Attend Mosque Services Friday in Solidarity with our Muslim Neighbors

Robert Mang, one of the new members of our Leadership Group, secured an invitation for us to attend services at Masjid Al Rahma Mosque in Santa Fe this Friday. Get info on this, the Health Security Act, our growing impact at the Roundhouse and an excellent link where you can hear from women who voted for Trump. We need to find common ground. Start here.

mosqueSanta Fe Solidarity with Our Muslim Neighbors. Reverend William Barber has launched a Week of Solidarity  Click here to get a far more detailed summary of the Week of Solidarity and to sign the pledge. A part of that week is to show our solidarity with our Muslim neighbors by attending their services on Friday. Robert Mang, one of our leaders, reached out to Masjid Al Rahma Mosque to make arrangements for Retake Our Democracy supporters to attend services this Friday. Please read the details below carefully if you plan to attend:

Fri., Feb, 3, 1pm-2pm. Masjid Al Rahma Mosque, 418 W San Mateo Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505.  We are all very welcome to join or observe the prayer service this Friday, as Mosque leadership looks forward to having more people from the community understand their faith. We need to arrive at the Mosque by 1 p.m. The service begins promptly at 1:15.  It is very common for Santa Feans to arrive late for meetings. But it is disrespectful to arrive late for these services and we are guests, so if you find yourself running late DO NOT enter after 1:10. The service will conclude at 2 pm. Click here to RSVP. Many of our supporters are not consistent in RSVPing and just show up for meetings or trainings. This is generally inconsiderate, but here it is disrespectful. Please RSVP and please arrive a bit early to greet our Muslim neighbors as they arrive at their services.

I will have a more complete set of cultural norms to guide our behavior, but Robert provided the list below as a starting point:

  • Dress: long sleeves and long pants (should be no problem given our weather!). In most US mosques, non-Muslim women are not specifically required to cover their hair, but it’s a gesture of respect and highly recommended.
  • Shoes: people must remove their shoes on the hard surface before stepping onto the carpet
  • Phones: turn them off
  • Photos: no
  • Hats: please remove
  • Women: both women and men are allowed to sit in the back in the main room, but women are also welcome in the separate women’s prayer room.
  • Physical contact: it’s customary to shake hands between people of the same gender, and it’s OK for a man to shake the hand of a woman if she extends her hand first.

The mosque has a large parking lot in the back, so parking should not be a problem even though it’s in a residential neighborhood. After services the mosque board members will meet with anyone who has questions and is interested in learning more. We will be provided with an English translation of the salient points of the service. The Mosque is providing a copy of the translation before Friday, which I will bring to the service on Friday. Again, please RSVP here.

Meet Women Trump Supporters (not a dating service). She’s with Him is a platform that enables women Trump supporters to describe why they voted for and support Trump. Many do not fit the stereotype. For example, Smitra J. is a New York graphic designer from India who is a vegan and an avid hiker. She is also an environmentalist. And she voted for Trump. While it is important to resist the Trump agenda, it is also important that we try to understand those who voted for Trump and try to find common ground and perhaps open our minds to other ways to achieve what we may share in common with some Trump supporters: a hunger for justice. Click here for more stories.

Lobbying Volunteer Needed:  I badly need to have someone volunteer to prepare a daily briefing (or alternate day) on bills as they move through the Roundhouse, when hearings are scheduled, etc. I am getting emails from lobbyists and Retake volunteers all the time, but I simply do not have time to organize them into a concise easy to follow summary. I will forward you the notifications I get and ask that you put them in a meaningful order so I can post them daily in this blog. Write to me at  Everyone can use this guide. Click here to follow bills and sign up for lobbyist alerts.

A Tremendous Meeting with SFCC Students. Yesterday I had the opportunity to provide an Activism 101 presentation to a group of 45 young, almost exclusively Latino students at SFCC. It was more of a dialog than a presentation and what emerged was remarkable. First, none had ever attended a City Council meeting, almost none had ever been to the Roundhouse, and at the end of the session all 45 wanted me to come back in two weeks to start the development of an activist group at SFCC and to plan their attendance at the Feb.22 City Council hearing on expanding our Sanctuary program. This is a promising step. I will keep you posted.

Fabulous Social Media Training Last Night. Thanks, Ken Baumann for an outstanding training in Twitter and Facebook. I know I speak for all 40-50 of those in attendance: the presentation was lively, engaging, informative, and delivered in a way that I am sure all those in attendance will be far better able to use Social Media going forward. We are planning to offer a more advanced Social Media Training session sometime in the near future. More details later.

Events & Opportunities

Roundhouse Update:

HB 72 Reinstate the Death Penalty – scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4, 10:00 a.m. in House Consumer and Public Affairs. The Committee will meet on House Floor.  Please contact the committee now and prepare to testify. Committee members:

  • Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (Chair) Voted against similar legislation in the Special Session
  • Rep. Patricia Roybal Cabellero (Vice Chair) Voted against similar legislation in the Special Session
  • Rep. Deborah Armstrong Voted against similar legislation in the Special Session
  • Rep. Bob Wooley Voted FOR similar legislation in the Special Session
  • Rep. Monica Youngblood Is the sponsor of HB 72 and voted FOR the legislation in the Special Session.  She also voted against automatic voter registration. If you tweet:  @MYoungblood4NM.  Let her know how much you are opposed to her positions.

