Saturday, December 31, 2011
The Year 2011 Into The Year 2012
If anyone told me the year 2011 would be a year I would experience tremendous beauty and tremendous sorrow as it has been this year - I would have said you are crazy. But alas that is the story of my year 2011. I looked up big events for year 2011: and there are some big ones this Vancouver Sun articleseemed to list them out and stir memories of each event for me. I wish there were more positive events listed because we all know there are those - thank heavens.
I think of the millions who have died this year, and the millions who were born. So natural of an occurrence but so huge for the lives who are attached. I miss one very special human-being. I stayed with her and made her as comfortable as possible til her last hours.
I received a beautiful hand written letter yesterday from a woman Barb or myself have not even met as of yet. I am going to share a beautiful thought from this letter: "I believe in the higher purpose of our lives and possibly that the shape-shifting of Barbara's spirit from the physical to beyond served this great purpose....to inspire those of us left behind in our physical shells to step up and honor her work through our own. I believe a warrior such as Barbara might pass, so that 10 or 20 or more activists will be inspired to work in her memory, and in turn inspire others with their light and thus creating the most powerful, positive shift in human consciousness, as a result of the dedication and commitment to change demonstrated slowly over time by one true and beautiful soul."
That is the message for 2012 for me. Carry the light on to touch others.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
1/17: Occupy the New Mexico Roundhouse
Opening day of the 2012 New Mexico Legislature Occupy New Mexico has got great plans for the Roundhouse. "Come ready to exercise your rights to free speech and assembly — speaking your own voice while actively listening to and respecting the voices of others."
The Occupy New Mexico website lays out the days activities. "A unified Gathering of statewide New Mexico Occupy groups and diverse allies will converge in Santa Fe at the NM State Capitol for opening day of the 2012 NM Legislature, on the corner of Old Santa Fe Trail & Paseo de Peralta, at 10:30 a.m. At 11:30 am, a march will start at the Railyard Station (North) and make its way to the Roundhouse. We will then all merge together and march in a continuous circle around the Roundhouse – OUR HOUSE!"
"As the 2012 New Mexico Legislature convenes on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 for a 30-day session, come create history and join the 99% to reclaim our Capitol from the 1% who think they own it. In this centennial year marking 100 years of New Mexico statehood, the citizens of New Mexico will take back our democracy from the corporations and make it work again for the People!"
1/9: Re-Election Campaign Kickoff for Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver
You are invited to a Re-Election Campaign Kick-off for
Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver
Smooth, Transparent Elections
Effective and Responsive Leadership
A County Clerk We Can Be Proud of
Hosted By: Renee Ward, Judith Espinosa, Nasha Torrez, Lawrence Rael, Fred Mondragon, Chris Cervini, Brian Morris, Justin Miller, Mo Chavez and Mark Saavedra
DATE: Monday, January 9, 2012
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Jazzbah - 119 Gold Avenue SW (Corner of Gold and Second)
Suggested Contribution: $50
Join Our Mailing List! Checks should be made payable to Friends of Maggie Toulouse Oliver
Paid for by Friends of Maggie Toulouse Oliver, PO Box 3071, Albuquerque, NM 87190
Guest Blog by Jim Hightower: Hoping Won’t Do It; Let’s Make Next Year Better
The following endorsement information was provided by the Eric Griego for Congress Campaign.
About Jim Hightower: Writer, Commentator, and Agitator. National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.
Let's not just hope and pray that next year is better than 2011 – let's team up to make it better.
One way to do that is to send someone to Congress who actually believes what he says and does what he believes. We need someone who is a populist champion with a record we can trust to fight for ordinary families.
I’m talking about our friend, Eric Griego, who is running a genuine people-powered campaign. He’s running for Congress in New Mexico’s First District, and he’s the real thing – principled and people-minded.
The problem with someone like Eric, who actually puts people first, is that he inevitably invites powerful opposition. After all, he’s consistently taken firm stands for consumers and small businesses against corporate giants. He defended Elizabeth Warren against right-wing attacks and stood up to Speaker John Boehner, demanding that he stand with the 99%.
As a State Senator and City Councilor, Eric has fought for and passed real campaign finance and ethics reforms to save our democracy from the torrent of corporate money and powerful lobbyists. A politician
who actually fought for and passed laws to take less money? How about that!
