This post includes summaries of last week’s blogs that reflect on the primary, the influence of dark money and info on an innovative approach to addressing rental housing. Plus we include a suggestion for the Mayor and Friday’s report on the transition process.
This Week’s Actions & Opportunities
Poor People’s Campaign. Action 5. Today, 2pm Roundhouse. The fifth of six planned Direct Actions launching the Poor People’s Campaign will occur at the Roundhouse TODAY at 2pm with a theme of: Everybody’s Got a Right to Live. The action will include a teach-in and rally in support of universal health and dental care, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, a Living Wage & Collective Bargaining, Housing & Transportation and Equal Rights for Women & LGBTQ.
The series of actions have been organized to build support for the Poor People’s Campaign which has its national launch in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 23. Roxanne and I have timed our Look, Listen and Learn Road Trip (Roxanne’s title) so that we will be able to attend the march in D.C. If any of you plan to be there, let us know. email@example.com.
Local Action Team Mtg. TODAY, Monday June 11. 6-7:15pm at New Energy Economy 343 E. Alameda. The Local Action Team has been organizing around issues in Retake’s 22-pollicy People’s Platform. Today, the team will discuss narrowing the focus of advocacy to a smaller number of policies and will also discuss how best to educate the community and our elected officials about these policies.
The team is also focused on school board issues like school closures and use of schools as venues for parent and student education, leadership development and community action after school hours and on the weekends. This is a great way to advocate for social justice at a city level. For more information, contact Jennifer Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Roundhouse Advocacy Team. Thursday, June 14 & 28, 4:30-6:30pm at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda. The Roundhouse Advocacy Team (or the Rat Pack) has been meeting for a year to develop a 2018-2019 Election and Legislative Strategy. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, same time, same location.
At this Thursday’s meeting, we will finish defining the roles for each member of the team over the next seven months, taking us through the general election and leading up to the Roundhouse session in January. We will also distribute calling responsibilities for reaching out to other communities to begin developing our Rapid Response Network. Finally, we will plan participation in the Roundhouse Interim Committee Hearings. This would be a very good meeting for people who haven’t come before, to jump in. We need twice as many folks to devote a few hours a week to this work. There is much to do and a very cohesive, well-organized team already in place. Join us!
And if you can’t make it to these meetings, please just write to me, as there is PLENTY you can do from home and at your own pace. Write to me at Paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. This is where the action is, my friends. A tremendous team doing amazing work and a testimony to what a small group of committed folks can do.
Visit the Actions & Opportunities page for updated information on local actions and events. Click here.
Friday, June 15, 2018, 8 am – 1:15 pm. Report & Discussion Related to the Eight Transition Teams for the City of Santa Fe. Santa Fe Convention Center – Coronado/De Vargas Rooms, 201 W Marcy Street. Master of Ceremonies, Judge Michael Vigil. Agendas and all Working Group Reports will be made available. Presentations are open to the public and will be live-streamed. At the bottom of this post, Retake provides a description of the event, the agenda and a critique of the process. Another missed opportunity for the City.
A Look Back at the Primary, Campaign Finance Rules, Dark Money, Misinformation, and Encouragement to Remain in the Game: It Is a Long Haul.
Perversity of Campaign Finance Laws and Important Choices in Today’s Election. Tuesday, June 5. Reflections on today’s election and some real concerns about our campaign finance laws that allow huge infusions of dark, outside money and local corporate money to flood our mailboxes with misinformation. Click here for more.
Blue Tsunami in NM? Some Very Important Wins Along Wth Disappointing Results. Wed. June 6. Herrera and Romero Oust Rodella and Trujillo while Fischmann Ousts Jones from the PRC. Lovejoy Out Too, but Yazzie Falls Short. Key barriers to progressive legislation were removed by voters and the PRC could flip to environmentalists in November. Yazzie comes oh so close. And a video from RFK. 50 years ago, I was at the Ambassador when Bobby was shot, so today I include a stirring video of Bobby Kennedy’s A Tiny Ripple of Hope speech delivered in South Africa. One can only wonder at the world we’d have, if only… Click here for more on the results.
Disappointed with Primary Results? Join the Crowd, But Stay Involved. Sat. June 9. Also in today’s blog info on Monday’s Poor People’s Campaign Direct Action and a San Francisco innovation: transforming a public library into a library+public health+very-low-income rental housing, a clever model worth exploring in NM. “We are in an affordability crisis and we need to maximize our existing public land for 100 percent affordable housing,” Supervisor Fewer tells Next City in an email. “It would be a missed opportunity to not pursue adding affordable housing above newly renovated public resources, like our libraries.” Click here for more on how this approach is being used in NY and Chicago….Santa Fe?
