A Week in Review–Creeping Fascism, Advancing Climate Change, a Supreme Court in Need of Reform + more

After descriptions of a few actions for the coming week(s), find links to discussions of the UN report on climate change, options for reforming the Supreme Court and creeping fascism.  Our way of life is being threatened on all fronts and only we can reverse course.  Time to dig in, folks.

GET IN THE GAME.  I know I write this in almost every post, but I’ve had folks email me and say that my carping had finally got them motivated and I had a staff person at Co-op tell me if it weren’t for Roxanne and I “I’d never get off my butt.”  So,, before diving into a whole lotta stuff, I’d like to encourage you as strongly as possible to make a decision to devote some time to the coming mid-term election.If ever we needed a sign of momentum, a sign of hope, a sign of progress, it is now. It is hard to believe that the GOP and their leader can deny climate change in the face of one disaster after another. But it is almost equally difficult to fathom how so many of us can remain almost inert in the face of the erosion of our democracy….or whatever semblance of democracy we’ve ever had. Click here to get to Retake Our Democracy’s 2018 Mid-Term Strategy. It contains information on about 15 state and local races. Many of these races are so close in polling that an infusion of just a few people knocking on doors could swing the races. Five of these races are in or near ABQ, a mere 60 minute drive. If you recruit a few friends to join you, you can make a day of it, do a three hour shift and go out for dinner or lunch or a beer to swap lies about the experience. I promise you, you will finish up feeling buoyant that you had pitched in. And imagine how you’ll feel when the candidate you and your friends canvassed for, wins by 40 votes.

Actions & Opportunities

Movie Screening: Charlie vs Goliath. October 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:20 pm, 1420 Cerrillos, Center for Progress & Justice.  $5.00.

Sponsored by Indivisible and New Mexico Money Out of Politics  Charlie vs Goliath is a feature-length documentary about an ordinary man’s extraordinary struggle to shake up the political establishment.  A 21st century Don Quixote, Charlie galvanizes a ragged band of young volunteers determined to make waves in Wyoming’s elections, and in so doing set a precedent for the rest of the country. Suggested donation $5 at the door. Social gathering begins at 6:30 p.m. and film begins at 7:00 p.m. Q&A after the film led by Bruce Berlin and John House of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics. This event is co-sponsored by NMMOP & NM Indivisibles.

Democratic Party of Santa Fe County Forum on Affordable Housing in Santa Fe Wed., Oct. 17, 6:00 – 7:30 pm 1420 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe

Join a panel of local experts to explore solutions to the affordable housing crunch in Santa Fe. Sponsored by our Platform and Resolutions Committee, we’ll examine what we must do to assure that our residents have affordable places to live that are accessible to jobs, groceries and other necessities, along with reasonably priced transportation options. Affordable housing is at the forefront of Santa Fe’s policy concerns and was a major issue during the mayoral election. The city’s 2016 Affordable Housing Plan found that up to 5,300 residents are extremely cost burdened, meaning they pay more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing. Rental affordability is particularly challenging for the many renters earning less than 50 percent of Santa Fe’s Area Median Income, since the proportion of affordable rental units is significantly lower than the number of families who need them (28% of units compared to 47% of renters).

Panelists include Senator Nancy Rodriguez (District 24), Chair of the Mortgage Finance Authority Act Oversight Committee; Renee Villarreal, City Councilor (District 1), chair of the Community Development Commission and member of numerous Council committees; Alexandra Ladd, Special Projects Manager for the City of Santa Fe’s Office of Affordable Housing; Carol Luna-Anderson, Executive Director of The Life Link, a Santa Fe nonprofit offering permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless people; Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, and Tomás Rivera of Chainbreaker Collective, a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that works to expand access to affordable transportation and support economically and environmentally sustainable communities for low-income people in Northern New Mexico.

Canvass for Abbas Akhil NM House District 20 (Eastside of ABQ) Canvassing on Saturdays and Sundays. October 20, 21, 27, 28, and Nov 3 and 4 

  • Saturdays (with overlap), 10am-1pm; 12pm-3pm and Sundays (with overlap), 1pm-4pm; 3pm-6pm

Retake feels this is the single most important race in the Roundhouse as Akhil–an energy storage scientist– would become the Roundhouse expert and leader on all things energy, renewables and making the just transition from a fossil fuel economy to a more sustainable economy. Polls show the race is a virtual tie, so turn out will decide this. And canvassing is the single best strategy for building turnout.  Roxanne and I canvassed for Xochitl Torres Small in Roswell on Saturday in support of her campaign to flip US House District 2, another tight race. We found the experience truly inspiring as many voters did not know who Xochitl was and when done talking were committed to voting not just for her but for the entire Dem. slate. We even convinced one GOP to vote for her.  I plan to canvass for Abbas on at least one day each of the weekends of the 27-28 and 3-4, so if you want to join me let me know.  paul@retakeourdemocracy.org.  If you needed more motivation to get out of your comfort zone and knock on doors, the  findings in the UN IPCC report on climate change should certainly motivate you. I have said it many times, I hate phone banking but canvassing is wonderful. Most everyone is happy to chat with you and the research shows it makes a difference in turnout.  Let’s do this!   Website: https://abbasfornm.com/aboutabbas/  Read about his long time interfaith and community work here, Muslims and Jews Unite to Support Immigrants

