Senators Crystal Diamond, R-Dist.35, and Harold Pope, D-Dist. 23

Air Dates: February 18-20, 2023

This week, REPORT FROM SANTA FE presents two interviews with two N.M. lawmakers - Senator Harold Pope Jr., D-District 23, and Senator Crystal Diamond, R-District 35, discussing issues in the current legislative session and providing the perspective of two recently-elected legislators on the opportunities and challenges of this 60-Day Session.

Sen. Crystal Diamond has been a senator since 2021 and is a Republican from District 35, representing four counties - Hidalgo, Luna, the westside of Dona Ana and her home, Sierra County. She served as the former director of the Sierra Soil and Water Conservation District and is on the Board of Directors of the Farm Bureau and the NM Cattle Growers Association.

Diamond is acutely aware of the gap between rural and urban interests and works hard to bridge that gap for all New Mexicans. She discusses her many bills to help restore the fire-ravaged parts of New Mexico, to ensure the health and safety of NM kids, and is promoting the inclusion of financial literacy courses in our high schools.

Sen. Harold Pope, Jr. is the guest in the second half of the program. Senator Pope is a Democrat from District 23, representing the northwest part of Albuquerque, and is a retired United States Air Force Officer with 20 years in the military. He was elected in 2021 and is the first African American senator in the New Mexico Senate in 108 years.

Pope discusses some important bills that are being considered in the current legislature - the Diversity Act, Police De-Escalation Policies, Reducing Suspensions and Expulsions in Elementary Schools, and the creation of a Permanent Absentee Voter List. His elaboration of the Diversity Act reminds us that there are many facets to be considered in "diversity," not just race, gender, the Lettered Community (LGBTQ), ability, disability - there are many opportunities for discrimination.