This post is full of good news of the winds shifting in cities and states across the nation, and even in Brexit England. Also, the Democratic Party of NM’s Platform Committee begins meeting next week. At the end of this post please indicate the one policy that you insist is in the DPNM platform. We’ll assemble the list and share it with our Retake representative on the Platform Committee, Thomas Leatherwood. Read on. Good news.
Missed yesterday and lots to say today, so a tad longer than usual….Happy Sunday!
Update on Equity Summer: A Chance for Santa Fe to Achieve Economic Justice
We didn’t publish yesterday because we were preparing for our Community Conversations for Equity training session. And a tremendous session it was. With 120 participants, we kicked off our campaign to support Chainbreaker’s Equity Summer with an inspiring training in effective community organizing, active listening, public narrative (a tremendous engagement strategy), and reframing and use of moral language. There was tremendous enthusiasm in the room to take what was learned and apply it to the Equity Summer campaign described by Tomás Rivera from Chainbreaker. We will describe the strategy here as it unfolds.
We will kick off our support of the campaign on June 25, 3-5pm at 1420 Cerrillos Rd.. To RSVP and get more information, click here. And if you don’t use FB, write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. In a nutshell, we will be launching an array of outreach, engagement, and education strategies that will have meaningful and exciting roles for all of you. And we need all of you to succeed. At the kick-off you will learn specifically what you can do to advance this transformational campaign.
Also join us for a book group on July 6, 5:30-7:30 at 1420 Cerrillos Rd. We will discuss How to Kill a City, a book that describes how gentrification is unfolding in four US cities. It is highly readable, only 200 pages. Click here for details and to RSVP. Books are available at Collected Works.
One last note: The Wall of Love development continues with another opportunity to get involved and create your tile today at 2:30pm at Meow Wolf. Click here for details and to RSVP.
If we can’t achieve justice on a national level right now, we can do it locally!
While on a national level the Democratic Party continues to hold firm with its corporate brethren, there are signs from Nevada, Massachusetts, California, and even Kansas, that developing policy that benefits common people is not unpatriotic. It is urgent that the Democratic Party nationally and in New Mexico begin to read the tea leaves. A younger generation wants a more progressive agenda and a goodly mass of older progressives are fed up and want to see their party begin to represent their long-held values. From a prior post, read this Shaun King article about a poll showing that the Democratic Party is viewed even more unfavorably than Trump (who has the least favorable ratings of any sitting president in history) and the GOP.
Progressive Change on the Horizon….Even in Kansas
This past week or so we saw some shocking developments indicating that the left may not be dead after all.
The California state Assembly passed a Single Payer Health Plan. The $400B bill is a long way from becoming law, as it requires passage of a 15% payroll tax to fund the plan. But it is a step and shows another local effort to do what our Nation (and the Democratic Party) are too timid to advance. Timid = too responsive to insurance and healthcare corporations.
The Nevada State assembly is close to bringing Medicaid for all to a vote with prospects very good for its passage. The bill would allow anyone to buy-in to the Medicaid system, essentially creating a single payer system in Nevada and avoid waiting for the Federal government to develop the political will to achieve a single-payer system. As the DailyKos article notes, Canada developed its single-payer system through the provinces, more evidence that local solutions can achieve what nations are reluctant to do. Click here for the full story. This is a story worth tracking as it points to how here in NM, we could pass the Health Security Act. In a workshop yesterday morning, Leaders of the Health Security Act and members of Democratic Socialists of America told of their heroic campaign to advance universal healthcare in NM. They are serious, and we are going to be strong advocates in support of their work, an opportunity for grassroots education, activism and organizing.
In England, Jeremy Corbin Goes from Unelectable to Likely Next PM. Prime Minister May called the election three years early, expecting to boost her parliamentary majority. Some of her colleagues expected she would deliver an extra 100 seats or more — instead they lost 32 seats to a Labor lead opposition and ended up with a hung Parliament. By any measure, it is a devastating blow to the Conservative Party. But it was a tremendous boost to the prospects of Jeremy Corbyn becoming the next Prime Minister. Explaining Corbyn’s popularity, this ABC Britain report notes: “Mr Corbyn’s shock performance demonstrates his particular brand of leftist populism is seen as more authentic than the robotic sound bites (“strong and stable leadership”; “Brexit is Brexit”) repeated by Theresa May. He may not be slick, but people clearly see him as genuine.” Hmmm, sounds vaguely familiar. A Corbyn Labour government has said it would:
- Re-nationalize Britain’s railways, energy companies and the Royal Mail
- Scrap university tuition fees
- Ban work contracts that don’t guarantee a minimum number of hours
- Raise the minimum wage to at least £10 per hour by 2020
- National Health Service will receive more than £30 billion in extra funding
I have found a good number of interesting articles on the implications of the Corbyn victory, each poignant for the US and, more specifically, our neoliberal Democratic Party. Look for analysis in Tuesday’s post.
Massachusetts Democrats Pass Most Progressive State Platform in US History. An In These Times article outlines how Massachusetts conducted a months long grassroots process to elect progressives to the Democratic Party State Central Committee, mirroring the strategy conducted here in New Mexico. The result, the most progressive platform in US history. To read the full article, click here.
Even the Kansas GOP has joined with Democrats to override the veto of their GOP Governor—Are you reading this GOP Roundhouse members? When Kansas GOP Governor Brownback vetoed a $1.2B tax increase to fund vital health, education, and social services, the Kansas state legislature was faced with the same challenge faced here in NM. And what happened? From Steve Terrell’s excellent New Mexican report: “Defying God and Grover Norquist, nearly half of the 31 Republican senators joined Democrats to vote to override. And 48 of the 85 Republicans in the House did the same.” Terrell goes on to point out that Kansas is not alone in finding ways to get needed revenue increases, and again his example is not exactly a hotbed of liberalism. “Just last month in South Carolina, the GOP-dominated legislature voted overwhelmingly (95-18 in the House and 32-12 in the Senate) to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of a bill raising taxes and fees to repair that state’s highways. ‘The governor has chosen to place politics over policy. That doesn’t solve problems,’ said House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville, according to a story by The Associated Press.'” Click here to read Terrell’s full report. This should be a lesson to our Roundhouse members. Overriding a Governor’s veto to restore fiscal health to a state is not turning your back on your principles, it is placing those principles ahead of blind allegiance to a childish governor.
NMDP Platform Committee. In 2016, DPNM leadership tried to push through a decidedly moderate platform that did not incorporate much of what had motivated a wave of grassroots support and activism across the state and nation. The platform was voted down narrowly and scars remain. But as today’s report, and even more so Tuesday’s, will amplify, moderate neoliberal policy does nothing to inspire, energize, and activate. The NMDP State Platform & Resolutions Committee (SPARC) meets this coming weekend, and at least a couple of Retake supporters are members: Jeff Levine from Taos and Thomas Leatherwood from Santa Fe. Likely there are many more progressives on the committee from other parts of the state.
We want to be sure that SPARC gets input from the grassroots early and often, so I am asking you to submit your platform suggestions by commenting here today. I will use your input to develop an online survey that will be circulated broadly to provide evidence of the level and depth of support for a range of progressive issues. If DPNM is serious about pivoting from the tired policies of accommodation and compromise with fossil fuel, banking, insurance, pharmaceutical, and other lobbying groups to become the party for the majority, then this will be an early indicator. Let’s make sure they know we are here. Provide suggestions in comments below.
Roxanne and Paul