The contrast between who Trump has chosen as his key advisors and who Justin Trudeau has selected in Canada is stunning, but don’t pack your bags for Canada, get active in one of our Action Teams and let’s make Canada’s reality ours. To find out more about Trump’s Ship of Fools and Action Team Next Steps, keep reading.I have to be honest, other than scanning the litany of horrific Trump nominations as they were made, I hadn’t really paid that much attention. I pretty much knew that there would be no Nobel Peace prize winners or climate change advocates for key positions. So I hadn’t really absorbed the cumulative disaster. Until last night, when I put together this summary. But before I strike terror in you, a few events to put in your calendar.
Action Team Planning Schedule. We will be holding Action Team meetings in the first part of January to follow-up on what was started last Sunday. We are combining the Community Conversations Team and Outreach & Engagement/Diversifying our Base Team, as the work is so similar. All meetings will be held at the Center for Progress & Justice at 1420 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe between 5:30-7pm on the dates below—except tonight’s meeting that begins at 6pm. See below..
Tonight, December 15, 6:00pm-7:30pm. Ward Activism. We will develop outreach strategies to broaden the number of people who will attend ward elections (date is not set you), and identify Wards where we have strong participation and where there is no activity. Those Wards with no activity or unresponsive chairs will be targets where we want to elect Retake the Roundhouse supporters who will energize the ward and maintain communication with members. This is an important meeting to attend if you want to be involved in reinvigorating the Ward process.
Jan 3, Citizen Advocacy-Lobbying. We will fine-tune our strategies for lobbying in the Round House. We have reached out to some key lobbying organizations and will have good summaries and contact info for our allies in this work.
Jan 3, Community Conversations and Outreach to Diversify & Expand Our Base. We will prioritize the strategies identified in our meetings on Sunday. One thing we really want to prioritize is to reach out to activists in other parts of the state and help them mobilize, as we have people who have signed up in about 10 counties and now people from Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.
Jan 5, Research. We will review and discuss the research protocol developed by a small group of Research members and clarify assignments, organize the issues being researched into broader categories, and identify coordinators for each issue area. We also need to identify a Research Coordinator to oversee all the work.
Jan 5, Ward Activism. We will follow up on the previous meeting and identify strategies for recruiting a far larger number of activists to come to vote at the Ward elections. By Jan 5, we should know the date of the elections.
Jan 12, Citizen Advocacy -Lobbying. We will finalize our advocacy strategies and assignments for the beginning of the Round House session to begin the following week.
Jan 12, Media & Social Media. We will refine tasks and strategies, clarify roles, and identify leadership for various roles and functions.
Jan 17, Non-Violent Direct Action (formerly Civil Disobedience). Continue discussion of strategies and clarify roles and priorities. Under the advice of our attorney, we will not be organizing any actions that are illegal. We see the value of this kind of work, but an organization can only do so much and we fear that this could compromise our larger purpose of engaging a wider base, many of whom could be deterred by illegal activities.
Other Events (some coming up immediately!)
Dec 15, (tonight) 6:30pm MT. American Promise Conference Call. American Promise is an advocacy effort to pass the 28th Amendment and rid the election process of the influence of money. For more information on American Promise, click here. It should help you understand better what AP is doing and how it can help us. To register to be on the call, click here.
Sat, Dec. 17, Free Skill-Building, Resource Sharing & Action Planning Sessions
9:45 a.m.-2:30p.m. at Earth Care, Santa Fe. Click here for details and to sign-up.
Tues, Dec. 20, Immigration 101 with Santa Fe Dreamers Project. 5:30-7:30pm
Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe, NM – Allegra Love will present a two-hour training covering immigration law and actions we and our city can take. A great follow up activity to yesterday’s Somos Un Pueblo Unido’s Pro-Sanctuary Rally. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
Donald Trump’s Little Shop of Horrors
As I was working on this blog yesterday, Alice Sealey, a strong local supporter, sent me this profile of Justin Trudeau’s Canadian Cabinet. It is serves as a stunning contrast with the disastrous appointments made thus far by Donald Trump.
- Minister of Health is a doctor
- Minister of Transport is an astronaut.
- Minister of National Defense is a Sikh Veteran
- Minister of Youth is under the age of 45
- Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is a former farmer
- Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was a Scout.
- Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development was a financial analyst
- Minister of Finance is a successful businessman.
- Minister of Justice was a crown prosecutor and is a First Nations
- Minister of Sport, and Persons with Disabilities is a visually impaired Paralympian
- Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coastguard is an Intuit.
- Minister of Science is a medical geographer with a PhD.
- Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees was an immigration critic advocating for full rights of new immigrants, nominated Mandela as the second honorary citizen of Canada, and is a gay rights advocate.
There are scientists in the cabinet, and it is made up of 50% women. PLUS…the entire cabinet is made up of a representative of every single ethnic group who are citizens are Canada
Here in the US, USA Today characterized Trumps Cabinet appointments as “dominated by retired military leaders, wealthy business executives, and partisan activists who oppose the historic mission of the departments they are poised to head.” And a recent Rolling Stone article indicated that, “at last count, Trump’s proposed cabinet had a combined wealth of more than $14.5 billion, included three generals, an unprecedented concentration, at least one nominee who has twice sued the agency he’s now poised to run.” Two other selections had stated previously that the agency they will now head should be abolished. Below are snapshots of just a few of the worst of the worst selections, and most have been fierce advocates against the programs they now administer.
Before plunging into the ice cold reality of our future, I want to respond to the many people who have suggested that contacting Electoral College members and begging that they not vote for Trump might prevent the seeming inevitable. As this New York magazine article points out, it is not enough for Trump to fail to get 270 electoral votes to stop him. The GOP members of the Electoral Congress are comprised of die-hard GOP activists, and 37 of the 322 GOP Electoral Congress members would have to not only decline to vote for Trump, they’d have to vote for Hillary Clinton for her to secure the election. And she has conceded the election and given absolutely no indication she would even participate in this strategy. If neither Trump nor Clinton secured the required number of votes, then the House of Representatives would elect the President, and with a solid GOP majority they are not about to throw the country into chaos, risk losing the opportunity to implement their conservative agenda and take control of the Supreme Court, concerns about Trump or not. So we have not really encouraged the effort to petition your Electoral College members, but if you are bent on trying, click here for more information, including contact information on many, but not all electoral college members, and a sample letter. Given that the College votes in a few days, you have little time. Frankly, as enticing as the prospect of dumping Trump is, I think your time is better spent getting active locally
Brace yourself for the ice cold reality below. Our National Leadership come Jan 20:
Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor. Steve Bannon is Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. He is known for pushing nationalist policy positions as well as conspiracy theories, and has been criticized as being racist, sexist and anti-Semitic. Bannon’s wife has also accused Bannon himself in court documents of making anti-Semitic comments.
Attorney General. Jeff Sessions has made enemies of several liberal constituencies — he played a central role in blocking immigration reform, received a zero out of 100 on the Human Right Campaign’s LGBT issues scorecard, and an “F” from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and nominated a Federal judge who had joked that he thought the KKK was OK until he heard they smoked pot.
Secretary of Education. Betsy Devos, who is worth an estimated $5.1 B, is a fierce opponent of public education and advocate for school vouchers, which essentially subsidize religious schools, and is for public school choice which undermines funding.
Environmental Protection Agency. Scott Pruitt, climate change denier has twice sued the agency he will now oversee with recent campaigns heavily funded by the Koch brothers.
Department of Health & Human Services. Tom Price is a fierce opponent of Obamacare having consistently sought to dismantle it. He received a zero score from Planned Parenthood and is affiliated with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which may sound fine until you realize that this organization disputes that HIV causes AIDS, that vaccines cause autism, and that it is “evil” and “immoral” for doctors to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Lord.
Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson. At least Trump found a way to appoint one person of color, but Carson is no advocate for low-income people. He opposes many of HUD’s core programs: rental assistance, public housing, and desegregation of public housing. He is famously quoted as saying “it’s not the government’s job” to take care of the needy. Oh, and he has zero housing experience.
Secretary of Transportation. Elaine Chao is Mitch McConnell’s wife, so some amount of sympathy is due her. She would be responsible for overseeing any infrastructure plan that might emerge. She is a member of the Wells Fargo Board and responsible for oversight of the institution during its infamous fake bank account scandal in which millions of fake bank accounts were created to bilk their own customers.
Secretary of Labor. Andy Pudzer, is a fierce opponent to the minimum wage and overtime rules.
National Economic Council Director. Gary Cohn is President and COO of Goldman Sachs.
Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson is CEO of Exxon Mobile and is reported to have developed a close alliance with Putin, with whom he negotiated gas and oil contracts. Even Senators McCain, Rubio, Lindsay Graham, and Ben Sasse have expressed concerns about this nomination.
Secretary of Energy. Rick Perry stated publicly that the agency should be eliminated. He is a Board Member for Energy Transfer Partners, the partnership advancing and funding the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Not exactly encouraging, but this is what we face and this is why must organize. Join us in January for more Action Team planning.