Ruminations on Air Travel, Thanksgiving and NM’s Future

We’ve escaped the election, largely unscathed on the national level. And in NM, our plate is set for a transformational legislative session. Thanksgiving can be a time of food, family and frolic, but with a four day weekend, it can also offer time for rest and reflection. So, today we offer some resources for decolonizing and deepening your Thanksgiving holiday. We also offer info about the coming legislative session, transformational legislation that is coming and the work of our allies advancing those bills… With the legislative session but two months away, it is time to saddle up and get ready to make things happen.

Airing Grievances about Air Travel

Roxanne and I just returned from seeing our grandkids in Cleveland. Changing planes during layovers each way, we spent lots of time in Cleveland, Chicago and Denver airports with Roxanne and I virtually the only ones donning masks. WTF is wrong with this country? Flu season and increasing COVID infections and no one wearing masks? Does that make sense? I would think masks would be permanently required on all flights, year round, or at least from Oct-Feb. There is no doubt that the prevalence of masks contributed mightily to decreasing incidents of flu the last two years. In that context, why not institutionalize mask wearing? Sure, they are a pain to remember and not that fun to wear, but if it reduces your likelihood of getting or spreading flu or COVID, as a society, can’t we do this?

Any thoughts on this? Just another reason to save up to purchase an e-vehicle and drive to see the grandkids. Better that, than bringing them COVID or the flu as our gift to them.

2023: Our Opportunity to Pass Transformational Legislation in NM

The election could easily have gone differently. We could have a Weatherman governor elect and a significantly weakened State House, but the NMRed Wave turned into a NM Blue Tsunami with Dems winning every statewide election and even strengthening an already iron blue grip on the NM House. Further augmenting our prospects is the excellent groundwork done by our allies, your readiness to advocate ceaselessly and that we have 60 days to pass these bills and almost 60 days to get ready. Our allies have been busy since March :

  • Public PowerNM, has worked with legislators to develop Local Choice Energy legislation and has improved legislative understanding of Local Choice Energy and built stronger support among ally organizations and legislators. Organizational Endorsers include:

Retake is facilitating a Public Power-Local Choice Energy Zoominar in Dec. See details below. But first more bills we will support in 2023.

  • NM Public Bank. The folks at Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity, have done an excellent job of building a case for how a state public bank can support small business, rural and agricultural development Their biggest challenge is getting a state agency to endorse the work and include funding for a state public bank.
  • Modernizing the Legislature. Tom Solomon, 350NM, has stepped outside his climate change advocacy to facilitate an alternate week planning process of a coalition of orgs and individuals, in support of about a dozen women House Reps who are preparing legislation to lengthen sessions, pay legislators and, perhaps most importantly, pay for staff support for each legislator. They’ve significantly strengthened their base of support and with Common Cause designed a statewide survey, demonstrating the broad voter support for the concept and with Common Cause leading, generated. an excellent, front-page article on the legislation that appeared in the ABQ Journal on Monday.
  • Health Security in NM. In 2023, HSA continues its trek toward implementation while further expanding organizational support for the initiative;
  • Green Amendment has used the off-session to build a coterie of legislative sponsors and supporters, while strengthening racial/social justice language in their bill.

In addition to these five bills we will be

  • vigilantly opposing all efforts to fund public-private hydrogen development projects,
  • supporting efforts to pass Paid Family & Medical leave legislation and
  • seeking a significant increase in funding for the State Engineer’s Office, so it can develop a 50-year water plan for NM, Arid dessert climate, climate change, dwindling water supplies, no plan…What?
  • supporting efforts to expand our tax & revenue base;
  • watching enabling legislation for Amendment 1 and 2, especially as fiscal conservatives may try to limit or constrain full adoption of Amend. 1(early childhood funding) and the administration may well try to use or abuse Amend 2 to allow for the hydrogen public -private partnerships
  • we also anticipate supporting legislation advanced by the Food & Agriculture Policy Council.

With all of these and more issues being part of the session, it is important we all get organized and ready. To advance that preparation, we are announcing the return of our Legislative Huddles, with the first being on Weds, Nov. 30 from 6-7 on Zoom. Huddles are an opportunity to help us hone our messaging and strategizing in support of bills we support. For more information and to register, click here and scroll down just a very wee bit. Below the Huddle info, you will find more info on our fifth Zoominar, on Public power and Local Choice Energy. Join us for both, weigh in on your priorities and find out what Retake will offer by way of tools, resources and direction, so you can advocate effectively this session.

Public PowerNM–Bringing You Local Choice Energy in 2023.

A coalition of advocates and advocacy organizations has been meeting for months preparing for the 2023 legislative session, researching various models and approaches for breaking free from the Investor Owned Utility (IOU) monopolies that deliver energy to most New Mexicans. Very little of that energy is renewable and, as you will learn in our Zoominar, rates and reliability are worse with iOU managed energy. Find out how with Local Choice Energy we can democratize energy in NM , reduce rates, and accelerate our transition to 100% renewable energy.

To register for this most important Zoominar, click here and scroll a bit (just after huddle info). You must register to attend.

Thanksgiving Could be More Than Football, Food and Frolic

Every year, we publish some kind of guide for rethinking Thanksgiving, or making Thanksgiving something more than food, football and frolic. While most wont want to launch into a lecture on Indigenous history and U.S. colonization, just as you are sitting down to dinner. it is possible to bone up a bit on that history and offer observations here or there on something like the truthful history of Thanksgiving from an indigenous perspective. So below are some resources to help.

  • For an overall resource– Bioneers offers a Decolonizing Thanksgiving resource page with links to articles, videos and books to Decolonize Thanksgiving. For the deepest of dives;
  • Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz’ Indigenous History of the United States, although it may be a bit dry and detailed. So, for those who’d like a bit more engaging dive;
  • Indigenous Continent by Pekka Hämäläinen which I just picked up at Collected Works after reading a review in the NY Times: “[T]he single best book I have ever read on Native American history.” —Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times Book Review ,and for a quick read
  • Indian Country Today Media Network, produced a 16-page report, Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain, By Mary Annette Pember. Click “download” in the link below to get the pdf.
  • Finally, below an engaging video on indigenous life before Columbus.

Happy holidays,

In solidarity & hope,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation

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6 replies

  1. That’s nice, but the courts and legislators, PRC, and any entity that can do something systemic about our energy and pollution problems are not working together and are not on board about regulating oil and gas and utility companies. PNM is a predatory abusive company, and although Avangrid has not taken it over, Avangrid/Iberdrola is funding and abetting PNM’s continued abuse of New Mexican consumers. Gangster capitalism is killing us and hurting the land, water, and people every day.

  2. Thanks Paul. Great post.

  3. About the masking thing: I *BEG* you all to read Jessica Wildfire’s blog, particularly the post “You May Be Early, but You’re Not Wrong: A Covid Reading List”.

    We are gambling *against the odds* with children’s long-term health. Getting infected with Covid-19 does NOT strengthen your immune system against future infections; *it weakens it*. The virus takes your immune system down like a crashed computer. Repeat infections greatly increase the chances of terrible long-covid damage, including brain damage, damage to the heart, and on and on.
    We’re traveling. No one seems to be masking, *except in this area around the biomedical research institutions* (the North Carolina “research triangle”). Hmm… Ya think biomedical research people might know something?

  4. As always, thank you for your perspective and wonderful informative links.

    I’ll be celebrating this Thanksgiving by watching the 2005 film, “The New World,” a kind of visual poem to the early colonization at Jamestown from multiple perspectives and, in the end, turning the idea of “the new world” on it’s head.

    For radical reading try “The Red New Deal: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth” (

  5. Only a very small percentage of the population has gotten the covid booster. They are all in denial. Watching the Macy’s Parade right now. A giant covid-fest. Ignorant and selfish people. Denial is homo sap’s greatest strength. They really don’t care if the old and medically compromised die as long as they can get their kicks.

    • Linda I think I understand your frustration. I am old and medically compromised but I cannot condemn the young folks here or in China who want to live their lives.

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