Sunday, October 21, Precautionary Principle Workshop  10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Lunch will be provided  Location: TBA 

This summer and fall, Tewa Women United and Communities for Clean Water are offering Restoring and Healing our Sacred Sites – Protecting the Most Vulnerable, a series of events intended to increase public awareness, education, and empowerment around the issue of the hexavalent chromium plume originating from Los Alamos National Laboratory that has been found in our watershed.

  • Are you concerned about the safety of your drinking water?
  • Do you feel that you have a sacred responsibility to protect water, land and future generations?
  • Do you want to learn more about the chromium plume found in the aquifer resulting from discharge from the Los Alamos National Lab?
  • Do you want to find new ways to use your voice to help the state make wise decisions about the permit being given to clean up the groundwater at Los Alamos?

Click here for more information and to RSVP (not a Facebook link). TEWA will forward you information about the location, once it is confirmed. This is the only reason I won’t be canvassing for Abbas this weekend.

Roundhouse photoRoundhouse Advocacy Team. Thursday, 10.25, 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 check in on progress making calls to activists in other parts of the state, people who have signed up to be part of a statewide Rapid Response Network to lobby during the Roundhouse session in January. 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.

A Look Back At Last Week’s Posts

Signs of Looming Fascism Are Everywhere:  Fox Serving as State Controlled Media; the Collapse of the Legislative Process; Dissolution of Checks & Balances and More

Tuesday, October 9.. The post examines many signs pointing to an increase in fascist tendencies in the US, signs that can be ignored at our peril. The post examines an AlterNet article that focused on the analysis of Christopher Browning, a noted scholar on fascism. While the focus of this article is on the ways in which Mitch McConnell has played a parallel role to that of Hindenberg in the rise of the Nazis in Germany, my review of this article spurred some thinking of my own and the result is frankly terrifying. The post also reviews last Sunday’s election in Brazil and its slide toward dictatorship. Brazil coverage includes video from Democracy Now with an eye-opening interview with Glenn Greenwald The race in Brazil is of critical importance as Bolsonaro, the neo-fascist candidate who nearly got a majority in the primary, has announced his plan to eliminate government regulation and to encourage all forms of development in the rainforest. This would be a major setback for the world’s efforts to fight climate change. Click here to review the full report.


The UN IPCC Climate Change Report Gives Us 12 Years to Figure it Out. And Democrats Could Imposed Term Limits & Expand Supreme Court to 11 In 2020….If… 

Thursday, October 11. The UN IPCC climate change report makes it crystal clear that without drastic action that far exceeds what the Paris Accords propose, we will reach a tipping point and once at that tipping point, the earth will have momentum that will be merciless. The post asserts that a Democratic Party that was not in the grip of big money every bit as much as the GOP, would take this report and demonstrate political courage and make saving the earth a political battle cry.  The post also includes video of an excellent talk from This Changes Everything author, Naomi Klein.  At first I thought it was a crazy idea, but in truth, nine times Congress has changed the number of judges on the Supreme Court and most often precisely to respond to political imbalance on the court. It could happen again and there would nothing the GOP could do to prevent it.The post also includes a link to a funny song from a woman songwriter who wonders just how terrible times are for boys, as Trump asserts. Worth a listen.  Click here to review the full post.

It’s Not Our Fault, Except That it Is. We Are Complicit Because We Know. NOW We Must Act

Friday, Oct. 12.  This post follows up on Thursday’s report on climate change and the possibilities for reforming the Supreme Court. Polls show that climate change is not on the radar for most Americans, so the post asks to what degree is it incumbent upon those that understand its importance, to act, not with marches but with conversations. The discussion of our climate change mandate focuses on an article from Vox by Mary Annaise Heglar . That article did more to actually motivate me than anything I’d read in the admittedly dry IPCC report. In The Big Lie Were Told About Climate Change That It Is Our Fault, Annaise Heglar has penned a highly personal and powerful story of how an editor with little understanding of climate change or concern fell into a job as editor of an environmental organization and so began to read and read and read. We also include a link to an excellent summary of the IPCC report from The Guardian. As to our continuing discussion of how we might restore justice to the Supreme Court, we provide an excerpt from The Nation, who describes the various ways in which the Supreme Court could be reformed. The post includes a link to The Nation’s excellent piece.



In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne




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  1. good info in these reports.
    have you seen Pod Save America | Listen via Stitcher Radio On Demand

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