A Look Forward & a Glance Back: Roundhouse Update, Mayoral Voters Guide, & Statewide On Line Legislative Poll

URGENT Actions Called for Early Childhood Education (HJR-1), contact info and speaking points. Mayoral Voters Guide, Open Letter to Speaker Egolf and his response, plus links to all of last week’s blogs. 

Actions for the Coming Week

Remain Vigilant About HB 325. While Senate Judiciary has not scheduled a hearing (and the clock is ticking), negotiations are ongoing and we worry that a last minute deal that again comes at ratepayer expense and delivers far too little for the impacted communities of San Juan and Four Corners.  Stay Tuned.

SM 43. Chaco Landscape Protection Act.  Tuesday, February 13, 2018  –  9:00 a.m. Senate Indian and Cultural Affairs.  –  Room 303. This committee is a 3-2 Democratic Majority, so we can’t afford a single Democrat to flip. Contact info and speaking points at the bottom of this post. And show up big. HM 85 passed out of committee on Sunday 5-2 because the room was jammed.

Actions for Early Childhood Education & for Our Future. Tired being # 50 in everything related to children? HJR-1 would allow you and other voters to decide in November if the State should increase the percent of funding from the Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) by 1%.

Three Actions Sought:  
1) Call and email Sen. Smith and ask him to schedule a Senate Finance Committee hearing for HJR-1 before it is too late (Session ends at noon on Th)
2)  Call and email members of the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to support HJR-1 and use the speaking points below to explain why;
3) Join the Interfaith Worker Justice for Vigils M, T, W at 6pm. Whether or not you are a persona of faith, join us for an interfaith prayer vigil for the children of New Mexico and for our Senators discernment for funding early childhood education programs. Come and stand in solidarity with the movement to pass House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1), funding that will support children from every corner of our state from prenatal to prekindergarten. Meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the east side of the Round House at 6:00 pm.


Why HJR-1 Makes Sense (Speaking points in red).  While opponents fear making additional draws on the LGPF, the State Investment Council indicate that even with the increased draw of 1% the current value ($18.7B) is projected to steadily grow over the next decade until in FY2031, the LGPF would reach over $30B in value.  We can afford 1% for our children. The 1% increase would be distributed according to the following formula:

  • In FY20, an additional 0.7 percent distribution of funds to implement and maintain educational programs ($84.8M) and a 0.3 percent distribution of funds used for early childhood educational services ($40.6M) ; 
  • In FY21, the percentages for maintaining educational programs and early childhood educational services would flip to a 0.3 percent distribution of funds to implement and maintain educational programs ($42.8M)and a 0.7 percent of distribution funds used for early childhood educational services ($100M); and 
  • In FY22 and each subsequent fiscal year, a 1 percent of the average year-end market value distribution of funds for early childhood educational services ($150M).

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization providing analysis to improve public policy, indicated high-quality prekindergarten increases a child’s chances of succeeding in school and in life. The foundation stated children who attend high-quality early learning programs are less likely to be retained, need special education services, and more likely to graduate from high school. Additionally, children who participate in a high- quality prekindergarten program have higher earning opportunities as adults and are less likely to become dependent on welfare or be incarcerated.

Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count Data Book, which ranks states according to 16 child well-being measures, primarily because of the large number of children in need of services. Ranked 49th in 2017,

Children who experience toxic stress – whether it is the result of poverty, instability, abuse or neglect, or other adverse childhood experiences – can experience impaired brain development, especially in the areas of the brain dedicated to higher-order skills. High-quality early childhood education can reduce the toxic developmental effects of poverty and childhood trauma by providing children with rich social experiences needed to succeed in school.

As one who completed the survey commented:  “I can’t believe all of these bills aren’t law.” But none are. The quote and the fact that few of these bills even got to the Governor’s desk, despite a Democratic majority in both chambers, is why it’s critically important that every one of our supporters complete the 2019 Legislative Priorities Survey and share it with others.  The survey will be the lynchpin for our 2018 election strategy and our 2019 legislative strategy. So please complete it today, if you haven’t already. Click the blue button above, left. It will take 10 minutes. We will share preliminary results at the Town Hall….but the good news is we have had almost 500 folks complete the survey so far with over 45 House Districts represented among respondents and 60% want to be part of the Response Network.  We launched our outreach effort to other parts of the state last night. If you want to get involved, please write to me at paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. We could use more volunteers on our Roundhouse Activism Team,  to increase the impact the work of this heroic gang of ten.

