Today we have an important “ask.” If we are to make 2020 a year of transformation, we need so many, many more of you to join us. This post lays out Retake’s principles, priorities and strategies. Please share & encourage friends to subscribe.
Actions at the Roundhouse. Click here to review details on an array of actions and events surrounding the Jan 21 Public Regulation Commission Hearing and the opening of the Legislature later the same day.
PLEASE RSVP for our 2020 Legislative Session Launch, 6:30pm-8pm, Jan 21, at 1420 Cerrillos Rd in Santa Fe. You will hear about last-minute shifts in bills we support and how you can advocate from home or at the Roundhouse. RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at this link.
Why Join Retake Our Democracy?
We have come to realize that despite reading our posts, coming to our meetings, and listening to our radio shows, there are many activists who do not understand our overall purpose, strategies, and philosophy. Without that understanding, it is difficult to engage others and encourage friends to subscribe and join you in your activism. Today, we offer an overview of our purpose and our strategies and then an array of posts from the last four years that collectively provide a clear picture of our assumptions and our vision.
We do not expect anyone to review all of the old posts at one time, and we don’t expect everyone to agree with every position we advance, but we hope that you will hold onto this post and return to it periodically to fully engage with the critical issues raised over the years.
We also hope you will share this post with friends. We absolutely must expand the number of people who subscribe to the blog and the legislative alerts.
What Is Retake Our Democracy?
Retake Our Democracy is a volunteer-based organization committed to making personal and collective activism easier. Our goal is to build power to ultimately create social, racial, environmental and economic justice at local, state, and national levels.
We engage, educate, activate, and organize through trainings, actions, town halls, educational events, and a blog with information, resources, tools, and upcoming events. We believe that lasting social change is borne out of local activism, and to that end we are also committed to supporting organizations already engaged in social justice work.
Retake Our Democracy believes that a true democracy of “we the people” has never existed, and neither has “the land of the free.” Yet, democracy as an aspiration and as a goal is held dearly by millions of people across the globe. And so, we incorporate democracy in our title and seek to make it a reality instead of an aspiration. We believe that creating a truly participatory and inclusive democracy is an achievable and noble goal.
Retake Our Democracy seeks to achieve social, economic, racial, and climate justice in Santa Fe and across New Mexico by organizing and supporting a range of political and social actions and by forming alliances with other activist organizations to build the power necessary to achieve equity and justice.
Retake’s unique contribution is to organize the skills, expertise, and financial resources of our members to support and advance the goals of front line activist organizations, and to make sustained activism at city, state, and national levels easier for all members of the community.
- We publish a blog four or five days a week. The blog focuses on issues, policies, and programs that advance justice, in addition to threats to our democracy and our future. Links to a selection of posts can be found below, providing a better understanding of Retake Our Democracy’s philosophy and stance on political, social, and economic structures and solutions.
- We manage a Statewide Response Network, through which we publish action alerts, especially before and during state legislative sessions. Alerts include information on bills that we support, including bill names and numbers, links to bill language, summaries, speaking points, and contact information for legislators who will be voting on the bill. This is probably our most heralded strategy, with hundreds of individuals attesting to its effectiveness in keeping New Mexicans engaged in the legislative process, especially those outside Santa Fe. To sign up for alerts, click the red “Get Legislative Alerts” button on the right side of our home page.
- We published a 2019 Legislative Report Card that outlined how the bills we supported did in the 2019 session and analyzed how good bills die in the legislature. The Report Card goes well beyond the votes and identifies specific heroes and specific legislators who undermine progressive legislation. To read the Report Card, click here. This is highly recommended reading that describes how the legislature really operates.
- We maintain a website with resources that include contact info for elected officials; recommended videos, publications, and other reading resources; a media kit with information on the ten largest publications in NM and a guide for writing letters and op-eds to each publication; and a myriad of other resources. To review an inventory of these resources, click here.
- We produce a weekly radio show on KSFR, 101.1 FM, at 8:30am Saturdays, interviewing activists, leaders of progressive advocacy groups, legislators, and candidates for elected office. Click on the blue “Retake on KSFR” button on our home page to access over 150 podcasts.
