When, in the last three years, you’ve been to the ER with a saddle pulmonary embolism that nearly killed you, and then a massive stroke, you don’t rely on WebMD when you have excruciating chest pain that persists through the night into the morning. You go to the ER. A clean EKG, clean CT scans of neck and chest, and a battery of blood tests ruled out all the nasty possibilities. And my morphine-addled brain is home, on the couch, still with significant pain, but much relieved. With different test results I would be in surgery not on the couch.
Nonetheless, the show must go on, despite not a wink of sleep Thursday night. Try sleeping when every breath you take causes a stabbing pain through your sternum that roars like a fire through your throat, finally reaching your ears, causing them to throb and create the kind of ear aches most of us got when we were kids. Sleep was not had. We arrived at Christus St. Vincent’s ER at 9:20 am and by 11, the ER was jammed, with rooms full and folks in the hallways on gurneys and doctors and nurses heroically making it work. As noted above, tests were administered and I am home working.
But while the show went on this morning, the Doctor was very clear: plenty of rest, avoid stress, and if symptoms persist, come back. I want to avoid a repeat performance. So there will be far fewer blog posts and a focus on supporting Roxanne in publishing Alerts. ONWARD.
Update 8:30am. Given Thursday’s night of non-sleep, i wasn’t eager to go to bed, but the vicodin the doc prescribed worked like a charm. At 9;30,,I hit the pillow and didn’t move, until 7 this morning. A great, pain-free sleep. I awoke to a more moderate level of chest pain that only occurs when i move around, not every time I breathe.
We share this info because thousands of you rely on us during the Session to provide timely alerts and tools for advocating effectively. Yesterday, we had planned to prepare more summaries of our priority bills, but instead we spent the day at the ER, coming home to find that the session is in high gear with two bills being heard today in the House Energy, Env. & Nat. Resources Committee at 11 a.m. (See yesterday’s Alert.) Somehow Roxanne (a hero on so many levels) managed to get home, set me on the couch and get an Alert done for today’s hearings. But we are way behind on developing bill summaries and the form for recording hearing observations. We will get caught up, but one night’s sleep didn’t fix me entirely, and so Roxanne carries the burden of managing the house and getting caught up. But she’ll be caught up soon. And don’t worry about me. I will be fine, but this scared the hell out of both of us.
Dems Need Signatures to Get on the Ballot
I am told that candidates and Party officials are panicked by this. So, if you can gather signatures, please attend one of these events. If you are not doing public events, please check out the last item below. It offers info on how to get your signature to the Dem party without going to an event. Or consider this clever idea sent to me by Terry Storch, a precinct chair in ABQ. She put clipboards with forms on her front porch and then emailed all 800 Dem in her precinct. She’s had the clipboards out for two weeks, with signatures still pouring in. Please do what you can to pitch in. We don’t want the November ballot to be filled with races of GOP candidates running unopposed. It could happen.
- Jan. 22-23, Petition Signing DAILY at 1420 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Jan. 22, 10:30 a.m., Pop-up Registration, Petitioning, Meet & Greet Event with Southside Ward Chairs at Angel’s Coffee Shop on 4350 Airport Rd., Santa Fe 87507
- Jan. 22, 1 to 3 pm, outdoors at Bathtub Row Co-op, 163 Central Park Square, Los Alamos, the Democratic Party of Los Alamos County will host a last push for petition signatures for statewide candidates. Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard, and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver are special guests, and more are expected to come! If you can (and have not already), please bring four $5 bills to donate to our uncontested statewide judges so they can qualify for public financing. MASKS REQUIRED. Click here to RSVP.
- Jan 26, 4 – 8 pm, Santa Fe Democrats, Lend Us Your Signatures! Santa Fe Spirits Downtown Tasting Room, 308 Read Street, Santa Fe.
