Wow. Yazzie and Fischmann inspiredthe room. We ran out of donation envelopes. We also include video of their talk and links to their campaign sites, along with info on the status of SFUAD , and how to provide input. Finally, Mueller appears to have Trump caged and the GOP doesn’t seem ready to help Trump much. And bonus video coverage: a debate with a Trump supporter.
What’s Up Today! Today we provide info on two stellar PRC candidates who could utterly reverse NM energy policy in almost unthinkable ways. In addition, we provide an update on the SFUAD process, a snippet on Trump (a snippet being all the space he deserves), and a video taken some months ago, where I got hoodwinked into doing an interview with what I thought was Resist.org but was actually an ardent Trump supporter. I am told I held my own in the 30-minute discussion. Late breaking news that Paul Ryan will not run for re-election….more evidence of crumbling walls. Click here. Onward.
Santa Fe University of Art & Design. The SFUAD community input process continues and we want to make sure that those participating have some guidance as to some key elements and principals we’d like to see incorporated. Most plans will include a high density, mixed use development that includes a commitment to some form of affordable housing, with an educational institute as an anchor and with a plan to retain the Greer Garson Theatre and Soundstage and the Screen, a 185 seat cinematheque. The key elements for which Retake will advocate include:
- Affordable housing that prioritizes low-income rental housing, housing that is affordable by those making the minimum wage: our hospitality and food service workers, our hospital aides, our construction workers, our landscapers. These workers comprise over 20% of our workforce and given that the vast majority are Hispanic, so this priority is about racial justice and economic justice;
- Development without Displacement. There may well be a number of strategies that could ensure that the development will not lead to further displacement of Santa Feans who can no longer afford to live in Santa Fe, but for our money, the best such strategy is the use of a Community Land Trust. For more on CLTs and how they operate, click here.
- Resident Governance. Some mechanism for ensure resident governance of the property either through a Resident Council or via a board of directors to a Community Land Trust.
- Economic & Social Ladders. Retake has identified a number of programs, like those in Austin TX, that incorporate into housing an array of services, supports and opportunities that can help residents build wealth. Mental health and recovery services, job training and entry level employment opportunities, and small business, employee-owned or collective structures that foster equitable development benefiting the low-income residents of the community.
At this point, the City will not be discussing the number of units, the specifics of small business development, etc. The above principles need to be incorporated into the thinking early. The SFUAD is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The goal simply can not be developer profit; it absolutely must be community benefit and an initiative carefully constructed to benefit our lowest income neighbors. Click here for the City’s web page devoted to the SFUAD process, timeline, options, etc.
- “it would be suicide for the president to fire Mueller,” from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA; and this:
- “the president can’t just fire Mr. Mueller. He’s got to direct Mr. Rosenstein to fire him, and I don’t think Mr. Rosenstein would do it,” Sen. John Kennedy, R, LA or this:
- “I think it would be a massive mistake for the president to do anything to interfere with this investigation,” said Corker, adding: “he knows most every Republican senator feels that way,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn; or this:
- “It would be the beginning of the end of his presidency,” Sen. Lindsey Grahame, R-SC.
On Trump’s part, he appears utterly undeterred: “I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’ll see what happens. But I think it’s really a sad situation when you look at what happened. And many people have said, ‘You should fire him.’ Again, they found nothing.” Claiming “finding nothing” is a constant and utterly unsubstantiated claim: Mueller et al have not released any findings, but the indictments are mounting and, despite the law stating otherwise, on Tuesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated that the president “certainly believes he has the power” to fire Mueller. Click here to review the NBC report. This could get interesting. Click here to go to our Actions and Events page to sign up to be notified about a nationwide protest designed to instantly erupt should Trump fire Mueller. It is at the end of the page. You will also find information on:
- Thurs., April 12, 4:30-6:30, Roundhouse Advocacy Team at New Energy Economy, 343 E Alameda, Santa Fe. A great team that on Thursday will discuss how we plan to support the two PRC candidates below and how to further activate our statewide Rapid Response Network. RSVP by writing to me at paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org;
- Local Action Team. Monday, April 16, 6pm-7:15pm. at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda. The team will now build upon the prioritized policies in the Peoples Platform for Justice in Santa Fe. RSVP by writing to Jennifer Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Achieving a Fair Political System: Building a Grassroots Coalition to Revive Our Democracy Free Conference with a tremendous array of speakers and breakouts. Space is limited. Click here to register. More info at our Actions & Events page.
- SFUAD Input. Actions and Events provides links to how to provide input into the SFUAD process with online input closing on April 18 and a chance to provide input on person on Friday the 13th….details a click away.
We Have a Game Changing Opportunity to Achieve Environmental, Economic & Racial Justice in Two PRC Races. And We Have the Right Candidates to Do It
On Monday afternoon, a packed Rippel Gallery heard from two eco-excellent Public Regulation Commission candidates: Janene Yazzie (District 4) and Steve Fischmann (District 5). To say they wowed the crowd would be a HUGE understatement. Both spoke passionately about their commitment to ratepayers and the planet. If you missed it, click here to view the livestream produced by Cecile Lipworth from our Leadership Team. You’ll need to crank the volume at tad, but it is worth it. Inspiring.
Retake feels this election is the second most important race in NM after Governor. The PRC ‘regulates’ our utilities, transportation, telecommunications, and more. The five commissioners have far more power than any one NM Legislator and for environmentalists their role in determining when and how we transition to renewable energy is critical.
As currently comprised, the PRC Commissioners consistently vote 3-2 in favor of whatever our utility providers request (e.g. PNM). By electing Steve, we would unseat Sandy Jones in District 5 and flip the balance to a 3-2 environmentally aligned majority. If we were also to win in District 4 where Janene Yazzie is challenging incumbent Lynda Lovejoy, we could achieve a 4-1 super majority. You have to know that PNM and other utilities will pour money into this campaign. They simply can’t afford to lose their stranglehold on the PRC. We can do this. But only if you get involved: CANVASS, CALL, CONTRIBUTE.
To read more about how consistently three PRC Commissioners have sided with utility companies and their shareholders, at the expense of ratepayers and the planet, click here for a one-page summary that includes three specific examples where PRC majorities of 3-2 have resulted in ratepayers being levied hundreds of millions of dollars in rate increases over the objection of the PRC Hearing Officers.
To find out more about each candidates views and how to support their campaign:
- Janene’s Yazzie her district includes parts of Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Bernalillo County, so you can actually canvass for her easily, click here.
- Steve’s campaign stretches from the Mexican border up to Los Lunas and covers the southwest quadrant of the state. For more information on Steve, his campaign, and how you can support it, click here.
Retake will be pressing all of you to get in this game. We can’t change our state’s energy plan if PNM and other utilities are manipulating the regulatory process. Here is a chance to utterly and completely reverse course and achieve economic, environmental and racial justice. But we will need all hands on deck from a really large number of you. If you want to be on a list of people who will show up to call, canvass or contribute, please email me at paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. today please…we’ve only got two months.
Paul & Roxanne
I share this not cuz I need more attention. I get more than my share of praise and attention, but given our inclusion of references to Trump in today’s blog, I thought I’d share what I think is a very good ‘response’ to Trump nonsense. Your thoughts?