Most all of us have jobs, families, hobbies, health conditions, or something that competes for our time. But every single one of us needs to make room for activism if we are to emerge from the next four years with a shred of a hope for the future. We Retook the Roundhouse, now let’s Retake Our Democracy. Let’s gather Nov 20
The New Mexico House was the only state legislative body in the United States to flip Democratic. That is something to be proud of and to build on. Gather yourselves and let’s get organized.
We are in need of conversation and action, so on Sunday, November 20, from 3-5 pm at the Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos, we will be holding the first of a series Town Hall Meetings, this first one focused on: What Next? And What Will YOU Do? Click here to RSVP. And please RSVP so we can plan better. The meeting room at 1420 Cerrillos needs to burst at the seams with people. We will have a one-pager of very specific and important things that you can do to oppose Trump and advance democracy in New Mexico. You will leave with tools. But you have to come to get them. No excuses. If you have plans, please change them. We need each other now. All of us. This post includes information on the coming meeting and other actions, as well two specific things you can do today. So if you are angry or sad, channel that emotion into action. You will feel better. The blog ends with a message from Hopi elders sent to me by my friend Tracy Neal. Healing words and advice about how to function in these challenging times.
I met with the New Mexico Progressive Coalition last night, a growing group of progressives with representatives from grassroots groups throughout a growing number of communities throughout the state. A statewide, half-day progressive convening is being scheduled for Dec 10, 11 or 17 in Albuquerque and a group of us are working to create an integrated communication system using FB, MailChimp and WordPress blog posts like this one. I’ll keep you posted.
This is not the only call to action next week. At the end of this post you will find information on a National Day of Action in Solidarity with the resistance at Standing Rock, information on the process for providing input into BLM’s planned fracking near Chaco Canyon, and information about a day of reconciliation planned by a number of local organizations at El Museo this Sunday (tomorrow). But first some good news and more information about our Town Hall Meeting on Nov. 20.
Grassroots organizations throughout New Mexico, and their thousands of volunteers, overcame tens of millions of dollars of out-of-state, corporate-financed PACs. We retook the Secretary of State, retook the Roundhouse, and strengthened our hold on the Senate. The New Mexico House was the only state legislative body in the United States to flip Democratic. The only one! In the national groundswell of conservative revolt, that is quite an achievement. And there is a lesson here: People talking with people on the phone, on porches, and over dinner can overcome the shameful PAC-funded hit pieces that landed in our mailboxes daily. We need to take a moment and feel good about that. And learn from it. People talking with people; it can work.
But as much as we achieved, we lost and won several legislative races by a fraction. With more grassroots activity, we would have secured even more seats and by greater margins. And too many readers of this blog could have done more. Including me. On Nov 20, we will discuss how each of you can contribute. But that contribution can begin right now by:
- Forwarding this note to 10 friends, asking them to sign up for Retake the Roundhouse, and encouraging them to get active; and
- Making it a personal goal to get five friends to attend this meeting. Call friends and personally ask them to join you, including an invitation for dinner to debrief on the meeting and discuss how you all can sustain your involvement.
I have often asked folks to share blogs and bring friends to meetings. Since Bernie’s race ended, the response has shrunk. Too few are doing too much and we need more of you to join in now as the challenge is enormous and the stakes very high.
I’d also like readers to initiate this conversation by going to the end of this blog and offering your own comments. Please address these two issues: How did we get here? What do we do next? I want this blog to become more interactive with ideas flowing back and forth among a community of activists committed to a shared vision. I only ask that comments be respectful and recognize one thing: No matter how angry we are with the entire election process, please make comments respectful. We need each other now and anger and accusations only serve to divide, not unify.