These are some reasons why Eric’s facing well-funded opposition from Tea Party Republican and centrist candidates drinking out of deep corporate troughs.
Eric Griego is a rising national star. He counts on the support of people-powered groups such as Blue America PAC, Democracy for America, MoveOn.org Political Action, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the Daily Kos. Major labor unions representing middle class workers in both the private and public sectors are also standing with him. He’s no slouch either when it comes to fighting for clean energy and environment, with groups such as the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters committed to his victory in 2012.
Join me in sending a real Democrat to Washington to stir things up a bit.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
New Mexicans In Favor of Same-Sex Marriage and Support Occupy Wall Street
Yes you read that right! New Mexicans are in favor of same sex marriage!
From the Public Policy Polling website the post "New Mexico for Gay Marriage" was put up on Dec. 20th. You can read the entire article here. And now I can remember Christopher Salas sending me a message saying Barb would be happy about this. And yes indeed Christopher she would. I am sorry I did not have the clearity of mind to go look this up last week because it is exciting news. I must say it is too bad my Barb passed away two days prior to this poll release. I miss her and I am going to miss her social security check, which every straight married couple gets to continue to receive.
PPP states the following shift: "PPP last polled the state in June, voters were against legalizing it by a 42-48 margin. In the intervening half-year, opinion has moved eight points, with 45% now wanting gay couples to be able to legally marry in the state, and 43% still against it. The reason for the shift is that Democrats (from 34% to 28%) and independents (44% to 37%) have lowered their opposition by six or seven points. Further, two-thirds of New Mexicans also still favor these relationships being recognized with at least the legal equality of civil unions. That includes 78% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 41% of Republicans." For sure promising good news. Maybe people have more to worry about than Gay Marriage.
Polling is always a bit of a mystery because the next paragraph states the poll revealed that Gov. Martinez has only slipped marginally in her approval ratings. Hmmm. Seems like conflicting ideals but let us accept it as it is.
Dig this too: The PPP poll also revealed some interesting polling stats over the approval of Occupy Wall Street movement vs the Tea Party movement.
Q9 Do you support or oppose the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement?
Support 42%, Oppose 37%, Not sure 21%.
Q10 Do you support or oppose the goals of the Tea Party movement?
Support 34%, Oppose 50%, Not sure 16%.
Q11 Do you have a higher opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement or the Tea Party movement?
Occupy Wall Street 44%, Tea Party 38%, Not sure 18%.
We have not heard or asked what the LGBT community is pushing for in the 2012 Legislature this year. Maybe one of our legislators could carry a marriage equality bill. The poll above says that 41 % of republicans polled support civil unions. Perhaps we can move the civil rights battle for LGBT americans further down the field, to be treated fairly as the tax paying citizens we are.
Earlier this year we got Senator Udall and Senator Bingaman to sign on to cosponsor the repeal of DOMA legislation on the federal level. More than 1,000 of you signed a petition asking that they support the bill. Many of those signing the petition included very moving and passionate statements of support for equality for same-sex couples and the entire LGBT community. You can read them here.
If you look at the petition signatures you will not find many of our State Legislators. Barb and I solicited their participation, with personal emails. But alas if you look at the signatures you will find but a handful of State Senators or Represenatives who signed this petition. Not acceptable. Whether it is lethargy or fear of stepping out and supporting full gay rights, the time is now. Carpe diem!
Lastly below is an audio of my partner Barbara Wold, being interviewed by Peter St. Cyr right after an exciting Democratic Party State Central Committee Meeting where the resolutions we were carrying for Gay Marriage passed unanimously. Go Barb! We are still in the fight honey!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
NM-1: American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Endorses Eric Griego for Congress
The following endorsement information was provided by the Eric Griego for Congress Campaign.
NM State Senator Eric Griego and Christine Trujillo
Eric Griego for Congress (NM-1) announced today the endorsement by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of the largest unions in New Mexico with more than 24,000 members, including 6,500 members in the First Congressional District.
“It’s more important than ever that we elect leaders who truly understand that we can’t build a 21st century economy without investing in 21st century education,” said Christine Trujillo, the President of AFT New Mexico. “Eric Griego has been a steadfast champion for education in the State Senate and on the Albuquerque City Council, and our educational employees (teachers, paraprofessionals, higher education professionals and early childhood members) will work hard to elect him as our next Congressman.”