The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee will hear 4 bills beginning at 10am, Sat. Feb 4 in the following order:

  • HB 37 Born Alive Infant Protection
  • HB 50 Background Checks on Gun Transfers
  • HB 72 Reinstate Death Penalty
  • HB 89 Cannabis Revenue & Freedom Act

For more info on these bills, click here to go to the Roundhouse website where you can search for bills and their descriptions with searches available by bill number, key word, subject or sponsor.  Again, by clicking here you can find a guide to how to lobby effectively, how to follow bills yourself, and links to specific bills in a number of areas.

How about a bunch of us plan to be at the Roundhouse at 10am and track these bills. This is the kind of report I’d like a volunteer to help me produce. I have missed many things here for lack of time. So if you have 1-2 hours a day for the next few weeks, your help would be appreciated. 

Early Childhood Education Expansion. I was the chief consultant and evaluator for Oakland Unified School District’s Early Childhood Education programs for four years. I am passionate about the need for expanding early childhood education and would like to see this occur in Santa Fe. But I am conflicted by the current verbiage to the proposed Soda Tax. Since I haven’t had the time to do my due diligence and really explore the initiative and possible alternatives that might strengthen it and make it more equitable, I hesitate to form a strong opinion. But I encourage each of you to attend the meetings below and ask questions. I am also reaching out to a researcher who could work with me to fully vet this initiative so that we can either strongly endorse it or work with the City to find ways to amend it. This is an urgent need, so if you have a few hours, write me at

Upcoming Town Halls and City Council Meetings related to Early Childhood Education Expansion:

  • Weds, Feb 1, 5:30pm | District 4 Town Hall, Genoveva Chavez Community Center | 
  • Sat., Feb 4, 10am |  Early Childhood Education Town Hall, Genoveva Chavez Community Center |
  • Weds., Feb 8, 7pm | City Council Meeting, City Hall | (get there early!)
  • Weds., Mar 8, 7pm | City Council Meeting, City Hall – PUBLIC HEARING & VOTE  (get there early!)
Other Upcoming Opportunities and Events:
Thurs., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. — Legalize New Mexico Rally at the Roundhouse: Come to support HB 89, a bill to bring legalization of marijuana to our state. Get more info and RSVP at this link.

Tues. Feb 7, 5:30-7pm, Outreach Action Team Planning, 1420 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe. Join us to plan the launch of our Community Conversations Canvassing campaign and to discuss organizing panels and trainings, expanding alliances with other organizations, developing an outreach and organizing strategy in other NM communities, finalizing a plan for our Moral Monday event on Feb 20, and organizing a range of other events and outreach activities.

Thurs., Feb 9, 6pm-7:30pm. Showing Up Racial Justice (SURJ) Call-in Training in Creating Powerful Advocacy Research. This call will dig into concrete tools to research targets for actions and organizing campaigns. Join the Public Accountability Initiative to learn how you can deepen your chapters research capacity to develop powerful campaigns, and learn more about the launch of SURJ’s research working group. This call will build on the research call in January, but it’s not required that you participated in the first call to join this one. This is a tremendous national organization. Retake Our Democracy is forming an alliance with the Northern NM Chapter. I recommend this call-in to all members of our Research Action Team and to others who want to better understand how to use information to move people. Click here to RSVP and for more details. To request closed captioning, email

Sat. Feb 11, 3:30-5:30pm, Retake Our Democracy Town Hall Meeting,1420 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe. Join us for presentations, breakout discussions, and action planning. Details coming soon.



Categories: Civil Rights, early childhood, Immigrant Rights, Trump

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6 replies

  1. Paul, thanks for your valiant efforts on this blog and juggling all these aspects. Kudos to Roxanne too! I plan to attend the prayer service at the mosque on Fri. and I have clicked “going” on the Facebook page you linked to the message here. I have a question on dress for attending the mosque. You stated that long sleeves and long pants should be worn. What about an ankle-length skirt or dress for women? I have dressed in that manner for a number of other more traditional religious services but this will be my first time at a service in a mosque. Thank you – Sandra Shoshani

  2. Paul, we connected before on the early childhood issue. The proposal to use $ from the Land Grant Permanent Fund is HJR 1, and passed the House Education committee this week. Passage in House looks good. Key issue is JA Smith in Senate Finance, who has not allowed it to be heard in the past, and Peter Wirth has not yet indicated that he will push to get it a hearing at this Committee in the Senate. I am writing a white paper on the unmet need in the state that should be distributed by the coalition supporting the LGPF in the near future.
    In the meantime, an excellent very recent summary of Pre K research is Informing Investments in Preschool Quality and Access in Cincinnati, by Karoly and Auger, published by RAND Corporation.
    Thanks. Cathy Kinney

    • If you can send me the Rand Report grant, I would appreciate it. also, I am on the Santa Fe Steering Committee for the early childhood expansion using a Soda Tax. I have some serious misgivings about it, as my review of the actual bill is that there is no guarantee that low income children will be targeted or that south side, whose residents would pay the majority of this tax, would get at least a majority of the funding. Are you interested/able to do some digging on this? I just don’t have time.

  3. I will be there at the mosque on Friday. I cannot reply on Facebook as I have said before because they kicked me off for not using my “real” name. Everyone should think about the security of making plans on FB. Thx for all your work.

  4. We will add you to the list. The use of FB is so central to most every progressive group in America that it is hard to envision any other public platform for organizing that wouldn’t also be susceptible to the NSA.

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