Quite a week, but it pales in comparison to what this week brings. The New Mexican called it a once in a generation Legislative session, so we need to be ready. Today, we bring back last week’s posts, but also provide a preview of the 2019 Roundhouse Legislative Session and encouragement to Join the Statewide Response Network and Share it with friends.
Roundhouse Legislative Session Begins Tomorrow
Six-eight volunteers needed to distribute Rapid Response Network flyers at the Roundhouse tomorrow from 11:15-12:15 before people enter the Roundhouse for the opening session beginning at noon. Write to Paul@Retakeourdemocracy.org if you can help. And so we begin.
the Santa Fe New Mexican called the 2019 legislative session a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.” We’ve been waiting years for this opportunity. Every last one of us must look within and find some time to ensuring we take full advantage of this opportunity. Join the Statewide Rapid Response Network today!.
House Speaker Brian Egolf, addressing Santa Fe area voters last week at a pre-session town hall, made it clear. With “new revenues out of oil and gas — we think we’ll have them for five to 10 years — it’s up to us to use this money to educate our kids and to diversify our economy. Ten years from now we won’t be dependent on oil and gas and we will save a generation of children from a life of poverty.” Senator Majority Leader Peter Wirth added: “It’s exciting to have a governor who wants to govern.”
While I welcome the opportunity to fully fund education and diversify our economy, given recent climate change reports projecting a fixed 12-year deadline for our making a serious pivot from gas and oil, I think ten and even five years is too long to continue to view the Permian Basin as our state’s piggy bank. We need to begin earnestly diversifying both our economy and our revenue base in 2019. That will mean examining any and all options to boost our revenue base.
A budget is a moral document and if our budget depends upon a revenue resource that is cooking our planet and endangering the future of our children and grandchildren, any and all alternatives to that funding base should be on the table: creating new tax brackets for the wealthy, eliminating all tax cuts and corporate tax shelters passed in the last ten years, legalizing recreational marijuana, forming a state Public Bank, stimulating a robust industrial hemp industry, all should be passed and passed with both urgency and sufficient resources to accelerate each initiative. We must begin to treat climate change as the national emergency that it is and our budget should reflect that.
The New Mexican ends its Roundhouse preview with: “We should be optimistic that this team approach — with the governor and Legislature working as partners, not adversaries — offers promise that the right laws will be passed so that New Mexico can move forward. Obviously, the amity of these early days will dissipate. A governor and lawmakers will not always agree on priorities or approach. Members of the minority GOP party will dissent, and we trust that the majority will listen to those out of power and incorporate their suggestions when warranted. A team includes all members.”
I understand the desire for amity and to be collaborative, especially in view of the partisan logjam that has been the US Congress for many years. But largely due to GOP resistance, the needs of New Mexico’s poor and working families have been ignored for a decade, our K-12 system is under court order and on life support, a green infrastructure to generate and distribute renewable energy is critically needed, our health system needs the Health Security Act, the list is almost endless. We finally have a solid hold on both chambers and a governor who will not veto bills sent to her desk. The Blue Tsunami in NM was created by energized volunteers who worked for candidates who promised more than bills that are weakened by concessions to the GOP. Voters believed those candidates and now we need to deliver. If people are going to believe in good government, government must deliver the goods. By all means reach across the aisle and invite GOP support for good government, but let’s not water down a once-in-a-generation opportunity. And so we need all of you to be engaged, telling your legislators of your priorities and then making sure they know we have their backs when they take courageous votes
The need to be vigilant is underscored by the 2017 Roundhouse session where Democrats with control of both chambers could not pass many good bills. Despite the Blue Tsunami, there are many challenges to getting good bills to the Governor that remain, but a Statewide Network of engaged, informed, and organized constituency, can play a pivotal role in 2019. Please click to JOIN the Statewide Rapid Response Network today. And then SHARE the link to join the Network with a few of your friends
We can do this.
