Social distancing is working as projected deaths decline. And Bernie departs the race but has forever changed our political discourse and our range of possibilities. We include video from Bernie’s 2016 Santa Fe rally. A sweet memory.
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR 101.1 FM, Saturdays, 8:30 – 9 am. We’ve figured out a coronavirus-work-around and are using Zoom to record interviews remotely. As a result, this Saturday, Retake will interview indigenous activists Janene Yazzie and Kim Smith two of the leaders of the Navajo-Hopi Nation COVID-19 Relief Effort. We will get timely updates on the progress they are making. I can tell you that as of Weds., April 8, the Relief Fund has received over $400,000 in donations. Thank-you to the 150 Retake followers have clicked to make contributions to their GoFundMe campaign. Even if you have already donated, I recommend that you do so again if you’re able to. And if you haven’t, please do so now. If you’re undecided, click here to read our recent post on the soaring number of coronavirus infections in Navajo and Hopi Nations. Click here to donate.
We have radio shows lined up going forward, so you will be able to hear new shows with compelling guests each week, despite the pandemic. You can listen to any of our old shows via podcast by clicking here.
Retake Launches Zoominar Series
Tues., April 14, 6:30 – 8pm — Webinar via Zoom, a forum with both Democratic Candidates for the Public Regulation Commission from District 3. You must register to ensure a seat for this event. NOTE: When you register you will receive a password that you will need to enter the meeting. Click here to pre-register.
Tues., April, 21, 6:30 – 8 pm, Zoom Community Meeting with Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard and Land Commission General Counsel Ari Biernoff. You must register to ensure a seat for this event. NOTE: When you register you will receive a password that you will need to enter the meeting. Click here to pre-register.
Tues., May 5, 6:30 – 8 p.m., a conversation with Dahr Jamail and Greg Rogers: Could COVID-19 Kill Fracking in NM? If so, what do we do? You must register to ensure a seat for this event. NOTE: When you register you will receive a password that you will need to enter the meeting. Register at this link.
TEWA Calls for Extension of Public Comment Period for Chaco Canyon Resource Plan
From our Friends at TEWA: Call for Extension of Public Comment Period for Chaco Canyon Draft Resource Management Plan. Despite a public health emergency that requires New Mexicans to stay home, the U.S. Department of Interior has not provided updates as to how it will adjust its Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement public comment deadline and processes.
A number of entities are calling for a 120-day extension for the public comment period, including New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation (U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small), and the All Pueblo Council of Governors.
What you can do: Send snail mail or email to DOI Secretary Bernhardt asking for an extension of at least 120 days. You can find a sample letter here from Archeology Southwest, along with the address for Secretary Bernhardt
Saturday, April 11, 1 pm-2:30 pm by Zoom, YUCCA Expanding Its Mutual Aid Network. Click to get to zoom invite.
Good News on COVID-19 in NM
New Mexico’s “doubling rate” is demonstrating the critical importance of early and effective shelter-in-place orders. The doubling rate measures how often the state’s total number of cases doubles. When social distancing mandates began in NM, the doubling rate was two, but has now surpassed four. Funny, the difference between 2 and 4 is pretty slim, unless you are talking about virus spread. For example, a doubling rate of two would increase New Mexico’s case count from one to 4,096 over a period of 24 days. A rate of four would increase the count from 1 to 64.
And more good news on the NM coronavirus scene is found from a University of Washington study that shows convincingly that social distancing is indeed flattening the curve and, as a result, reducing projected death rates.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington reduced its estimated U.S. death toll to about 60,000 people through Aug. 4 — down from more than 90,000 last week.
The numbers are similarly more positive for New Mexico. The forecast now projects the number of New Mexico deaths due to the virus at 394 through late May — a 23% reduction from a projection about 10 days ago, when the forecast estimated 513 deaths in the state. A reader posted a comment below that in Santa Fe, the doubling rate is 10 days. That is incredible. Great work, Santa Fe!
So, stay home, stay safe, stay healthy. We are saving lives and we can do this.
Thank You Bernie: We Will Never Be the Same
As many of our readers know, Roxanne and I coordinated the Santa Fe for Bernie campaign and organized his visit and speech at Santa Fe Community College in May 2016. We were in Philadelphia for the convention and cried when Bernie gave his speech. Then, when he announced he would run again we crossed our fingers, but in our guts, even as he surged in Nevada and New Hampshire, we were not optimistic. In truth, America is simply not ready for Bernie and there is much education to be done before our country will embrace anyone espousing democratic socialist policies and principles. But, make no mistake, Bernie Sanders has fundamentally changed America, changed the range of political discourse, and introduced democratic socialist policies as a viable alternative to the status quo.
Today, we share an excerpt from two excellent tributes to Bernie Sanders followed by a 3 minute video from the Santa Fe New Mexican, with snippets of his speech at SFCC and comments from supporters outside. F
First from the NY Times, Elizabeth Breunig captures perfectly what is so right about Bernie Sanders and why for so many of us, his truth and his passion for justice was such a remarkable and inspiring departure from traditional politics and political discourse:
“Bernie Sanders has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, which is a tragedy, because he was right about virtually everything. He was right from the very beginning, when he advocated a total overhaul of the American health care system in the 1970s. He remains right now, as a pandemic stresses the meager resources of millions of citizens to their breaking point, and possibly to their death. He was right when he seemed to be the only alarmist in a political climate of complacency. He is right now that he’s the only politician unsurprised to see drug companies profiteering from a lethal plague with Congress’s help. In politics, as in life, being right isn’t necessarily rewarded. But at least there’s some dignity in it.
In fact, both of Mr. Sanders’s presidential campaigns, beginning with his announcement in 2015 and ending here, were about dignity. Not only broad human dignity — Mr. Sanders’s relentless focus on the grim lives of the American poor, sick and disenfranchised is perhaps the greatest paean to the notion in modern political memory — but also the daily, personal sort we grant one another each time we tell the truth. Mr. Sanders is not and has never been a liar. His remarkable consistency over time, his notorious bluntness and his open disdain for sycophantic politics are all simply manifestations of that one critical fact. It made him an awkward fit for Washington, and it built him a movement.”NY TIMES; “Bernie Sanders Was Right” by Elizabeth Breunig
To read the full report from Breunig, click here. It is well worth your time.
From Kristin Iversen of Refinery 29:
“Every country has its own foundational myths, but it’s hard to imagine that any are more pernicious than those of the United States of America. How can a nation built on genocide, slavery, and rapacious capitalism still promote itself as the land of opportunity? But perhaps the most insidious tenet of American exceptionalism is the prioritization of the individual over the masses, the mandate that the only person anyone needs to look out for is themselves. It’s an attitude that leads to everything from hoarding toilet paper in the midst of a crisis to protesting the election of a monstrous bigot with a sign that says, “I should be having brunch right now.” And it’s the exact opposite of the ethos of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign for president, which is best summed up in its simple three-word slogan: “Not Me. Us.”Refinery 29: “Bernie Sanders Showed Us The Future Is About More Than Just Survival”
Bernie Sanders has created a movement, indeed. And it is up to all of us to sustain that movement. Coronavirus has exposed so much of what is wrong with America, and Bernie has provided us a platform for fixing most of it. I suspect he will not go away. I hope not. He may no longer be seeking the presidency, but from now on the discourse and debate will include Medicare for All, free college, the Green New Deal, taxing the rich, regulating Wall St., and eliminating college debt.
I hope all of our readers will spend the time to read both of these pieces. In our lifetime, we have not seen someone so dramatically shift the political center and these two articles do the man justice. We need to carry forward his uncompromising commitment to justice.
Thank, you Bernie.
Paul & Roxanne