Action Teams Meet & Advance. On Wednesday We Stand with Our Immigrants

Yes the room was crowded, yes it was hard to hear, but well over 150 folks got engaged, great ideas were turned into strategies to be developed, and smaller Team meetings will be held in the first two weeks of January, but tomorrow we stand with Somos Un Pueblo Unido.

somosSomos Un Pueblo Unido Pro-Sanctuary Rally. Before I report on Sunday’s Action Team Meeting, I want to encourage all of you to participate in Somos Un Pueblo Unido’s Pro-Sanctuary Rally at City Hall this Wednesday, Dec.15 from 4pm-5pm. Last night, volunteer Debra Oliver had Roxanne and I over for dinner with Marcela Diaz, the Somos Director. We were struck by her passionate commitment to her community and her outrage that after years of such strong statewide grassroots advocacy, the challenges and threats have now escalated enormously. If Retake Our Democracy wants to become a movement that includes all segments of our community, we must make other movements our movements, we must stand with all our neighbors threatened by the Trump administration. Let’s start Wednesday. No excuses. It’s only an hour. See you there.

Somos Un Pueblo Unido
Pro-Sanctuary Rally at Santa Fe City Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave.
Wednesday, December 14th at 4:00 PM


Ward Activism Meeting. Th, Dec 15, 6 -7:30pm,Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe.  Begin planning strategies for invigorating the Democratic Party from the ground up, ensuring the election of Ward Chairs and County Central Committee members who want to generate strong Ward level activism and reform. There are a few actions Susan Popovich is asking participants to do before attending. Click here for info.

Statewide People’s Summit.  A convening of progressives statewide to discuss a statewide platform and how to launch a statewide movement. For details and to RSVP click here.

Reframing the Election.  Debra Oliver, a Retake volunteer and mediator and trainer of 27 years is offering a six-week training that I would encourage anyone who wants to be involved in media, community conversations, or lobbying to attend. The workshops will cover skill-building in the following areas:

  • Practice on how better to hear and be heard
  • How to listen for underlying needs
  • How to understand and frame your own needs in a non-threatening manner
  • Tools to help you survive the nightly news
  • How to deal with “triggers,” anger, and fear
  • How to find and build safety and common ground

Click the link: re-framing-the-election for dates, times and how to sign up.  Normally this series would cost over $150 per person but Debra is offering it at a suggested donation of $10 per session.

Update on Action Team Meetings:  At our November 20 Town Hall 450 people said it loud and clear: “WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING.” With the holidays around the corner, we assumed that meant the first week of January. Wrong. Dozens of emails told me that January was not soon enough. The only space available was the Unitarian Universalist Church, and while it holds about 150 people, we had more than that, and we had some lively conversations that made hearing difficult given that there were 2 breakouts in one room in three consecutive 1-hour sessions. So while I am sure that some people found it difficult to hear (not to mention for us to manage), so much was accomplished.

Six Action Teams met in groups of 40-65 and identified the areas that each group would focus on and who would coordinate different pieces. An hour was not enough time to have a sense of completion, but now we have sign-ups from each group and will be sending out summaries of what transpired in a week or so. Follow up Action Team meetings will be held the first and second weeks of January. We will announce specific Action Team meeting times in our next blog this week. These follow-up meetings will have ample space and time for a participatory process and to achieve clarity about how we will move forward. At Sunday’s meeting much was put in motion that will begin to unfold in January:

  • Book clubs on social and cultural issues to develop community and shared understanding;
  • Non-partisan canvassing of communities that will start with our listening to people’s fears and concerns, and their hopes for the future;
  • Monthly panels on topics of concern to all of us, including an interfaith panel on hate and how to combat it; a panel of our threatened neighbors—Muslims, women, immigrants, indigenous and LGBTQ populations — what it feels like and what we can do; climate change action; and women’s reproductive rights;
  • The development of concise well-researched Action Packets on a wide range of issues that concern us — the Research Action Team identified 27 issues on Sunday, and a small group of Research Team members will meet Thursday to develop a rigorous research protocol to ensure consistency in content, scope, andquality; and
  • Plans were developed to expand and refine our use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the mainstream media.

Action Teams are volunteer driven and will conduct activities in a wide range of areas, so there are roles for most everyone. See below for a list of the teams. More teams will be formed as people identify the need for other kinds of action. Click the blue links below to find out more about our action teams, and respond to this email if you want to get active in one of them (if you were there on Sunday, no need to respond). Action Teams include:

  • Citizen Advocacy at local, state, and national levels including advocacy with city council, county, state, and national legislation;
  • Reinvigoration of Ward Politics and reconnecting people to local and state political processes;
  • Community Conversations through a new form of ‘canvassing’ that involves neighbors speaking with neighbors in non-partisan, and non-confrontational conversation: What is keeping you up at night?  What could government do better?  Where do you feel government could serve you better?
  • Research into a wide variety of issues and the development of issue-focused “Action Packets” that include 500-word summaries with links to video, other articles, info graphics, speaking points, and contact information for legislators and policymakers;
  • Outreach & Engagement to expand involvement of under-represented populations and to expand our activity to communities throughout New Mexico and then throughout the US;
  • Events Planning to coordinate an array of Town Hall, Action Team, House Parties, Meet-Ups, Trainings, and Conferences, and over time to expand the scope to webinars and video conferences that reach communities throughout New Mexico and the US;
  • Social Media to expand our use of all forms of social media;
  • Media to ensure maximum coverage in mainstream media through TV and radio coverage, community calendars, letters to the editor, op-eds and feature stories;
  • Young Leader Recruitment & Development to develop a new generation of diverse leadership to run for school board, city council, and county commissions to inject their voices into locally-based community initiatives; and
  • Civil Disobedience to use historically proven practices to draw attention to the needs of the disenfranchised and to continuously magnify what is wrong in our country and what could be different.

Much to do, and only you to do it. This is going to be a long haul. Please join us in the effort. And please share every blog with 2-3 different friends and encourage them to sign up at

In solidarity,

Paul Gibson

Director, Retake Our Democracy


Categories: Actions, Activist Organizations, Civil Disobedience, Criminal Justice, Immigrant Rights, Ward Politics

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1 reply

  1. The Reframing the Election class sounds wonderful, but the first class conflicts with the Women’s March in SF on that same day and lasting until 2pm. Could the class time be changed?

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