Trump is threatening the ACA which covers tens of thousands of New Mexicans. The Health Security Act provides a NM remedy. Also included today: Saturday Action at the Roundhouse to lobby for gun control and recreational marijuana; our act of solidarity with our Muslim neighbors today; updated thoughts on Santa Fe’s early childhood proposal, a moving Keith Olbermann apology, and how to use twitter to advocate for justice.
Health Security Act.Bill #: HB 101 (Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales, Deborah A. Armstrong) SB 172 (Howie C. Morales, Carlos R. Cisneros). The NM version of single payer health plan, the Health Security Act would establish universal healthcare coverage for all New Mexicans, regardless of age, income, employment, or health status. The NM Health Security Plan will be funded by combining existing public monies (including funding for Medicaid and Medicare) with employer contributions and individual premiums (with caps) which depend on income. Why it is important: It will provide healthcare access to every New Mexican. It’s estimated to save the state $800,000,000+ within five years. For a thorough summary of the bill and its benefits, click: Health Security Act Brief nme-20161028-healthcareaccess. For a tremendous one-page fact sheet on the bill, click: health-security-act-1-pager, print it out and bring it with you to the next committee hearing. To sign up for alerts, contact Josette HaddadCommunications Coordinator. The Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-771-8763. The next hearing on this bill will be: House Health & Human Services Committee, Monday, February 6, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. – Room 315. As of this morning there are no Senate Committee hearings scheduled for this bill. Click here to find out scheduled hearings on all bills for the next week. Be warned, times change quickly and often.
CORRECTION FROM ORIGINAL POST: Early Childhood Land Grant Bills. HJR1 (sponsors Antonio Maestas, Javier Martinez, and Migual Garcia–all Democrats in Bernalillo) proposes a constitutional amendment which asks voter to authorize that an additional 1% of the income from the Land Grant Permanent Fund be used for quality early childhood education programs to be administered by the Public Education Department. The resolution is now in the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants & Cultural Affairs Committee (HLELC). No hearing scheduled yet. It passed the House Education Committee by one vote. SJR3 (sponsor Michael Padilla, D, Bernalillo) is similar to HJR1 and slated to go to the Senate Rules Committee, but not scheduled yet. According to knowledgeable sources, the house resolution could pass by mid-February. These sources say that John Arthur Smith (Chairperson of Senate Finance Committee) could kill the Senate resolution. Advocates are strongly suggesting that we contact Senator Wirth and ask that SJR 3 not be sent to the Senate Finance Committee and Senator Smith.
Do NOT be confused by a bill introduced by Mary Pappen, SB 182, which is erroneously entitled Early Childhood Land Grant Fund. This bill would sell off 6.6 million acres of public land and enable our Governor and Audrey Dunn to sell this land to the fossil fuel industry. This is shameless and we will not soon forget Pappen’s sponsorship of this bill.
Twitter Advocacy. After attending the Social Media training about 40 folks attending created Twitter ‘handles.’ From the training, we learned that the power of Twitter is in the number of people who follow you. If you ‘tweet’ a legislator and have 20 followers, they will dismiss you. If you have 2,000 followers, they take you more seriously. We are new at this but we want to be taken seriously. So to jump start our effort, if you have a Twitter account, please go and follow @PaulgRetake. I will then follow you. If enough of you do this, when we ‘tweet’ Peter Wirth and encourage him to push Sen. Smith to advance a bill to use a 1% draw on the Land Grant funds to expand early childhood, he is more likely to pay attention if there are many of us doing so and we are doing so with large numbers following us. Whether you were at the training or not, if you have a twitter account, log on and follow me at @PGibsonRetake. I will follow you and together we will build a ‘following’ that can have an impact. But let’s start here.
Roundhouse Advocacy This Saturday 10am-Noon. Main House Chamber. Originally four bills were being discussed on Saturday, but now the committee will hear only 2 bills beginning at 10 am in the order below. How about a bunch of us plan to be at the Roundhouse at 10am and track these bills? Many of us have never been to a Roundhouse Committee meeting, including me. This will be a great start. Bring a few friends, go out for breakfast or coffee and then have a Roundhouse experience. Likely you can take in both committee hearings and be back in the sun by noon. Click here to RSVP just so we know how many may be coming.
