Tuesday, June 10, 2008

RSVP Now for DFA Campaign Academy in ABQ 6/21-22


Sample a recent training.

We're very excited to announce that DFA-Democracy for New Mexico will be welcoming folks from Democracy for America (DFA) in Vermont to Albuquerque later this month. They'll be presenting a top-notch two-day training academy on June 21-22 at the UNM Law School in Albuquerque. It's a can't miss event for anyone involved with a progressive campaign this Fall -- whether you're a volunteer, campaign staffer, candidate or contemplating a possible future run for office.

The acclaimed DFA Campaign Academy empowers everyday citizens to manage and work for successful campaigns, and even run for office themselves. Co-organized by DFA activists in Albuquerque, each DFA training is shaped to fit the needs of local grassroots activists. DFA is dedicated to building a grassroots infrastructure of skilled progressive activists in all 50 states, and highly successful training academy's have been held in many locations around the nation with more on the way.

Find out more and RSVP here: www.democracyforamerica.com/newmexico_training. If you're coming from out of town, we'll be posting info soon about nearby lodging at a group rate.

The DFA Campaign Academy brings together dozens of local activists and candidates for two days of intensive campaign training. Top campaign professionals give you a step-by-step guide to running a winning grassroots campaign. Sessions include: field planning and targeting, voter contact, fundraising, communications, volunteer recruitment and much more. Read more about the curriculum, the trainers and see testimonials about the training here.

Join the folks from DFA and dozens of local grassroots activists in Albuquerque for two days of energizing campaign training. To sign up or get more info visit www.democracyforamerica.com/newmexico_training.

Refreshments will be provided throughout the day and a social event will be organized Saturday evening so you can mingle and network with other activists in your area. The training will run from 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

If you are a candidate running for office and plan on attending, please email DFA at training(at)democracyforamerica.com and let them know.

Campaigns are encouraged to send representatives from among their staff and volunteers to take advantage of some of the best campaign training available anywhere.

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June 10, 2008 at 09:51 AM in Candidates & Races, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Education, Events, Progressivism | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Microcosm: What It's All About


In the Bronx

March 29, 2008 at 10:29 AM in 2008 Presidential Primary, Education, Minority Issues | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Americans for Democratic Action to Launch Working Families Win Project in NM

From Americans for Democratic Action (ADA):
ADA is America's most experienced independent liberal lobbying organization. In the spirit of the New Deal and ADA founders Eleanor Roosevelt, renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and former Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey we lobby through coalition partnerships, through direct advocacy, and through the media.

Our Working Families Win (WFW) project is non-profit and non-partisan and will work to change the economy in favor of working families, provide education about economic decisions made in Washington and the impacts within our local communities, and engage individuals through neighbor to neighbor communication to hold our elected officials accountable.

In 2007, our WFW project kept the fires burning around the country. WFW organizers worked in dozens of communities educating the public and elected officials about our core platform: guaranteed health care for all, fair enforceable trade agreements, and economic policies that create good jobs at living wages. WFW will stride into 2008, ready to seize the moment for working families.

In addition to our ongoing work in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, we will be expanding. If you're interested in supporting our organization in New Mexico or volunteering  please contact Deema Tabbara at (805) 907-6681 or adanewmexico@gmail.com.

Visit www.workingfamilieswin.org for more information on the project and visit www.adaction.org to make a contribution to our work. Also visit our blog at http://adanewmexico.blogspot.com/.

March 22, 2008 at 01:02 AM in Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Education, Healthcare, Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 10, 2008

New APS Superintendent Accepts Congratulations With 'Homo Humor'

This bothers me. WbrooksThe first paragraphs of the front-page article by Zsombor Peter in today's Albuquerque Journal on the selection of a new Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent report:

Winston Brooks took little time displaying his trademark sense of humor after a divided board named him the new superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools on Sunday evening by a 5-2 vote.

"Just so long as I don't have to hug the guys," he said while accepting the board's congratulations. [emphasis mine]

Imagine the furor if Brooks responded to winning his new job by displaying his "trademark sense of humor" this way: "Just so long as I don't have to hug the beaners," or "Just so long as I don't have to hug the chicks," or "Just so long as I don't have to hug the darkies," or "Just so long as I don't have to hug the cripples," or "Just so long as I don't have to hug the slant eyes."