- Click here to find petitions for all Dem. candidates statewide. You can download and print petition forms, sign them, and either mail them as directed or bring them to the Jan. 22 or 26 event. Or at this link you can put in your zip code and find an event near by.
Wirth-Egolf Townhall Today: They need to hear from us
Today Sat., Jan. 22, 11:00am, Town Hall with House Speaker Brian Egolf and Senate Floor Leader Peter Wirth. They’’ll share their priorities for the session. We encourage you to attend. You can register for Saturday’s town hall by following this link. If you are unable to attend and would still like to share your thoughts, please feel free to contact Senator Wirth at (505) 986-4727 or email him directly at email@example.com.
I am told Wirth has concerns about SM 10 Study State-Level Public Utility Model, the Public Power memorial introduced by Sen. Stefanics this week. He needs to hear from many of us at this Townhall. The message is clear: If you have concerns, share them and know that the proposed study and design process’s entire purpose is to raise and answer concerns. A vote to study, is not a vote to act. If results of the study do not offer a clear rationale for creating public power, he will have ample opportunity to stop legislation to create it.
I expect Peter and Brian will be publicly supportive of most of the bills we support, but another bill I would ask about is small loan rate caps. Encourage them as Dem. leaders to ask the Governor to put both Sen. Soules bill, SB 107, and HB 78 (Rep. Roybal Caballero) on the call and ask their position and if they will press their caucus to move these bills swiftly through. Their commitment to organize the Senate and House caucuses and push them to advance these bills quickly would respond to the Governor’s disingenuous rhetoric that this is so important, she wants it to have enough time for deliberation and debate, i.e. 2023, and after she is re-elected. But the tens of thousands of New Mexicans whose lives are thrown into financial ruin by these storefront lenders cannot not be ignored any longer. To review our bills before the Townhall, click here. And please join the Townhall at this link.
PUBLIC Power: The Time is NOW !
On Thursday I had the good fortune to watch a most informative webinar featuring the two brilliant Maine legislators who are organizing PEOPLE POWER in Maine and two notable utility advocates. The presenters clearly laid out how the current system for organizing, regulating, and delivering electricity was suitable for delivering centralized coal-based energy 100 years ago, and then laid out how ill-suited that system is for today ‘s great challenge: effecting a swift equitable transition to renewables.
This is precisely the information we need to be sharing with our legislators, either by sharing the video below or, perhaps better, you watching it while taking close notes so you can tell your legislator why you think we must study the Public Power option. There is no question that it is a daunting challenge to implement, so much so that even just to study Public Power raises fears (see Wirth above). But the best antidote to fear is information and the realization that colleagues and constituents “are getting it.” So please, after watching the video send a link to your legislators and ask for a conversation, where you can answer questions and address concerns. To do that well, you need to achieve comfort with the issue. This video is an excellent place to start.
Follow up your review of the video by reading the three Retake posts on Public Power. You will be on solid footing after completing the video and 2 or 3 of these posts.
- The Private Sector Has Failed Us. It is Time to Go Public, Expand Government & Democratize Our Economy. An excellent primer to the concept of pubic ownership of key sectors, including power, health care, and banking. We’ve bee taught that the private sector is best suited to pave a path to innovation, but this is a myth foisted on us by the oligarchs who control the private sector for their personal profit at our expense.
- Public Power: A Path to Energy Democracy, a Just Transition, & 100% Renewable Energy. Here is a deep dive into public power, how it differs from monopoly, and how any jurisdiction could utilize public power to reduce rates, improve performance, and generate profit for a state or local jurisdiction.
- It’s Our Time for Public Power lays out how and why Public Power is right for NM, right now.
After reviewing the video and these posts, you will be fully prepared to offer public comment or discuss Public Power and SM 10 with your legislators. When you do talk with them, stress that the whole point of conducting a study and conducting a public study process is to help legislators, the Governor, and stakeholders feel confident and prepared to move forward in 2023.
IN SOLIDARITY & HOPE,
Paul & Roxanne