- We conduct outreach & education efforts, canvassing, town halls, and community meetings to engage, educate and organize our constituency.
- We use social media, letters to the editor and other forms of public communication to engage people in political discourse and action. Click here to visit our Facebook page.
- We form alliances with front line advocacy organizations, following their lead in our legislative and social justice advocacy.
Unifying all these strategies is an ongoing effort to build power among people and communities that have been historically underrepresented so that we can more effectively advocate for change and promote justice and equity.
Retake has a Leadership Team who are most active in implementing our strategies and who generally meet 2-4 times monthly. We also have four Action Teams: Media and Marketing, Climate Action, Outreach & Organizing, and Research. Each team is coordinated by a Retake volunteer and advances strategies suggested by the team titles.
It has occurred to us that there are Retake volunteers who may not fully understand the political and philosophical tenets we support. The blog often represents the primary themes that inform our work. Not everyone in the Retake community will embrace all of the positions presented in the blog. But one of its most important purposes is to educate and expose our readers to lines of thought they may not have considered.
So, below we present a number of common themes that are central to Retake Our Democracy. We ask you to scan over the titles, read a few, and save this link to return to periodically as it does an excellent job of framing our beliefs and vision.
The pervasive influence of money, the media, and the religious right to manipulate public discourse and political options:
- “Money In Politics: It Is Way Worse Than You Think,” a seminal piece outlining how money controls political and media discourse.
- “Wonder Why Many of Our Bills Aren’t Getting Through?” Research Shows the Views of the Majority Don’t Matter,” outlines how state and national legislative bodies don’t really respond to public priorities, favoring instead the influence of moneyed interests.
- “Media Fake News Could Lead to Functional Dictatorship”
- “Chris Hedges on the Threat of the Religious Right“
- “Truthout Points to How Perilously Close We are to Fascism; We Offer a Path to our Liberation”
- “The Military, the Mega Corporations & the 1% — The Challenge to the Democracy We’ve Never Had,” excerpts from two Chris Hedges articles.
The policies & priorities that have created the wealth gap in America
- “The Wealth Gap in America; It Isn’t Subtle”
- “Public Banking & Public Energy: A Two-Pronged Strategy for Freedom from Corporate Monopolies and False Choices”
- “Eye-Opening Slides Depict How US Tax Policy from 1950 to the Present Have Created the Wealth Gap”
- “Economic Injustice at Home & Abroad: The Struggle to Just Be Housed”
How capitalism, colonialism and racism limit our options & control our lives
- “Historic Analysis of Capitalism, It’s Roots & Current Implications“
- “The Hidden Costs of Capitalism“
- “How Capitalism Owns both Political Parties“
- “Can We Decolonize & Decapitalize Our Minds & Invent a New Path”
The need for new economic and political systems
An abiding assumption is that the political and economic systems that created obscene wealth inequality and extreme climate crisis cannot be relied upon to address these crises. We focus on the need to move beyond capitalist and colonialist ideology if we are to free ourselves and invent new systems predicated on democracy and justice.
- “In Search of a New Normal; Today Is NOT Normal; We Haven’t Seen Normal in 40 Years”, is one of the most important posts in the entire list.
- “A New Vision for Democratizing the Economy in NM”
- “If Generosity & Kindness Guided Policy, Our Tax System Would be Progressive and Our Taxes would Serve Our Communities, Not Corporations“
Climate Crisis Is Not “An” Issue, It is “The” Issue
- Our Biggest Challenge to Climate Change is Not Climate, It is Our Thirst for Growth & New Things”
- “The Green New Deal: Our Best Shot At Addressing Climate Change”
- “Can a Capitalist System Address Climate Change?”
- “What If We Are Out of Time: A Sobering View on Climate Activism in the Age of Extinction.”
Thank you for your ongoing support and activism. We ask that you take a few moments, make a list of people you know who might be drawn to the Retake community, and forward this post, encouraging them to read it and subscribe.
Let’s build our base and do our part to ensure that the 2020 decade is a decade of profound transformation.
Paul & Roxanne