Chainbreaker, The Edge of Equity Series. Round III: Investment without Displacement. Tuesday, Feb 20 5:30-7:30pm, Jean Cocteau, 418 Montezuma,  Santa Fe. Prior panels were standing room only, so arrive EARLY as with the focus on SFUAD and other mid-town development, this will also be JAMMED and for good reason.  Candidate forums, planning meetings, training’s in RCV, and a can’t miss series from Chainbreaker Collective, a series of panels on Equity in Santa Fe. While the Edge of Equity is not the first chronologically, if you have not seen Tomás Rivera speak on equity issues, you will want to mark down these dates and not miss any of the panels. Chainbreaker Collective is key partner in the struggle for racial and economic justice in Santa Fe and no one articulates the lack of equity in Santa Fe and a vision for economic justice in Santa Fe better than Tomás and his colleagues at Chainbreaker. Don’t miss these panels.  For more information, go to http://www.chainbreaker.org



cropped-roundhouse-photo2.jpgThursday 22, 4:30-6:30pm Retake Our Democracy’s Roundhouse Activism Team (RAT) at New Energy Economy, 343 E Alameda. Santa Fe. After launching our Legislative and Electoral Strategy, at the Progressive Summit, the RAT now begins to work to develop our strategy for promoting it statewide and for lobbying this session. If you want to work with a great team and change NM, this is the locus of all the action.  RSVP by writing to me at paul@retakeourdemocracy.org.
Fair Vote NM Recruiting Volunteers to Do Exit Polling March 6.  Fair Vote NM is recruiting volunteers to administer exit poll surveys on election day and also during early voting. Fair Vote NM is working with a political science professor at UNM who is developing the survey and will be analyzing the data. Fair Vote NM’s goal is to recruit 36 volunteers who are each willing to put 6 hours of work into this; a 3 hour stint during early voting, and an additional 3 hour stint on election day. Please write to Maria Perez at mperez@fairvote.org, if you would be interested in participating in this process. It is so important to get hard data about voter satisfaction, and on questions like whether people were aware of the new voting system before they went to vote, if they were how they heard about it, etc. And most importantly, it will enable the City to get information on any voter confusion with the process and ways that it can be improved.

Last Week’s Blog Posts

Retake Our Democracy:  Mayoral Survey Results on 24 City Policies. Weds. Feb. 6.  Complete analysis of Mayoral Issue Survey responses from all candidates, along with each candidates specific level of support and comments on each of the 24 issues.  Your chance to inform your ranked choices via candidate responses to specific policies that could be implemented in Santa Fe. Please share this with others as this survey is an important way for voters to base their voting on specific positions that could bring greater equity to Santa Fe.  Click here to review the survey.
An Open Letter from Speaker Egolf in Response to Last Week’s Open Letter to Speaker Egolf and Senator Wirth. Thurs. Feb. 7. Last week, Retake wrote an Open Letter to Speaker Egolf and Senator Wirth seeking their leadership in defeating SB 47. Speaker Egolf asked for an opportunity to share his thoughts. So this post includes an unedited letter from the Speaker followed by a few brief thoughts of mine pointing to where I feel Speaker Egolf missed the mark. This is the kind of respectful civic should inform policy and legislative deliberations. Click here to read Speaker Egolf’s letter and my commentary.


Action Needed to Support Chaco Protection Floor Debates Saturday and Sunday. One Billion Rising on Saturday at Noon. Friday, Feb 8 Morning edition. Today, we send out a Roundhouse Roundup to update you on important bills and an urgent call for email/calls and showing up for Chaco Saturday and Sunday. Also info on a new bill that would force the PRC to include the fiscal impact of coal plant closings on impacted communities. Saturday, you can attend Sen. hearing on Chaco protections from fracking and then attend One Billion Rising at noon.Before diving in, I want to acknowledge an important typo in yesterday’s post. I wrote that I was providing an “the edited letter from Speaker Egolf” when I had intended to write “unedited.” Quite obviously a big difference. To clarify, the letter from Speaker Egolf was not edited at all and appeared precisely as he had written it. Copy, Paste, Save. Click here to read the post.

