Button 3 1-4-19Retake 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 the local and state 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 we are committed to supporting organizations already engaged in social, economic, and environmental justice work.

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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 environmental justice across New Mexico 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 easier for all members of the community.

Strategies: To achieve our purpose, Retake uses its blog posts, website resources, outreach efforts, 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. 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 volunteers 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.

36 replies

  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…’

    • 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?

    • Cannot find a contact place …heard one of you on Richard Eeds.. Vaery interesting. I am a 71 year old woman who has been living in her car 14 years in SF. Could not get jobs whem Bush was in White House…now it has been 14 years since I have worked. I keep busy taking art classes at SFCC. My BA is no longer adequate.I came here in 1990 due to asthma, and worked for low wages til I could not get jobs. Would love a tiny house! And would love to participate in a group working toward that gosl.

  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!

    • Thank you, Jay and very good reframe. I’ll take a stab at a revision.

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

      • 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.

    • SB 32 ROXYS Law not signed either!!!!

  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.

  4. P.S. I don’t mean that in the statement itself ages would be in caps! Just using caps to note my addition.

  5. 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.

    • 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

  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.

  7. 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.)

    • 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.

  8. I belong to Orange CT Indivisible. We are working on a project to contact Indivisible groups in other states to coordinate efforts to do specific things. For instance, we are in the process of writing a letter that groups could send to senators and representatives in their districts about immigration and the treatment of immigrants at our border.
    I’m also interested in talking with someone in your group to share ideas and compare experiences.


    • Thank you for your comment. I wish Roxanne and I were not leaving town for 10 weeks tomorrow at 5am for a 75 day 24 city tour to meet with leaders implementing model social justice initiatives. As a result, it is going to be very difficult for me to coordinate activity such as what you suggest. But I will surely try. One person has stepped forward saying that if something begins to gel, she could help coordinate.

      Beyond the current crisis, it would be good to speak with you about your group as we need to expand our base and develop hubs of activism statewide, especially in relation to lobbying in the Roundhouse for key legislation in 2019. As part of that effort, Roxanne and I will be touring NM during the middle of August and we’d be happy to come to Orange to meet with your group.

      Would you be able to call me sometime T, W or Th between about 9-4pm. Roxanne and I will be in transit as we need to get from here to DC by Friday night so we can participate in the Poor Peoples Campaign march.

      If you can’t call, please send me an email describing your group.

      510 915-3831


  9. I am surprised that no one has suggested that all of the tax cuts for the richest individuals in our state that had their taxes reduced by then Governor Bill Richardson be restored. I have seen figures that suggest an amount of approximately $350 million per year. That would allow us to properly fund all of the good proposals on alternative energy, including House Bill 210 that allows for community solar with restrictions on how much companies like PNM can pass along, and SB 374.

  10. I just learned of this — a demonstration at the Roundhouse…, at the last minute. I think it is important!


  11. It would indeed be helpful it THIS WORKED !?
    the link – https://voterview.state.nm.us/VoterView/RegistrantSearch.do
    goes nowhere
    just so ya know

  12. Millions of seniors live abroad and are still vitally interested in the United States, our home of origin, the home of our hearts, the home where our children and grandchildren live and where we may return one day. Please address us. Thousands of us grieve or shake our fists at happenings in the US. WE VOTE!! We need to have ways to help that can be done from abroad, and we need to be sure that our votes make it to our home state and get counted. Thank you. And thank you for all you are doing to turn things around. We need you!!

  13. Thank you for the good work you are doing. Very hopeful to see how you work! Lonnie Rowell, Rio Rancho

  14. In response to paulgibson51 – December 22, 2016 • 2:54 pm to Marlene:
    I am confused by your response: “But “citizens” is one that excludes undocumented immigrants and voters, most unfortunately leaves out 40% of adults and all those under 18.”

    “All those under 18” are citizens if they were born in the United States.

  15. Please update your contact information for Tom Udall, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Ambassador to New Zealand and American Samoa this week. He has been succeeded by Ben Ray Lujan, Jr.who took office as Senator representing New Mexico after the November 2020 election. Shame on you for not keeping up with elected officials!

  16. There is a new caucus called the Environmental Justice Caucus consisting of registered NM Democrats who want to put their beliefs in environmental justice into action. We are hoping to become accepted within the party as a formal caucus within the next few days. I have been passing along some information from your site about current environmental justice issues to our membership. Thank you for all you do.

  17. How the heck did we end up with a former state leader of ALEC just appointed to the UNM Regents by this Democratic governor??

  18. Just attended the legislative update and heard your comments on HB228. Please examine your statements on “clean” energy (solar/wind). As an indigenous woman, I know that every human convenience costs the earth and her animals and plants. There is no “green” or “clean”. Battery storage? Lithium mining? Exploitation of land and people and destruction of species…..guaranteed.

  19. I have been contacting committee members throughout the session on the hydrogen hub bill. My representative on the committee is a Republican who voted yes. Rather than try to convince someone incapable of responsible consideration, I recommended she vote no because it is a win for the governor and two democratic senators. While on the subject, how does the progressive community deal with the betrayal of this governor and our two democratic senators who went along with NMOGA hb228 and previous incarnations. My formerly beloved representative and now Interior Secretary along with this president have also betrayed their supporters and the nation. So do we keep pulling the Democratic Party lever at voting time or is it beyond time to start voting for independents and 3rd party candidates? My feeling is that a moderate appearing Republican could beat Lujan-Grisham. Does anyone know what Eric Griego is up to? Working Families Party,PSL Party…etc.

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