Research Action Team–Exploring Policy & Legislative Options

Research Action Team

researchThe purpose of the Research Action Team is to conduct research to identify policies, legislation, civic practices, and effective grassroots strategies that can improve our collective lives and protect the planet. This research will be ‘packaged’ into easily digestible and practical tools to make it easier for common people to increase the effectiveness of our individual and collective voices

Individuals interested in participating on the Research Team will meet in Santa Fe on December 11 at 2:30. Click here for meeting details and to RSVP.

Members of the Research Team are not required to attend meetings in Santa Fe. You can become involved from anywhere in the state or, for that matter, across the Nation.

Research Team Coordinators: We will identify two coordinators to oversee the work of team members. Coordinators will:

  • Manage member research assignments and deadlines;
  • Convene meetings, as needed;
  • Review research produced to ensure quality, completeness, and that the work is completed according to specs identified below; and
  • Participate in alternate week Coordinating Team meetings, meetings comprised of Coordinators from all Action Teams with a goal of coordinating work across Teams.

Research Team Members: Team members will research local, state, and national issues in a variety of areas, with most work being done independently, although in coordination with others working on related issues.

Scope of Work. Individual researchers or teams working together will research the following kinds of issues and summarize them into Action Research Packets, described below. High priority topics include:

  • Various policy and legislative bills that could better serve common people,
  • Financial and tax policies that could generate funding more democratically,
  • Lists of local, state, and national organizations doing important work, with contact info and descriptions of what they do;
  • Best practices in local and state government, citizen engagement, and small “d” democratic processes, to identify models that could be implemented in cities and rural communities throughout NM (and other states);
  • Corporate sector business practices (gas, credit cards, bottled water, food/produce, meat, cosmetics, autos) — who operates most ethically, what practices could be replicated? Develop strategies to reward those with more ethical practices and avoid those who exploit us and/or the earth.
  • Most effective practices for building a grassroots movement and their implications for Retake Our Democracy.
  • Strategies for removing the influence of money on elections, the legislative process, and efforts to regulate business.

Researchers should identify issues they are passionate about, where the research work will be joyful, and where you have a pre-existing grasp of the topic. Priority areas may include:

  • Reform state tax and revenue generating legislation to increase revenue and relieve the burden placed on low-income populations, shifting it to wealthier residents and to the corporate sector;
  • Build a sustainable commitment to early childhood development and early childhood education;
  • Rebuild the New Mexico economy, free it from reliance on extractive (fossil fuel) industries, and stimulate job-creating industries such as building a renewable energy grid, developing commercial hemp, legalizing recreational marijuana, building our tourist industry, film industry, artist community, and other industries that can generate dignified jobs that pay living wages and that keep our young people here and lure others to move to New Mexico.
  • Explore detailed plans for rebuilding economies in communities that currently rely on extractive industries—these communities can not become sacrifice zones, they have already suffered enough.

The goal for each researcher will be to identify a specific topic, conduct online research, possibly followed up with phone conversations with experts or policymakers. The product to be developed would include a 500-650 word narrative with links to other sources (articles, video, etc), validating positions taken in the narrative. The narrative should describe:

  • The problem or challenge—how is the system operating now and why is it bad for most of us;
  • Description of possible solutions that have either been successfully implemented elsewhere or enjoy substantive and credible support that can be referenced;
  • Specific recommendations that can be implemented at the national, state, and local level;
  • Speaking points or bullets that summarize the problem, potential solutions, and what Retake Our Democracy supporters are asking their representatives to do;
  • Infographic(s) related to their issue, whenever they are available.
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