Things change fast in the Roundhouse. Friday, Feb 8. Afternoon Update Earlier today, we sent out an action alert to show up at the Roundhouse on Saturday at 9am to protect Chaco, but that hearing has been postponed till Sunday. BUT, now we must show up on Saturday at 9 in Roundhouse Room 309 to protect San Juan and Four Corners and the ratepayers. The post includes speaking points and contact information for members of the Senate  Details within  Click here for details.



West Virginia Protects Ratepayers Against Utility Claims for Stranded Assets. Will Our Legislature Protect NM Ratepayers? Sat. Feb 9.  PNM would have you believe that they deserve a ratepayer bail out for their ‘stranded assets’ but W. Virginia just rejected FirstEnergy Corp.’s efforts to do precisely what PNM sought with SB 47.There is much to learn from W. Virginia.  PNM would lead you to believe that their request is consistent with relief approved in other states. It is NOT. Post also includes analysis of SB 325 which while seeking to provide economic resources to Four Corners and San Juan, but does so in such a way as to usurp PRC jurisdiction and to actually enable PNM to coal operations in both sites.  Click here to read the full post.

Protect Chaco Canyon. Call Today. Attend Tomorrow

Please call and email ALL three Democrats on the Committee and tell them that you want to protect Chaco Canyon and this bill will force Bureau of Land Management to consult with tribal representatives prior to issuing new leases allowing fracking. Sen. Tallman should be solid.

  • Sen. John Pinto, Chair.  Capitol Phone: 986-4835; Capitol Room: 301B .Home Phone: (720) 357-9275 (he doesn’t provide email)
  • Senator Bill Tallman, Vice Chair.  Capitol Phone: 986-4373; Capitol Room: 416D. Email:  bill.tallman@nmlegis.gov.
  • Sen. Benny Shendo, Jr.  Capitol Phone: 986-4310; Capitol Room: 302A; Office Phone: (575) 834-7359; Email: benny.shendo@nmlegis.gov

Please call and email the members of the Senate Finance Committee: TODAY!

Senate Finance Committee:  Getting the Senate Finance Committee to approve this bill will take an extraordinary effort. Currently, Sen. Smith (Chair) has not even scheduled HJR-1 for a hearing. First, please call and email Sen. Smith and ask him to schedule HJR-1 for hearing as soon as possible. Time is running out as the session ends Thursday at noon. Then, please call and email each Dem. on this list and press them to stand for the future of our children. If we are not willing to invest in our children we are doomed to remaining 49th or 50th in all things related to child health and educational success. Click the blue link to get email addresses, phone numbers are provided below this table.

Senator John Arthur Smith 35 D Chair
Senator Carlos R. Cisneros 6 D Vice Chair
Senator William F. Burt 33 R Member
Senator Pete Campos 8 D Member
Senator Gay G. Kernan 42 R Member
Senator Carroll H. Leavell 41 R Member
Senator Howie C. Morales 28 D Member
Senator George K. Munoz 4 D Member
Senator Nancy Rodriguez 24 D Member
Senator Sander Rue 23 R Member
Senator John M. Sapien 9 D Member
Senator Steven P. Neville 2 R Ranking Member

Please call the members of the Senate Finance Committee: TODAY!

Urge them to vote “yes” on HJR1  which has passed the House &  the  Senate Education Committee and is now in the Senate Finance Committee.

  • Sen. John Arthur Smith – 986-4365
  • Sen. Carlos Cisneros – 986-4362
  • Sen. Steven Neville – 986-4701
  • Sen. William Burt – 986-4366
  • Sen. Pete Campos – 986-4311
  • Sen. Gay Kernan – 986-4274
  • Sen. Carroll Leavell – 986-4278
  • Sen. Howie Morales – 986-4863
  • Sen. George Munoz – 986-4371
  • Sen. Nancy Rodriguez – 986-4264
  • Sen . Sander Rue – 986-4375
  • Sen. John Sapien – 986-4301

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