Local Strategies for Implementing a Green New Deal & Roundhouse Update. All MUST BILLS Advancing.

The focus is on the Roundhouse because we have 60 days to change the social, economic and climate justice landscape in NM. But in Portland, we find a local model for advancing progressive economic and climate justice goals. We are also seeing evidence Retake and our Response Network building credibility and influence in the Roundhouse. A light read today. Popular Vote Passes House

Donate Button with Credit CardsDonate to Retake Today!  Our printing costs for flyers at the Roundhouse are killing us. Our balance is below $100, an all-time low. We don’t come to you often, but we need a lot of you to chip in to keep this process going. With so many movement and politician online communications, you get a paragraph of content and then are hit with their latest deadline. “Tuesday represents the most important deadline we’ve faced in February.” It certainly reduces my interest in reading anything they have to say. Money, money, money. But we are all volunteers here and we do have costs, so please, if you can help right now, we’d appreciate it. If you don’t like to use PayPal, please just mail us a check:  Retake Our Democracy, P.O. Box 32464, Santa Fe, NM 87594. And a hearty thanks to all of our volunteers. There must be well north of 50 of them who are working on a daily basis and almost 1300 others who are writing and calling our legislators. Go Team.

Retake Our Democracy on KSFR, 101.1 FM. Saturday (as in today) 8:30am.  Saturday’s show is an interview with Mariel Nanasi, We spoke about both the SB 347 Local Energy Choice bill, what the looming Securitization bill may look like, what she feels would be a deal breaker for the bill and what she’d want the bill to include. Future shows will include interviews with legislators from the Roundhouse, starting with an interview with Sen. Jeff Steinborn who introduced SB 374 earlier this week. I will do three or four interviews each week going forward and intersperse that with commentary on what is going on behind the scenes in the Roundhouse.

Journey Santa Fe, Collected Works, 202 Galisteo St. I will have two guests for this session of Journey: Dana MIllen, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Health Security NM, the major proponent for the Health Security Act and Mariel Nanasi the Executive Director for New Energy Economy. I think the Health Security Act and HB 374 Local Choice Energy are the two most groundbreaking bills being considered in this session. We will depart from the usual Journey format. Instead I will interview each guest for 20 minutes and then have 5 minutes of questions for each of them. I’ll also speak briefly about Retake’s MUST PASS bills.

When a hearing room is packed, those legislators really take notice. Let’s pack ’em.

Roundhouse Update. Yesterday, about a half dozen of our folks sat outside the hearing room for over 3 1/2 hours just to be in the room when HB 51, Abortion Decriminalization, was heard. All of them understood that only one of us had been selected to speak on behalf of Planned Parenthood. Nonetheless, they had stood or sat on the floor for hours to be in the room to stand up for a woman’s right to choose.  Later another of our volunteers who had arrived at 8 that morning, attended hearings all day and then went to the evening floor session for the Popular Vote debate.. He wrote last night to tell me that during hearing, Rep. Chasey quoted from one of our one-pagers. Other legislators have thanked me for what we are doing. We are gaining credibility, developing relationships, growing our volunteer numbers and building an infrastructure to make this a sustainable and potent force for progressive priorities. And..after days of postponed votes and a very long Friday at the Roundhouse, the Popular Vote passed the House on a vote of 41-27. On to the Senate.

To date, we have not had a single one of our MUST PASS bills fail to move forward. All but one of the bills is summarized with speaking points at the link in blue. We are very proud of the work done by our Research Team in developing these summaries. Several of our bills were introduced late in the session and then quickly had hearings scheduled. In one instance, we found out the night before about the hearings for two bills the next day. By morning we had summaries for both bills included in the Action Alert. We are very proud of this list, two years in the making, and hope you take a moment to look them over.  And if they inspire you as much as they inspire us, I hope you will JOIN the Network.

We know that rougher water lies ahead, but at this point, we are batting 1000%. We now also have an emerging media strategy with guide to writing letters to the editor, links to the ten NM papers with the largest circulation and a link to three sample letters to the editor. Most of us will not be going to the RH today or tomorrow. It would be a tremendous boost to our momentum to get some print media in Santa Fe and other parts of the state, so take a moment, and use the samples to tell your community about Retake and the Network.

