Entrada protest organizer Jennifer Marley made her sacrifice (see video below). These times require that we ALL take a stand and commit to sustained advocacy and activism. Yet of late, turnout for actions has been disappointing. This post introduces the concept of each of you making a New World Resolution. Akin to New Year’s Resolutions, we ask: What are you prepared to do in the weeks and months ahead?
A New World Resolution. If the past few weeks have shown us anything, it is that there is a vital need for all of us to pull together, to row together, and to head toward justice and peace. That sounds good, and every day I hear from Retake supporters about how important the blog is to them. But we need to do more than educate ourselves and keep informed; we need to work on this challenge together. A New World Resolution is your personal plan for being involved in the community. Take some time and write down what you can and will do in the coming weeks and months to advocate for peace and justice. Like New Years’ Resolutions to hit the gym, lose weight, or spend more time with family, resolutions are easier to make than to adhere to. To support your resolution, I ask that you not only write it down, but that you post it on your personal Facebook page and on Retake’s Facebook page. To give you some ideas, Retake has created a New World Resolution page with a long list of possible ways you can become involved. Take a look at that list for ideas about how to get active. Click here to go to the New World Resolution page. The act of putting your resolve to paper will strengthen that resolve, but publishing it before your friends will strengthen that resolve still further. And then read about the Town Hall below and RSVP. We need to build this activist community. Now. And that only happens with you. You can:
- Begin attending 7pm City Council meetings that generally occur on alternate Wednesdays, and use the Call to Petitioners open comment portion of each agenda to proactively advocate for anything you’d like the city to do;
- Join one of Retake’s Action teams listed below and get your fingers dirty researching issues and advocating at a state or local level;
- Bring a friend to our next Town Hall, with the next one being this Saturday from 1:30-3:30pm (see below);
- Begin contacting your Congressional representatives and lobby them to supports bills you’d like to see advanced, like single-payer healthcare of any of the eight bills in the People’s Platform.
There are over a dozen other items identified in the link to the New World Resolutions page any one of which could help you carve a niche for your activist self. But it is vitally important that all of us pull our weight to resist national trends and to advance progressive policies at the state and local level.
And that is not happening. Guilt trips are not always inspiring, but sometimes honesty is needed to help people realize that the people we are waiting for, the people who need to be standing up for justice, are you. And too many of you are not showing up. If there is more we could do to make it easier for you to engage more often, please let us know either Saturday at the Town Hall or by replying to this email. But what we are doing now is not getting the turnout we need. For example, despite 2-3 posts dedicated to the City Council vote on extending Wells Fargo’s contract, only 7-8 people showed up for the Council meeting. Twice as many commented on the posts about Wells Fargo, stating how appalled they were about extending the contract. Would a crowd of 200 have shifted some Council votes? We will never know. When we called for people to come to support Somos’s sanctuary city resolution in January, 300 folks appeared, at least 100 from Retake. And that shifted Council votes. What has happened to that energy and commitment?
For over a month, Retake has held twice-weekly Community Conversations Canvassing launches providing a brief training and a script for those who want to reach out to their neighbors, but due to almost no turnout for this important work, we are suspending the canvassing. Months prior, Retake supporters wanted to reach out to their neighbors and have these kinds of conversations. Over 100 Retake folks turned out to be trained in communication strategies and another 80 for training in canvassing. But where has that energy gone?
The truth may be that the idea of being active is a bit more attractive than heading out on a Wednesday evening to attend a City Council meeting, especially if you think others will do it for you. The truth is, the idea of talking with neighbors may be a bit more intriguing until you have to get out of your comfort zone and do it. But activism and advocacy is not necessarily about doing the things that make you feel great initially; they are about doing the things that need to get done, regardless of whether they feel comfortable. That is what was so remarkable about Susan Popovich. I am sure she would have rather been at home with her pets than sitting at 1420 Cerrillos Rd. or in the Bernie office in El Dorado for hour after hour after hour. But it needed to be done, and she did it.
There is no one else out there to do this stuff other than you. You are the one we are waiting for. Let’s to this together.
In a leadership meeting Tuesday, Sara Hume commented: “I think people feel that others are showing up, so they don’t have to.” If she is right, we need to make it abundantly clear: the only folks who can make a difference are you, and others can’t represent you.
At our Town Hall slated for this Saturday, we will advance discussion and action planning in relation to racial and climate justice. Currently we have RSVPs from 25 people. Immediately after the election we had over 400 people attend the first Town Hall. Where has that energy gone? If there are things that Retake could do better to sustain your commitment, the Town Hall on Saturday will provide an opportunity to tell us. See more on the Town Hall below.
