At our Moral Monday-People’s Rally event Feb. 20, we will be in solidarity with one of the great moral movements of our time. So don’t just show up, invite 20 friends and create a committed group. That is how the Santa Fe Women’s March grew. Let’s do it. This post also includes Rev. Barber’s inspiring speech at the Dem. National Convention and info on Monday lobbying.
Moral Monday & New Mexico Progressive Coalition People’s Rally on Feb. 20 may be one of those moments where we find community, where we find our center. The theme is Forging New Alliances, Finding Common Moral Ground. With more threats coming from Washington DC daily, with ICE now raiding NM communities, and with Gov Martinez threatening to cut any increase in revenue, we need to stand up together for justice. (Not Our) Presidents Day is an opportunity to lobby in the morning, to hear speakers and music in the afternoon and to participate with hundreds, maybe thousands, of people in a symbolic “Die-In” at 1pm. Remember to wear black. Read on.
I am hopeful that, just as we did for the Women’s March, Santa Fe stands for justice and tells the Roundhouse we will accept nothing less. At our Moral Monday you will hear speeches from some of our most important advocates, you will hear music from some of our most inspiring musicians, but the very best way to draw inspiration on this Moral Monday is to show by our numbers, huge numbers, that we mean business, that we are united, that we have come together before, we will come together on Monday, and we will be back again and again.
I am issuing this challenge: don’t just show up on Moral Monday, use this weekend to organize an outing of you and ALL your friends who thirst for justice. I can reach you with this post, but I can’t reach your friends. You can. Tell everyone to wear black and show up on the east side of the Roundhouse at Noon for speakers, the Die-In at 1 p.m., followed by great music.
We have a developing plan for using this Moral Monday to grow our base tenfold. But it will require each and every one of you to call at least ten friends and ask them to reach out to ten more and make this Moral Monday a revival of our community spirit. Remember how good you felt walking in the Women’s March? The glow lasted days. Let’s recharge our batteries. I will announce our plan to vastly grow our base at precisely 12:55pm on Monday. Let’s do this.
When we lie down for our Die-In, to represent the inevitable deaths that will result from the immoral edicts coming from Washington and the immoral budget being proposed by our Governor, let there be so many of us that we surround the entire Roundhouse. We are organizing media, we are organizing speakers, we are organizing music, but now you need to organize your friends. Let’s do it. Click here for details and to RSVP (we’d like to have some idea of our numbers). The low number of RSVPs right now is disheartening. We need a spirit boost. Do it now. And if you need more motivation, holy cow, watch Rev. Barber below. The man can preach.
Parking is always a challenge during legislative session, so be creative — carpool, take the bus, ride a bike. Or park a few blocks away at the lot on W. San Francisco St. across from the Lensic, at the Water St. lot across from The Hemp Store, or even further away. If you arrive after 8:30, you’re unlikely to get a spot in the Capitol garage. But don’t despair. If we accommodated 15,000 for the Women’s March, we can accommodate thousands for Moral Monday!
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FORWARD IT TO AS MANY FRIENDS AS YOU CAN.
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If you want to make a full day of it and experience lobbying in the Roundhouse, here are some hearings you may want to attend:
Mon, Feb 20, 8:30am, Rm 317, House Taxation and Revenue Committee, HB 202 Tax on Businesses Without a Physical Presence. Internet sales tax; targeting large out-of-state internet sellers. Our local businesses are at a distinct disadvantage. Big companies like Amazon can sell goods without any tax added. Sure you save a small amount, but our state is broke (thank you Susana).
Mon. Feb. 20, 2 pm, Rm. 309, NM Health Security Act. After the music on Monday, let’s carry our voices into the Roundhouse and stand up for healthcare for all. Let’s make sure that members of the House Judicial Committee understand that there is an army of New Mexicans who want the Roundhouse to finally pass the Health Security Act. Wouldn’t that be a headline to see? New Mexico doesn’t just Retake the Roundhouse, the Roundhouse then thumbs its nose at Donald Trump and the GOP. And you know what? It is estimated that adoption of this bill could not only provide ALL New Mexicans with health coverage, it can save the state $800M over the next five years. Gov. Martinez approved Medicaid expansion and brought New Mexico into the ACA. Maybe that $800M will convince her to do the right thing. Imagine that my friends. For more on the Health Security Act, click here. This room will likely be jammed, so our plan is to file over there at 2pm. Make sure they know we are out there, make a little noise, but move quickly so as not to be disruptive, and then quickly return to the People’s Rally that begins at 2:30pm. If there is room in the Cigarette Tax hearing, some may choose to fill that room, too. But let’s show our solidarity with this emerging new statewide coalition: New Mexico Progressive Coalition.
And if you don’t think we need the Health Security Act, remember that the GOP is fast-tracking repeal of the ACA. If that happens, here’s the impact on New Mexicans, according to the research done by Retake Our Democracy’s Activist-Researcher Suzanne Gebhart Lawrence: “Repeal of the ACA without replacement will result in 246,000 New Mexicans currently covered under the ACA left without healthcare coverage. Additionally, 332,000 (27%) of non-elderly adults in our state have pre-existing medical conditions that could result in denial of insurance coverage without the ACA protections.”
That will translate into many conditions untreated, many lives lost: seniors, children, infants. Real people. To read the full report by Lawrence, click here: effect-of-aca-repeal-on-nm. I am so grateful for our Activist Research Team. They are just getting started, but they have also produced a report on the Rape Kit Backlog, click here, and I will notify you of another on Predatory Lending Practices very soon. Go Team.
More Tax Reform. 2 pm, Mon, Feb 20, (or ½ hr. after general legislative session) Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee, Rm 311. SB 231 Increase Cigarette & E-Cigarette Taxes. Increases cigarettes excise tax by $1.50 per pack; expands definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes. Potential to add $65 million to the General Fund. This class would do more than raise taxes. There is abundant evidence that the more tax added to cigarettes, the fewer young people take up the habit. And $65M a year is serious money.
In solidarity, Roxanne and Paul