We offer commentary on the inaugural, and video of the extraordinary reading by inauguration poet Amanda Gorman after we report on our expanded list of Transformational bills, our reorganized website, and two coming events. Read on!
Friday, 3:30-4:30pm Retake Our Democracy Weekly Legislative Advocacy Strategy Session. Find out how we plan to advocate to advance bills we support and how you can join us. These weekly zoom discussions are an excellent way to learn more about the legislative process and the key players at the Roundhouse. Click here to register.
Celebration of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Celebrate the Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons, Fri., Jan. 22:
Santa Fe, Noon to 1 p.m., St. Francis Dr. & Cerrillos Rd.
Los Alamos, 2 to 3 p.m., Ashley Pond
January 22, 2021, will be a historic day for nuclear weapons. On that day, at midnight, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force, establishing in international law a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, seventy-five years after their development and first use. The momentous occasion will be marked by actions, events, and celebrations around the globe and across the United States.
In Santa Fe, the members of Veterans For Peace, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS), and Nuclear Watch New Mexico will mark the historic day by holding banners at the weekly peaceful protest of the Veterans for Peace at the corner of St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road from noon to 1 pm. Following the noon vigil, the groups will caravan to Los Alamos to vigil at Ashley Pond with celebratory banners.
“Right now, the Treaty does not legally apply to the United States,” said Ken Mayers, “because we have not signed or ratified it. But that does not mean we will not be feeling the moral force of the Treaty. All nuclear weapons, including the 3,900 in the US stockpile, have been declared unlawful by the international community.”
These are just two of many events happening around the country. At nuclear weapons production sites in Tennessee, Kansas City, New Mexico, and California, banners declaring NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE ILLEGAL will be hung on fences at the plant entrances. Letters will be delivered to members of Congress. University campuses that are engaged in support activities for weapons production will be asked to reconsider their activities. Churches will ring their bells.
For more information, see the Facebook page Nuclear Ban Treaty EIF and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) events page at www.icanw.org/events. For more information on local activities, contact:
- Ken Mayers, Veterans for Peace, email@example.com
- Joni Arends, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, email@example.com
We’ve known there were pages out of date and links that were hard to find, so over the last two days, we’ve reworked the site to make it easier for you to navigate. Among the changes:
- Elimination of the Election menu and pages.
- Elimination of pull-down menus. Pull-down menus allow 2-3 words to describe content, making it hard for people to identify what they are accessing.
- More robust, descriptive links.
- Click on “Legislation” and you will find brief descriptions and links to all the pages relevant to Legislation.
- Click on “Resources” and you will find a description of an array of resources available on our site.
- Click on “Actions & Events” and you will soon find a calendar of upcoming events (still working out the bugs), and links to Zoominars, Zoom Conversations, and more.
The site is now up to date and, we hope, more navigable. Tell us what you think.
We’ve Expanded our Transformational Bill List
& Priority Bill List
This week we circulated a survey to all 190 members of our Senate District Advocacy Teams, asking them to rank 15 Priority Bills, any one of which could fit within our Transformational Bill list. Today, we will be adding the five bills receiving the greatest support, listed in order of Team Member priorities. (Those without numbers have not yet been introduced.)
- Protect Our Water (AKA Produced Water Act Amendments)
- Elizabeth Whitfield End-of-Life Options
- SB 112 Sustainable Economy Task Force
- HB 40 Private Detention Center Moratorium
- Paid Legislature
In addition, we elevated two bills that address one of Retake’s absolute top priorities, rural and tribal infrastructure, and tribal library, internet, and education opportunities.
- HB 86 Native American Library, Internet and Education
- Rural Opportunity Act
Over the next few days we will develop 1-2 page summaries of these bills for dissemination to legislators. Click here to review our updated list of bills we support.
Fusion Voting: What Is It? What Can It Achieve?
When a strong ally feels that a policy or bill is very important, we need to pay attention. Working Families Party (WFP) has transformed the state legislature in New York and sent some very progressive people of color to Washington as House Reps. The tool they used was fusion voting. It’s being proposed in NM and this month WFP is focusing their advocacy on how fusion voting could expand our democracy by bringing in more voters of color, new voters, younger voters, and independents. Find out how and bring your questions to the event below.
Working Families Focus on Fusion Voting
- When: Saturday, January 23, 10am to noon
- Platform: Virtual gathering on Zoom
- RSVP here: https://www.mobilize.us/nm-wfp/event/370276/
After registering, you will receive an email from Mobilize with the Zoom link. If you do not see it in your Inbox, it may be in Spam or under the Promotions tab if you use Gmail. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Michaela at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you.
Thoughts on the Inauguration & Biden’s First Day
We’ve written a good deal about the incoming Biden administration and the executive orders that were prepared in advance. The first afternoon of Biden’s presidency could begin immediately to reverse some of Trump’s more heinous policies. What a relief to have a President who actually wants to do his job. A press conference was held and the first words out of the Jen Psaki’s mouth was to assert her deep respect for the press. The press conference that followed was dignified, respectful, and thoughtful. Those are not words you found ever attributed to any Trump press conference.
The inaugural wasn’t self-referential and full of how the nation is threatened by Muslims, immigrants, or socialists, and it included Amanda Gorman’s truly inspiring reading of a poem she wrote just for the inauguration. That was followed by an evening celebration that was not a private, black tie affair for the in-crowd, donors, and lobbyists, but a television extravaganza with one inspiring song after another by artists who look like America.
And Biden announced the one offense for which any of his cabinet appointments or staff would be fired: “I’m not joking when I say this: If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot.”
This is such an improvement over what we’ve experienced for the past four years that it seems untimely and inappropriate for activists to have staged destructive “protests” in Portland and Seattle yesterday. While their motives are admirable to march, strike, sit-in, advocate for BLM, and oppose fascism, that argument is undermined by indiscriminate destruction of local business and city government offices. One sign in Portland asserted: “We don’t want Biden. We want revenge for police murders, imperialist wars, and fascist massacres.”
I would like to suggest that we do not seek “revenge” but justice. I would suggest that we give Biden a bit of time to address the injustices identified in that poster. I would suggest that given that within hours of becoming president, Biden immediately took meaningful action to address some of the more egregious injustices foisted on us by Trump, he has earned time to turn his attention to a longer list of injustices.
As Biden stated in his inaugural address, we need to turn down the temperature a bit. A time will come to strongly push Biden, but even then, storming through the streets indiscriminately breaking windows may not be the best way to achieve our ends.
If you missed Amanda Gorman yesterday, you’ll want to watch this. Remarkable.
In solidarity and hope,
Paul & Roxanne
Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics