Not to be dramatic, but our planet and our grandkids’ future is at stake. We can’t sit idly by and wait for someone else to resist. The bad new is, there is no quick fix, no brilliant idea to turn back the clock. We have to face this reality and challenge it.
Before introducing our revised organizing principles, a few announcements.
Bob Dylan & George Carlin. If you missed yesterday’s blog, the rendition of Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall is so worth the time. Patti Smith stumbles a bit because she was overtaken by emotion, but the lyrics were clear and evocative and the stumble actually enhanced the performance. And George Carlin in 3 minutes captures exactly how America is being lulled into accepting the Corporatocracy’s terms. We got a note from George Carlin’s daughter, Kelly, thanking us for including him in the blog. Click here if you missed it.
Monday, Dec 19, 9am at the Roundhouse. Protest the electoral college. Click here.
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.
Action Team Planning Meetings. People are always asking: What can I do? We have formed Action Teams for advocacy at the Roundhouse and City Council, outreach, direct action, research, ward reinvigoration, and social media and traditional media. Planning meetings are scheduled the first two weeks of January. To find descriptions of the teams and time and dates of the next meetings, click here.
Retake Our Democracy
Organizing Principles & What You Can Do Before January
Two weeks ago, I developed a summary of the reasons why Retake Our Democracy was formed, the unique need it fills, and its vision, mission, and strategies. Since then we have received input from a quite a few and we have revised this summary quite a bit. But it is still the expression of a relative few. If we are going to Retake Our Democracy, we need our organizing principles to be an expression of more of a collective vision, so if you click here, you will find the summary of our mission, vision, and the challenge we are addressing. At the end of that summary is a place for you to provide comment. Please provide input: What is missing? What can be improved or clearer? What is really good and should be stressed elsewhere? I encourage people not only to comment, but to reply to other people’s comments. I only ask that comments be civil and if you disagree with someone you do so respectfully. There are no bad ideas, only those ideas that are never expressed. Thanks
At most every meeting I attend, no matter what the focus of the meeting, I am asked, but what are we going to do about Trump? There is the Hamilton electoral challenge, click here for more information on the effort to stop Trump by having electoral college voters refuse to vote for him. And there is a protest scheduled for 9am at the Roundhouse on Monday, the 19th. I hope to see you there. But, in truth, I don’t really feel any effort to derail Trump has a chance to succeed, as I explained in that blog.
So where does that leave us? What can we do?
My answer is one word: Organize. We need a very large, very engaged, and very nimble movement with people constantly poised to take action. There is no easy way around it: this is not going to be easy and it will take everyone one of us working together to oppose each and every Trump initiative that is in conflict with democratic, progressive values. And it is not enough to just be against Trump. We need to be FOR something and that is why Retake Our Democracy has crafted an initial set of statements about what we aspire for America to become, as described above.
We can’t just sit back and assume that the next four years will pass and then we’ll elect a Messianic president who will fix things.
First, Presidents don’t fix things, only small groups of people working together do.
Second, to elect a President who might help us advance our goals, we need to have a very strong base of well-informed progressive voters and make sure they get active.
Third, we need to start conversations with folks who voted for Trump. We have to help them connect the dots and see that immigrants and Muslims are not what is degrading their lives, it is the corporatocracy and the Democratic and Republican parties as they are currently constituted.
Finally, we have to be organized to resist whatever is about to hit us. So sitting back is not an option. Action is.
To be effective in our action, we need to engage, educate, and activate people throughout our communities. If you want to get active, sign up for one of our Action Teams and come to one of the Action Team meetings slated for early January. Click here for a description of the Action Teams and a schedule of Planning meetings. It is at these meetings where we will develop strategies to oppose the Trump regime.
Those meetings are a couple of weeks away, and there are a few things you can do to help us expand our base:
- Reach out to 2-3 friends and family members and include the link to our mission, vision, and values summary. Ask them to read it, tell them you are active in the organization and feel that they might find it a good place to express their outrage or concerns. Ask them to sign up for the blog, and follow up with these folks, asking them what they thought about a recent blog—seriously, this is the single best thing you could do.
- If you use Facebook, go to our website and share the blogs you especially like — use the Facebook button at the end of every blog. Go to our FB page, “like” it if you haven’t already, and share things you think others might want to know.
- The holidays are for family, and while it isn’t a great time to drop political bombshells, in many families, talk about Trump and our situation is going to be inevitable. Should that discussion occur, tell them about Retake Our Democracy and encourage them to sign up for the blog;
- We are going to be organizing House Parties on an ongoing basis beginning in January. Start making a list of people you know who might be interested, and try to have a mix of people you know will want to get involved and those who might be more conservative. Some House Parties will have an issue theme, some will simply be: “I am floored by where this country is headed. Let’s get together and talk among friends, share what we are feeling and figure out what we can do together.” House parties will be one of the initial strategies for building our base outside Santa Fe, so those of you who don’t live in Santa Fe, start making a guest list and contact us for more info. We will provide speaking points, discussion topics, and optional video links. This is a tremendous way to get your friends involved and have fun.
Don’t even begin to think that contacting friends won’t matter. You never know when one call or one email can turn into one person getting really active. For example, someone forwarded a recent blog to a friend in Houston. That person wrote to me and she wants to form a Retake Our Democracy Activist Hub in Houston. She has been posting on Facebook non-stop and forwarding our blog to friends. After the holidays, I am going to ask her to host a house party to engage more people. You may have a friend in Deming just waiting to get active. And that is how it starts.