Looking Forward: Grassroots Organizing Matures & Defense Shifts to Offense.

Rev. Barber has some advice for 2018: “We all need to stop behaving so well.” We provide updates on what misbehaving could look like in NM. Defense becomes offense! Our Time is Now!

The post provides three features today, a preview of the emerging Retake Roundhouse Advocacy strategy for 2018-19 and two related to emerging initiatives calling for nonviolent civil disobedience, one from the Poor People’s Campaign and a second calling for people to hit the streets should Mueller be fired or should those charged be pardoned. We close with another reprise of my favorite video of 2017 with a message of hope for the future.

Retake to Launch Roundhouse Advocacy Strategy for 2018-19

It has been nine months in the works, ongoing dialog with 15-20 non-profit partners like Common Cause, Conservation Voters of NM, NM Voices for Children, 350.org, etc. A Roundhouse Advocacy Team of about ten Retake volunteers has been meeting twice a month. The team now includes three representatives from  a strong Espańola organization, Espańola Indivisible/NM Resistance (UNITED). UNITED represents a merging of two Espańola organizations that have historic roots in local activism related to water and land use, LANL operations, herbicide use and other policy concerns. They have deep roots in the community and will extend Retake’s impact significantly as relates to lobbying at the Roundhouse and Democratic party reform.

Over the past 9 months we had ongoing conversations with our non-profit partners to better understand how good bills die and where. It is not at all transparent. Very few die with clear votes aye or nay on the floors of the Senate or House. It is more subtle than that and we have worked hard to better understand the machinery at work. We have learned much and out of this work has emerged a platform of progressive priority bills, each of which has been introduced in the Roundhouse, with none becoming law. The list is not “Retake’s” list; it was developed in constant and close dialog with our non-profit partners and was designed with criterion that included a desire to ensure that the bills reflected the concerns of people throughout NM, not simply an urban ABQ-Santa Fe focus. The platform will serve as the foundation of two emerging strategies: year-round legislative advocacy and strong election campaign activism to strengthen progressives influence in the Roundhouse.

Progressive Summit II: On Jan 20, 8:30am-4pm. Albuquerque Convention Center.  An estimated 1000 progressives from throughout the state will descend upon the Convention Center for a day filled with a wide range of panels and presentations and a lunch with gubernatorial candidates. At the Summit, Retake and UNITED will announce its 2018-19 Roundhouse strategy as one of the featured presenters at the Summit. We will have more on this as we get closer to the date. Expect an opportunity to preview our platform and offer comment on our strategy in a future blog before the Summit. Click here to register for the Summit and plan to attend. Last year, Alan Webber and I gave a presentation on a progressive path for NM and this year, Retake takes center stage.  Please join us and bring friends.

From Rev. Barber: A Call to the Streets & the Halls of Our State Capitols

Reverend Barber launches the Poor People’s Campaign Kick-Off in ABQ, Aug 15.

Roxanne and I are working with a few folks, mostly from Albuquerque and Las Cruces, to collaborate with the Rev. Barber’s emerging Poor People’s Campaign. Last week, I was on a call with Barber as he gave an hour to just a handful of NM folks responsible for coordinating the effort here. Yesterday, I received this note, undoubtedly sent to hundreds or thousands across the nation. It is Rev. Barber’s call to action for 2018.

If you have wondered when the times would provoke a dramatic response and were wondering from whence the call would come, it shouldn’t surprise you that it would emerge with roots in the civil rights movement. Barber’s campaign focuses on opposition to the forces of white supremacy and capitalism targeting militarism, racism, and environmental destruction. The plan is to launch simultaneous acts of civil disobedience across the country. To keep current on NM plans in relation to this movement, click here to like our Facebook page. There will be an increasing number of posts and announcements as we begin to organize events and trainings. From Rev. Barber:

“In the face of so much injustice, we all need to stop behaving so well. We’re building a broad and deep national moral movement to unite our country from the bottom up against extremism. Next year, tens of thousands of supporters have pledged to take direct action, including nonviolent civil disobedience, at state houses and the U.S. Capitol. Our lawyers are prepared to go to court to argue the U.S. Capitol and state capitals are our houses – they don’t belong to the politicians.

This campaign is the product of a decade of organizing by grassroots groups, religious leaders and more to fight back against so-called “Christian nationalism” and other forms of extremism that divide the nation. We’re organizing across the country and recruiting participants of every race, sex, creed, sexuality and party. Our campaign will intensify next year, starting on Mother’s Day with six weeks of direct action and nonviolent civil disobedience across 25 states and the District of Columbia, leading up to a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol June 23.”

A plan is emerging for a Roundhouse Action on Feb. 1, so place that date in your calendar and look for more on this in future blogs.  Click here to register for the Poor People’s Campaign in NM. You will soon begin to receive periodic updates and invitations to events, training and actions. When you go to sign up for the national campaign, look between the A and the I in “Campaign” in the banner on the web page. Roxanne is on my left and Jennifer Johnson on my right, but they are hidden somewhat behind the lettering. This was from the launch of the PPC in ABQ in August. Proud to appear on the national banner for the campaign.

What Do We Do If Mueller is Fired? If All Accused are Pardoned

The extent of Trump’s delusions know no bounds. He appears to feel the Justice Department is HIS not OURS. There has been much debate circling around whether Mueller’s firing is immanent, or more recently, whether Trump has settled on a media campaign seeking to discredit the investigation and prepare the soil for a swathe of pardons. In either case, it will be another step toward totalitarianism. What do we do? Nationally, a plan has emerged for hundreds of cities across the nation to simultaneously hit the streets at predetermined locations. Similar rapid response networks have been established in hundreds of cities across the US. The local event details will mirror the national plan which can be found here: https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response/search/?source=MFT/ The Santa Fe rally will begin hours after news breaks of a Mueller firing: If Mueller is fired BEFORE 2 P.M. local time —> events will begin @ 5 P.M. local time, If Mueller is fired AFTER 2 P.M. local time —> events will begin @ noon local time the following day. Our gathering place will be the bandstand on the Santa Fe Plaza.   Click here to RSVP for this event. It is not a Facebook event, so anyone can sign up. Over the next week or two, I hope to work with the local organizer of this effort to help create an action that goes beyond convening at the Bandstand, possibly to include a spontaneous march through Santa Fe banging pots and pans as was done in Barcelona in its En Comu revolt, something we will feature in a future blog. This will ONLY be an effective response if thousands of you participate. What a great item to top your New Year’s Resolutions: “I signed up to resist and will participate in the Poor People’s Campaign and will hit the streets if Mueller’s investigation is terminated and pardoned.”  Sign-up/Resist.

Happy New Year and thank you to all those who have called their Councilor or Mayor, shown up in the courts, and participated in helping to build an infrastructure to Retake. We entered 2017 traumatized; we exit empowered. Let’s do this together. Sign up above.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Valarie Kaur:  Six minutes of timeless inspiration.



Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation, Personal & Collective Action, Uncategorized

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