I think the national election results reveal that we have to expand our conversations and we need to engage and listen to those who voted for Donald Trump. While far too often Trump rage translates into racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, we need to understand the roots of this rage: for 40+ years, the Democrat and Republican parties have served their corporate masters, not the people. The progressive expression of rage against this reality is Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution; the conservative manifestation is Donald Trump. But both of these rages come from the same deeply felt sense that our government is not serving our needs. There may be more common ground than we ever imagined and we would profit from exploring it honestly and compassionately. Together, we need to insist that government places people and our planet before profits. This link will take you to an excellent Guardian article by Naomi Klein. She articulates brilliantly how neo-liberalism has failed us and how wed must proceed. A very good, short read.
Never before in the history of this country have we needed to get together, stick together, work together, build bridges, engage the unengaged, and talk with and listen to our neighbors, our friends, our families, and our colleagues. This note is a call to action. Our victories in NM are a lesson, and we need to expand our work to oppose the Trump agenda nationally and to advance a progressive one here in NM. Most all of us have jobs, families, hobbies, health conditions, or something that competes for our time. But every single one of us needs to make room for activism if we are to emerge from the next four years with a shred of a hope for the future. And there are roles to be played, even by the busiest among us. No excuses. We need each other; we need you to show up; and we need to persist. We have so much to do, it will take all of us to do it. I really hope to have the meeting on Nov. 20 spilling out the doors. It would make the meeting challenging, to be sure, but it would do all of our souls good.
In closing, I want to thank the 80+ individuals who recently expressed their thanks for the work I’ve been doing the past 18 months. I was floored. Prior to the Hawk and the Owl blog, I think the most responses I received to any one email was 4-5. Thank you all very much. On a very low day, it was a much needed boost. I hope most all of you join me on Nov. 20.
Lastly, I want to thank my wife, Roxanne Barber. Throughout the Bernie and Retake processes I have been the one getting most of the credit. But behind the scenes, Roxanne has been my editor and far more important my thought partner, soul mate, and anchor. Our daily discussions of strategy, what to write, what to do, and most importantly, what not to do or say have informed every word written and every meeting organized. Without her sage advice, constant support, and endless patience, I would long ago have made a mess of this. Thank you, Roxanne.
And so, let’s start the conversation by clicking here and offering your comments. Click here to RSVP for Nov. 20, and tell every progressive you know that you are planning to attend and hope they will too. In the next post I will share my views on how we got here and where we might go next, but first I want to listen to the wisdom coming from you. So click here and add a comment.
Standing Rock. Retake the Roundhouse has devoted significant attention to supporting the resistance at Standing Rock. Click here for a link to actions you can take to support the Water Protectors. November 15 is a national DAY OF ACTION, with actions planned at Army Corp offices and banks throughout the country. Below are the locations and links for more information on a number of these actions on Nov. 15.
Albuquerque – 350NM – 11:45 – Army Corp of Engineers
Albuquerque – Solidarity #NODAPL – 12:00- Army Corp of Engineers
Santa Fe Water is Life Event -10:30 -Railyard Water Tower, walk to Roundhouse
Santa Fe – Pueblo Water Protectors at Roundhouse – 1:00
Santa Fe Event – New Energy Economy – 4:30 – Bank of America—We will protest the Bank of America’s support for and investment in the Dakota Access.
Not in Albuquerque or Santa Fe? Find an event near you: http://bit.ly/2e2gJTe
Chaco Canyon. A public comment period has begun on the proposed sale of public land to oil and gas companies. Public comment ends Dec 20. Yesterday, the BLM walked out on Navajo at public scope meeting. Fracking is planned only a few miles from Chaco Canyon. For information on the campaign to stop these land sales, this website has good background information and information on actions planned.
Higher Ground Healing and Reconciliation. A post-election sharing, healing, and realignment. Sunday, Nov 13, 1:30-4:30pm at El Museo Cultural Center, 555 Camino de la Familia. For more information, contact John Meade, 505-470-9740.
And finally, some sage words from my friend Tracy Neal, sent to me after my Hawk-Owl blog.
Message from the Hopi Elders New Year 2000
To my fellow swimmers,
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel that they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word “struggle” from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR
Again, thanks for your continued support.