“Eric Griego is the clear choice in this election for teachers, parents and children who want to strengthen our schools,” said Sara Attleson, Chairwoman of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation Committee on Political Education (COPE). “Eric doesn’t just give lip service – his record of fighting for school funding and ensuring that teachers have the resources to teach well is unmatched.”
“I was able to get a good education and make a decent middle class living because of my teachers’ dedication to my success,” Griego said. “That’s why I’m proud that the teachers are standing with me so that I can go to Washington to continue fighting for good education for every kid.”
The AFT represents more than 1.5 million working and retired teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; and federal, state and municipal employees. AFT has more than 24,000 members in New Mexico, including 6,500 in the First Congressional District.
The AFT’s endorsement adds to the powerful political momentum behind Eric Griego’s candidacy. Last week, Griego announced the endorsement by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), also one of the largest unions in the country with more than 4,000 members in the district, and by Democracy for America and Daily Kos. Griego is building a powerful coalition of labor, environmental, progressive grassroots and netroots constituencies for his congressional campaign.
Albuquerque Protests in Support of Constitutional Amendment Spurred by Anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision
The following is a report from Contributing Writer Suzanne Prescott.
A group of about 20 people gathered in Albuquerque at the home of Margaret Viers, to plan protests against the US Supreme Court decision nearly two years ago which ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. While awareness of what Citizens United vs. the FEC means has grown, as we approach the January 2012 two-year anniversary of the decision, its impact is still not widely understood. Protests in Albuquerque against the Citizens United decision are planned for the third week of January, specifically January 17th and 20th. In addition to increasing awareness of the ways in which the Supreme Court decision destroys the integrity of elections, the protests are focused on gathering support for a constitutional amendment which will make it clear that corporations are not people.
The controversy centers on the Supreme Court’s ruling that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited. Citizens United is a conservative non-profit organization. The case, known as ‘Citizens United v Federal Election Commission,’ allows corporations to use their general funds to buy campaign ads. Previous to this ruling, campaign finance rules prohibited TV attack ads funded by outside groups. The decision opened the door for unlimited contributions by corporations as well as unions. The high court cited the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of the right of free speech, and it was the first time a corporate entity was treated like a person. Detractors of the ruling cried foul and correctly point out that the decision by the Supreme Court hands lobbyists even greater powers. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official, “If you vote wrong, my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.” The ruling also opened the door for foreign governments to affect the outcome of United States elections.
The planning meeting was sponsored by five national organizations, and held at the home of Margaret Viers, who said of the impact of the Citizens United decision, “The court’s decision gave corporations the same status as people and this unprecedented move increases the influence of corporations in politics at a time when Americans are clearly concerned about corporate influence and are looking to restore the power of people in a government of by and for the people.”
The Citizens’ United ruling was especially welcomed by Republicans who respond to corporations in exchange for campaign contributions. The cozy relationship became more obvious after reports that two Supreme Court Justices attended a secret Koch Industries strategy meeting prior to voting to extend free speech rights to corporations just in time for the 2010 midterm campaigns. The midterm elections saw a record amount of campaign contributions from anonymous sources that were illegal for years until the high court broke with precedent and gave personhood to corporations. The rash of Republican governors’ victories and subsequent corporate favoritism and tax cuts at the expense of poor and working class Americans is evidence that there is a serious need for accountability and transparency in campaign financing.
Margaret Viers also points out an additional concern about the ruling involves its secrecy, “Even worse, the Supreme Court decided that there was no need to disclose where the money came from. By protesting the Citizens United Decision, we hope to spread awareness of the dangers of the ruling and to increase the momentum for a Constitutional Amendment which makes it clear that corporations are not people.”
Details about times and locations will be available shortly. Persons interested in more information should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 505-242-4107.
Friday, December 23, 2011
12/31: Invite to Eric Griego for Congress’ Year-end Potluck and New Headquarters Kick-off Party!
You’re cordially invited to Eric Griego for Congress’ year-end potluck and new headquarters kick-off party!
Please join us for food, office decorating, music, mural painting and other family fun! And we would love it if you can also bring your favorite dessert or dish!
