Following the completion of my first year of law school this past May at the University of New Mexico School of Law, I worked for Professor Elizabeth Elia as a Research Assistant. In early June, Professor Elia’s research assistants, myself included, worked in collaboration with UNMSOL Clinic students (under the supervision of Professor Serge Martinez) to collect and aggregate eviction data for state and local law makers and legal services organizations. It was slow, tedious, manual work. So I learned enough python to automate the data scraping, aggregating and anonymization.
I am developing this proof-of-concept program into more fully developed software so that I can create an anonymized, aggregated database of New Mexico eviction data. This data could be used to study and answer varied questions:
- Legal issues surrounding eviction proceedings, e.g. the circumstances, consequences and results of eviction moratoriums during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Public Health issues, e.g. utilizing Geographic Information System (GIS) to map evictions in New Mexico vis-a-vis the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and accordingly provide information regarding poverty and homelessness.
- Public Policy and Administration issues, e.g. provide information (facts, data, statistics) so lawmakers, government staff, nongovernmental organizations and concerned citizens can be better informed in formulating public policy, legislation and guidelines surrounding affordable housing and eviction proceedings.
- Community and Regional Planning issues, e.g. study the effects of evictions on educational, economic, and societal disparities to better understand and address these compounding community issues.
Thank you for your interest.
–– Samuel Taub