Governor Has Time to Speak to NM Oil & Gas Assoc. But No Time for Youth Activists

Today: A call to action at NM Oil & Gas meeting, public banking becomes law in CA, photos from the YUCCA youth art exhibit closing today, the pen is mightier than the sword, and more.

We Need Good News: Thank You, California
Public Banking Becomes Law

“This new law prioritizes communities and neighborhoods by empowering localities to use public dollars for their own public good: from investing in affordable housing projects and building new schools and parks, to accessible loans for students and businesses.”

Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, the bill’s co-author.

Click here to read the full report that provides details on how a public bank will function in CA and predictable knee-jerk response from the banking industry. This is tremendous news and a boon for the chances of the NM public banking effort in 2020. We will report more on this soon.

New Mexico Political Report Publishes in Depth Report on Retake Our Democracy Panel on Democratizing Energy. This is great coverage in a respected statewide publication. Click here to review.

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword: Writing for Justice & Peace of Mind. Today we launch a weekly Saturday feature, an opportunity to incorporate your critical thinking and writing skills and put them to use in advancing justice. Each week we will offer two possible writing topics, asking you to write something that will help organize or educate our community. You don’t have to be Naomi Klein to influence a friend in an email or to influence your community with a heartfelt letter to the editor. Here are today’s options:

  • Write a letter to the editor of no more than 150 words and submit it to the Santa Fe New Mexican or your local newspaper with this topic: New Mexico derives more than 40% of its annual revenue from gas & oil, yet we have no plan to transition from this dependence. Tell the governor how a child born in 2019 will view this inaction. Submit this as a letter to the editor, and since you’ve done the work, send it to the Governor, too. When you submit your letter, we ask that you put Retake Our Democracy after your name. For those of you who may never have written a letter to the editor, we provide a guide that includes contact info and rules for submitting letters to the ten largest circulation newspapers in NM. Click here.
  • Write a highly personal letter of any length to a very specific person you care deeply about. This can be someone who is conservative but who might be moved by your appeal or someone who you feel that, with a nudge, might become more active in the struggle. The topic: Why I care deeply about climate change, or put another way, why I am a climate change activism.

If you do either of these, please let us know by sending a brief note to

Saturday, October 5, 8:30am on KSFR 101.1 Retake Our Democracy. Today’s guest is Roxanne Barber, co-founder and co-director of Retake Our Democracy. We discuss the panel we hosted on Tuesday night, a panel that focused on democratizing energy through Community Solar, Local Choice Energy, and passing a bill to study and create a plan for a just transition. As is our wont lately, the show extended to 45 minutes, so 29 minutes will air this morning and on Monday the full show will be available by podcast at>Program Menu>Podcasts>Retake Our Democracy.

New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) Annual Meeting. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 8:30am. Eldorado Hotel, 309 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is the keynote speaker at the NMOGA breakfast meeting. YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action) promised ongoing actions and they are keeping their word. Please arrive early and if you have a sign bring it. Click here to RSVP and for more info.

While the Governor hasn’t found time for YUCCA, she has plenty of time to reassure NMOGA and the US Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, that the state of New Mexico is open for drilling. Her priorities are clear. For a partial list of sponsors for the event (and the folks who pay big time to have Governor Lujan Grisham’s ear), see below. The full list is over four pages. A summary of the Governor’s campaign support from gas & oil follows.

In case you are interested, according to, the Oil & Gas Industry contributed $198,455 to the Governor’s election campaign, led by Marathon Petroleum ($16,500 — after which Adrienne Sandoval, a former Marathon exec, was appointed by the Governor to be Division Director of the NM Oil Conservation); Occidental Petroleum ($15,400), and not to be left out, PNM ($14,500 — after which the Energy Transition Act was passed).

US Imperialism Not a New Phenomenon: A Brilliant Piece

Retake volunteer Robert Baroody sent me American History for Truthdiggers: A Once, Always and Future Empire, a publication of They have a Truthdigger series with more than 35 other treatises. I am eager to dig in, but the website is about as user-unfriendly as can be, as each of these Truthdigger pieces are entitled Truthdig #1 on through to 37. But if the piece on US imperialism is a gauge, it is well worth digging.

If you are someone who reads my frequent posts about US hegemony, capitalism, colonialism, and our imperialist proclivities and thinks that perhaps I am over-stating how truly undemocratic our nation has been since before it was born, then I highly recommend this article. It is not a pleasant voyage, cruising through the annals of US history, but it is important to face our reality if we are to change our continuing imperialist trajectory. If you are someone with friends who still believe fervently in the “land of the free,” then you might share this article with them.