We’re also accepting donations for the new headquarters, including office supplies and used furniture. Or a $10 contribution is encouraged to help Eric end the quarter strong.
When: Saturday, December 31st 12:00 – 2:30 PM
Where: NEW Headquarters for Eric Griego for Congress; 916 4th Street SW, Albuquerque, NM (just south of downtown)
12/30: Marty Chavez Invites You to End of Quarter Holiday Fun(d)raiser; updated 12/27
Location for event was changed on 12/27 it is updated below.
PLEASE JOIN: Marty Chavez
CANDIDATE, N.M. 1st CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
for some good ol’ fashion fun on New Year’s Eve “Eve”
at a End of Quarter Holiday Fun(d)raiser
Host Committee: Art Armijo; Tony C. Barboa, Chairman-Democratic Ward 14A; Dean Chavers, Director-Catching the Dream Foundation; Arlene Chavez, Chairwoman-Democratic Ward 12A; Ernest H. Chavez, New Mexico State Representative; Bishop David & Co-Pastor Nina Cooper, New Hope Full Gospel Baptist Church; Art De La Cruz, Bernalillo County Commission; William Doggett; Mark & Toni Fleisher; Jeep Gilliland, President Emeritus-NMAFL-CIO; Danny Hernandez, Chair-AMAFCA; Diana Dorn Jones, Community Activist & Organizer; Sally Padilla, Sandoval County Clerk; Jaclyn Page, Chairwoman-Democratic Ward 30A; Sandra Richardson, Chairwoman-Democratic ward 27b; Ken Sanchez, Albuquerque City Council; Ki Tecumseh, President-Albuquerque Indian Center Board; Gary & Vivian Weidner; Bob White, Former City Attorney
When: Friday, December 30, 2011 5:30 – 7:30 PM Home of Mark and Toni Fleischer
Where: 9501 Thornton Ave., N.E.
Directions: Take Coors Blvd. north past Paseo del Norte Blvd.; turn right onto Irving Blvd. NW (across from the Target); continue on Irving Blvd. to Riverfront Road NW; turn left onto Riverfront Road; take the first right onto Pace Road NW. Pace Road curves north into Kandace Drive. Home is on the left. Full invite Download here.
Marty Chavez Statement on Ending the Iraq War
On December 19th, former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez released the following statement on the end of the Iraq War:
“As the last of our troops depart from Iraq after nine years we must first and foremost honor their dedication, service and valor by ensuring that the needs of our returning veterans and military families are met by continuing to improve and strengthen the support we provide as a nation. In Congress, I will fight for the healthcare, job training and educational opportunities that they have earned and deserve.
“We must also pause and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending freedom and preserving democracy.
“I’m proud of our troops for their bravery and the job they accomplished while maintaining faith in their mission. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that we must end the wars abroad, bring our troops home and refocus our priorities and resources on recovering our economy and rebuilding schools and infrastructure here at home.”
Walter Mondale Endorses Marty Chavez
On Dec.21st the following announcement was released from the Marty Chavez for Congress Campaign:
“We Need Leaders Like Him in Congress”
On Dec. 21st, former Vice President, Democratic Presidential Candidate and U.S. Senator Walter Mondale endorsed Marty Chavez in his race to represent the First Congressional District of New Mexico in the House of Representatives.
“In times like these, our nation needs strong leaders with vision and the ability to follow through and get the hard work accomplished. I know Marty Chavez is that kind of leader and I’m with Marty 100% in his campaign because we need leaders like him in Congress,” said Mondale. “There are enough people grandstanding in Washington right now, just talking about the issues instead of making real progress for the working families who so desperately need someone to get results on their behalf. That’s why it’s important to elect people who actually get things done - people like Marty Chavez.”
“The two biggest factors that led me to dedicate my life to public service came from my time on the picket lines with farm workers in California and working on the Mondale campaign. To have the support of Dolores Huerta and now Walter Mondale is an absolute honor and serves as a strong reminder of my values and my roots as I run to bring leadership that gets results to Washington,” noted Chavez.
Mondale continued, “I've known Marty Chavez since he ran my Presidential campaign in New Mexico. Marty was a tireless leader in that race, knocking on doors and reaching out to voters across the state. I recognized then that he had the passion and the wisdom to be a good public servant.”
