A Look Back at An Eventful Week with the Launch of Retake’s Response Network: What is at Stake & What You Can Do

Today we update you on our Roundhouse Advocacy and crucial meeting this Thursday where we finalize plans for advocacy. For those who’ve been engaged in travel, guests and holiday festivities, today also provides a summary of the opportunity we have in NM to lead the Nation, to demonstrate what can happen when we all pull together and overcome the lobbyists in suits.

Join the Statewide Rapid Response Network and ensure you get timely updates about pending legislation as it moves through the Roundhouse. Many will want to advocate in person, but some simply can’t do that. The Network makes it possible for you to be active from home and to weigh in at key moments in the legislative process. If you plan to come to the Roundhouse whenever an issue you care about is being heard in committee, the Network will keep you posted and provide both timely alerts and speaking points to help you effectively advocate at the Roundhouse and for those who care deeply about the issues but just can’t get to the Roundhouse, those alerts will allow you to contact your legislator at crucial moments just before s/he is voting on that bill in a committee. Please click here to join the Network and then share the link with a few friends who you suspect might want to see an increase in the minimum wage, healthcare for all, and prevent those involved in domestic disputes from having firearms. Let’s do this. 

We Really Need Donations Now that We Head to the Roundhouse!

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Donate to Retake Today!
 We don’t push hard for donations. You get so many requests from others, we try to keep it low-key.  But our expenses are about to escalate very significantly as we enter the legislative session as our Nation Builder Rapid Response System carries a $250+ monthly cost, our printer finally wore out and we will be producing flyers for all the legislators and RH staff on a nearly daily basis. We have also been renting the Center for Progress and Justice on a weekly basis for our planning and training meetings.  We need one time donations or even better, modest monthly donations to sustain this work. We really don’t waste money here and we are 100% volunteers, so we do depend on you to cover these costs. While many have stepped forward, many more have not and every little bit helps. If you prefer to mail us a check please make the check out to Retake Our Democracy and mail it to: P.O. Box 32464, Santa Fe, 87594.  Thank you very much!


Thursday, Jan. 10, 6pm–8pm at 1420 Cerrillos, The Center for Progress & Justice.  Retake Our Democracy Roundhouse Advocacy Team Organizing & Training Meeting. The Roundhouse will be less than a week away. Many of you are now be back in town and wanting to get active. Over the past 5 weeks, we’ve grown our Advocacy Team sign-ups from 17 to over 140 people. But many have been to one or two meetings with family and holiday conflicts preventing more consistent participation. We are now poised to begin and this Thursday would  be a very good time to join us. Orientation for new participants will be from 6-6:30 followed by Q&A. We will then spend 75 minutes in breakouts for:people who want to:

  • Serve as liaison with our allies coordinating advocacy, ensuring alignment between ally and our priorities;
  • Advocate at the Roundhouse periodically, often according to your personal schedule or due to your desire to support specific bills…there are a good many people like this and they can serve critical roles beyond just attending hearings for their bills….but this needs to be well coordinated;
  • Serve as a RH Coordinator one day a week or even just one morning or afternoon, a critical role, but one that requires a very specific commitment of time;
  • Research, scan and sort bills and then create summaries for those ranked as Priority or MUST PASS bills; and
  • Conduct outreach to specific districts where we need to expand our base. 

Our leadership team will have visited the Roundhouse to develop very specific plans for where we meet and when and we’ve spent time plotting out with precision exactly how each of the above roles fit together and the fine details you’ll need to understand to do your piece well. So this is a critical meeting.

Please RSVP by writing to paul@retakeourdemocracy.org.  And please, please, please, ask 2-3 friends to join you. It is time to flex our muscles and we need your help in that effort. 

A Shout Out to Earth Care.  I think Earth Care is the first organization we connected with when we arrived in Santa Fe over six years ago. And boy have they evolved over that period. I highly recommend your supporting them financially and checking in with what they do. One thing that Earth Care does very will is summarizing coming social and economic justice events and opportunities. So rather than try to replicate them all here, I’ll just provide a link so you can check them out. They cover events in Santa Fe and in other parts of the state. Well worth your review. And while there, make a contribution. We do every month. Click here to see their list of very interesting events.

A Look Back at a Momentous Week

With the exception of the post on the shutdown’s impact on tribal communities, last week’s posts focused squarely on the Roundhouse and our developing short and long-term strategies for pulling New Mexico out of the 50th position in most all things good. Our persistent ranking of 48, 49 or 50th concisely reflects a statewide neglect for our children, our health, our land and water. But an abstract number fails to convey the very personal and human realities of those rankings. For example, over 125,000 NM children go to be hungry most every night and we have the most regressive tax and revenue system in the Nation. By far. Put those together and you have untold human suffering that we have the capacity to address. We can start the process of improving the lives of those children and their families. NOW.  The posts below explain what is at stake and how you can make a difference. I’d strongly recommend the Jan. 1 post as it combines some of the practical things you can do with a compelling appeal to what is at stake.

