Essentials of Effective Roundhouse Advocacy

We are just beginning to develop this Roundhouse Advocacy Tool Kit, but we have assembled to date will provide you an excellent orientation to how the Roundhouse works and how you can have an impact. We will be adding to the Tool Kit as we continue our planning as we prepare for the first day of the 2019 Legislative Session, January 16.

  • What is Retake, the Roundhouse Team and the Response Network?  This one-pager will give you an excellent short orientation to Retake Our Democracy and how all our legislative pieces are organized. What is Retake, the RAT Pack, and the Statewide Response Network.
  • EFFECTIVE- Legislative Advocacy This piece goes into some detail describing the nuanced ways in which a volunteer can influence their legislator and to advocate for bills they support. It describes how bills are introduced, amended, and move from committee to committee to the Senate and House Floor and to the Governor’s desk. This is a must read. 
  • Retake Our Democracy’s 2018-19 Election and Legislative Strategy.  This document will give you a more detailed view of how Retake organized an integrated election and legislative strategy with the Election Strategy designed to strengthen the NM House and move it left and the Legislative Strategy designed to ensure we get good bills passed and signed in 2019.
  • Retake Our Democracy’s Roundhouse Advocacy Strategy for the 2019 Legislative Strategy.  This document goes into more detail about our strategy, what we hope to achieve and the roles you can play. This link takes you a page listed under the Actions and Events menu and will be updated each week. 
  • Retake Our Democracy’s 2019 Legislative Priorities. This list of 29 good bills that died in 2018 was developed over a 12-month period by our Roundhouse Advocacy Team. They didn’t just pick the bills they supported, but identified the bills through months of dialog with both legislators and our non-profit advocacy partners, e.g. Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Common Cause, NM Voices for Children, etc. The summary will give you an idea of what our 2019 Bill Summaries will look like as bills are introduced. The document also includes a link to our Speak Up NM Survey asking respondents to weigh in on these 29 bills Click here.
  • How to Understand Bills & Write Bill Summaries This tool was designed for volunteers who plan to help us screen, research and analyze the 2-5000 bills that will be introduced over the next two months. But it will also provide anyone with a guide for how to access information on bills and to use that information to inform the development of your own views.
  • Must Pass Bills. This list will be amended as new bills are introduced and is almost entirely based upon actual bills that had been introduced in the Roundhouse in 2017 or 2018, only to be vetoed or be killed in Democratically controlled committees, i.e. we can’t sit back and wait for good things to happen. We need to be in the game.


We will be adding more video over the next few weeks, most immediately we will be adding a video giving click by click instructions on how to use the NM Roundhouse website, a site that is difficult to understand initially but holds a wealth of invaluable information. offers links to three videos designed to help you use their website and track legislation.  Click here to go to a page that offers all three of the following vidoes.

Tracking Bills You Want to Follow.  This very short and very clear video provides details on how you can create a list of bills you want to follow and organize those bills by issue areas you define.

How to Find Legislation.  This video shows you how to use the search engines to identify bills you might want to support.

How to Find a Legislator.  This video shows you how to find your any legislator using the search engines provided at

Below is a 30-minute training given by Clifford Rees at our November 29 Roundhouse Advocacy meeting. He lays out in a very entertaining fashion how bills are introduced and move or stall in the Roundhouse. He also describes the key times where specific communication can influence a legislator or a committee. Committees are where bills move or die and Clifford is in his 14th year serving as a Senior Legislative Analyst, so he knows the ropes.

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