By Matthew Reichbach
Wold was a progressive activist who founded the popular blog Democracy for New Mexico and ran the influential website for years. Wold often credited the Howard Dean campaign for getting her involved in online politics — and no one in the state, on the left or right, did it with the passion and tenacity of Wold.
Wold truly was a pioneer in New Mexico for blogging and showed that online activism could have an effect on the real world. Wold became a force in the Democratic Party from her writing at Democracy for New Mexico and other political efforts. Democrats in the state quickly learned that speaking to Democracy for New Mexico and attending the monthly DFA-DFNM meetups were essential to reaching the progressive base of the Democratic Party.
Wold saw dozens of New Mexico blogs come and go since launching Democracy for New Mexico on July 31, 2004. One reason is that Wold was able to put up new content on a regular basis for years, where many tired of the grind of blogging about New Mexico politics for little, if any, pay. Wold continued to publish content on the site throughout her battle with cancer — even posting a piece on Sunday.
When the Democratic National Convention Committee announced one blog from each state would receive a press pass to the Democratic National Convention, Democracy for New Mexico was a no-brainer for New Mexico’s press pass. One of my fondest memories of Wold was from the day before the Democratic National Convention kicked off in Denver.
Wold, Broderick and journalist Peter St. Cyr formed our own New Mexico caucus at an empty Morton’s Steakhouse. There was talk about politics, as one might expect from the company and the reason for being in Denver. But there was talk about her hometown of Chicago, about the state of the New Mexico blogosphere and a number of other topics with nothing to do with politics or even New Mexico.
I can recall a number of times writing something or focusing on a story that Wold did not believe was fair or important and receiving an email or a direct message on Twitter about it — Wold wasn’t the type to back down from a fight, as many reporters and political types in the state could attest to. And Wold was never unprepared for a discussion about anything to do with politics. Or any other subject, for that matter.
When I began playing softball, Wold told me about playing 16 inch softball in Chicago, a variant of softball where the fielders don’t use gloves. When I saw it being played on the short-lived TV show The Chicago Code, I had to let Wold know.
It is these kind of anecdotes that I will remember when I think of Wold in addition to her effect on the politics in the state.
Broderick wrote a better post about Wold than I could ever hope to write and encourage readers to go read it — if they have not already. Here is an excerpt of the post:
Barb was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer on Sept 9, 2011. She was brave and honest in facing this news. Barb and I had many hours to spend together over the past months to share in incredible ways, only deepening our bond. She died real suddenly yesterday, she had a small breakfast, and was on facebook, had checked out the blog, and basically we were just being. I left the house for 10 minutes and came back to find her gone in her chair at her table with her Ipad open. And what really cracked me up is when I looked at what she was last looking at on her Ipad, it was the Bern County Blue Review. I swear to God!