Bill McCamley house party & reception for 2 Public Regulation Commission candidates who could flip the PRC dramatically. PNM is terrified, come on the 9th to hear from Yazzie and Fischmann, find out who they are & why Retake so strongly supports them both. And if you want more inspiration: Community First! Village in Austin, a new approach to meeting the challenge of chronic homelessness.
Donate to Retake Today! Yay. Thanks to you we’ve reached our goal to raise $4000 this month. We are officially back in the black! At this point we can lighten up on the asks and focus on the long haul. We need a cadre of monthly sustaining donors to cover our costs: facility rentals for town halls and events, web costs, email hosting, printing, buttons, and soon, a regular advertising budget, not to promote our events but to promote progressive ideals. Chip in if you can and we will post soon a full budget and a plan for using our resources. But read on as today’s post is nothing but upbeat news and promising opportunities.
Please, click here, to visit our Actions and Opportunities page, it has information on a wide range of community actions and opportunities, including information about tonight’s City Council hearing, an, Earth Care screening of Dolores to celebrate César Chávez day and more.
Community First! Village in Austin: An inspiring model for addressing homelessness & something to consider for SFUAD
Once again, a tip of the hat to NextCity.org, from which I have excerpted this report. Like most urban communities, Austin and Santa Fe have a persistent challenge in moving people from homelessness to housing. What is so remarkable about Community First! Village, the model employed by Austin, TX, is that by transforming how Austin has structurally responded to homelessness, they have also transformed how the community thinks about people who are homeless. Homeless people have become more real to people who previously shunned or feared them. And while Community First! is an affordable housing community, it is much, much more with support services, volunteer mentoring, and an array of thoughtfully and compassionately interwoven supports and opportunities.
Meet Community First! Village. It is a 27-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas. A development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, this transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. Amenities at
Community First! Village include:
- An innovative mix of affordable housing options
- Memorial garden, columbarium and prayer labyrinth
- Places for worship, study and fellowship
- Medical facility for health screenings, and other support services including hospice and respite care
- Walking trails
- Community gardens
- Outdoor movie theater
- Community market
- Bed & breakfast for overnight visits (Roxanne and I are staying there when on our US Road Trip and going on a tour and meeting staff and residents)
- Capital Metro bus stop
Operating at Community First!, Community Works provides micro-enterprise opportunities that enable those who have experienced homelessness to earn a dignified income. This program empowers Mobile Loaves & Fishes volunteers to serve alongside our friends as they develop new skills, while also building enduring relationships. Micro-enterprise opportunities available through Community Works include gardening, art, blacksmithing, woodworking and concessions. The community garden, Genesis Gardens is far more than just a garden. It allows neighbors from all over Austin to come together to roll up their sleeves and engage with Community First! residents, practice hospitality, recall what it means to put down roots, and share the abundance of the garden’s yields. The bounty from the garden is washed, bunched, canned, pickled, preserved or cooked and provided to neighbors throughout the Village — giving them direct access to the best vegetables on Earth! The farm at Community First! Village features:
- More than 3 acres of organic vegetable production
- Hundreds of fruit and nut-bearing trees
- Dairy goats, chickens, rabbits, donkeys and honeybees
- Geodome and aquaponics system
The map below is of CommunityFirst! and Roxanne and I can’t wait to get there and experience what they have done. This site is roughly 1/3 the size of the Santa Fe University Art & Design. Kinda makes the mind swirl with the possibilities. To be clear, we are not saying that this, or any model we will be presenting in the coming weeks, is right for SFUAD, but if we are serious about addressing poverty, homelessness and the housing needs of extremely low income neighbors, these are the kinds of models we need to consider. To read more, click here and you can take a visual tour of this remarkable community initiative.
Bill McCamley for State Auditor. You may have seen that McCamley’s campaign won the Democratic Pre-Primary Convention last weekend with over 60% of the vote. Retake strongly supports McCamley for State Auditor. Here is your chance to meet Bill and find out why Roxanne and I and all of the Retake Our Democracy Leadership Team are so supportive of his candidacy. This guy is the real deal. Below is a video where he essentially speaks the speech he gave at the Democratic Convention, albeit there it was with a bit more passion and to a raucous response. One of the things I have long liked about Bill as while serving in the Roundhouse he would routinely use his phone to video tape a message about what was going on during the session and posting it to his Facebook page. Totally transparent and participatory engagement with this constituents.
As Auditor, he plans to fight for early childhood education, solar panels on every public building, health care for everyone, and wages for working people instead of giveaways for millionaires and out of state corporations. In order to do this though, he really needs your help to make sure his momentum is sustained.
Roxanne and I are all in for Bill McCamley. He has been one of the most transparent and authentic legislators in the Roundhouse and now he wants to follow in Tim Keller’s footsteps and protect our state from fraud and misuse of resources. Come to the the House Party at left and find out more about Rep. McCamley and why Roxanne and I so enthusiastically support him. This is a statewide race, so in addition to being asked to contribute, you will find out information on how you can canvass, phone bank and GOTV. Go Bill.
A Path to a Progressive Public Regulation Commission: Really!