Roundhouse Activism Team, TODAY, Thursday, Sept 14, 6pm-8pm. 1420 Cerrillos, the Center for Progress and Justice. We will hear a report on our list of targeted GOP and Democrat legislators. From conversations with progressive lobbyists and others, these legislators have been identified as persistently blocking progressive legislation. The team will now weigh which of these legislators could be vulnerable to a challenge in the primary (Dem) or general election. We will also continue to work on our list of priority bills that will soon be posted in an online poll to obtain input from throughout the state. Click here to review our strategy, although at this meeting we may adjust it with input from you!! Click here to RSVP on Facebook or email us at email@example.com. Subsequent meetings will be the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month.
Retake Town Hall, Saturday Sept 16, 1:30pm-3:30pm. 1420 Cerrillos Rd. When you arrive you will find blank sheets of butcher paper with questions asking your views on local and national issues. What are your most important issues and opportunities at local and state levels? During the meeting, we will group your responses, list them on a separate set of butcher sheets, and toward the end of the meeting provide you with colored dots so you can prioritize the issues. We will also elicit your input on how we can best continue to build a community of informed, engaged advocates. What are we doing right? What could we do better? We want your ideas about how we continue to focus our energy and organize our community.
The bulk of the meeting will be spent in conversation with Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy, and Scott Davis, Showing Up for Racial Justice, who will share their views on the challenges and opportunities posed by threats to our climate and to our civil liberties and how those threats overlap. They will explore how communities of color and the poor have borne the brunt of climate change’s impacts and of policy decisions related to energy. They will also describe possible ways we can address the threats from climate change and racism. The panel will be highly interactive with opportunities for participants to ask questions and make comments. We will close the meeting with a brief discussion of how the issues were prioritized and your input into how Retake can better advance the development of a strong advocacy community. Click here to RSVP on Facebook or RSVP by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activist Research Team. Thursday, September 21, 6pm-7:30pm. Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos. We continue our research into alternative strategies for use of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and have recruited experts in local community development to help inform that process. We also continue our review of Chainbreaker’s ten point People’s Platform. For background info, Click here to review Chainbreaker’s report Equitable Development without Risk of Displacement. Click here to review the People’s Platform. Click here to RSVP on Facebook or simply write to email@example.com. We encourage you to bring friends and if you want to select one or more of the planks from the 10-point People’s Platform and do a bit of digging, we want to identify effective programs, policies and initiatives that have been implemented in other communities that relate to the platform.
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR every Saturday at 11am. On September 9th I interviewed Eric Griego, director of the Working Families Party of New Mexico. On September 16, I will be speaking with Daniel Werwath, a local expert in the design, development and operation of affordable housing. If you miss any of the shows, they are available on the KSFR website by podcast, so you can go back and binge listen to Retake Our Democracy by clicking here. It usually takes a few days for a new show to be posted, so be patient.
The Obama Foundation Fellowship Program. The Obama Foundation has published a request for applications for individuals who want to become fellows in the Obama Foundation. This could be a tremendous opportunity for new young leaders developing their skills and establishing relationships with other advocates from across the country. Though this Fellowship, the Foundation will support outstanding civic innovators from around the world in order to amplify the impact of their work and to inspire a wave of civic innovation. The Obama Foundation Fellows will be a diverse set of community-minded rising stars – organizers, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, and more – who are altering the civic engagement landscape. By engaging their fellow citizens to work together in new and meaningful ways, Obama Foundation Fellows will model how any individual can become an active citizen in their community. The inaugural class of 20 Fellows will be integral to shaping the program and the community of Fellows for future years. For this first class, we’re seeking participants who are especially excited about helping us design, test, and refine the Fellowship. Our two-year, non-residential Fellowship will offer hands-on training, resources, and leadership development. Fellows will also participate in four multi-day gatherings where they will collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners, and collectively push their work forward. Throughout the program, each Fellow will pursue a personalized plan to leverage Fellowship resources to take their work to the next level. Click here for more information on the Obama Fellowship.
Police Department’s Own Body Cam Appears to Exonerate Jennifer Marley. At one minute 27 seconds you see Jennifer with signs in hand, walking towards the front line. She then disappears entirely from the police cam until at one minute and 40 seconds she is arrested. Though she is not visible every second, there is no evidence of an assault in this video. And this is supposed to be the police department’s proof of an assault. It is the police that much prove Jennifer’s guilt, not Jennifer who must prove her innocence. In case you did not see the post yesterday, Jennifer’s attorney has asked that supporters do NOT contact or pressure the DA or the Mayor to drop charges. He feels this would be counter productive. Check out the video below.
Paul & Roxanne