Vice President Mondale joins a growing list of labor, progressive, environmental and Democratic endorsers from across New Mexico and around the country including IBEW Local 611, AFSCME Local 3022, environmental activist Robert Redford, women’s equality activist Lilly Ledbetter, UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta, Fmr. NM Attorney General Patricia Madrid, Ambassador Joe Wilson, Ambassador Ed Romero, Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline and Madison, WI Mayor Paul Soglin, Carbon War Room CEO Jigar Shah, President of the Earth Day Network Kathleen Rogers , TED Conference founder Richard Saul Wurman, CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies Thomas Peterson and Fmr. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.
For additional endorsements and supporters please visit www.martychavez.com/supporters.
Albuquerque School Board Members Endorse Marty Chavez
On Dec. 22nd the following endorsement was released from the Marty Chavez for Congress campaign:
“Marty is exactly the kind of problem solver that Washington so desperately needs”
On Thursday, three of the seven Albuquerque Public School Board members announced their support for former Mayor Marty Chavez in his race to represent the First Congressional District of New Mexico in the House of Representatives.
Board members Marty Esquivel, Lorenzo Garcia and Dr. Analee Maestas also join a slate of administrators, teachers and professors from across central New Mexico in founding “Educators for Marty.”
“During these tough times, when teachers and schools are constantly under attack, we need leaders in Washington who understand the importance of maintaining strong schools and classrooms,” said Dr. Maestas. “I'm supporting Marty because he has always stood with teachers throughout his career in public service. From working to create community schools to increased funding in our classrooms, Marty has gotten the results we need to provide a solid public education for our children. For me, the choice is clear – we need Marty Chavez in Congress!”
During his Mayoral administration, Chavez’s educational accomplishments included:
- Advocating for new schools on the Westside
- Renovation and modernization of existing schools and educational infrastructure
- The first Joint Power Agreement between the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County establishing Community Schools
- Establishment of the Albuquerque Institute of Mathematics and Science at UNM, a public charter school that has sent every graduate to college and is the leading institution for math, reading and science in the state
- The Elementary Schools Initiative to provide before and after school programs that include arts and crafts, field trips, recreation and study time
“As my campaign to bring leadership that gets results to Congress continues to build incredible momentum, I’m thrilled to add these strong voices and advocates for New Mexico’s children to our team,” said Chavez. “My mother was a teacher her entire life, and I have always respected and honored the hard work that goes into maintaining successful classrooms. A top priority of this nation must be to prepare our children to compete on a global level in the future by providing an equal and robust public education. In New Mexico, our children need to be equipped to lead in our clean energy economy with a strong foundation in science and math.”
Lorenzo Garcia added, “Throughout his career, Marty has always had a keen understanding of the essential role educators play in our community. I'm endorsing Marty for Congress because as Mayor, he put children first by building new schools and putting more money in the classroom, as well as creating programs for after school activities and combating homelessness. Marty is exactly the kind of problem solver that Washington so desperately needs.”
“I’ve known and worked with Marty Chavez for a long time and know firsthand his dedication to providing a world class education for New Mexico’s children,” noted Marty Esquivel. “As Mayor, Marty accomplished a great deal by listening to the stakeholders and putting forth good ideas about how to improve schools and support teachers. I’m supporting Marty’s bid for Congress because with all of the gridlock in Washington these days, we need someone on our side who knows how to get things done.”
Joining these school board members in the inaugural group of “Educators for Marty” are Albuquerque Institute of Mathematics and Science Principal Katharina Sandoval and Robert J. Baca, CYFD Foothill High School; Paul Broome, former Albuquerque Education Coordinator; Bettina Caffrey, Albuquerque Public Schools; Shellie Hochstadt, UNM Continuing Education and Retired Albuquerque Public Schools; Jackie Hull, Sandia Vista Elementary in Rio Rancho; Mickey Martinez-Broome, APS Title 1 Homeless Project; Chris Nieto, Belen Consolidated School District; Megan Rader, Albuquerque Public Schools; Rhonda Stanfield, NEWCorp; Paula Still, Albuquerque Public Schools; Candace Thomas-Apodaca, Albuquerque Public Schools