Zélie Pollon

News Director

Zélie Pollon is an award-winning independent journalist who has focused much of her work on social and humanitarian issues around conflict and reconstruction.  For over a decade, Pollon has reported on issues of international significance, publishing hundreds of articles for Reuters, The Dallas Morning News, People Magazine and other major publications.  She has studied, worked, and served on boards across the globe, from Iraq to Sri Lanka.  Pollon’s professional experiences are wide ranging, and include serving as Managing Editor for Curve Magazine; working as a trainer for journalists in Africa to promote democracy and free speech; and translating lectures by the Dalai Lama from French recordings into English.  Her recent research looked at oral history and the role it plays in Transitional Justice and post conflict rebuilding -- and most importantly, post conflict healing  -- in both Baghdad, Iraq, and more recently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Pollon has garnered international recognition for her work, including such esteemed awards as the Rotary World Peace Fellowship and honors from the National Press Foundation.

 

The Republican National Convention wrapped up last night in a flurry of speeches about the dark days of America. As one New York Times reporter summed it up:

“Mr. Trump sounded much like the unreflective man who had started it with an escalator ride in the lobby of Trump Tower: He conjured up chaos and promised overnight solutions.” We check in a final time with our Santa Fe Republican delegate Samuel LeDoux.

While the Republicans were gearing up for their final night, Senator Wendy Davis was in town encouraging New Mexicans to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Davis became famous in July 2013 for famously filibustering for 13 hours to prevent a vote on a bill limiting women’s right to a safe abortion.


 

Last night once again presented some bumps in the road for the Republican party and it’s nominee Donald Trump, particularly when Ted Cruz was booed off the stage after encouraging delegates to vote their conscience and not necessarily to vote for their nominee Donald Trump. As one politico blogger put it:Cruz’s defiance catapulted the ragged, plagiarism-marred, poorly managed convention into nuclear dumpster fire territory.

That was one opinion.

Last night when it came time for New Mexico to vote for Donald Trump as the GOP presidential candidate, Gov Susana Martinez declined to personally endorse Trump, and instead handed the microphone to Santa Fe delegate Samuel LeDoux, New Mexico’s youngest delegate, and our daily correspondent from the convention floor.

So where are those protesters we’ve heard so much about? Well, their appearance has been scant. In the event we were missing protests that mainstream wasn’t airing, we contacted local reporter Mark Naymik with Cleveland.com, the online version of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Here’s what he had to say.

As the Republican National Convention gets underway, we wanted to hear from our own delegates about how things are shaping up on the ground. Delegate Samuel LeDoux checks in from the convention floor. 

This year’s Folk Art Market has come and gone. We caught up with the artists and organizers yesterday on payout day where artists were attending a resource fair while waiting to finalize the returns for their hard work. The news wasn’t all good.

A judge heard closing arguments yesterday in a case alleging Human Services officials altered emergency food applications to deny new Mexico’s poorest citizens access to food. We speak with Reporter Joey Peters who was in the courtroom.

This week also begins another Santa Fe favorite. The International Folk Art Market, which brings together hundreds of artists from around the world for a three-day extravaganza on museum hill. We spoke with organizers to hear about this year’s event.

There is a new Santa Fe film office. It’s a joint venture by the city and county to grow and support film, television and digital media in the region. Local film industry veteran Eric Witt – he was deputy chief of staff under Bill Richardson and oversaw the development of the film industry in the state -- has been tapped to launch the new office, which open its doors tomorrow. I caught up with Witt this morning to hear about Santa Fe’s newest economic engine.

As thousands of educators gather this week in Washington DC, we asked the president of New Mexico’s National Education Association to give a preview of what would be discussed. Zelie Pollon brings us this report.

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and a new report by the data analysis website WalletHub just issued a report on the best and worst state for fathers. Any guesses where New Mexico appears?

Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives recently returned from Beijing, China. He was there as a representative of Santa Fe at a Creative Cities Network summit under the auspices of UNESCO. It also happened to coincide with a similar trip that the mayor was scheduled to take to China on the subject of sustainable cities. I spoke with Counselor Ives about Santa Fe’s Creative City designation and what conferences like the one in China can mean for Santa Fe and its creative and cultural growth.

Police violence has been a discussion nationwide, and specifically the number of cases of mentally ill people who die in the hands of police custody. Similarly, solitary confinement has been widely criticized as a means of punishing people already in police custody, and as we hear in today’s feature, again mentally ill people are the greatest group who suffer from the practice. We spoke with two Solitary confinement experts, one national and one local, about current efforts to end what they call a brutal and outdated practice.

The Southwest Organizing Project, a social rights organization in Albuquerque, organized a protest outside the Donald Trump rally last month in Albuquerque. That protest got out of hand, despite the efforts of SWOP to calm those present. According to Javier Benavides, SWOP Executive Director, it wasn’t until police began aggressively trying to disperse the group, that the masses became angry.

Regardless, the organization is now receiving threats, even death threats. I spoke Benavides this morning to hear about the fallout.


 

Last night’s primary elections offered a few surprises and made history by officially granting Hillary Clinton enough delegates for the nomination for Democratic Presidential Candidate. In general, voter turnout was high statewide, about 33.74 percent, according the clerk’s office. Santa Fe had a turnout nearing 49 percent and the highest county was Mora with 52.6 percent. The lowest turnout was in Hidalgo county where a paltry 3.5 percent of registered voters made it to the polls.

Yesterday we heard from Minority Leader Brian EGOLF ON THE Democratic strategy to regain the house next Tuesday. Today we hear from state Republican party spokesman Tucker Keane on the Republican strategy to not only hold onto the house but their hopes to regain the Senate.

Donations to Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates are streaming in, with Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton leading the pack. But as we hear from New Mexico In Depth Journalist Sandra Fish, Bernie Sanders has inspired the grassroots with many thousands more donors than any other candidate.

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to 105 Santa Fe Indian school graduates plus a crowd of 3000 at the in a commencement address where she urged the graduates to remember their tribal history and carry it with them proudly. She said “you are the next generation of leaders in your communities.” The First Lady’s speech is part of the Generation Indigenous Initiative from the Obama Administration aimed at removing "barriers to success" for Native American youth, who the White House says make up the nation's "most vulnerable population."

Paula Francis and Ginny Sassaman have walked to Santa Fe from Vermont – that’s more than 3,000 miles so far --  to talk to people about happiness and what really matters.

Ginny and Paula will be at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow morning interviewing people about what matters.

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