A Brief Commentary on the Guv; Another Moving Tribute to John Lewis

In addition to a tribute to John Lewis and our Governor, we offer a range of actions and events related to 350.org, Working Families Party, and an urgent NM climate action. Plus another Sarah Cooper riff on Trump. Read on.

Find today’s actions in the right column (or if viewing by phone, at the bottom of the post). After two feature stories on John Lewis and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, we offer three In Brief links: one from Heather Cox Richardson who is becoming our favorite blogger; another to an article on the just-released NM state methane capture regulations, and a link to a report disclosing just how wrong Trump is about domestic terrorism — the report reveals that between 75-80% of all killing and violence conducted by domestic terrorists comes from the right, not the left. You know those right-wing terrorists that Trump boasts are “really good people.” At the end of the post, we provide a hilarious compilation of video from Sarah Cooper lip syncing Trump talk. Read on!

If you missed Tuesday’s Zoominar on Redistricting and Gerrymandering, first it was outstanding, and second, it sold out. Unfortunately, 100 folks who signed up were unable to attend. We have been reaching higher and higher registration levels with each Zoominar but we were unable to get a plan upgrade (for higher numbers) processed in time for last night. Click here to watch the full Zoominar. From the many comments in the Zoom chat room, it was clearly a very informative event. We spoke with Senators Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Mark Moores, along with Fair Districting advocates Dick Mason and Kathleen Burke. If you want to understand how pernicious gerrymandering is and the surprising reason it is so hard to create an independent commission, watch the video here. You won’t be disappointed.

We just paid $1,500 to upgrade our Zoom plan for the year, and that put quite a dent in the Retake bank account. If you are able, we’d appreciate a donation to try to refill the balance. Click here if you’d like to contribute. We haven’t asked for a donation in several months, so if you can help out, please do.

A Straight-Up Powerful Tribute to John Lewis:
He Demands We Stand Taller

A moment not to be forgotten. Democratic Convention 2016.

Every once in awhile, Stephen Colbert rises above his comedic demeanor and offers powerful commentary. In the video below, he splices in interviews with John Lewis with video clips from his historic role in civil rights movement in America. Along the way, we watch Lewis dance, cry, and yes, crowd surf….at 76 years old. The video is so worth your time. The takeaway from this commentary and from his life is that because of him and his example, ALL OF US must stand taller, say more, do more, risk more, give more. Retake will be invoking this message over the next 14 weeks, perhaps the most important 14 weeks in our lives. We have some things to get done for ourselves, our children, our future and for John Lewis’ memory.

MLG: No Climate Activist, but We Must Appreciate Her COVID Stand

Retake has not been bashful in critiquing our Governor. We still bridle at her misguided support for the Energy Transition Act, the Produced Water Act, and what amounts to an over-cautious commitment to a just transition.

We can crow about reducing our use of extracted and nuclear energy, but we simply can’t turn a blind eye to our export of fracked oil and the continued depletion of our water supply to fuel those wells.

But fair is fair, and the Governor has been remarkable in her stalwart insistence on following pandemic science and resisting GOP calls to open prematurely. When she opened the doors slightly and slowly and then saw a spike begin to emerge, she shut the doors again.

Given how hard it has been for Governors across the nation and across party lines to do the same thing, we need to tip our hat to the Governor for her courage.

A recent Washington Post article, “As Arizona struggles, neighboring New Mexico found a more cautious path to sustained growth,” compares NM and AZ’s respective response to COVID. This chart tells one part of the story.

Those lines are not just lines, they represent hundreds and hundreds of lives saved in NM and thousands lost in AZ. But the Post takes a much deeper dive and shows how the prudent, swift interventions taken by the Governor have also been good for our state economy. Their findings, backed by a half-dozen charts show clearly that while NM took an immediate economic hit when it shut down, and while AZ economic activity surged, as the virus spiked in AZ that economic vitality disappeared to the point that there is now no difference between the economic disruption in AZ and NM, with AZ heading steeply in the wrong direction. From the Post:

recent analysis of Census Bureau data by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, finds the Arizona-New Mexico divergence repeated nationwide. States that reopened early didn’t fare better economically, and they fared markedly worse in terms of public health.

Regardless of the state governments’ actions, “most people at their core understand how dangerous this virus is, and they’re not willing to risk their lives to go out to dinner,” said Ryan Zamarripa, one of the report’s authors.

