About

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Retake Our Democracy is a volunteer-based organization committed to making personal and collective activism easier. Our goal is to build power in our community to ultimately create social, racial, environmental and economic justice at local, state and national levels.  We engage, educate, activate, and organize through trainings, actions, town halls, and educational events, and produce a blog with information, resources, tools and upcoming events.  We believe that lasting social change is borne out of local activism, and to that end we are committed to support organizations already engaged in social justice work.

Purpose:  Retake Our Democracy believes that a true democracy of “we the people” has never existed, and neither has “the land of the free.” Yet, democracy as an aspiration and as a goal is held dearly by millions of people across the globe, and so, we incorporate democracy in our title and seek to make it a reality instead of an aspiration. We believe that creating a truly participatory and inclusive democracy is an achievable and noble goal. To that end, Retake Our Democracy seeks to achieve social, economic, racial, and climate justice in Santa Fe, across New Mexico, and across the nation by organizing and supporting a range of political and social actions and by forming alliances with other activist organizations to build the power necessary to achieve equity and justice. Retake’s unique contribution is to organize the skills, expertise, and financial resources of its members to support and advance the goals of frontline activist organizations, and to make sustained activism at city, state, and national levels easier for all members of the community.

Strategies: To achieve our purpose, Retake uses its blog posts, website resources, outreach efforts, canvassing, town halls, community meetings, social media, letters to the editor and other forms of public communication to engage, educate, activate, and organize individuals in political discourse and action.  Our leadership team is constantly revising our strategies and is in the process of preparing a specific and narrow scope of work to achieve a greater focus. But one of the things that makes Retake unique is that we identify powerful local organizations that are already doing important work and then we work with them to identify how our Retake folks can support their work.

Unifying all these strategies is an ongoing effort to build power among people and communities that have been historically underrepresented so that we can more effectively advocate for change and promote justice and equity.

We can do this if we do it together.

15 thoughts on “About

  1. I feel that the term ‘common people’ can communicate lower respect for those persons who in fact may be exceptional in various ways. What about “mainstream people’ instead?

    Editing comment: For ‘We envision communities that meet together]….’ “We envision communities in which people meet together…’

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    • Roxanne and I have strangled with the right term for common people. I am not sure ‘mainstream’ is the right one either. But I invite comment as to how to characterize how best to capture: us, the 99%, all the people who are being manipulated by the 1%. But Roxanne had resisted the “common folk” term and I am learning that Roxanne has good instincts. Ideas?

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  2. I would edit the last sentence of the mission slightly: “A critical part of this mission is to make it easier for busy people to remain informed and to effectively use whatever time they can devote to activism .”

    I would suggest that the sentence above the 2nd list of bullet points be edited to state:” What’s more, we believe that the government should ensure that:” (Because the statement “it is the role of government to ensure” could be construed to mean that these are the entire role, when it is not intended to be the entire scope of the government’s role.)

    I might suggest changing the adjective “crazy” near the end to something like idealistic or, alternately, to drop it altogether for simply “ambitious goals”. Though I understand what we are doing may appear crazy in the context of the coming regime, in reality it is anything but crazy, but rather sane, humane, and in keeping with the vision of our republic’s founders. I would rather not lend any credence to the view of the new regime’s worldview by labeling our goals crazy. Many of them are, in fact, achievable, and most of them point in a direction rather than necessarily to a particular goal line – so success will be determined more by progress along this line than in any specific end point.

    Good work!

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      • how about… “voters”, “community”, “neighbors”, “citizens”, or just plain “people” – depending on the context?

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      • Hi Marlene,

        In conversation with several folks, we came up with “the Majority” which nicely contrasts with the 1%. Does that sound good? The idea is to have one term. Of course, there will be times when the topic is specific to one or more of your suggestions. But “citizens” is one that excludes undocumented immigrants and voters, most unfortunately leaves out 40% of adults and all those under 18. Thanks for the input.

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  3. I’ve two comments one about the mission and one about the vision. I suggest including in the mission statement (in caps) – individuals of all races, cultures, genders, AGES, and political views. Hopefully, this would be a multigenerational vision. We need the youth!
    The vision is lacking mention of the right to a clean, nontoxic environment in which to live, e.g. clean water as in Flint MI and with the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the extremities of climate change.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul, my three comments are simple. I think you should include ethnicity alongside culture where it is mentioned.Working people is a simple solution for common people. Paul, when this is finalized, I would be happy to translate it into Spanish.

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    • Thanks, Heidi. The only problem with using “working people” is it omits a bunch of folks: retired, disabled, young people below 16 and those unable to get into the workforce. So I am still hunting for the best term there. I will add ethnicity. Good suggestion. And tremendous offer on the Spanish which I will take you up on. At some point, I’d love it if when you came to the site, there was a Spanish button where you could get a core group of docs and tools. Translating three blogs a week wouldn’t work, especially when you consider how many links to other docs there are. I’ll save your email in my ever longer task list and once this gets close to final, I’ll reconnect. Thanks for you comments. Paul

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  5. I recommend the 99%. Whatever term we decide on, it should be the most inclusive, the least controversial, and one that the majority of people would readily believe describes them.

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  6. I recommend the 99%. Whatever term we decide on, it should be the most inclusive, the least controversial, and one that the majority of people would readily believe describes them. (Sorry about the above “signposts” handle; it is from a defunct blog; didn’t see that I could post from Facebook instead.)

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    • We thought about the 99% and you are correct it conveys how so many more of us are connected and in the same boat, but it also resonates with the Occupy 1% language that might not be useful in engaging those moderate Dems and mod GOPs who, with education they are willing to listen to, as it isn’t threatening to them. But I need to mull that, as the point you made about how, if you really look at it, it is the 99% vs the 1%. Thanks for the comment.

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