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The Blue Review
A School Year Beginning Like No Other

By M. Benevento

Back in mid-July, New Mexico tapped the scientific expertise and massive computing power of Los Alamos National Laboratory to analyze four possible scenarios for re-opening schools:

(a) distance learning only

(b) a mix of distance and in-person instruction, with students physically present about half the time

(c) closing high schools but in-person learning for others

(d) full-time, in-person school for everyone, with mask requirements

The answer may need to be “all of the above,” “some of the above,” and/or “none of the above,” depending on whether COVID numbers fall or rise and how public health orders ensue. Yet, given that no one can know what will unfold, APS does have an impressively detailed and well thought-out Re-entry Plan in place for our schools’ learners, as well as a formal understanding with teachers and others represented by the teachers’ union. (See for information about the APS/ATF Memo of Understanding.)

Things got on the move last week, on August 5, as Albuquerque’s teachers, educational assistants, nurses, counselors, secretaries and others returned to work (either at school or remotely) for training, planning, and preparation.

In regard to learners and their families, as well as school staff, the APS Re-entry Plan calls for students to start back to school on August 12, following protocols within a “red” phase of a “red, green, yellow” system of action:

  • Red includes distribution of technology to all students, virtual home visits, and guidance provided for staff, students, and families on safely attending school and effectively learning at home. Remote learning begins.
  • Yellow, after Labor Day (if all goes well), will bring students back to school in numbers limited by six feet of social distancing and classrooms no more than 50% full. A mix of some in-person days and some remote days is likely, with some students going to school Tuesdays-Fridays on an every-other-week rotation, starting at the elementary level.
  • Green (no date foreseen at present) will allow students to return five days a week – with masks, temperature screenings, and other preventative measures in place.

APS collaborated with many national, state and local organizations, the Governor’s Reentry Task Force, and school districts from the Council of Great City Schools to create the Re-entry Plan for our Albuquerque learners and educators. They consulted with medical professionals at UNM, and with Department of Health and School-Based Health Centers to determine ways to contain the spread of COVID-19 while meeting the needs of the community. From detailed instructions to families, to monitoring students' temperatures, to enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures at school facilities, the APS website offers a wealth of information for those of us (which should be all of us!) who are concerned. Visit for important facts and details.
Know the Candidates, Know the Challenges

As part of Candidate Focus 2020, we’ve created Dems Up and Down the Ballot -- a full listing of all the Democrats who are counting on our support in their bids for federal, state and local offices in November, including names and pictures, the office they’re seeking, their websites and social media. We’re also providing access to our Focus feature articles on Dems in Priority Races where there are hotly contested seats to be flipped or held. Both resources are quickly available on our DPBC website. Just click here.
How to Watch the Democratic Convention

The 2020 Democratic National Convention kicks off next Monday, August 17, and you can be there with everybody else! There are multiple platforms on which you can watch. Just visit the Democratic Party’s website and play the video How to Watch the Democratic Convention.

You can also sign up to be notified by email of events as they happen by visiting this page: Commit to Watch.

During the day, you can watch the individual caucus and council meetings. There is also a daily webinar called “Campaign Academy.” Campaign Academy 2020 will give participants a look behind-the-scenes of political campaigns and prepare them with the skills, knowledge, and tools to find meaningful campaign volunteer experiences.

You can find the schedule of events and speakers listed here:
Save the Date: Racial Equity and Education, Thursday, August 27, 6:00 pm

Don’t miss the upcoming DPBC Third Thursday webinar on Racial Equity and Education. Among other important topics, panelists will discuss the Martinez/Yazzie v State of New Mexico decision and the outlook for Native American and ELL students. Register in advance:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Key Dates for the 2020 General Election

The 2020 General Election is only 83 days away! Let’s get ready. By now some of you will have received an absentee voting application. You do NOT need a reason to vote absentee. Here are some key dates to know for the election lead-up:

September 14, 2020

October 6, 2020

  • Clerks begin mailing absentee ballots to voters who have requested them.
  • Books close for online and paper voter registration.
  • Absentee Voting Begins
  • In-person Absentee Voting and Same Day Registration (SDR) begin at Clerk’s Annex (Oct. 6-16, 2020, M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

October 17-31, 2020Early Voting and SDR (Click for locations) M-S, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

October 20, 2020 – Deadline for clerk to receive a mailed absentee ballot application

October 27, 2020 – Recommended final day for voter to mail absentee ballot

November 3, 2020 – Election Day 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Click for information on Military/Overseas Voting, Election Board (poll workers), Student Election Clerks and Third Party Voter Registration Agents. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and visit the Newsroom.

