Wonder Why Many of Our Bills Aren’t Getting Through? Research Shows the Views of the Majority Don’t Matter

We include news on a nationwide student strike for climate change on Friday, including here in Santa Fe with Santa Fe strikers speaking at Collected Works at 11am today. Critical election reform bills being heard today in Senate Rules and a NY Times Op-Ed and two very compelling video depicting why we don’t get what we want from our government. Very worth your review.

At Least Our Youth Get the Urgency of Climate Change….Even If Our Legislators Don’t

Sorry about this getting out late, but we are running on fumes with so many hearings, alerts and now protests to track.

This post begins with more evidence that our youth are growing impatient with us adults. All throughout the nation on Friday students are walking out of class and assembling in rallies asking our government to treat climate change as the crisis it is. The flyer at right describes the protest in Santa Fe and I think it would be a very good thing for all of us to support their protest.

I am encouraged by the degree to which youth have taken a leadership role in advocacy on gun violence prevention and climate change. Following announcements about local and national youth-led climate change actions is an article with excerpts from a NY Times Op-Ed and two very illuminating video, the first describing Princeton University research indicating that quite literally the views of the 90% have absolutely no influence in Congress (and perhaps by extension, the Roundhouse). The second video describes legislation advanced by RepresentUS designed to prevent corruption in elections and legislation.

On March 15, New Mexico Youth Join Thousands Around the World for the Climate Strike
youth-led mobilization demanding action on the climate crisis.  There is an event page on Facebook for the event. Click here.

“My name is Hannah, and I am a senior at the Santa Fe Waldorf School and a second year youth leader with Earth Care. I’m super psyched to invite the community to today’s event at Collected Works Bookstore and Friday’s Climate Strike, because it is entirely about caring for the Earth. We’re all still learning what exactly true Earth care means, and we need all the help we can get. From my experience, every member of this community has so much depth of heart and experience to offer, and I would be honored to have you present.”

  • WHAT: Global Climate Strike Youth Presentation – Journey Santa Fe Speakers Series
  • WHEN: Sunday, March 10 from 11AM – 12NOON
  • WHERE: Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St., Santa Fe)

Roundhouse Roundup

We had a great day yesterday with all of our MUST PASS and Priority bills moving on or being rolled over to today or Monday for hearings. I thought things were hectic week one, but the intensity and pace increase every day.  Yesterday was almost comic as there were so many hearings going on at once, legislators were racing from one committee to the other to either present bills they had sponsored or to get to another committee in time for a vote. Musical chairs on speed. Today at 1pm the Senate Rules Committee will be meeting in Room 311 to hear our HB 84/SB 50 Automatic Voter Registration and HB 55 which would essentially rid us of the electoral college vote. Click the links to the bill numbers to get to one-pagers with speaking points and head to the Roundhouse at 1pm. Look for a more detailed analysis of where we stand in relation to our MUST PASS and Priority bills tomorrow.

Wonder Why Good Bills Are Stalling in the Roundhouse Despite Heavy Activism Supporting Them?  It Ain’t a New Phenomenon

The chart at left shows in green the proportion of Americans who support a variety of very progressive policies and legislation.  Yet, as this article describes and as our experience at the Roundhouse reinforces (especially in relation to energy and the environment), the level of support for these policies has little to do with what our national and state legislators pass into law.  At the end of the excerpts from the NY Times Op-Ed are two videos very worth your review.

From the NY Times:  “About 75 percent of Americans favor higher taxes for the ultra-wealthy. The idea of a federal law that would guarantee paid maternity leave attracts 67 percent support. Eighty-three percent favor strong net neutrality rules for broadband, and more than 60 percent want stronger privacy laws. Seventy-one percent think we should be able to buy drugs imported from Canada, and 92 percent want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. The list goes on…..

“For Congress to enact a proposal just because it is supported by a large majority, the argument goes, would amount to populism. The public, according to this way of thinking, is generally too ill informed to have its economic policy preferences taken seriously…..

“It is true that policymaking requires expertise. But I don’t think members of the public are demonstrating ignorance when they claim that drug prices are too high, taxes could be fairer, privacy laws are too weak and monopolies are too coddled…..

“In our era, it is primarily Congress that prevents popular laws from being passed or getting serious consideration. (Holding an occasional hearing does not count as “doing something.”) Entire categories of public policy options are effectively off-limits because of the combined influence of industry groups and donor interests. There is no principled defense of this state of affairs — and indeed, no one attempts to offer such a justification. Instead, legislative stagnation is cynically defended by those who benefit from it with an unconvincing invocation of the rigors of our system of checks and balances. Click here to view the full NY Times op-ed.”

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

 

5 thoughts on “Wonder Why Many of Our Bills Aren’t Getting Through? Research Shows the Views of the Majority Don’t Matter

  1. Here’s a letter I just sent to the New Mexican. They probably won’t print it.

    The Democratic Party now controls all of New Mexico State Government. Many engaged citizens worked tirelessly to secure the elections of these Democrats. What a disappointment.

    So far at the minimum three bills to better the lives of New Mexicans have been shot down. The state just gave raises to Officials, but our Congress reduced the proposed minimum wage to $11 per hour. The crucial Early Childhood Education bill was railroaded. The Marijuana Legalization bill has morphed into a Republican corporatized nightmare.

    It seems that the Democrats have some sort of built-in self-destruct mechanism that causes them to bend over, suck up, fail to fight, cave, and ultimately agree to the dictates of the Republicans and the lobbyists.
    On a national level, Hillary Clinton supporters already are organizing a campaign to undermine Bernie Sanders run. Even though Hillary is not running. The old guard’s attempts to silence the voices of newly-elected young Progressives. The refusal to deal with Zionism and the Palestinian crisis.

    It’s no surprise that young people are disenchanted with the Democratic Party and have abandoned engagement in this broken system. It’s clear that under this corrupt system we must have only two parties to win. The Democratic Party at our state level and at the national level needs to do some serious soul-searching, house-cleaning, and revalidation of the core values that this party was born from.

    • When the head of the NM Democratic Party was asked what we can do about democrats who do not vote for legislation covered by the Party Platform, she replied that the Democratic Party is a BIG TENT with lots of Diversity. Well here is the deal, if Democrats want my money and my time to organize then I want to know that the endorsement of the Democratic Candidates means these elected officials will be held accountable to the Platform and for their votes against platform issues. Not too much to ask for hours many of us give to win elections. Let the accountability begin……

  2. Ya’all gotta follow how the mass media is distorting the reporting on all of these issues. You can track is along in real time. Our legislators don’t care what any of their constituents want, they get their facts from the same sources our media does. Someone has gotta start pulling back the curtain, and exposing this. No one is tracking any of it in New Mexico.

    • Perhaps you could help with this by devoting some time to examining the connection between corporate donations and political moves and the politicians making them. Can you do this?

  3. I’m beginning to think that Democrats only care to be in office, not to accomplish anything or actually progress into a sustainable future, just to maintain their own cushy employment. Given Congressional Democrats circular firing squads, we are sure to lose again in 2020. Now would be a good time to stop the sniping and unify, something the decrepit Republicans have mastered.

Leave a Reply