Entrada Progress? Lessons for Santa Fe & NM for Advancing Equity

Reflections on the reported “progress” in Entrada negotiations, actions for the coming week, and links & summaries of last week’s three important blogs describing an approach to green affordable housing development that may be relevant to NM. What’s New!  Likely because of the mid-week July 4 holiday, last week’s blogs were not opened at anything like the normal rate, so the usual Monday summary of the prior week’s posts is even more valuable than usual. Roxanne and I found Buffalo to be inspirational and informative, a city where impacted residents have organized power and garnered the resources necessary to begin to successfully address the need for very low-income rental property development. Very worth reading last T and Th’s blog posts below.

Climate Change, Nah!  Sunday morning I wanted to check on Santa Fe and New Mexico weather as I had read reports that there had been actual sightings of rain in NM. But before I could get to my Santa Fe Weather Channel, I was greeted with a report that 44 Canadians had died during the recent heat dome in the northeast. Roxanne and I have experienced the heat dome directly as our Road Trip has taken us through record highs in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Rochester and a sweltering Montreal.

One irony to the trip, with the except of our home state of New Mexico, as we have passed through every state and all of Quebec and Ontario, along the highways we’ve see solar panels and wind generators. Everywhere. Except NM, the land with the second most potential for solar, fourth greatest potential for wind, and 9% renewable energy portfolio. We have work to do with the PRC and the Roundhouse.

The Entrada is Not the Only Highly Public Offense to History in Santa Fe

Time is ticking to do the right thing and avoid another Entrada protest.

The rest of the Nation has become sensitized to the need to remove and replace plaques and statues commemorative historic figures who had perpetuated slavery, Jim Crow, and systemic racism. It is long overdue for New Mexico to do the same in relation to our history of colonization and sustained oppression of indigenous populations.

There is much to celebrate in the rich Hispanic history and culture without glossing over the impact of colonization. Mayor Gonzales had convened a task force to examine Santa Fe’s monuments, statues, plagues and events located on public property. I have not seen the promised report indicating what might be done to address how many of these statues perpetuate injustice by mischaracterizing history.

From a New Mexican report in Sept. 2017:  “Gonzales proposed an examination of the city’s historical and cultural markers as discussions continue across the country about monuments, especially those linked to the Confederacy. ‘Native and Hispanic people have contributed so much to the richness of our community and, while it may be difficult at times, the conversation about how we do a better job of telling that story will require all of us to come together,” Gonzales said in a statement. “Once we do, I have no doubt in Santa Fe’s ability to heal and grow stronger.’ The report would likely inform policy proposals next year.”  We are over halfway through “next year,” and getting ever closer to the scheduled date of the Entrada. And as the plaque below suggests, we have more to address than the Entrada.  Thanks to Ron Flax-Davidson for sending along this photo of a commemorative plaque in Santa Fe’s Marcy Park (below).

Actions for the Week

  • Local Action Team, Monday, July 9, 6pm-7:15pm, New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda, Santa Fe.
  • Roundhouse Advocacy Team, Thursday, July 12, 4:30-6:30pm, New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda, Santa Fe.
  • Protecting Those Most Vulnerable Community Conversation – Espanola, SUNDAY JULY 15, 1:00-4:00 PM, at Northern NM College, 921 N Paseo de Onate, Espanola, New Mexico.  This is an important discussion about the impact of the environment on vulnerable pregnant and parenting families, with a discussion of the impact of the hexavelent chromium plume.
  • Fabulous Benefit Concert for Santa Fe Dreamers. July 22, 6:30-9:30pm at Railyard Park, across from Whole Foods. This early Sunday evening concert at the Railyard Park will benefit the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and support their work to provide legal services for immigrant families!  Featuring Nosotros, Impulse Groove Foundation, and Zay Santos.  Click here for details. This show will be FABULOUS!!!!
Click here for more on all of the events above. No time like the present to get involved. You can also find out more about the Local Action Team by writing to Jennifer Johnson, at gridded@mac.com and more about the Roundhouse Advocacy Team by writing to Lynne Fischer at LynneAFischer@gmail.com.

A Look Back at Last Week’s Blogs: 
Three Very Worthwhile Posts, Missed by Most Supporters

I highly recommend that if you missed any of last week’s posts, that you save this one and as you have time this week, go back and review what you missed. Good stuff with much relevance to Santa Fe and the rest of New Mexico.

Open Buffalo: Building Power, Opening Doors, and Creating Opportunity

Tuesday, July 3. We’ve been learning an enormous amount on our Road Trip and were particularly inspired by what we have learned in Buffalo and how it could inform efforts to achieve economic and racial justice in Santa Fe and New Mexico. By creating Open Buffalo, a collaboration of four major local advocacy groups and using year-round canvassing to educate and organize impacted communities, a base of power has been achieved that has forced a seat at the table where policy decisions are made. Using a Community Benefit Agreement framework, Open Buffalo is forcing the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to address the needs of neighborhoods impacted by the sprawling growth of a medical campus.

PUSH Buffalo: A New Approach to Truly Affordable Green Housing Development.

Thursday, July 6.  One of Open Buffalo’s key partners, People United for Supportive Housing, (PUSH Buffalo) has organized West Buffalo residents and through their activism have assembled significant public and private investment in zero energy affordable rental housing priced at 33% of renter income, i.e. affordable housing for very low-income residents. In addition, Buffalo is treating its large refugee community as an asset in which to invest not a “need” to be addressed. The results are impressive and very relevant to NM. Click here to read the full report.

Entrada Progress Reported and Ideas on Moving Toward Equity in Santa Fe & NM.

Saturday, July 8. It is certainly good that talks are being conducted to address the Entrada issue, but despite reports of progress, excerpts from the New Mexican reveal a lack of understanding of the depth of the problem.  This post also includes a brief report on the National Governors Conference coming to Santa Fe July 19-21 with a call for coordination of protest efforts. Lastly, reflections on this Road Trip, the real work will be upon return trying to synthesize lessons learned and translate them to a NM context. This posts also includes a description of the extent and cause of the equity gap in Santa Fe. “Population shifts in cities don’t happen by accident. A city’s choices on where to put infrastructure, transit, affordable housing and other resources significantly influence shifts in population, which can occur unequally across income, race, age and other demographic characteristics.” Equitable Development and Risk of Displacement Report

In closing, in preparation for our visit to Jackson, MS perhaps the most radicalized community in the Nation, we are reading Jackson Rising a book written and edited by Kali Akuno and Ajamu Nangwaya, co-founders of Cooperation Jackson. Better than anything I have ever read, Rising Jackson analyzes our current soci-economic / political position and the only way it can be honestly addressed. If you want to read what justice could look like in America, purchase and read Jackson Rising.  Thursday’s blog will focus on Jackson Rising, Beto O’Rourke (now neck and neck with Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, and other indicators that the Nation may be ready for radical change.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


Categories: Economic Justice, Community & Economic Development, Indigenous Rights, Personal & Collective Action, Social & Racial Justice & Immigration Reform

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