Wow. What a great week to reflect upon. So many actions and wins, and almost wins that then became wins (XOCHITL). In addition to a stroll down a week of memories, we provide a glimpse of what is to come and how you can be part of it.
Veteran’s Day. On Saturday, I interviewed Michael Messner, author of Guys Like Me: Five Guys, Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace. Joining him was Daniel Craig, one of the five guys. It was one of the better interviews I’ve done and taking 30 minutes to listen to that show would be one way to honor our vets today, click here to get to the podcasts. I just checked and it is not posted yet, but I’ve written to KSFR and it will be very soon. Another way to honor our vets would be to make a contribution to the Joan Duffy Santa Fe Chapter of Veterans for Peace, click here to make a donation. And the best way of all to honor our vets would be to remain vigilant against our Nation’s impulse toward war whenever we find that some country resists being our doormat. We’ve been in war continuously for over a decade, a sad testimony to our inability to function in a diplomatic fashion in the world. But that isn’t our vets fault, so we honor them today.
A Holiday Idea. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need any more socks, a new gadget and I already have a stack of books on my must read list that likely would reach the ceiling. What’s more having family all over the country, as many of us do, drives many to Amazon for the quick click and send, done with shopping. I’ve shown my son, dad, brother or grandchild that I love them for another year. That process requires packing, an endless amount of Styrofoam and packing bubbles, and the fuel to ship items across the country. There is an alternative.
What if over Thanksgiving when so many of us convene with family, we told our family that we have enough, but so many have so little. We’d prefer that you donate to a worthy cause in our name and send us a handwritten card. While the youngsters may not appreciate this much, including them in this by making a donation in their name to some cause they could understand, while still giving them their wrapped surprises, could also provide a teachable moment that could be a valuable lesson.
Retake hasn’t directed folks to our Tithe page in some time, a practice we need to return to. But if you click here you will find a list of local non-profits who do tremendous work on behalf of vulnerable populations and communities; they pursue social economic, racial and climate justice. If you have suggestions for organizations to add, please let me know by commenting. And if you can think of ways Retake could help promote this idea more broadly, let me know that as well. And Jesse, Josh, Holly and Joanna: Hope you read this, but just in case, the link to this suggestion is coming.
Where We Go Now
We have an amazing opportunity to make major headway in addressing social, economic, gender, racial and climate justice in NM. In doing so, we can be a model for the rest of the Nation. And that feels just plain weird. In one day everything shifted from our seeming to be eternally mired in an endless list of 50th ratings in all things good, to being poised to pass the Health Security Act, reduce predatory lending from 375% to 36%, increase the minimum wage, create meaningful tax reform, begin the voyage toward a just and sustainable transition to renewable energy and so many other goals that had seemed so distant. While the election results came in a moment, in reality, the work began over two years ago when we retook the Roundhouse and created a 37-33 Democrat advantage and then the absolutely staggering number of hours of canvassing, calling and otherwise supporting a raft of candidates this summer and fall led to this moment. It was a lot of work that then bore fruit in what seemed a minute.
But with the wins comes responsibility and tomorrow’s blog will lay out the initial plan for how Retake will be part of a statewide legislative advocacy effort to ensure that we take full advantage of what has been achieved. Good bills will only be passed if we put in the same kind of effort we put into the election into the legislative process. I spent much of the weekend analyzing the Roundhouse composition and realizing that while we have increased our advantage in the House substantially, the Senate has an uncomfortably large number of Democrats who are fiscally conservative and others who are socially conservative. Look for tomorrow’s post to see the first iteration of our Legislative Strategy, a strategy that will be reviewed and honed in our next meeting of the Roundhouse Advocacy Team, this Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm. While there will be a ton of work to do, as I think about what will be involved in getting ready for the January session and how different it will be during the session, it brings a smile to my face. We are going to play offense.
