Action Research Kit Research Design Specs

cropped-rod-banner-with-tagline-4-x-111.jpgPurpose of an Action Research Kit:  To provide concise, fact-based, powerful information on clearly defined issue areas designed first to educate our base, motivate their taking action, and be easy to share with others. 

Purpose of the Research Protocol:  As many as 40-50 people may offer to help with the research. There are double that from throughout the state who have expressed interest in becoming involved.  The purpose of the protocol is to ensure the integrity and quality of the work, to provide researchers a clear target, and to reduce the amount of editing involved once each researcher has completed his or her first effort.

Here is what is included in this guide, in order of inclusion.

  • A description of the purpose of the Action Research Kits
  • Guidelines for what should be included and their contents/structure;
  • The research development and coordination process, including the editing and posting process;
  • A list of immediate priorities for research. For those of you who have already identified your research area, certainly stick with it, but if you are open to putting something on a back burner for the next kit you do, then these priorities could inform your decision and also help others who have not found a topic yet.
  • Table of Research Categories and Topic areas for all writers, and contact info for the Coordinator of the Team, the two Research Leads, but Christina and I missed the name of the second editor. Please provide as otherwise it is just Christina, which is not supportable. If you would like to volunteer to help edit research products, please write to Christina at
  • Click the link: research-resource-guide-1-29-17-pdf to access a Research Resource Inventory developed by Judy and Mary Anne. While it is still in draft form, it is a very useful tool.

 General Guidelines for Each Research Piece

Standard Content

Each piece will focus on a discrete topic within one of the categories listed below.  Each category will be broken into some number of individual topics as needed to keep the briefs focused. We will revise categories and topics as needed. To assist researchers in accessing the highest quality research and media sources, Mary Anne Reilly and Judy Klinger have assembled an inventory of sources, click here to access this tool click here: research-resource-guide-1-29-17-pdf. And to ensure consistency in the research produced, we have two editors who will review drafts before they are submitted to Paul Gibson for placement on the blog site. We badly need 2-3 more editors so if you’d like to volunteer for this role, please write to Christina Allday-Bondy at

Issue Categories (subject to change)

  • Environment (includes water, land, air, climate change)
  • Community Development
  • Criminal Justice (including gun violence prevention)
  • Social and Racial Justice (includes indigenous, black lives matter)
  • Children, Youth and Families
  • Education (include Pre-K through college)
  • Healthcare (includes behavioral health, prevention, Medicaid, pharma, etc.)
  • Immigration
  • Foreign Policy
  • Wealth Gap and Income Inequality (includes Tax and Revenue, minimum wage, and labor issues)
  • Election Reform

Approach to Audience.  This is tricky.  We are beginning by appealing to our base, giving them tools to share with others and to inform their conversations with others who see the world either somewhat or even very differently than we do.  It is essential to keep this in mind as we move forward.  Each piece starts from a value based statement introducing the category and/or topic.  These statements serve as a non-polarizing starting point from which to present the findings.  We are not trying to be “objective” or give equal weight to disparate sets of facts, interpretations, or opinions.  Instead, we are looking to be unapologetic and open about our point of view, rigorous about providing reliable supporting documentation, and as inclusive as possible in our language so as to be heard by as diverse an audience as possible.  Expected uses for these briefs include:

  • Handouts for discussion at house parties, book clubs, forums, etc.
  • Citizen lobbyists use with legislators or as sources for letters to editors & other actions
  • Educational sources for interested people browsing through website
  • Handouts for people to share with friends

Structure-Contents. 1000-1500 word narrative, with hyper links to other sources. The narrative should include:

  • The problem being addressed, presumably substantiated with recent data or references to credible reports;
  • Description of what has been tried and why it has not worked, again substantiated with data or references;
  • A description of one or at most two solutions (we want this to be simple and easily digestible and not sound high-toned or doctoral;
  • The inclusion of visuals, either jpeg photos, charts or infographics, photos very important;
  • The potential impact on people and/or planet if this strategy were implemented, this could include budget savings, increased business development, reductions in methane, whatever, also documented.

In addition to the above narrative, ideally each packet would include separate narrative that is referenced in the above narrative so that it can be linked into the narrative above.

