Two ways to look at this: Soda lobbyists and their misinformation undermined a solid progressive effort to do what our state seems to be unable to do: fund Pre-K. OR the city needs to find a more progressive funding source. Either way, the work continues. What’s more, this vote sends a warning signal to public banking advocates—look out, the banking industry’s misinformation is coming.
Events & Opportunities
A big part of what Retake will be attempting over the coming weeks and months is to forge alliances with other organizations that have long been involved in cultural, environmental, social, and economic justice. To do this work effectively and respectfully requires training and tools, and this weekend we offer another training in cultural awareness with a very special all-day training conducted by our partners at Northern NM Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). See below. In addition we recommend a great movie experience at the Jean Cocteau Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. We will have a table at the Cocteau all three nights and we are looking for volunteers to help from 6pm-9pm each night. Best of all, you get in free! See below for details.
Radical Cultural Awareness: Moving Towards a Racially Just Society — a Training Presented by Northern New Mexico Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Retake Our Democracy
Saturday, May 6, 9:30-4pm, Santa Fe. Lunch Provided. Donation Requested to Cover Lunch. This training will focus on the power of language, the ways in which cultural biases can complicate the simplest messaging, and how nuanced appreciation of cultural references and frames are important in forming alliances between largely Anglo organizations and organizations comprised of and serving people of color. This will not be a lengthy lecture on sources and context of prejudice and privilege, but a combination of presentation and whole and small group discussion. For those of you who participated in the Earth Care training, a truncated version of the Matrix of Oppression will be used to launch discussion of the implications of oppression and the subtle differences in their appearance in different contexts. Most importantly, the training has been structured to ensure that participants leave with practical tools and strategies for the Retake work that is only just beginning: forming alliances and working for social, racial, environmental, and economic justice. There are only 10 slots remaining for this training and you must RSVP by emailing Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to RSVP is tomorrow, Thursday, at 5 p.m. Location in Santa Fe will be provided in response to your RSVP.
Soda Tax Trounced–What Next?
- Big money and the corporatocracy wins again, despite a tremendous grassroots effort, supported almost unanimously by city stakeholders and with a $1M contribution from former NYC Mayor Bloomberg that essentially leveled the playing field. OR
- Voters were not willing to support a tax that asked low-income communities to pay a disproportionate share of the costs of anything for anything; OR
- Voters are beyond suspicious of government, whether city, state, or nation, and are simply in the mood to say “no.”
The measure passed in only one City Council District (District 1) and only by 13 votes there. But District 4 had a very heavy turnout and the measure lost by over a 2-1 margin. Click here for The Santa Fe New Mexican’s excellent analysis with City Council District breakdowns of the voting.
A Warning for the Public Banking Movement. This result also sends a warning signal to the folks advocating for a public bank. The banking industry will use the same strategies to undermine efforts to create a public bank as the soda industry did to defeat the soda tax: a huge infusion of money and misinformation about the benefits and risks involved in having a small city manage all the City’s funds. The Task Force and advocates will need to devote enormous energy to create full disclosure of the fire wall between City administration and the public bank. In truth, the City is responsible for managing the use of its funds whether they park those funds in Wells Fargo or in a public bank. And the City would have no more oversight of the operations and procedures used to manage its deposits in the public bank than it does now when its deposits are maintained by Wells Fargo. But you can bet the banking industry will do all it can to inject fear into voters’ minds about the risks of creating a public bank. Any effort to advance progressive initiatives whether in relation to economic, social, educational, environmental, or racial justice will encounter the full resistance of the corporate sector. They do not want to relinquish control or their obscene profits. Hence the need for a sustained, non-partisan community engagement, education, and activation effort of the kind being launched in June by Retake Our Democracy. We will be going block by block, house to house to talk, to listen, and to engage in an ongoing process designed to create a better informed community, a more engaged community, a more active community. Look for more on this over the coming weeks.
In closing, we tip our hats to those who devoted countless hours as volunteers to try to make universal Pre-K in Santa Fe a reality. Retake Our Democracy is committed to working with the City and with researchers to identify other revenue models that can get this done. The future of our children is too important to allow a setback like this to derail such an important goal.
Roxanne and Paul