juniper Reimagined is a Queer and trans student alliance at UNM amongst several LGBTQ student organizations on campus. Five student members of Juniper Reimagined have said they had a poor experience with SHAC, including trans and non-binary individuals who said they have dealt with being misgendered, Aragon said.


New Mexico Law protects reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare

In February, a bill protecting reproductive and gender-affirming health care was signed into law in New Mexico. The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Act protects patients seeking reproductive and gender-affirming health care in every part of New Mexico, according to Representative Linda Serrato (D) – a sponsor of the House Bill. “This is especially important in rural communities that have historically lacked access to care,” Serrato said.  Frankie Flores, Education Specialist of the LGBTQ Resource Center, said that greater access to gender-affirming health care will further protect New Mexico’s trans and non-binary community.   

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Viva La Plant opens in the heart of old town

  Viva La Plant Shop officially opened their doors Thursday, May 11. Their new brick-and-mortar store is located inside of New Nuevo – a shared space centered in the Plaza of Old Town. Matt Vinson and Iris Valenzuela-Vinson, partners and owners of Viva La Plant Shop, began displaying their passion for plants with pop-up bus shops amid the pandemic in Memphis, Tennessee. Last summer they brought their business to Albuquerque. “We were able to adapt quickly when we moved, and we essentially almost had a community here already when we started, so it was a very easy transition for us and we felt like we were able to start quickly and make connections quickly,” Vinson said.

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