Washington Post: “As Arizona struggles neighboring New Mexico found a more cautious path to sustained growth”

350.Org has formed a Santa Fe chapter. Their website is full of policy information and research related to climate change. Check out their site and subscribe to their blog by clicking here.

The New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD) has proposed rules regarding the handling and transport of “produced water,” with a hearing schedule for July 30-31. (Please share the Facebook event and encourage public comment! Proposed rules are here.) 

New Mexico is at the forefront of efforts to try to dump “produced water” into streams, rivers, and crops, and this is the state’s first attempt to “regulate” this oil and gas waste byproduct.

Unfortunately, OCD did not go through a pre-hearing stakeholder process and the proposed rules lack necessary safety and permitting protocols, and do not contain any environmental or public health standards that would safeguard communities and clean water against contamination from leaks, spills, and discharges of this toxic waste.

If the rules go forward as is, they would set a dangerous precedent for New Mexico and the nation in undermining the severity of oil and gas waste management.

Go to this link to add your name or your organization’s name to a letter to OCD by this Sunday, July 26. New Energy Economy will send the letter on July 27 along with a press release. Please forward this request to those who might be interested in adding their group to the letter. 

Working Families Party Statewide Convening

Saturday, August 8, 1pm – 4pm, a Zoom-Based Statewide Convening. Working Families Party, NM and its allies are in the midst of a transformative moment in our state and nation’s history. Not only are we in the most consequential election year of our lives, we are grappling with a global pandemic and resulting economic crisis, and experiencing a wave of uprisings as millions take to the streets to demand justice for Black lives.

It’s important in moments like these that we come together to re-imagine what’s possible and chart a path forward for our communities.

Retake encourages everyone to join the virtual NM WFP State convening to build long-term plans to win in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

At the Convening, WFP will engage with others and discuss the health and economic crisis created by COVID-19 and how we are organizing the working class in this unparalleled moment.

WFP will introduce and ask for feedback on their People’s Charter — a vision for how we not only survive these crises, but transform the country.

We will also discuss WFP’s power-building strategy for New Mexico and give participants everything they need to participate in their presidential endorsement process.

If you’re ready to be a part of this fight, please join WFP NM August 8 from 1pm to 4pm for this important Convening.

Register here: RSVP for the Zoom call.

I highly recommend you examine the Post piece. With so much nonsense being spread, not just by our President, but by the GOP and the media, it is important to see evidence that abiding by science makes sense.

Now we just need to share some climate science with the good Governor and help her move more aggressively to keep NM oil where it belongs — in the ground.

News In Brief:

  • From Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American. July 21. As always, one of the sharpest pens in the US zeroes in on GOP corruption in Ohio & DC.
  • From Santa Fe New Mexican: “Draft Methane Rules would Cut NM Flaring by 96% in Six Years.” While the jury is still out as to whether there are some small-type loopholes, initial reviews are very positive. And we could use some positives about now.
  • From The Center on Extremism:Murder & Violence in America.” An exhaustive report debunking Trump’s touted extremist invasion of our cities & pointing the finger where it belongs: Right wing extremists responsible for 80% of extremist violence in the US.

Compilation of Sarah Cooper Riffs On Trump

I have no idea how she came up with this concept, but the combination of an African American woman lip syncing Trump talk is nothing short of hilarious. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

In solidarity,
Paul and Roxanne

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4 replies

  1. Excellent, information as always….Just read Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s statement against bringing federal troops to Albuquerque. Could you comment on what is happening right now in Albuquerque with federal troops? Is this an experiment by the Troop planners for Hitler-like activity. Public outcry by republicans in Congress seemed to stop the inclusion of a Payroll Tax in proposed COVID-19 legislation. Can republicans get behind the injustice of this fed action as well?

  2. Paul, I hope you noticed in yesterday’;s Alb Journal the article on the shutdown of the Escalante generating plant at Prewitt. It was noted that the owner-TRI STATE- was going to pay the employee compensation packages and economic development assistance for the local community. NOT shifting this to NM tax payers as PNM got the ETA to do. Doing what a good company and corp citizen
    should do.

    • I had not seen this, but will definitely look into it. We gave away the store with the ETA and it was so not worth it. It is painful to watch all the high five euphoria over this PNM giveaway.


  1. Our Son’s Report from Portland, Produced Water Hearing Thurs & a Look Back at a Week of Action – Retake Our Democracy

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