A memorial will be held for Kim at 6pm on Friday, August 18th at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104).
Kim Posich, long-time Executive Director of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, passed away on Sunday night at home. His family, the Center staff, and the community mourn the loss of such a tremendous social justice advocate.
Gail Evans, the Center’s Legal Director and his wife, wrote the following remembrance of Kim:
Kim was diagnosed with ALS in January of 2015. During these past few years, as his body steadily shut down, his mind, his humor, his grace, his patience, his appreciation of life did not. He continued to be a wonderful partner, parent, grandfather, friend, and colleague, contributing to the Center’s work until very recently, when he became more and more focused on the basics – breathing, eating, and drinking – all of which had become a real struggle.
Many of us loved and respected Kim. We loved his intellect; we loved his determination to build a more just world; we loved his persistent fight against poverty and injustice; we loved his appreciation for life, nature, a good joke, a good poem, and a good game, and we loved how much he loved. He truly was a beautiful man.
Please take a moment to appreciate the sky, the light, a flower growing in a crack in the sidewalk, and remember Kim. Be kind and understanding to someone you don’t know, or don’t like, and remember Kim. Say yes to someone in need who asks you for a favor, and remember Kim. Be inspired by the Freedom Riders and remember Kim. Take a bold move for justice, and remember Kim.
Kim at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
Kim Posich served as Executive Director of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for 14 years, between 2002 and 2016. He joined the Center with a clear purpose: to transform the small but effective organization into the powerhouse of legal advocacy in New Mexico that it is today. In the ensuing years, he achieved that vision beyond what anyone could have imagined. He increased the Center’s budget by more than $1 million, grew the size of the Center’s staff by 300 percent, and expanded the issue areas in which the Center was engaged, all while staying true to the Center’s history and core values. The Center’s achievements under his tenure are too numerous to list, but a few highlights include:
- Leading stakeholders from around the state in a successful campaign to expand Medicaid eligibility. This change extended healthcare coverage to over 250,000 adults who were not previously eligible.
- Winning a landmark lawsuit extending workers’ compensation benefits to agricultural laborers.
- Coordinating campaigns that brought $16 million of financial support to New Mexico’s civil legal services system—the “legal emergency room” for the poor.
- Collaborating with community groups to persuade the University of New Mexico Hospital to stop charging uninsured, indigent patients 30 percent more than insured patients and requiring them to pay 50 percent of expected charges for some services in advance.
- Arguing for improvements to the state’s administration of public benefits that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people getting assistance more effectively when they needed it.
As New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty Board Member John W. Boyd wrote:
Kim’s tireless work has resulted in accomplishments that have changed New Mexico law and improved our state in ways that make us very proud.
Rest well, Kim. We will miss you.