Roxanne and I joined Jay Levine and Pia Gallegos–leaders in the Adelante Democratic Caucus and met with MLG’s Policy Director, Jane Wishner, and Deputy Campaign Director Victor Reyes. The purpose was to get a better understanding of MLG’s policy positions and to see if there was enough common ground for the Progressive Caucus and Retake to enthusiastically encourage you not just to vote for MLG, but to campaign for her.
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR,101.1 FM. This month Retake Our Democracy talks affordable housing, affordable housing, and affordable housing, and how we can address the growing housing crisis in Santa Fe, in NM and in the US. Sat., Oct 6, 8:30 am. Alexandra Ladd, City of Santa Fe Director of Affordable Housing., Sat. Oct 13 (Pledge Week) with Senator Peter Wirth (also taking Housing from the state perspective); and. Saturday., Oct. 20 with County Housing Authority Director Joseph Montoya. Oct 13 is pledge week and anyone contributing $50 or more to KSFR on Saturday, Oct 13, between 8:30-9am will be able to join Senator Wirth on a personal guided tour of the Roundhouse, where he will tell you not just about the buildings and hearing rooms but what goes on behind the scenes.
Actions & Events. Today at 5:30, House Party for one of Retake Our Democracy’s favorite NM House candidates, Abbas Akhil. Click here for details and for other events in Santa Fe, including a movie screening and a meeting where you can get involved in supporting Roundhouse candidates and lobbying for progressive legislation in the coming Roundhouse session (Jan 2019). It is not too soon to get involved as our Roundhouse Advocacy Team has been hard at work since the last session ended in March. Click here to get to Actions and Events, and I really hope to see you at the meet and greet with Abbas Akhil.
A Thumbs Up for Michelle Lujan Grisham
Representatives of the Lujan Grisham campaign and representatives from Retake Our Democracy and the Adelante Progressive Caucus of the DPNM met last week to discuss policy positions and areas of common ground and areas where we may differ. As a result of this conversation and a review of many of MLG’s policies and position papers, both Retake Our Democracy and the Adelante Progressive Caucus are encouraging our members to not just vote for Michelle Lujan Grisham as Governor of the State of New Mexico, but to actively support her campaign by knocking on doors, making phone calls, contributing to her campaign, and encouraging others to do the same.
We make this recommendation recognizing that Lujan Grisham does not fully embrace the DPNM Platform, takes donations from the gas and oil industry, and is not opposed to any and all fracking, but merely seeks to limit its use. These are legitimate concerns and positions we intend to work together on to move MLG in a more positive direction. But we also recognize that there are a great many areas in which we are aligned with MLG and her positions on issues and that there is an enormous difference between Lujan Grisham and her opponent, Steve Pearce. Finally, we expect that with a Democratic Governor, we will be able to play offense for the first time in eight years in the Roundhouse. With Pearce as Governor, we would be playing defense once again and for at least another four years. We don’t have another four years, and we simply can not allow progressive purism to allow any of us to sit on the sidelines. NM needs a Democratic Governor. And there are significant areas where MLG, Retake Our Democracy and the Progressive Caucus are strongly aligned. For example, MLG favors:
- Increasing the minimum way to $10 an hour, then $12 an hour and tying it to inflation. While many of us have advocated for a $15 minimum wage, we also recognize that doubling the minimum wage overnight might well prove impossible for some small businesses, ranchers, and farmers in rural NM. We will get to $15, but perhaps not in 2-3 years, and an increase to $10 represents a 33% increase (from $7.50), something that would definitely impact the home budgets of low-wage workers.
- Using a percentage of interest from the $17 billion permanent fund to increase funding for Early Childhood Education.
- Passing the New Mexico Health Security Act. Indeed, we were reminded in our meeting that Lujan Grisham was among the early advocates who created the campaign for the HSA. And while she has reservations about whether HSA, single payer, or Medicare for All can ‘pencil out’ cost wise, she is certainly amenable to finding that out. She will sign the HSA and then the next step would be a detailed analysis of just how it would work out financially before implementation would begin, a step that is built in to the legislation.
- Enabling people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, to buy into Medicaid insurance.
- Increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard to require NM to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 80% renewable by 2040.
- Joining the United States Climate Alliance on behalf of New Mexico to uphold the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement within our borders.
- Building transmission lines to export renewable energy to other states.
- Implementing a statewide methane rule and investing in infrastructure to capture methane.
- Rescinding the hated standardized test-driven teacher evaluation process
It is safe to say that Steve Pearce advocates for none of these positions and would veto any effort to advance legislation related to any of these policies. In addition to not advancing anything like a progressive policy, he is not beneath launching highly negative and misleading advertisements designed to misinform and inflame. Steve Pearce has launched a desperate campaign recognizing that an initially tight race is now edging past a two digit lead for MLG. We should expect more charges from Pearce.
One of the most egregious of those charges is his attack claiming MLG formed Delta Consulting Group using her connections to obtain a contract to manage a pool of high risk patents and made millions in the process. Click here for a very brief article from Dr. Anna Voltura, a surgical oncologist and breast cancer specialist. She disputes each assertion from Pearce’s ad. Suffice it to say, MLG did not make millions or anything close, Delta was awarded the contact after a competitive bidding process, and Delta’s management of the pool saved lives.
Taking all of this into consideration, both Adelante Progressive Caucus and Retake Our Democracy are encouraging its members to embrace Michelle Lujan Grisham and support her over the next five weeks, not just voting for her, but knocking on doors, making calls, contributing to her campaign, and encouraging friends to do the same.
It’s offense time, my friends, not a time to stand on the sidelines and wait for the perfect candidate. I share below comments from Mariel Nanasi, my good friend, and Director of New Energy Economy.
“With so much at stake, now is the time to stand strongly behind Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor. Michelle is a strategist, she is a listener, she will be careful to appoint thoughtful people to help her lead New Mexico from rampant inequality to a healthier, more just economy. She cannot do this alone. Only together can we create the solutions we need. Therefore it is up to us to get her elected – that means money, knocking on doors, engaging with our community, using social media and more. I know Michelle welcomes our participation now and will need our engagement even more once elected.”
Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy
Roxanne and I welcome your comments.
Paul & Roxanne