A Look Back at Last Week
This is a weekly feature on Mondays, a look at the past week’s blog posts for those who missed something. If I had time for only one to read, I’d check out the one on the Food Tax at the bottom of the page. Also, the post immediately below includes a link to a Brennan Justice Center study that is very worth reading…and remembering.
Trump On Verge of Declaring National Emergency, Prime Time Speech Tonight. This is Getting Scary
Tuesday, Jan 8. The blog discusses how frightening it is that Trump is willing to use the powers bestowed on presidents to respond to an actual national emergency when in reality we are talking about a political crisis within the GOP. The post includes a link to a Retake post from two weeks ago where I pulled from a Brennan Justice Center report on the vast array of actions a president can do under the pretense of a national emergency. What frightens me, is that a cornered Trump, with his political powers eroding, could trump up a national emergency or create a real emergency with his unpredictable and impulsive approach to governance. A very worthwhile read. Click here to read the full post.
Trump Dissembles & Lies, CNN Counters Every Lie in Two-Minute Video, Plus Truthout Report: Trump Is Our National Emergency
Thursday, Jan. 10. This blog briefly reviewed the Trump speech. Could you be more wooden and scripted? It also included a very concise CNN video that debunked most of Trump’s lies. It would have taken an hour to cover all his dissembling. Click here to read the full post. But frankly, if you only have time to read one post about Trump, I’d take a look at the video in this post, but read the one above. It covers more ground.
Udall Reports 3-1 Calls in Favor of the Wall. What? Urgent Call for Action.
Friday, Jan. 11. Retake has launched Statewide Rapid Response Network to engage voters across the state to raise their voices in the Roundhouse. But Retake also uses its blog to get the word out. When mid-day I got an email from one of our supporters who wrote that she had been told by a Udall staffer that their office was getting calls in favor of the wall at a 3-1 rate, I immediately sent out the word, asking you to call our Senators and to share the blog. And what a response. I am sure Udall and Heinrich’s offices were buried in calls, as the open rate for the alert post was the highest we’ve had since the January 2016 airport protests (seems like a decade ago).
As our Statewide Response Network develops fully, it will be able to generate an even greater statewide response to our Senators or to our Governor. But its real purpose is to help people stay on top of the Roundhouse legislative session and raise their voices. Click here if you want to review the Friday Action Alert post, but this post was not designed to provide insightful content, just information to trigger a response. Mission accomplished. Instead, I’d encourage you to JOIN the Rapid Response Network and SHARE the link.
Heinous Food Tax Resurrected by Sen. Cisneros: What’s Wrong with the Food Tax and Other Options to Raise Revenues
Saturday, Jan 12. In addition to brief analysis of all that is wrong with the Food Tax, the post included other more progressive options for raising revenues advocated by our ally, New Mexico Voices for Children. The post also included a link to an earlier post that outlined all that is wrong with the NM tax system. Did you know that NM’s poorest residents earning just $17,000 a year pay over twice the rate of state and local taxes as residents earning over $300,000 a year. Stop and think about that. Does that make any sense?
Finally, in this post we included a video of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her impassioned response to Trump’s lie-laced talk to the Nation. By way of contrast, we offered a video of the wooden, scripted official response, a la Schumer and Pelosi. I recall 30 years ago when Pelosi was a new firebrand legislator from San Francisco. She served San Francisco and the Nation very well for many years, but it is time for a change of the guard. Click here to read the full post. Here is the link to the article we did featuring NM Voices for Children’s approach to tax reform.
I close with an apology. In developing the Saturday post, I found the video of Ocasio-Cortez’s response and then had the idea of contrasting it with Pelosi and Schumers passionless response. I did the usual google search and thought I had found a link to a comparable video of Pelosi and Schumer. I should have previewed the video as it was punctuated with entirely juvenile commentary and childish graphics. Pelosi and Schumer did not need any help looking foolish. I have since replaced that video with an authentic video of their response. I will be more careful in selecting video in the future.
Paul & Roxanne