Important Updates on Local City Council and Obamacare Actions

To free the City of ties to Wells Fargo we must act now. I spoke with Mayor Gonzales last night and he endorses our efforts. Wells Fargo is NOT on the City Council agenda; it is on the People’s Agenda, and we will use our rights to speak during the 7pm Open Comment. If we wait until it is on the City Council agenda, it will be too late. Also find info below on Jan 15 Obamacare events statewide.

water-is-lifeWater is Life; Wells Fargo is Not.  Below the clarification about the importance of the Santa Fe City Council Meeting today is a link to actions in Santa Fe, Belen, and Albuquerque in support of the national day of healthcare action on Jan 15.Also, at the bottom of the blog is information on the New Mexico Progressive Coalition and its series of meetings on Sat. the 14th from 10-4pm.

But first, Wells Fargo and how our city’s funds can be pulled from Wells Fargo and be deposited in a community bank that actually invests in our community, not in the things we protest. Susan Popovich from the Retake Our Democracy Leadership Team will be on hand to coordinate, and the Mayor has indicated he will try to speak with us before the meeting convenes at 7pm. Our videographer, Andy Fertal will be on hand to videotape the event, so whether or not you plan to speak, please bring hand painted “Santa Fe: #DeFundDaPL” or other signs (not on sticks please).  And bring friends.

Santa Fe City Council, 200 Lincoln Ave., Weds, Jan 11, assemble at 6:30 pm. Public Comment begins at 7pm. I have questioned why the Wells Fargo issue is not on the agenda. Let me explain. The contract with Wells Fargo is not up until Oct 17.  But there are two critical steps the City must take in its investment policies or it will have little chance to change course in October. So we are going to use the Pubic Comment period at 7pm to speak up and to make sure that every Council member understands that Retake Our Democracy means business and must be reckoned with, not just in relation to Wells Fargo, but in relation to public transportation, food security, a public bank, and expansion of early childcare. This is the first salvo: Let’s Retake Our Democracy. This is OUR City Council. This is OUR meeting. Below are the steps that must be taken.

Step I. Change the City’s Investment Policy. I spoke with Mayor Gonzales last night and he endorses our efforts. He filled me in on what the City must do to ensure that it has options other than large multinational banks to house the city’s money. OUR money. First, and most importantly, we must change our investment policies. Currently Santa Fe investment policies require that any bank where we deposit our funds must have $1.02 in reserve for every $1 we deposit. This effectively limits the City’s options to mega banks who invest in things like the Dakota Access Pipeline. The state only requires that a City deposits its funds in banks with a reserve of $.50 per dollar deposited. Local community banks could meet that requirement, but only mega financial institutions can meet the $1.02 level.

It is likely not a coincidence that this higher requirement is in place. I am guessing that at some point a lobbyist for Wells Fargo, met with someone in the city and planted the seed: “Your funds are critical to your City’s ability to function. Currently you only require $.XX per dollar deposited in the bank where you deposit your funds. Perhaps you need to increase the level of reserves you require to better insure your funds.” It makes perfect sense, and isn’t it great that Wells Fargo is so concerned about our fiscal solvency. Two years later, when an RFP is released to identify a bank to serve as the City’s fiscal agent and to accept and hold all the City’s revenues, guess who is eligible to apply? Only the mega banks who invest in things our city and its citizens abhor, banks that invest nothing in our local economy, in our infrastructure, in anything Santa Fe. So the first thing that must happen is that we must ensure that the City changes its investment policy.

Step II. Seek A Socially Responsible Partner. When the City publishes an RFP to identify a bank to serve as fiscal agent when the Wells Fargo contract expires in October, the RFP must be carefully worded. We want our money to work for our City, not to build DaPL, not to invest in highly speculative international banking schemes like the ones that went bust in 2008. How secure did you feel in 2008 when it looked like our mega banks had brought us to the verge of economic meltdown? No, the RFP should stipulate that our fiscal agent must commit to some percent of investment in local small business, in city infrastructure, and in socially responsible initiatives. It might also stipulate what we don’t want our fiscal agent to invest in. After all, it is OUR money they are investing.

It will take months to work out the details involved in Step I and II, so we want the City Council put on alert that the time to begin working on this is NOW.

Please come to offer two minutes of Public Comment asking that the City Council terminate its fiscal agent relationship with Wells Fargo. The cities of Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Philadelphia, and Boulder are already taking steps to divest from banks supporting DAPL. Click here for information about the national #DeFundDaPL. This is the kind of boycott that could be conducted city by city and in relation to different issues. Given that most cities in America are progressive, this strategy is one that can be effectively utilized even during the Trump administration. And the City Different needs to be a leader in demonstrating how this can be achieved.

New Mexico Progressive Coalition

The NM Progressive Coalition
Legislative Advocacy Training
January 14, 2017 10 AM-12 PM,
UNM Law School, 1117 Stanford NE
Room 2401

We will hear a uniquely Progressive and people-powered perspective from former NM Legislators Sen. Eric Griego and Rep. Eleanor Chavez. This is a great opportunity to prepare yourself to be a strong advocate in Santa Fe for the Progressive movement at the People’s Rally and beyond!
Please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/BowGwfSkN6r22fEc2

 

People’s Moral Monday Rally Planning Meeting
12 PM-2 PM, UNM Law School, Room 2401
Drinks will be provided at this meeting to continue planning the People’s Rally at the Roundhouse on February 20, 2017! This will be a discussion about how we organize on that day – setting up, lobbying, publicizing the event, inviting participants, lining up speakers. Bring a lunch for yourself from home as we are working through the lunch hour.

 

Transforming the Democratic Party Meeting
2 PM-4 PM, UNM Law School, Room 2401
If you believe an important aspect of this movement is to have a stronger Progressive voice in our government, then one step is to transform the Democratic Party. All Hands on Deck! We need to have a strong progressive voice within the Democratic Party to steer it in the right (or LEFT) direction! Find out how you can be involved by becoming a voting party member, precinct chair, or other role.

Please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/BowGwfSkN6r22fEc2

Any questions/comments can be sent to: nmprogressivecoalition@gmail.com

Stand for the Affordable Care Act

Sunday, Jan. 15: Democratic leaders are calling for a “day of action” on Jan. 15 to mobilize grassroots opposition across the country to Republican plans to “end Medicare as we know it and throw our health care system into chaos.” Click here for information about Jan. 15 events in Belen at 11 am,  in Albuquerque at 1 pm, and in Santa Fe at 2 pm. Click here for information on this national effort.

I was notified by Health Access NM that the link to rsvp above does not include complete location information.  Click here to identify the precise time and location.

Friday, Jan 20, 6pm-7:45pm: UNM’s Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education. What is Medicare for all? An Evidence-Based Presentation on Single Payer and the Future of US Healthcare will be presented by Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH and David Himmelstein, MD, Professors of Public Health at CUNY School of Public Health and Lecturers in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Go to Single Payer Workshop for details, precise location, and how to get more information.

2 thoughts on “Important Updates on Local City Council and Obamacare Actions

  1. Thanks for clarifying this, Paul. I didn’t see it on the agenda and called in and they also said it wasn’t on the agenda so I was thinking not to go, but now I will.

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