We are just getting rolling at Retake and have made much progress in the last week. This blog features ways you can get involved right now and a report on four House District Races with strongly progressive candidates to support.
We tripled the number of folks signed up to receive the Retake blog and now have over 100 volunteers statewide who have expressed an interest in doing voter registration, phone banking, canvassing, research on legislative votes, or participating in a Progressive Hub. It is taking a bit of time to get the Hubs organized and to design an easy way to coordinate research on the legislature, although that should be done soon. Those who have shown interest in Hub activity or legislative research will hear from us soon. Over the next week we will be focusing on expanding the base of support for the Regional Progressive Hubs and linking them to campaigns nearby.
This blog will provide information on what any of you can do right now and between supporting strongly progressive democratic candidates, expressing your opposition to the PNM rate hike, and reaching out to friends to get them involved, there is plenty to do. This blog also features a summary of four house races where strong progressives are running on the Democratic ticket. Many Retake members have indicated a desire to focus their support on strongly progressive candidates and this is an effort to respond to those who want to focus their energy in this manner.
Things You Can Do Starting Right Now!:
Voice Your Opposition to PNM’s requested $123.5 M rate hike. This is a very easy thing to do as at this link you can get a brief summary of the rate hike itself and why it is important to defeat it. You will also find contact information for the PRC Commissioners so you can email and/or call them to voice your opposition. The rate hike may well be even more important an issue than anything the Roundhouse will consider in 2017, so this is an opportunity to flex our muscles. Please encourage others you know who have a strong concern for the environment to also get involved with this effort.
Attend Brand New Congress LiveStream. Sept. 20 6pm-8pm at Center for Progress & Justice. In addition to hearing the goals and plans of Brand New Congress, we will present more information on how you can become active locally and demonstrate how you can support our research of voting records of Democrats and GOP on progressive legislation. A link to RSVP for this event will be posted in the next blog.
Phone Banking in Santa Fe. The House of Representative- NM Democratic House Campaign Committee is phone banking to campaigns throughout the State, targeting those races where your support can make the most difference. For all of September the schedule is:
Every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5pm until 8pm. at the Center for Progress & Justice.1420 Cerrillos Road. In October we will be doing more nights and hopefully Eldorado so stay tuned.
Phone Banking from Home Anywhere in NM. Phone banking from home is available NOW!! For those in or near Santa Fe, the House Committee has folders with all the information, instructions, and call lists available for people to sign up, sign out lists, make calls and return results. People can come pick up these lists on T or Th between 5-8pm at 1420. For those in other parts of the state, please contact Charlotte Roybal at email@example.com or 505-930-0563.
Working for Liz Stefanics. For people who want to help Liz Stefanics (Senate District 39 have them contact Cecil Lipworth at 505-699-2539 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hold Sept 25th. Antonio Maggiore is a strong Bernicrat who is running for City Council in Los Alamos. This is the kind of young progressive leadership we want to support. They are kicking off canvassing for Maggiore on Sept 25th. We will share times and locations next blog.
Featured Races with Strongly Progressive Democratic Candidates
Many Retake members have indicated a strong desire to support not just any Democrat, but those with strong progressive pedigree. In response to this priority, we present summaries of four races that meet this criteria and provide contact information, as well. Let’s do it!
HD 7: Valencia County
The Race: Incumbent Republican in a Democratic leaning District, so a chance to retake a seat.
Democratic Candidate: Arturo Fierro. This is a somewhat under-resourced campaign. Retake has just added this race to our targeted list due to Fierro being endorsed by the Working Families Party of NM.
- An Army veteran of the Iraq War who’s now a social worker.
- Strong supporter of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy
- Endorsed by the Working Families Party
GOP Candidate: incumbent Republican Kelly Fajardo. Fajardo in 2014 walked off the House floor to duck a vote on increasing the statewide minimum wage of $7.50 an hour.
Campaign Contact. Retake is working to get contact info for Fierro, so in the interim contact email@example.com and we will get you in touch with the campaign.
HD 24: Albuquerque’s east side/mid-town
The Race: Open seat (incumbent Republican Conrad James is retiring from the House). So this is another race where we can take back a seat.
Democratic candidate Liz Thomson in 2012, who narrowly lost in 2014. Leans Dem.
- Pediatric physical therapist.
- Progressive champion when she served in the House in 2013-2014
- Committed to helping families impacted by autism thrive.
- Named Legislative Champion by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for her efforts to reduce DWI fatalities.
Republican Candidate: Christina Hall
- Handpicked to run by Republican establishment and House Majority Leader Nate Gentry
- Most of her campaign contributions are from big, out-of-state corporations
- Endorsed by the National Rifle Association and Right to Life Committee.
Dem Campaign Contact Info: Eric Castillo, 505-948-9910, firstname.lastname@example.org,
HD 30: Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights
The Race: GOP-Held. House District race against Republican Majority Leader. Tilts Dem-performing. So this represents the opportunity to take back a seat possible with a strongly progressive candidate and unseat GOP House Majority Leader, Nate Gentry.
Dem Candidate: Natalie Figueroa
- Educator for 25 years; teaches Spanish at Volcano Vista.
- Master teacher, who also serves as a Mentor Teacher for UNM’s School of Education
- Longtime volunteer work locally, as well as in service projects in Nicaragua, Tanzania and Costa Rica
- Endorsed by the Working Families Party of New Mexico
Republican Incumbent: Nate Gentry
Like a few other Republicans, running as if he’s a Democrat, despite a conservative voting record and a campaign account teeming with special interest money (including more than $50,000 from the oil and gas industry just this cycle)
- Member of Koch brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
- Endorsed by both the NRA and Right to Life Committee.
Dem Campaign Contact Info: Mauree Thordahl, 505-503-9403, email@example.com,
Facebook: Natalie For New Mexico, www.nataliefornewmexico.com.
HD 37: Eastern Las Cruces
The Race: GOP-Held. Tilts Dem. So another opportunity to take back a seat from the GOP.
Dem Candidate: Joanne Ferrary
- Lost this race by only 8 votes in 2012
- Has dedicated her career and volunteer work to combating DWI and DWI-related fatalities.
- Lobbied in the legislature for raising the minimum wage and other progressive issues
Republican Incumbent: Terry McMillan
- Voted to slash wages for construction workers and against raising the minimum wage.
- He’s a special interest legislator, working for the HMOs and big pharma (he’s a doctor)
- Endorsed by extremist Right to Life Committee.
Dem Campaign Contact Info: Patricia Aguirre, 575-532-5127, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: @Ferrary4NM, www.joanne4nm.com
That’s all for this mid-week blog. Look for another post on Saturday with a focus on what I have found in researching the 2016 Roundhouse session.
There is much to do, so please get active.
Paul Gibson, Coordinator, Retake the Roundhouse