  • For any social, economic or environmental challenge that might be addressed, if possible include one local, state and national piece of legislation or initiative that could address the problem, spelling out how each would work and impact the people affected by the challenge;
  • In addition, a link to a personal story illustrating the impact in human terms of the current policy and how life would be different with a different policy;
  • If available a link to a compelling video. So for example if you were writing about the pharmaceutical industry you might include a link to a heartrending example of the impact of the pharmaceutical industries greedy manipulation of prescription prices, click here.
  • It is very important to in some way identify the source for assertions made in the body of the document. Probably the easiest way to do this is to embed a hyperlink to each document referenced and used to make some assertion. You can insert a hyperlink by going to the “Insert” pull down menu in MS Word. It is the last item in the Insert pull down menu.

Research Coordination Process

We are working to identify a research coordinator for each Issue Category.  Coordinator responsibilities will include:

  • Identify 5-6 research topic areas within your category.
  • Develop values based introductory statements for your category and each topic within it.
  • Work with researchers to assign topics to individuals or teams according to interest and expertise.
  • Develop timelines for completion and mechanisms to maintain some level of accountability to the accepted protocols.
  • Work with other research coordinators and research team coordinator(s) (if any) to develop and refine these protocols.
  • Work with other research coordinators to identify areas of category/topic overlap and agree on how to break things down to avoid duplication of effort.
  • While most of the ‘coordination’ will occur directly with researchers, there likely will be periodic meetings to assess overall progress and move the process forward.  The frequency, process, and agendas of such meetings will be decided on jointly by the coordinators.

Highest Priority Research Topics.

The first list represents our highest priorities largely because they have bills associated with them being introduced in the Roundhouse. A second list follows this and this includes some issues that duplicate the first list.

  • Tax and revenue—this is a high priority because it will be the first thing out of the box in the Roundhouse and much depends on how it is resolved, plus there is tremendous information on the Voices for Children website that will make this relatively easy to assemble.
  • Benefits of Early Childhood Educ and Wisdom of Increasing Draw on the Permanent Fund and/or in Santa Fe, the Soda Tax. Benefit is that it is a twofer. You develop a piece supporting a state and local initiative. Soda Tax was done recently in Bolder, Berkeley, San Francisco (all cities different), so this is info available. It is possible that Mary Ann Shaening has taken this. Please confirm.
  • Industrial Hemp. This is a key one because we have a great resource at OneNM from Alan Webber who extensively researched this as an economic driver, user of less water, stimulus to rural economy, potential bipartisan support, so there are many reasons to prioritize this. And a very conservative state, Kentucky is a leader here.
  • Predatory Pay Day Lending. Because it is obscene what is charged and because one of our DNC reps, Raymond Sanchez, is the leading lobbyist for the lending industry. This needs to pass and he needs to get voted out of his Dem. Party role in 2018.

Another list of priority issues comes from the NM Progressive Coalition Top Ten Legislative Priorities. There is some overlap between this list and the one above.

2017 New Mexico Progressive Coalition (NMPC) Legislative Priorities

Retake Our Democracy is developing a Justice Platform that is still in draft form, but as you will see it contains platform statements on 9 of the 10 issues in the New Mexico Progressive Coalition’s Top Ten Legislative Priorities. Listed below are the 10 priorities of the NMPC followed by several Retake Our Democracy priorities in our draft platform.

