Getting Organized to Build Power: How You Can Help

We have over 250 people planning to attend the Interfaith Panel this Thursday evening…to listen. We have 30 people planning to attend tonight’s critical Community Organizing Action Meeting to chart Retake strategies for the next six months. Listening is good. Acting is better. Can you spare 2 hours tonight to be part of the conversation? 5:30-7:30 at 1420 Cerrillos Rd. 

After a discussion of the Outreach and Organizing meeting tonight, there is more information below on our Interfaith Panel on Thursday evening. Tickets are free, but you must have a ticket to enter. Click here to get tickets. Also below: two Open House Activism parties, one focused on Universal Quality Pre-K, the other on Defending the EPA. At the bottom of this post is a 12-minute Ted Talk on how to improve your ability to have good political conversations by using re-framing.

Outreach & Organizing Action Planning: Share Your Views, Plot Our Future Actions

TODAY: Tues. April 4, 5:30-7:30pm, Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe.
 This is a critical meeting where we will dig deeply into our strategies for building a powerful base and use that base to advocate for progressive policies and values at the local, state, and national levels. It really helps to know how many people are coming, so please RSVP here.

We will discuss:

Our Purpose in Conducting Outreach and Organizing

  • To build power to impact change and advance our values
  • To better understand community priorities, how people get information, and how involved people are currently in relation to local, state, and national issues
  • To learn more about groups that are engaged in activism, in what areas, and how we can form alliances with and support these groups
  • Under what conditions will people become engaged? What information or structure is missing? What can we do to engage the disengaged?
  • To develop and deliver the engagement and education strategies that activate and focus a growing power base.

We Will Then Discuss Our Current Strategies

  • Community Conversation Canvassing—Tom Samuels
  • Forming Alliances–Kitty Broadbent
  • Outreach to 26 NM Cities—Liz Copeland
  • Expanding Our Santa Fe Base—Roxanne Barber
  • Open House Activism—Paul (or Esther Kovari/Margaret Lubalin)
  • SwingLeft—Paul—Discussion & Demonstration
  • Open Discussion:  Are there other strategies we could be advancing? Ways to expand the work above?

We will then break into small groups to:

  • Plan canvassing and work in pairs to test the first iteration of our community conversations canvassing script.
  • Discuss current status of outreach to other NM communities, what is being done in ABQ, and how this can be replicated elsewhere.
  • Discuss how we will expand and develop alliances with other progressive organizations beginning with our current allies and those progressive lobbying organizations with whom we worked during the Roundhouse session.
  • Discuss how to expand our base in Santa Fe to the artist community, high schools, south side, young families, colleges, faith communities, and other populations.
  • Discuss strategies for developing sustained SwingLeft activity. The best way to impact the national scene is via SwingLeft, which allows you to identify swing districts throughout the Nation. We need to get people to engage in this activity. We will explore the concept of a weekly SwingLeft Salon with training in SwingLeft and the use of online video meetings for remote, face-to-face meetings with friends in other states near targeted SwingLeft districts. We will explore ways to make this a collective effort and make it more social and fun.

If you are wondering how you can resist Trump and advance progressive initiatives at a local and state level, this is where to start. For details and to RSVP, click here.

Tuesday, April 4: Equal Pay Day Rally on the Plaza at noon. Join us as Mayor Gonzales and Pre-K for Santa Fe’s Danila Crespin Zidovsky talk about the importance of Pre-K to women and the workforce. Bag lunch provided by IATSE.

Tuesday, April 4, 5:30pm-7pm. Santa Fe Community College, Room 223: Community Conversation about how Pre-K will work in Santa Fe. Mayor Gonzales; SFCC President Randy Grissom; and Jennifer Sallee, Director of the Early Childhood Center of Excellence at SFCC. As always, we will promote events that seem worthwhile even if they conflict with our own events.

Wednesday, April 5, 5:30-7pm, Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Road. Community Conversation about Sugar, Soda, and the impact on our health. Mayor Gonzales; Dan Borrero, Dentist; and Edward Kleiner, Pediatrician.

Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear: An Interfaith Panel on Finding Common Moral Ground

Thurs. April 6, 7-9pm, Temple Beth Shalom, 205 East Barcelona Road, Santa Fe. This event is FREE, but you must have a ticket to enter. Register and get tickets online at Eventbrite:

The rhetoric and actions of the current U.S. Administration have been disturbing on many levels: threats of banning entire religions from entering the country, mass deportation of others, an alarming rise in intolerance and violence against immigrants and communities of certain faiths, and an overall surge in narrow-mindedness and bigotry. Many of our friends and neighbors feel threatened, unsafe, and marginalized because of who they are or what they believe. Join us for a discussion of how communities of faith can help us find common moral ground that unites us, protects us, and builds a powerful force for justice.

Over 225 free tickets are taken. We have capacity set at 300. We are going to seat people with tickets first, and those without tickets will be seated only if seats are still available. So please, register and get tickets online at Eventbrite:  This is going to be tremendous.


  • Reverend Dr. Antonio Aja, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Rabbi Neil Amswych, Temple Beth Shalom
  • Imam Abdul Aziz Eddebbarh, Chairman, Ibn Asheer Islamic Institute
  • Singh Sahib Krishna Singh Khalsa, Sikh Dharma Ministry
  • Deacon Anthony Trujillo, San Isidro Roman Catholic Church
  • Reverend Blaine Wimberly, Zia United Methodist Church

Moderator:  Reverend Gail Marriner, Unitarian Universalist Church

Sunday, April 9th 2-4pm.  Open House Activism.  Take Action to Win Funding for Pre-K for Santa Fe.  Let’s come together to give each child in Santa Fe the opportunity to succeed. Nearly 1,000, mostly Hispanic, children are without access to Pre-kindergarten, but we can change that. Pre-K for Santa Fe is fighting to make sure all of our 3 & 4 year olds have the skills they need to be ready to learn when they go to school. Click here for location, details and to RSVP.

Monday April 10th, from 4-7 PM Save the EPA Open House Activism.  Please join us for Retake Our Democracy’s next Open House Activism hosted by Rebecca and Nick Kunz.  We will focus our efforts on writing postcards and making phone calls to congress people, asking them to defend the Enviromental Protection Agency and to oppose HR 861. Click here for location, details and to RSVP.

Interested in organizing your own Open House Activism event?  They are easy to organize, are a great way to get friends and family active, and can be a lot of fun.   Click here for ten easy steps to organizing one.


Retake Our Democracy on KSFR Saturdays at 11am

The focus for April is on the Universal Early Childhood Initiative. The series will begin on Sat., April 8, at 11am, with an interview with Morty Simon and Carol Oppenheimer, the coordinators of the Steering Committee for the campaign. Over the next four shows we will examine the economics of the initiative, potential health and developmental benefits for children, and we will hear directly from parents who would benefit from the initiative, and from early childhood teachers. We are hoping to also be able to interview a representative from the soda industry.

How to Have Better Political Conversations

Categories: Actions, Community Organizing

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1 reply

  1. As always, thank you for all you and Roxanne do raise awareness of important activities and opportunities, and to encourage engagement.
    I couldn’t agree more that action is better than listening but in some ways it is not at all surprising that more people have signed up to listen to an interfaith panel discussion than to take concrete action. Over the last few months I have observed that many folks are still healing and trying to align their spiritual and political beliefs in order to be able to participate in the work ahead.
    At a recent meeting of one of the many groups I participate in, the subject of engaging in dialogue across party lines came up. One participant replied simply, and with great conviction, ‘I am not ready to talk with Republicans yet’. Others told of severing familial and social ties as a result of deep political disagreement. This sort of spiritual wounding has no universal cure, but time helps.
    The Ted Talk at the end of your post beautifully explains why we must begin reach out to the other side with appropriate linguistic framing, but perhaps the emotional barriers to this sort of engagement are more than some folks can currently overcome. We must be patient with them; when they are ready, each according to their own internal process, they will be the fiercest of compassionate warriors.
    In Solidarity,

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