In tomorrow’s post we will respond thoughtfully to the many new supporters who are asking: How did you identify MUST PASS bills? How can we have input?  Who is making decisions about priorities and how? What happens after the Roundhouse Session.  We’ve answered many of these questions in earlier posts, but there are many knew to Retake and we want you to understand better how we got here and where we go next.

Welcome 2019:  What If This Is Our Year?  And If It Is, What Can You Do?

Tuesday, Jan 1.  This was our most read post in many, many months…and for a reason. It lays out very clearly what is at stake in 2019, the opportunities and the challenges. It also includes a glimpse of what a potent statewide advocacy network could do in the longer-term, projecting a vision for advocacy guided by transformational policies that could accelerate our pivot to 100% renewable energy, free us from the clutches of the gas and oil industry, vastly expand our tax and revenue base, and substantially improve the quality of life for working families.  If you missed this post, please take the time to read it and then share it with one or two friends. It really conveys well what is at stake and how we can take advantage of this unique time in NM political history.  Click here to read the post. 

New Mexicans Stream Home from the Holidays. The Governor Sets Her Agenda. We Set Ours

Wednesday, Jan. 2.  This post outlines the different ways in which Retake volunteers have set the table for our advocacy at the Roundhouse Legislative Session. Learn how volunteers are working with our allies to ensure alignment between our work and theirs; how researchers are sorting, summarizing and prioritizing bills; and how other volunteers are reaching out across the state to build stronger bases in key legislative districts. It also outlines the roles that people like you can play by reaching out to friends, families and groups where you have a personal relationship and why that kind of outreach is so important. The overall plea is: we have a moment in time to create extraordinary change and improve the lives of working families and the under-served communities where they live. No stone can be left unturned in that effort. And so, in this post, we ask that you climb out of your comfort zone and talk with others and encourage them to get involved in our work. Click here to read the full post 

Guess Who Trump’s Shutdown Hurts Most?  No Not Tourists Inconvenienced by Museum and Park Shutdowns:  Our Tribal Communities

Thursday, Jan. 3.  If you went by the mainstream media, you’d think that the most prominent impacts from the shutdown were the closure of museums and national parks during the holidays when tourists travel and visit these sites. And yes, that must be a disappointment to tourists. Of late, we are reading reports of government workers who are now three weeks into the shutdown and while they will recover their pay when the shutdown ends, they face legitimate hardships in juggling the bills without income temporarily. But as this report describes, Tribal communities throughout the Nation are being devastated by the shutdown, as a very high proportion of their funding comes from the federal government, from food subsidies, to healthcare and police services. Many native communities are completely cut off from food, childcare, education, and  healthcare facilities because federal funds clear the roads and winter snow and ice has not been removed from critical roads. As this post describes, the federal funds upon which tribal communities depend were negotiated as part of treaties and it is shameless that once again treaties with Tribal communities are being abrogated. Click here to read the full post.

After Two Years of Planning, Retake Launches Statewide Rapid Response Network:  JOIN AND SHARE

Saturday, Jan. 5. The post provided a vivid scenario of the kind of challenges faced by NM working families and the over 125,000 NM children who go to bed hungry most every night. It ties their plight to specific legislation that could vastly improve their lives. And then the post provides specific language for how Sharon Shoemaker, one Retake volunteer, used her connections with a Las Cruces advocacy group (Progressive Voter Alliance) to circulate information about our Response Network to that group. There has been a steady stream of people from Las Cruces joining the Network ever since.

You know people and groups in other parts of the state, as well. And this post describes how you could use Sharon’s words, revise them a tad to customize to your situation and greatly expand your impact. JOIN AND SHARE will be our refrain for some time. We need power bases in every part of the state if we are going to push our bills through the Senate where there are many conservative Democrats, and we need you to help make that happen.  Click here to read the full post.

Big stuff coming. We’ve got an opportunity to create meaningful change. But we’ll need your involvement to get there. This post is designed to keep you informed, but our slogan is to “engage, educate, organize and activate.” Well it is time to organize and activate.

Let’s Do This!

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne


Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation, Personal & Collective Action

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1 reply

  1. Just FYI….I tried to register and when I put in my information on Secretary of State site, it said my voter registration not found. The same thing happened to my husband.

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