  1. Address the state budget crisis by raising revenues rather than cutting public services. We support progressive tax reform proposals such as making on-line out of state retailers pay the same taxes as local businesses; asking the wealthiest New Mexicans to pay the same percentage of their income in taxes as working families pay; and eliminating tax breaks for large out of state corporations. . (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Economic Justice platform).
  2. Increase the minimum wage for working families. We support raising the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 per hour, so working families can afford basic needs and not rely on public assistance. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Economic Justice platform).
  1. Amend the state constitution to fund early childhood investment. We support increasing the amount of funding drawn from the land grant permanent fund by 1 percent to fund investment in early childhood programs. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Social Justice platform).
  1. Regulate predatory lending. We support capping interest rates for payday and title loans at 36 percent annual interest rates. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Economic Justice platform).
  1. Extend solar tax credit. We support extending the 10 percent tax credit on solar energy production. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Economic Justice platform).
  1. Allow automatic voter registration. We support a constitutional amendment to automatically register all eligible voters when they are issued a driver’s license. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Social Justice platform).
  1. Elect President by popular vote. We support changing the state election code to enact the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, agreement among states to elect the president by national popular vote. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Social Justice platform).
  1. Enact moratorium on new charter schools. We support a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools to provide time for evaluation of the capacity and success of current charter schools.
  1. Legalize and tax marijuana. We support raising revenue and prioritizing more urgent public safety needs by making cannabis legal, while regulating and taxing its production, distribution and consumption. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Economic Justice platform).
  1. Pass Health Security Act. We support enacting a comprehensive state-based health care system that provides universal access to all New Mexicans. (This is also a part of the Retake Our Democracy Social Justice platform).

Current List of Researchers.

This list includes BOTH individuals who came to the most recent meeting and identified a very specific topic and those who missed the last meeting but had identified a Topic Category. As you will see, the people identifying a topic category and who did not attend the last meeting tended to be a bit overzealous, with many identifying 4-5 or more topic areas. It is important to be realistic here as doing one research brief is probably an 8-20 hour commitment, so indicating interest in 4-5 areas is not realistic. I ask that all reviewing this, first examine what topics are already being done and then look at the priorities above and find a topic that is a priority and where you have interest. When you identify a topic, please send an email to both Christina Allday-Bondy and to me at I will need to update this list quickly so someone else doesn’t volunteer for the same topic.

Topic Writers&Editors Phone -Email
Research Team Coor. & Editor Christina Allday-Bondy P:
Editor I missed the name for this person.
Research Lead Judy Klinger P 505 983-4828
Research Lead Mary Anne Reilly P:
I.   Environment
Citizen Climate Lobby Carbon Fee-Dividend Marjle Kamine P: 928 814-8438
Community Aggregation & Feasibility of Transition to Renewables in NM Gordon Johnston P: 575 776-4195
Those listed below do not have a specific topic or we do not what it is. Please review what is already being done and email Christina Allday-Bondy if you have a topic you would like to research. Thanks.
Water Issues Bette Korber
Water Issues Nancy Halvorson
Water Issues Claudette DuBois
Renewable Energy Tom Samuels
Renewable Energy Martin Gavurnik
Renewable Energy Geoff Hendricks
Renewable Energy Allan Sindelar
State Land Policy Ari Biernoff
State Land Policy MarK Bundy
State Land Policy Claudette DuBois
State Land Policy Nancy Halvorson
Climate Change Anne Widmark
Climate Change Meg Meltz
Climate Change Claudette DuBois
Climate Change Nancy Halvorson
Climate Change Debra Denker
Climate Change Judith Hendricks
Climate Change Raquel Lopez
Climate Change Elena Giorgi
Climate Change Bette Korber
Climate Change Michela Aveta
II. Community Dev’t
Corporations Good & Bad Barbara Gavurnik
Corporations Good & Bad Meg Meltz
Grassroots Organizing Best Practices Randy Yael
Grassroots Organizing Best Practices Paula Narbutovskih
Grassroots Organizing Best Practices Tom Samuels
Arts Steve Chance
Arts Anne Cleveland
Arts Raquel Lopez
Arts Coreen Plewa
Cities That Work Jill Coursin
Cities That Work Coreen Plewa
Cities That Work Paula Narbutovskih
Cities That Work Nicholas Brown
III. Social – Racial Justice
Anti-Hate (no specific topic) Meg Meltz