Green New Deal in Portland: Local Solutions to Worldwide Climate Challenges

From High Country News: ”

Cully is located in one of the city’s most culturally diverse pockets, but the predominantly low-income neighborhood is regularly subject to industrial pollution. Automobile salvage lots, including one that caught fire and spewed toxic chemicals into the air last year, litter entire city blocks with old car parts and used tires.

Across the street from the asphalt plant, a barren parking lot is cordoned off by a chain-link fence. This was formerly the site of the Sugar Shack, a notorious strip club and adult video store that was torn down less than two months ago. After the owners’ arrest in 2015 for tax fraud and running a prostitution ring, the lot became a meeting spot for neighborhood groups and community members. Now, thanks to a coalition of four local organizations that goes by the name Living Cully, the site will soon be home to a new affordable housing complex: Las Adelitas, named in honor of the women soldiers who fought during the Mexican Revolution”

I highly recommend reviewing this High Country News article. It describes how a group of local grassroots activists have taken the Green New Deal as inspiration and are now working with their Congressional Reps to craft a local green workforce initiative to address economic, racial and climate justice in one sweep. Over 200 workers have been trained and they are building energy efficient affordable housing, restoring habitats and watershed, building flood water infrastructure and weatherizing in low income neighborhoods and mobile home parks. When the Roundhouse ends, a shift will occur to build local advocacy efforts to bring concepts like the GND into local communities. Check out how Portland did it. It is a very inspiring article, well worth your time. It illustrates what can be done when a relatively small group of people work together for justice.  We’ll be looking for other examples of tangible state and local models and share them with you. Then when the RH session is over, we’ll begin to collaborate with local jurisdictions to implement models appropriate to their community.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne



Categories: Climate Change, Agriculture, Land Use and Wildlife, Local-State Government & Legislation

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1 reply

  1. The Portland idea sounds good, but this kind of thing rarely translates around here. The current system of non profits have other ideas. These idea were talked about years ago but things here only got worse. I am sure the demographic that follows this site, have never even been in low income housing project. They cultivate disdain for the people who have to live in them. No one has ever done a tour, or seen what happens at night, or how they demean and dehumanize the people living there. In Santa Fe, the federal funding was used to benefit certain business interests, not create communities.
    The local do gooders thought that a coat of stucco and some expensive, but ugly noise amplyfying xeriscape, was an improvment. They did this surface appearance rehab, in order to keep the real estate busiess happy. They could not have run down looking, low income housing ruin a sale. The property managers, many who represent out of state corporations, like the one where Mr Benevidez was shot 17 times. The “Community” seems to have forgotten that, and chosen not to look at how these places dehumanize people, and are incentivized to turn over these units.
    Having followed this topic for decades now, it is really clear, that there is a level of denial, and obfuscation here. Our local politicians either ignore this problem or clearly think that these residents are below them. Some have had track records of deparaging the low income people, mostly working poor. Federal grants used to be turned away if there was not way for certian interests to turn a profit. HUD has been eviscerated, leaving virtually no enforcement on the landlords, or managers. The only perceived rules protect the landlords.
    There has been a lot of hype about behavioral health, and drug treatment, but most of it, is PR. In Santa Fe “Treatment” is some kind of faith based 12 step program, shown to not be effectve, but they do it anyway. The same with behavioral health, the only thing that has changed in 20 years is more secrecy, and more miselading adversity porn written about it. They have been Gas Lighing the public. The more confortable in this comunity don’t see a problem with any of this, because they have believe the hype adn deceptive marketing about all of this.
    One of the big false narratives in neo liberalsim, is that non profits and faith based programs are enough, we don’t need any taxes or social reponsiblity. The local media “helps” by amplifying the coverage of the non profits, and injecting faith into social problems. They amplify the impact of the non profits, many of them get govt grants to provide services. The limited impact is not discussed at all, people want a feel good story. There is also a veil of secrecy about the outcomes, and nothng is tracked long term by design. It heps create a level of deniabilty over the suffering of people in this community. Many people live teetering on the edge of horrer. These people don’t bother to engage either, they have been kicked in the teeth too many times.

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