A Suggestion to the City of Santa Fe
In a press release last week, the City announced a half-day event this Friday from 8:30-1pm at the Convention Center. “In a half-day Cornerstone Event on Friday, June 15th, the eight Advisory Working Groups that were organized by Mayor Alan Webber’s Transition Team will report out to the public on their work from the last 60 days. As part of the transition process, 120 Santa Feans participated in the groups, each focused on a different aspect of making Santa Fe the most user-friendly, eco-friendly, and family-friendly city in America. Each group produced a short memo proposing ideas that could be implemented within the next 6 to 12 months. Their work product will be presented to the public on Friday, June 15th, at a half-day, Cornerstone Session in the Coronado/De Vargas Rooms at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Judge Michael Vigil will facilitate the discussion.”
Mayor Alan Webber said, “This public forum promises to be a thoughtful way to identify a path forward on a set of cooperative, actionable items. The work being presented is a valuable and useful jumping-off point for our discussions: A cornerstone we can build on.”
The press release goes on to state that: “City Councilors, City Employees, members of the press and interested residents are all invited to attend.”
The agenda follows, but first a comment about the process itself. Retake has been critical of the City for its failure to successfully engage low-income communities in relation to the Santa Fe University of Art & Design process. Very few participated and only 16% of participants in the online survey and community meetings were Hispanic. With a critical rental housing shortage for low-income workers and with over half of Santa Fe workers having to live outside the city for the lack of affordable housing, one might view SFUAD as a critical opportunity to address the needs of those commuting workers who have been displaced by gentrification. My criticism of the SFUAD process was that a very limited effort was made early in the SFUAD process to engage grassroots community stakeholders with deep roots in the Hispanic community and south and westside neighborhoods. Only once the process was well on its way did the city seek stakeholder support to disseminate the results of initial planning and design efforts.
I expressed concerns about the SFUAD process at the time and must again raise concerns about Friday’s Transition Report meeting. Specifically,
- The 5-hour meeting is being held during working hours, severely limiting the capacity of low-income workers to participate. While professionals may be able to wrangle time-off to provide input, low-income workers who can’t even get off work when they are sick are hardly going to be able to get time off from work to listen to these reports, no matter how germane they might be to their lives.
- There is no mention of childcare being provided and so families with young children will have to find childcare themselves to be able to participate, or drag young children along for over 5 hours of presentations.
- There is no mention of whether documents to be shared at the time will be available in Spanish or if there will be translation available.
- The event venue is as far away as possible from the Southside and there have been no plans announced to conduct a similar event at a more convenient time and venue, with childcare, food and translation offered and with enough advance notice to allow for broad circulation of the initial reports (in Spanish) to community members so they might be more aware of what the City is planning and how they might be impacted.
On the heels of a very divisive soda-tax campaign It is important for the City to think more creatively about how to authentically engage all of Santa Fe in a participatory process to address community concerns. Our community is faced with daunting challenges related to transit, affordable rental housing for our lowest income workers, and our infrastructure. Laws are in place to require employers to provide workers with a living wage, but they are not enforced effectively. A vast food desert throughout the Southside makes access to healthy food difficult. Retake feels it would behoove the new administration to think outside the box in relation to both strategy and a more authentic community engagement process. And that process can only start with direct outreach and conversation with the stakeholders who have served low-income communities for years so that underserved communities can weigh in on the issues that impact them directly.
Mayor Webber Transition Working Group Report Presentations
Friday, June 15, 2018, 8 am – 1:15 pm. Santa Fe Convention Center – Coronado/De Vargas Rooms, 201 W Marcy Street. Master of Ceremonies, Judge Michael Vigil. Agendas and all Working Group Reports will be made available. Presentations are open to the public and will be live-streamed
- 8:00-8:05 am: Opening remarks, Agenda review: Masters of Ceremonies
- 8:05-8:15 am: Welcome: Mayor Alan Webber
- 8:15-8:45 am: Group 1: Financial Contingency
- 8:50-9:20 am: Group 2: Young Santa Fe
- 9:25-9:55 am: Group 3: Supporting Education
- 10:00-10:30 am: Group 4: Housing and Livable Neighborhoods
- 10:30-10:45 am: BREAK
- 10:45-11:15 am: Group 5: Sustainability
- 11:20-11:50 am: Group 6: Catalyzing Jobs
- 11:55 am-12:25 pm: Group 7: Public Safety
- 12:30-1:00 pm: Group 8: Unifying Santa Fe
- 1:00-1:15 pm: Closing remarks: Mayor Alan Webber