There is a widespread belief that American history is best viewed in a linear context. The United States, the narrative goes, began as a flawed experiment in democracy—replete with slavery and bigotry at the start—but has gradually and consistently improved into a more perfect union, a millenarian nation on its way toward serving as an example for the world, a “city on a hill.” Minorities, according to this notion, may have once been oppressed but have gained equal rights and equal protection under the law; America might have conquered Indian and Mexican land but has long since set aside its imperial ways. As such, both at home and abroad, the U.S., though still imperfect, is a force for good in the world. “

If the above might be you or if you have tried to hold to the belief that the US has made much progress toward becoming a beacon for justice, then you should read this very clear, very specific article. Another sampling:

The U.S. was imperial from the first, the very moment when a band of English aristocrats in search of precious gold landed at Jamestown in what is today Virginia. Since that day in 1607, America has never ceased to be a settler-colonial empire in the vein of czarist Russia, British South Africa and modern Israel. Its manner of empire may well have changed, but its reality never meaningfully altered as the U.S. proceeded through three distinct phases of imperialism. First, from 1607 to 1897, British colonists, and then self-styled Americans, displaced and destroyed countless native peoples, eventually spreading a (perceived) superior way of life from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, another take, indeed, on the phrase “from sea to shining sea.” America’s relationship with conquered native peoples proceeded through phases of displacement, genocide, containment and finally confinement on often barren reservations. This legacy system remains today in what must be considered a series of internal colonies similar to South African “bantustans” and to Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In addition to overrunning outmatched natives, the U.S. also drummed up a war on false pretenses and proceeded to conquer the northern third of Mexico (1846-1848), even occupying its capital and forcing a regime change of its government. “

To be fair, we have made progress in some aspects of human rights and social justice. But even here, our gains hang by a thread. The Supreme Court has agreed to review Louisiana’s regressive abortion law, a potential opportunity to reverse Roe v Wade entirely.

Thank you Robert for this most illuminating article. Click here to read the full Truthdig piece.

Youth Climate Activist Art Exhibit

Today at ArtSmart, 1201 Parkway in Santa Fe, from 12-4pm is the final day of an exhibit of youth activist art focusing on the climate crisis. I stopped by yesterday as Roxanne and I will be out of town today, but I wanted to offer you a sampling of what is on display. There will be live music by Ethan Kelley and spoken word/poetry open-mic performances with Scribbler Santa Fe. Refreshments will be served.

The Patriot: Artemisio Romero y Carver
The Apocalypse: Andrea Bruno
The Solution: Andrea Bruno
Do Not Trust the Black Snake: Veronica Toledo
Earth’s Lament: William Martin Kline the 3rd
Don’t Close Your Eyes: Brianna Jacobson
Lost Voice: Avis Kerns

In solidarity, Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

3 replies

  1. Our Governor maybe taking money from the oil companies but at this week’s visit and speech in Silver City the rude Republican right weren’t fooled. The 20 out of 100 present hate her for everything from abortion to gun control. Kinda’ like Xochital going against impeachment, the rude Republican right will still vote against her too.

  2. At least now we know whose side the governor, and her minions are on. Neo liberalism has corrupted everything, and everyone.

    Perhaps everyone should take a look at this, Not many “activists” and certainly none of our elected representatives was paying attention 20 years ago, to the privatization of our public lands,

    It looks like art is the only safe opportunity, for free expression. Another example of how Neoliberalism has invaded every aspect of our lives.

  3. Some of us knew, or at least suspected, on whose side the Gov. and the Republican and Democratic parties are. They are on the side of their little family dynasties they are always building and improving. Maybe, if the children can get one billion kids across the planet to demonstrate on Fridays, maybe, something will be achieved.
    I am a skeptic.
    Their art is impressive but won’t do for those in power.
    I hope us, adults, understand that there is little that we can teach them because our record as activist and movers and shakers of our political system is, well, dismal. If it wasn’t so then the Millennials, the 7 to 20 years old children of today, would not have to fight for their future. Would not have to engage in the most important existential fight homo sapiens ever engaged in.
    Some of us did something to avert climate catastrophe and the poisoning of Life, including the poisoning of our bodies–body burden–the bodies of the unborn, mother’s milk, etc, etc. Yes, those of us who moved south of Madrid, the mailbox road, to live off the grid, 40 years ago. Or those of us who bought passive solar designed homes in Eldorado, for example, also about 30-40 years ago. Some of us began buying only natural fiber clothing and composted it in our gardens 30 years ago, or so.
    But, obviously it was not enough because our capitalist culture conquered and colonized our minds and hearts.
    I suggested to bring Democracy School from CELDF because it provides a totally different look and understanding of our situation today and thus a different solution. (Since 99% of our solutions have not working it makes sense to try something else.)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: