Retake Endorses Teresa Leger Fernandez

Today is a short post, offering info about Youth United for Climate Crisis Action’s (YUCCA) various election resources, outlining our reasons for endorsing Teresa Leger Fernandez, and closing with 13 minutes of Colbert.

Before we dive in, three brief reminders.

  1. Yesterday’s post was sent out very late. It included coverage of the increasingly hateful language and disturbing threats related to the Governor’s Covid actions. This is scary, folks, and worth your review. We also gave our endorsement of Siah Correa Hemphill in her battle to unseat Sen. Gabe Ramos. Click here to read yesterday’s post, “NM Protests Reflect Dangerous Trend Toward Fascism.”
  2. Retake Radio on KSFR 101.1 FM, 8:30 a.m today, and streaming live from with Neomi Martinez-Parra challenging Sen. John Arthur Smith and Carrie Hamblen challenging Sen. Mary Kay Papen. The full audio and video is available at this link.
  3. Tuesday, May 26, 6:30 — 8pm. Retake Zoominar on the NM State Budget Crisis with three tax & revenue experts from NM Voices for Children, tireless advocates for using the budget to improve the lives of children & families. Joining the panel is NM House Rep. Javier Martinez, chair of the House Tax & Revenue Committee. A budget is a moral document and the choices NM faces will expose the prevailing values, priorities and ethics of our leadership. It is important we are informed and vocal. Find out what is at stake, what might be possible and what you can do. We do NOT need to cut, cut, cut. We have options. Click here to register for a seat in the Zoom Room and this is filling up quickly.

YUCCA Voter’s Guide

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YUCCA has advanced a climate action strike, a mutual aid network, and now a voter’s guide. They are developing into one of the more credible advocacy groups in northern NM. YUCCA members, with some direction and much support from Earth Care, have worked hard to give themselves and supporters a deeper look into candidates in the primary election. And now they introduce their June primary election guide, which you can access by clicking here.

YUCCA also hosted watch parties on their YUCCA Action Facebook page (FOLLOW IT HERE) & have uploaded two videos of candidate forums, one for State HD 45 which includes Santa Fe High and much of the southside, and one for State HD 70 which spans San Miguel, Santa Fe, and Torrance Counties. You can watch either at their YouTube Channel.

YUCCA Zoom Meeting Today

Join the bimonthly YUCCA gathering via Zoom today, May 23 from 1:00-2:30 PM.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE MEETING. Meeting ID: 868 391 5189. Password: 505303. One tap mobile:  +12532158782,,8683915189#,,1#,505303# US

Retake Endorses Teresa Leger Fernandez for US CD 3

We have known Teresa for several years, witnessed her defense of ranked choice voting; participated in climate action planning meetings at her office; attended the campaign kick off; supported her campaign to obtain DPNM’s endorsement; and have written in the past about our support for her candidacy. Now we make it official: Retake Our Democracy endorses Teresa Leger Fernandez to become the US Representative for New Mexico’s Congressional District 3.

Here are our reasons for endorsing Teresa:

  • Teresa is very smart. You don’t get a BA from Yale and a law degree from Stanford without smarts…and if you’ve ever had a conversation with her, you know that her mind is razor sharp, quick to grasp and synthesize details.
  • Teresa has a history of activism within NM. She was born in Las Vegas, grew up on a farm, and has love of the land and water that resides deep within her. She learned a good deal on both coasts in college and law school, but her identity and her sense of place is pure New Mexico, and her commitment runs deep.
    • 20 years on the Board of Homewise, fighting for affordable housing.
    • As an attorney she fought for and won the battle to implement Ranked Choice Voting in Santa Fe. She represented the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund to defend voting and immigration rights, and for nearly thirty years has worked as a legal counselor and business advisor to Native American tribes throughout New Mexico.
    • Going back to 2001 and then again in 2011, she fought for and won legal battles challenging gerrymandering.
    • She served as Commissioner for Las Acequias de Chupaderas where she fought off developers trying to expropriate acequias’ water.
    • Even while in law school, she helped founded and operated an immigrant rights organization in East Palo Alto.
  • Teresa has important experience. Quite obviously, more than thirty years of advocacy within NM and in East Palo Alto represent an important experience base, one that demonstrates a commitment to immigration, water, voting rights, and both Indigenous and Hispanic communities. This is vital experience that illustrates just how deeply Teresa grasps New Mexican history and culture. But, despite spending most of her life in NM, fighting NM battles, she knows her way around Washington.
    • She was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Panel on Historic Preservation.
    • She was a White House fellow under President Clinton.
  • Teresa’s commitment to New Mexico and to justice has resulted in endorsements that should matter to New Mexican voters, as most all of them are champions for justice.
    • Emily’s List
    • Sierra Club
    • BOLD PAC–seeks to diversify the Democratic Party
    • Poderi PAC– seeks to increase the number of pro-choice Latinas in Congress
    • Jicarilla Apache Nation
    • Latino Victory Fund
    • NARAL Pro Choice America
    • Working Families Party
    • Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez’s Courage to Change Fund
    • Voter Protection Project
    • End Citizen’s United Fund
    • Planned Parenthood Action Fund
    • Let America Vote
    • Moms Demand Action Guns Sense Candidate
    • Adelante Progressive Caucus
    • Taos News
    • Santa Fe New Mexican
    • Santa Fe Reporter
    • Deb Haaland
    • Kirsten Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines and Now
    • Retake Our Democracy

Much has been said about Leger Fernandez’s support from PACs, but there are three things to consider here. First, Teresa strongly opposes private funding for elections, but the law of the land is that PACs may play a role in elections. Though her opponents have criticized her PAC support, I imagine all the other candidates for this position would welcome the endorsements and support from the kind of PACs supporting Teresa.

Second, and this relates to the recent spate of ads placed by PACs in her support, by federal election law, PACs are forbidden from communicating with a campaigns and can’t collaborate in messaging. Hence, candidates don’t sees PAC-funded ads until they are published.

Third, it makes a big difference which PACs are providing support. If you look at the PACs above, that is a laundry list of PACs with a history of advocacy for justice, a big difference from the gas & oil PACs funding ads for Democratic State Senators Smith, Papen, Muñoz, Sanchez and other Democrats in Name Only. Typically, PACs provide dark money support in exchange for support for their priorities. As is clear from Teresa’s lengthy history of fighting for justice in NM, she doesn’t need her commitment to justice paid for.

Teresa and her three sons.

In short, Teresa has the experience, the smarts, the commitment to justice, and the support of others who are fighting the good fight. And then there are her boys. What a wonderful family.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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7 replies

  1. Your endorsement of Ms. Fernandez is useful. This is actually a pretty hard choice, the CD3 race! There is not one of the candidates that would be a “bad” choice, and I hope each of these candidates stays in public life. They offer a lot.

  2. Hello Retake Democracy Crew,

    I usually agree with your opinions but on this endorsement for Teresa Leger Fernandez I cannot agree. We are now in a new atomic bomb Cold War resurgence with LANL now as the jewel in the crown of the nuke bomb warmongers. TLF has not strongly spoken against nuclear bomb proliferation nor its economic driver in NM. Congressman Lujan (of which TLF is a clone) and both of New Mexico’s US Senators are all guilty of our current international arms race! They have all been promoting (behind the scenes) up to 80 plutonium pit warheads per year at LANL. This is a huge risk to the safety of New Mexicans’ air, water, soil and economic well-being plus a threat to humanity and biodiversity of the planet.

    NM is the now infamously rated as the worst place to raise a child — so much for trickle down economics. Also, Rocky Flats and its near disasters (until the FBI closed it in 1989) tells us all we need to know about plutonium pit economies. Every New Mexican should read The Atlantic article dated 09/12/12 before they vote: we find ourselves in again with their support of the dangerous nuke bomb production at LANL.

    We are now only 100 seconds away from midnight on the Doomsday Clock (the closest ever). We must now support candidates who want peace via their concrete political actions. Nuke bombs are not a deterrent!!!! We have already narrowly missed global nuclear annihilation as a result of mistakes. Two of the most well known: the Soviet sub with the the crew member who refused to push the nuke button while submerged in the Caribbean in 1962. Also, in 1983, the world came close to doom as the result of a Soviet tracking mistake. Thanks to the Soviet Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov’s intuition, he refused to launch nuclear missiles against the USA.

    We must all imagine peace or we will all be doomed,

    Jean E. Stevens
    Director, Taos Environmental Film Festival

    • Totally respect your view on this and I look forward to pressing Cong. Leger Fernandez to move much more closely toward your (and my) view on this. There is no perfect candidate with, as far as I know, only Plame taking a strong stand against increased funding for the war machine. But I am not gonna trust a former CIA agent to be an authentic peacenik. Thanks for the comment, Jean.

  3. I also thank you for your comment, Jean. It is so important to keep exposing this topic. “Our kids are largely malnourished, traumatized, and barely educated….but hey, how about those fantastic nuclear pits we’re producing !” ?!?

  4. Thanks for your in depth comments, Jean, and your astute observations, Kathleen.

    It is beyond frustrating and tragic for New Mexicans to continually struggle with the nuclear nightmare in our beloved state– history, present, and proposed future.
    And a shame for such a quality candidate as Teresa Leger to perpetuate the tradition of NM politicians by mostly ignoring the issue. She declined to answer the questionnaire of Taosenos for Peaceful and Sustainable Futures, on nuclear issues.
    Valerie Plame did complete the survey, tho I also question her sincerity and creds as a peace candidate.

    We need to point out that Kyle Tisdel, environmental lawyer with WELC, did share his thoughtful and principled views on disarmament and stopping the ‘war machines’. He is a peace candidate, and a professional environmentalist.

    (For a comprehensive political, scientific, and personal account of the Rocky Flats debacle, I recommend Kristen Iversen’s FULL BODY BURDEN, Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, Broadway Paperbacks, Random House, 2012).

  5. We know Teresa through our university alumni association and also support her candidacy. We are concerned about the PAC issue, which my husband brought up with me last week as we were filling out our absentee ballots and deciding who to support. My suggestion to is keep an eye on which PAC’s they are going forward and to simply keep the lines of communication open if and when she is elected. We agree that there is no perfect candidate.

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