I know, I know, locker-room-style "humor" designed to demonstrate that the joker isn't (God forbid) "gay" or "queer" is still acceptable in many quarters, long after verbal affronts to other minorities have faded from the public lexicon. But to start off your reign as APS' new head honcho with "humor" like that shows about as much cultural sensitivity as a turnip. Maybe it's still de rigueur in places like Wichita, Kansas, where Brooks is currently employed, but you'd think an educator would shy away from such expression when accepting a new job in new community.

Of course the Journal's staff writer apparently had no qualms about the "humor" either. It's related as a charming anecdote about the "very casual" Brooks and how "thrilled to death" he is about his new $276,000 a year job. The article continues, "As his first order of business, Brooks said he would hold a series of public meetings throughout the community and meet with local government and Chamber of Commerce officials."

Maybe Brooks should start with a reach out to the GLBT community, including a few GLBT students. Maybe he'd get a clue why an APS superintendent who uses hackneyed, juvenile, hardee har har humor -- that implies "hugging guys" would be an affront to any manly man -- doesn't exactly present a positive role model for the youth of Albuquerque.

Think about how teens who are GLBT or perceived to be GLBT are often harrassed -- sometimes resulting in violence or suicide -- and then think about the wisdom of a new school superintendent blurting out the kind of "funny" statement Brooks did as one of his first public comments. Some stats on what GLBT students are up against. You'd think an experienced educator like Brooks would be well aware of them, wouldn't you?

March 10, 2008 at 10:43 AM in Education, GLBT Rights | Permalink | Comments (23)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

RSVP Now: Free EMILY's List Candidate Training in ABQ

From EMILY's List: On February 13th and 14th, EMILY’s List will be offering a terrific training opportunity for pro-choice Democratic women in New Mexico and surrounding states. We would like to extend an invitation for you or someone you know to participate in the training.

As you may know, EMILY's List is a political donor network and political resource for pro-choice Democratic women candidates. EMILY's List has initiated a program designed to recruit and train women to run for and serve in elected office in the states. 

Whether currently serving on the school board, in the State Legislature, or just beginning to think about running for elective office, we are certain this training will provide women with the skills and inspiration needed to successfully run for office.

The program will take place in Albuquerque and begins on the evening of Wednesday, February 13th, with a welcome reception and short session. Thursday, February 14th (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM) will be filled with training on campaign planning, fundraising, message development, voter contact, direct mail and other important campaign issues. 

The program, including materials and meals is free, however space is limited. Partial participation is not possible -- you must commit to attending the full program in order to be allocated a seat at the training.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please respond to this invitation as soon as possible by contacting Michelle Stephenson, Political Opportunity Program Assistant, at (202) 419-3073 or mstephenson@emilyslist.org. You will then get more information on the location and lodging information. 

We hope you or someone you know will be able to join us for this important training.  If you have previously attended an EMILY's List training please contact me prior to registration at tbjork@emilyslist.org or (608) 257-2235.

Sincerely,
Tanya Bjork, Regional Director, EMILY's List

January 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM in Education, Events, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Keep the Pressure On to Save the UNM North Golf Course

Hundreds gathered at the University of New Mexico Law School last Sunday to protest turning UNM's North Golf Course into a "retirement village." They later met with UNM President David Schmidly to express their views. See KOB-TV's coverage and this Flickr group for photos. To keep the pressure on the UNM Regents and others to see the short-sighted nature of their proposed plans for the largest green space in central Albuquerque, please write some letters NOW.

You can see our previous posts on this issue here and here and here.

November 8, 2007 at 08:30 AM in Education, Environment, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Latest on Sunday Rally to Save UNM North Golf Course Green Space

If you care about saving UNM's North Golf Course as Albuquerque's largest green space in the cental city, be sure to show up for these Sunday events if you can. All are welcome:

Neighbors and users of the University of New Mexico North Golf Course plan a rally in the UNM Law School parking lot at 3:30 PM Sunday, November 4 before meeting with university officials and development representatives to discuss the future of the golf course.

The public meeting with UNM President David Schmidly is scheduled for 4 PM in Room 2401 of the law school.

Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, City Councilor Isaac Benton, City Councilor-elect Rey Garduno, County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta, and  legislators Gail Chasey and Danice Picraux are all slated to speak at the rally.  Lieutenant Governor Diane D. Denish, who is an alumni of UNM and a member  of the Netherwood Park Neighborhood Association, will address the public during the  town hall meeting.

UNM Regents have announced plans to consider development of the 80-acre site for gated "villas," a health complex and retirement village ­a move opposed by golfers, neighbors and thousands of city residents who use the site for jogging, dog-walking and bird-watching. The university owns other lands less intensively used and more appropriate for development, especially one unlikely to bring the financial returns promised by the university, said Sara Koplik, North Campus Neighborhood Association president.

"We are open to listening to university officials, but we believe we have never been given the whole story about UNM's plans," Koplik said. "We hope to have a civil exchange of ideas about a resource used by the entire city."

Koplik said the university's seeming lack of candor has galvanized those who wish to see the golf course remain a green space ­ with some needed improvements to its infrastructure. Elected officials who support retention of the North Course have asked to speak at the rally preceding the meeting with university officials.

President Schmidly will give a presentation at 4 PM followed by public comment. Initially, Cooperative Retirement Services of America intended to present, however now they will be attending in a observational capacity.

See the Neighbors for Green Space website for more info on this issue, as well as our previous post.

November 3, 2007 at 04:14 PM in Education, Environment, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rally & Town Hall Meeting on Proposed UNM North Golf Course Development Set for 11.4.07

From Neighbors for Green Space: Big crowd needed for Rally to preserve the UNM North Golf Course and Green Space! Come show your support! Download a FLYER (pdf) and post it or pass it on.

FIrst there will be a Rally
Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 3:30 PM
UNM Law School parking lot
1117 Stanford NE, Albuquerque, adjoining the course

Followed by a TOWN HALL MEETING where UNM President Schmidly will meet with all those concerned about development of the proposed luxury retirement village on the grounds of the North campus golf course:

Town Hall Meeting
Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 4:00 PM
(this is the rescheduled time)
UNM Law School, Room 2401
Please click to RSVP
Questions? Email Sarah Koplik, President, North Campus Neighborhood Association at info@neighborsforgreenspace.com

Please write the UNM Regents, Gov. Bill Richardson, Mayor Martin Chavez and UNM President David Schmidly: click for contact information.

Neighbors for Green Space are in favor of:

  • Maintaining the North Golf Course as the largest open green space in central Albuquerque
  • Conserving trees on the North Golf Course that give beauty and protection from pollution
  • Preserving the North Golf Course as a refuge for wildlife
  • Keeping the North Golf Course as a revenue-generator for UNM
  • Utilizing the two-mile perimeter trail for walking, exercise, and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle
  • Setting aside permanently the North Golf Course and protecting it from development
  • We support the Legislature's efforts to protect this valuable community resource

Editor's Note: For more info about this issue, see our previous post.

October 31, 2007 at 03:20 PM in Education, Environment, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 26, 2007

North Campus Meeting to Discuss Alternatives to UNM Golf Course Development

Golf

Stung by the University of New Mexico's aggressive pursuit of a retirement village development on UNM's North Golf Course ­after assurances in April from Acting UNM President David Harris that there were no development plans, the North Campus Neighborhood Association has called a meeting to be held at 5:00 PM on October 28 to form an action plan. The meeting will be in Room 2401 of the UNM Law School, 1117 Stanford NE in Albuquerque, which adjoins the course.

"The University in public and private meetings has repeatedly said they had no plans to develop the golf course. But last week we learned about a plan that would eat up two thirds of the existing UNM North Golf Course," said neighborhood association president Sara Koplik. "This plan does not value the multiple benefits of the course, which is really Albuquerque¹s Central Park. It's the People's Course -- affordable, centrally located and popular with the golfing public, but also used extensively by birders, runners, dog-walkers and nature lovers of all kinds."

UNM issued a request for information in February soliciting interest in commercial development of multiple properties in its real estate portfolio, including the North Golf Course. It announced plans to proceed with more detailed discussion with Co-operative Retirement Services of America (CRSA) and JP Morgan Chase for a "continuing life care community" dubbed Lobo Village. Preliminary plans posted on the university web site show the North Golf Course shrunk to a so-called "executive course" with buildings and parking lots consuming what is now open, green space.

