The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is thrilled to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary!
The timeline below highlights some, but certainly not all, of the most significant victories and milestones in our past quarter century, made possible by the tireless efforts of community members, staff and board members, advocacy allies, and other key partners, in our collective fight for equity, opportunity, and justice! We are deeply indebted to everyone who shaped NMCLP into the organization it is today.
NMCLP launches under the leadership of longtime legal service attorney Bob Ericson and an extraordinary board of directors.
NMCLP and pro bono attorneys win a NM Supreme Court decision striking down Governor Johnson’s unconstitutional cash assistance program that denied critical income support to 72,000 people.
Nancy Koeningsberg takes the helm, leading the Center in relentless advocacy to expand access to public resources, including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, food assistance, and Medicaid.
Our staff work closely with state administrators to help ensure the regulations that govern the NM Works cash assistance program are implemented legally and fairly.
NMCLP’s board of directors hires Kim Posich as Executive Director, ushering in a new era of growth and impact for the organization.
We convince the state to provide food assistance benefits to pregnant women throughout their pregnancy, in accordance with the law.
We lead efforts to pass legislation establishing New Mexico’s first Loan Repayment Assistance Program, helping thousands of attorneys pay their law school loans while working in public interest jobs.
NMCLP negotiates major improvements in the University of New Mexico’s language interpretation and translation services.
We co-lead lobbying efforts that secure recurring state funding for civil legal services organizations.
We support residents of a local colonia in negotiations to establish the first water filling station in their community.
We convince the state to end the automatic closure of Medicaid cases which had been improperly throwing 10,000 people, mostly children, off the Medicaid program every month.
Our education and advocacy of the critical importance of Medicaid for New Mexico’s children, families, and economy protects the program from deep funding cuts that impacted most government programs during the Great Recession.
We work with the NM Human Services Department to streamline its processing of emergency food benefits applications.
We co-lead a creative co-operated, statewide campaign to convince the Governor to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in more than 250,000 adults becoming eligible for the program.
NMCLP shepherds legislation to end the state’s practice of terminating Medicaid for people who are incarcerated. Instead, health coverage is suspended and reactivated prior to re-entering the community – an approach proven to increase access to healthcare and public safety.
We win a landmark decision from the NM Supreme Court that ends the exclusion of agricultural laborers from workers’ compensation, extending this important protection to roughly 15,000 people who work on New Mexico’s farms, ranches, and dairies.
NMCLP brings several HSD caseworkers to testify in federal court that agency officials asked them to falsify emergency SNAP applications – exposing statewide, systemic illegalities in processing food assistance cases and leading to appointment of a Special Master.
NMCLP represents workers and worker organizing groups in a successful class action lawsuit that compels the state to better enforce the wage and hour laws and hold employers accountable when they violate these laws.
to co-launch the Native American Budget and Policy Institute to support the power of indigenous communities to effect systemic change.
The board of directors promotes longtime NMCLP attorneys Sireesha Manne as Executive Director and Sovereign Hager as Legal Director.
We win the watershed court ruling in Yazzie/Martinez vs State of New Mexico declaring New Mexico’s education system insufficient for Native American students, English language learners, low-income students, and students with disabilities.
Representing families and community groups, we obtain a strong court order requiring the state to fix problems with its administration of the Child Care Assistance program, expanding access for thousands of children whose parents are working or seeking job training.
NMCLP nimbly responds to community needs during the COVID-19 crisis by connecting people to information and resources and advocating to expand relief efforts.
After years of litigation and advocacy, we convince the Human Services Department to correct longstanding legalities in its administration of Medicaid and SNAP.
We win a court ruling in the Yazzie education case that orders the state to immediately provide computers and high-speed internet to thousands of students who do not have access for remote learning, especially in rural areas.
Working closely with community organizers, our efforts to secure groundbreaking legislation establish: statewide paid sick leave for all workers, a Health Care Affordability Fund to expand coverage for more than 30,000 people, protections against medical debt for low-income patients, and the prohibition of discrimination against immigrants in local healthcare programs.
We defend against evictions and collaborate with policymakers, legal aid attorneys, and community-based organizations on efforts that result in the state directing over $28 million in housing and rent relief funds during the COVID-19 crisis.