The post will outline the strategy and it will inform you of the kinds of roles we need filled by…..YOU. There is no one else we can turn to but you. If you know you want to be involved with this effort, even if you can’t come on Thursday, please let me know. Once we get a full tally of people interested, we will circulate a Doodle poll to determine the best day and time to meet throughout November and December.
The Week in Review & What a Week It Was
Mid-Term Viewers Guide With Analysis of National Senate, House and Governors Races & NM Statewide & House Races
Tuesday, Nov 6. This Viewers Guide was probably not a worthwhile investment in my time as it took FOREVER to compile and I suspect that few readers are as anal as I am and likely just watched the returns and let MSNBC, Democracy Now or CNN keep you on top of trends. But it was actually fun today to go back over the thinking entering the evening and my predictions and see how the Dems did. In 2020 I am not likely to do this again, but…. Click here for the Mid-Term Voters’ Guide.
NM Blue Tsunami: MLG, Stephanie, the PRC, and Flipping 11 NM House Seats. A Tale of Two Elections, A National Blue Stream and then NM
Wednesday. Nov. 7. This was a fun post to write, as I described Roxanne’s and my experience watching the early returns and the ups and downs of very close national races that swung back and forth and back and forth until at the time we left the election party we were attending, the Dems had a rather disappointing showing. Then we came home and found in a second that all the races where NM Dems had been in close races, were now final and we had won. Despite Xochitl’s apparent loss (ha!) the realization of how much we had all accomplished washed away the losses on a national level. Time to play offense. Amazing, amazing day. And just as in NM, ballots counted after the end of Tuesday, have been very good for Dems across the country with Georgia and Florida races still up for grabs, an Arizona Senate seat that we thought had been lost, appears to have been won and many close House races have gone to the Dems….to the point that now it looks like between 35-40 GOP seats were flipped. Nice.Another tip of the hat to Working Families Party, PDA, the Adelante Progressive Caucus and most of all the Democratic Party and Coordinated Campaign who managed an absolutely extraordinary grassroots effort. I am still smiling Sunday night..
Xochitl Wins- The NM Blue Tsunami Is Complete. Wednesday, evening breaking news, Nov. 7. Just for fun, I am including this content-less blast that included just the final vote totals and the note that Xochitl had won. Such a incredible moment. It was so fitting because so many of us who canvassed and caravanned and called for Xochitl couldn’t feel 100% great about the wins in NM….until this moment.
Statewide Actions to Protect Mueller Planned–Details on What is Planned. Plus Commentary on the Importance of NM’s Blue Tsunami
Thursday, Nov 8. The report provides details on how to join the Mueller protest with links to sites throughout NM and how Indivisible and MoveOn had the presence of mind a year ago to set up a nationwide communication system and plan for how to react to a curtailing or threat to the Mueller investigation. But most of the post describes the implications of the blue tsunami in NM–both the opportunities presented and our responsibility in taking advantage of the opportunity. Important read. Click here to read the full report.
Protect Mueller Protest Report and Details on What You Can Do
Friday, Nov. 9. The post included details on what transpired at the Santa Fe protest and in other parts of the Nation. It also included details on how you can contact our elected officials in Washington, with sample script and speaking points, contact information, etc. All designed to make it easier for you to raise your voice. Click here to read the full post.
Time to Get Ready for the Roundhouse in a Pivot from Campaign to Legislative Issue-Based Advocacy: A Guest Blog on the Health Security Act, an Update on LANL’s Toxic Plume Hearing and An Election Update.
Saturday, Nov. 10. The remarkable NM election wins has set the stage for our finally being able to pass good bills and get them signed. But now the hard work of educating our base on the key bills that we want to pass and organizing an ever broader base to advocate on behalf of these bills. So, in this post we provide an excellent summary of what the NM Health Security Act is and why it is so important. The post also included an update on the LANL Chromium plume hearing and an update on the status of recounts and continuing counts of absentee and provisional bills. Click here to read the full post.