Voter Registration Agent Training

The Bernalillo County Clerk announced a new on-line VRA Training program which is available until September 13, 2020. If you know any friends who want to become VRAs, this is a great way to get the training. Here’s the link to sign up for a class:

Online tools for voters

Yes, Voter Registration activities have been severely curtailed! But, thankfully we have on-line tools available to help our friends and family register to vote or update their voter registration information. Go to the Secretary of States website for all things relating to voter registration:
Call for VIDA Volunteers
VIDA: Volunteers for Immigrants in Detention-Albuquerque (formerly Civic ABQ) seeks to ease isolation for those in detention. Learn more at Sign up to write to someone in detention here. If you know an immigrant in detention who would like to receive letters, let us know here. Contact us at During this pandemic, we are not able to visit our friends in detention, so we are focusing on writing letters. Anyone, anywhere can get involved! Join us in showing those in detention that they are not forgotten.
Get Tested

If you are feeling sick with any COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been in contact with an infected person, you can get tested for the virus.

Those without insurance can go to a New Mexico Public Health Office to get tested at no cost. Locations are listed here:

There are various sites throughout Bernalillo County and the State that offer testing services. Once you find your site, you may pre-register for testing by going here:

You can find all sites (both public and private) in Bernalillo County by going here:

Albuquerque testing sites are here:       
New Mexico's Delegation to the 2020 Democratic National Convention

Our delegates have been chosen. For a complete list of delegates, click here
Storehouse New Mexico Needs Volunteers

The Storehouse New Mexico food pantry is desperate for volunteers to sort and pack food boxes for distribution. Any amount of time is welcome. Bring your own mask, gloves provided.

Storehouse New Mexico 505-842-6491
106 Broadway SE
How to Show Support for the Black Community in Albuquerque

Here you’ll find suggestions on local and national ways to support communities impacted by police violence along with a list of local Black-owned businesses in Albuquerque. This list is by no means exhaustive, and the road to reform goes far beyond financial support. However, it is a good place to start.       
You + DPBC + Social Media

You can help us expand our audience by joining us on social media. Follow us on Facebook at the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County, on Twitter at @DPBC, and on Instagram at bernalillodems.

Share our content with your social network. Our voices, raised in unity, will be heard.       
Events in Bernalillo County
Event listings are open to Democratic candidates, their representatives, and organizations whose philosophies are in line with Democratic values. Event listings are a service to the community. They do not indicate endorsement of a candidate by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County.

Due to coronavirus, please contact event organizers for information regarding cancellations.
Karen Bash Fall Kickoff Fundraiser With Deb Haaland
Please Join Rep. Bash For a “Fall Kickoff” fundraiser with Special VIP Guest, Congresswoman Deb Haaland

With Hosts: Rep. Gail Chasey, Rep. Moe Maestas, Rep. Liz Thomson, Rep. Derrek Lente, Rep. Christine Trujillo, NM Building & Construction Trades Council, Julianna Koob, Marilyn and David Thurlo, and Carol & Bruce St. John; Co-hosts: Rep. Patricia Roybal-Caballero & Rep. Natalie Figueroa.

Suggested Contribution Levels:
Host: $250
Co-Host: $100
Supporter: $50
Friend: $25

RSVP to or 505-672-8369

Donations can be mailed to 6523 Jazmin Pl NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114 or given online at
Please make checks payable to Karen Cares for New Mexico

  • August 12, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Wende Schwingendorf Virtual Volunteer Kickoff
For more information, visit Wende’s campaign at

  • August 15, 10:00 am

Save the Date: Racial Equity and Education
Don’t miss the upcoming DPBC Third Thursday webinar on Racial Equity and Education. Among other important topics, panelists will discuss the Martinez/Yazzie v State of New Mexico decision and the outlook for Native American and ELL students.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

  • August 27, 6:00 pm

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