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Dolores Huerta calls proposed abortion ban ‘an assault’

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Civil-rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta visited Albuquerque on Tuesday to speak against a proposal to limit abortions in the city. A Nov. 19 election is set on the proposal. Jim Thompson/Journal

Civil-rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta visited Albuquerque on Tuesday to speak against a proposal to limit abortions in the city. A Nov. 19 election is set on the proposal.
Jim Thompson/Journal

Civil-rights and labor activist Dolores Huerta says the abortion debate in Albuquerque is attracting national attention.

Huerta – who, along with César Chávez, co-founded United Farm Workers – visited the city Tuesday morning to speak out against the proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She said she heard about it from relatives who live in New Mexico and from national organizations she works with.

Huerta, 83 and a mother of 11, called the proposed ordinance “an assault on the rights of women.”

The city has scheduled a Nov. 19 election on the proposal, which was brought forth after supporters gathered thousands of petition signatures. They describe Albuquerque as a leading provider of late-term abortions and say the ordinance is necessary to protect the unborn.

Huerta was born in Dawson, N.M., but now lives in Bakersfield, Calif.

Campaigning is not over yet

Forget about Halloween. Here’s what’s really scary: Albuquerque is in for about five more weeks of campaigning.

The race for mayor concluded Oct. 8, but the abortion ordinance and a runoff in City Council District 7 (the Uptown area) are about to go before voters.

The city clerk will start mailing absentee ballots next week, and absentee applications can already be downloaded from www.cabq.gov/clerk.

One early voting location – to be announced – will open next week. The remaining locations will open the following week, on Oct. 30.

Election Day is Nov. 19.

Wage increase

Albuquerque’s minimum wage is headed up again.

Starting Jan. 1, the minimum for most employees will climb to $8.60, a 1.2 percent increase from this year’s $8.50 requirement.

The voter-approved wage ordinance includes a provision for automatic increases each year, based on inflation.

Employers who provide a certain level of health-care benefits get a $1 break on the wage, so they have to pay only $7.60, starting next year. The minimum for tipped employees will be $5.16 an hour.

Recycling made easy

The city has completed its rollout of the blue recycling bins. The bins increase the types of materials accepted for curb-side recycling, and they make it much easier to store your recyclables during the week.

Mayor Richard Berry said he hopes the bins will help Albuquerque divert 25 percent of its waste away from the landfill, up from about 5 percent.

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