P: 505 690-4165
Anti-Hate (no specific topic) Anne Widmark
Anti-Hate (no specific topic) Stephen Landau
Anti-Hate (no specific topic) Andrea Slade
Anti-Hate (no specific topic) Judy Klinger
Women’s Rights (no spec. top.) Luna Jordan
Women’s Rights (no spec. top.) Raquel Lopez
Women’s Rights (no spec. top.) Judith Hendricks
Women’s Rights (no spec. top.) Mary Ann Amos
Women’s Rights (no spec. top.) Martha Burt
LGBTQ Luna Jordan
LGBTQ Raquel Lopez
LGBTQ Joyce Bogostan
Immigration Ari Biernoff
Immigration Julia Berman
Immigration Mary Soppe,
Immigration Coreen Plewa
IV. Children, Youth & Families; (includes Educ.
Affordable Housing Dick Lawrence P:424-4835
Education and Early Childhood Education Anne Cleveland
Education and Early Childhood Education Dona Durham
Education and Early Childhood Education Judith Hendricks
Education and Early Childhood Education Geoff Hendricks
Education and Early Childhood Education Mary Ann Amos
Education and Early Childhood Education William Finnoff
Education and Early Childhood Education Elaine Clelland
Education and Early Childhood Education Nancy Halverson
Education and Early Childhood Education Melinda Silver
Education and Early Childhood Education Claudette DuBois
Affordable Housing Marjie Kamine
Affordable Housing Mary Soppe
Affordable Housing Dona Durham
No Topic Yet (Could also do # 3 above) Julie Colton P: 505 629-5746
V. Healthcare
Health Security Act Marti Brut P: 240 604-6799
Impact of Repeal of ACA on Healthcare Access In NM ??? Someone signed up for this and I don’t have the name.
Physician Assisted Suicide Barbara Conroy P: 505 983-9217
Prescription drugs and MediCare Part D Elaine Clayman P: 202 365-7900
Impact of Funding Cuts on Planned Parenthood & Women Mary Ann Amos P: 505 983-1010
Effect of repeal of ACA on healthcare access in NM Suzanne Gebhart P: 424-3835
Mental Health Care Luna Jordan
Healthcare (no topic) Debra Denker
Healthcare (no topic) Joyce Bogostan
Healthcare (no topic) Melinda Silver
V. Economy (includes tax-revenue)
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t Jill Coursin
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t Randy Yael
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t Geoff Hendricks
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t William Finnoff
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t Elaine Clelland,
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t Nancy Halverson
Job Growth & Economic Dev’t Claudette DuBois
Funding-Revenues & Taxation Marjie Kamine If you can do this Marjie, it is an important one that has not been taken.
Wealth & Inequality Gap
Global Trade William Finnoff If you can do this William, it is an important one that has not been taken.
Privatization of Public Programs George Jones
Privatization of Public Programs Ari Biernoff
Privatization of Public Programs Martin Gavurnick
Privatization of Public Programs Barbara Gavurnik
Privatization of Public Programs Joyce Bogostan
VI. Election Reform
Ethics Commission Bob Alei
Revise and broaden voting process John Otter P: 505 699-8329
Election Reform (No topic) Elena Giorgi
Election Reform (No topic) Julia Berman
Election Reform (No topic) Nicholas Brown
Election Reform (No topic) Coreen Plewa
Election Reform (No topic) Andrea Slade
Election Reform (No topic) Nancy Halverson
Election Reform (No topic) Allan Sindelar
Election Reform (No topic) Judy Klinger
Election Reform (No topic) Claudette DuBois,
VII. Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy-Nuclear Weapons (No Topic) Allan Sindelar
Foreign Policy (includes Nuclear) John Otter (done)
VIII. Public Safety (includes) CJ Reform, Gun Safety
Public Safety (CJ Reform) John Otter
Public Safety (CJ Reform) Eda Gordon
Gun Violence Prevention Anne Cleveland
Gun Violence Prevention Steve Chance
Gun Violence Prevention Ari Biernoff
Gun Violence Prevention Anne Widmark
IX. Effective Gov’t – City, State Progressive Models
Public Banking Janiece Jonsin
E:505 501 1779
X. Agriculture
What area? Perhaps you have enough 😉 Christina Allday-Bondy
Hemp (Hi Priority and we have Alan Webber’s white paper, so easy.
Miscellaneous or No Topic
Meg O’Brien P:505 501-4368
No Topic Yet Lance Tunick P: 505 570-1845
Quick Response (people able to produce something quickly if it is urgently needed)
Eda Gordon
Marjie Kamine
Martha Burt