- HB 37 Born Alive Infant Protection (Dropped from this Committee Hearing, so only 2 on Sat.)
- HB 50 Background Checks on Gun Transfers. HB 50 would create a new section of Chapter 30, Article 7 NMSA requiring an unlicensed person to use a firearm dealer when transferring a firearm to another unlicensed person. A person who violates the provisions of the bill would be guilty of a misdemeanor for a first offense and guilty of a fourth degree felony for a second or subsequent offense. Currently, no background check is required if a private gun owner sells or gives his gun(s) to someone else.
- HB 72 Reinstate Death Penalty [Dropped from this Committee Hearing, so only 2 on Sat.]
- HB 89 Cannabis Revenue & Freedom Act. Would legalize marijuana for recreational use and the production of industrial hemp. Passage would not only legalize marijuana and hemp in the Land of Enchantment, but would also take a big step toward nullifying federal cannabis prohibition in practice in the state.
Opportunities and Actions
Fri., Feb, 3, 1pm-2pm. Masjid Al Rahma Mosque, 418 W San Mateo Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505. We are all 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. 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. Click here for guidelines for dress, physical contact, and other cultural mores that should be respected. 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. Again, click here to RSVP.
Retake Our Democracy Radio Show Launches Sat., Feb 4, 11am. Listen in as I interview Allegra Love and Marcela Diaz about how the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and Somos Un Pueblo Unido are working to protect our immigrant neighbors, what the new expanded Sanctuary resolution is and how it can improve our City’s capacity to protect our immigrant neighbors. The show will be weekly and available via podcast. I will post podcast links regularly. The following week I will be interviewing two Dreamers to get a more personal perspective on the importance of expanding our Sanctuary program and to hear how the current national climate is impacting Dreamers.
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. I spent some time yesterday reviewing the report that frames the City’s approach and was impressed with many aspects of their review of the research. The report documents clearly the benefits from early childhood programs both from a fiscal and from a human perspective. Click the following link santafeprekunmetneedreport to read the report on unmet need. The report also describes fiscal projections that support how projected increases in our population will supplant most of the losses in revenue due to reduced consumption of soda due to the increased costs. Click here economicanalysis-december2016 for a report on the soda tax revenue plan. But while these reports are quite comprehensive there are still gaps in this proposal and its analysis. And as we learned above with Pappen’s SB 182 Early Childhood Land Grant bill, you need to dig a bit deeper than a bill title. Specific concerns include:
A soda tax will hit low-income families hardest because they consume more soda than to upper income populations, But what guarantees are there that low-income communities and families will access these new slots? And in what proportion? What kinds of provisions will help struggling early childhood centers serving low-income communities build higher quality programs and expand their capacity? My guess is that South Side families will pay a disproportionate share of the Soda Tax, so South Side should derive a disproportionate share of the benefits. But what specific provisions are there in the proposal that addresses this? . I would like someone to step forward as 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 to me at email@example.com.
Upcoming Town Halls and City Council Meetings related to Early Childhood Education Expansion:
- 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!)
Tues. Feb 7, 5:30-7pm, Outreach Action Team Planning Mtg., 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Santa Fe City Council MemberRenee Villareal .
1 Billion Rising. Valentine’s Day, Tue. February 14, 2017.11am. 1 Billion Rising. New Mexico State Capitol “The Roundhouse”, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe. 1 Billion Rising is organizing marches in over 70 countries and hundreds, if not thousands of US cities, including Santa Fe. The protest is in solidarity with all peoples threatened by the xenophobia, racism, and sexism that has erupted in our country. Click here for more information about the scope and purpose of this event. Click here to RSVP. Given the international scope of this event, there are very few RSVPs on this site. But I found a second FB site with another event page with over 100 RSVPs. Click here for that site.
Keith Olbermann Apologizes for America in a very moving statement. Worth a listen.