"The neighborhood does not oppose a retirement village. But UNM owns ample undeveloped lands that are more suitable for development ­ and wouldn't lay siege to a natural jewel in the heart of the city," Koplik said. Lands owned by UNM include the Elks Lodge on University, car dealerships along the south side of Lomas and a swath of undeveloped parcels called Lands West, located west of University Boulevard.

North Campus is not the only neighborhood unhappy with the plan, Koplik said. Other adjacent neighborhoods, many environmental and civic groups and community leaders have taken positions opposed to development on the North Golf Course.

A link to the university¹s plan is available here by clicking on UNM Real Estate Projects and then Lobo Village. Further information is also available at NeighborsForGreenSpace.com.

JkochPast Protest and Jamie Koch's Responses
About 700 people showed up in February to protest the retirement project at the golf course and signed a petition against the proposed development. Back then the President of the UNM Board of Regents, Jamie Koch (right), had this to say, which bolsters the criticism that the forces behind the development have been less than honest about what's going on:

In a Feb. 20 e-mail from Jamie Koch, president of the board of regents, he claimed the university is not looking to turn the area into a retirement center, something that was briefly discussed during the regents' January meeting.

"I'd like to make it perfectly clear at this time that the university has no plans to build a retirement community for alumni or faculty on any property the university owns," he wrote. "I've repeatedly said that the UNM North Golf Course has not been discussed by the regents nor has there been any request from university personnel for use of the golf course for a retirement community."

More recently, Jamie Koch changed his tune, despite the fact that the retirement community would displace a new Appeals Court building approved for construction near the UNM Law School:

"We’re very interested in working with the community, but we are going to try to move ahead with a retirement community, maintaining the golf course,” Jamie Koch, president of the UNM regents, said this week.

Koch said as part of the project, he would like the university to find a new site for the planned state Court of Appeals building now slated to be built near the UNM Law School. A groundbreaking had been projected for early 2008.

... Regents previously had signed off on the courthouse location. “I think we need to get out of the deal on the courthouse,” Koch said, stressing that he was speaking for himself and not the full board. He said UNM could find other land for the courthouse.

Appeals Court Judge Michael Bustamante said he didn’t know how a change in the location might affect the project. “We have a Board of Regents resolution in place that they passed last year … allowing or giving us the space that we’re planning for,” Bustamante said. “That’s still in place, and we’re currently working on the form of lease.”

Koch also claims he wants to replace a signficant portion of the golf course to save water. Conveniently, he doesn't reveal how much water the new development would use.

Regent Contact Info and Related Stories

Click for contact info for the UNM Board of Regents, including President Jamie Koch.

Check these out for more info on this issue:

October 26, 2007 at 11:34 AM in Education, Environment, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, September 10, 2007

UNM Grad Students Pass Bring the Troops Home Resolution

From the University of New Mexico’s Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA): On Saturday, September 7th, the UNM GPSA Council passed a resolution asking the US Congress to end the US occupation of Iraq. Citing concern for the wellbeing of US military service persons and the exorbitant costs of the war, the resolution calls for providing comprehensive health and higher educational assistance to returning troops.

The purpose of the resolution is to call attention to local student and community needs that are not being fully met due to the allocation of needed funds to the US military engagement in Iraq.

“The billions of dollars being squandered in Iraq could be much better spent making campus safer and more family friendly, and providing health care and affordable housing to students,” said GPSA President Joseph J. García. Noting the lack of diversity among the ranks of graduate and professional students, Mr. García said New Mexican’s tax money, instead of funding war, should “go towards more financial aid for aspiring graduate students from traditionally excluded backgrounds.”

Lending their support of the resolution at the meeting were State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino and City Councilor Isaac Benton. They spoke of the necessity for students and citizens to be heard on important issues, and described their efforts to express opposition to the US occupation of Iraq at the state legislature and city council.

The GPSA council is composed of graduate student representatives from departments across UNM—including the schools of law and medicine.

The GPSA Council will now send copies of the resolution to New Mexico’s congressional delegation, the Albuquerque City Council, the UNM Board of Regents, and the President of the United States of America.

For further information please call GPSA staffer Max Fitzpatrick at 850-4364 or 277-3803, or GPSA President Joseph J. García at 400-3802.

September 10, 2007 at 10:40 AM in Education, Iraq War, Veterans | Permalink | Comments (0)