Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012 Winter Solstice

Earth-chrysallis
earth-chrysallis from Eden Sky

Here we are at the end of the Mayan Calendar, December 21, 2012. Through the years Barb and I read about this day and this time. One of the things she said a few days before she left the planet was; "I hope I at least make it to the year 2012." That was not to be, but I wanted to assemble a post that would share some of the believes she would say, and that I beleive in as well, or at least hope for.

Let's start with the concept of a Paradigm Shift.
This is a great positive take on the 2012 Prophecy ~ Making it Real! by Eden Sky

To put it simply, it is not the end of the world that is coming, it is the end of a world age. This shifting of World Eras is a cycle change that will steadily shift our human orientation from an ego-based perspective dominated by separation, fear, greed, and destructive, imbalanced tendencies - towards one based in conscious interconnectedness, fueling our tendencies for harmony, compassion, and life-affirming energies and actions. This represents a shift beyond the patriarchal cycle we have been in, sometimes called a "male-dominant linear perspective," into an Age in which masculine and feminine energies and perspectives are balanced, ideally uniting mind and heart, logic and intuition, spirit and matter. The most blatant example of this shift is in re-prioritizing our values and Placing Planet and People over Profits, in true recognition of the intricate, interdependence of the One Web of Life. It is obvious we cannot survive or thrive on this planet without this transformation of our worldview.

Eden Sky's conclusion:

In conclusion, let us strive to evolve into our deepest human potential to be wise and loving human beings, that we may contribute as consciously as possible to the greater well being of human culture, understanding our place upon this glorious Planet, and within this sentient Universe. Let us honor our place in the vast cycles of time, and heed the calls of our ancestors who left these prophecies for us, now. Let us activate the wisdom given to us by Dr. José Argüelles who urged that we honor our Earth as a Living Work of Art and realize that we can each be instruments of harmony and beauty, serving as Planetary Artists! The tasks to be accomplished in these momentous times call us to cooperate on new and grander levels, that we may manifest ever greater harmonies together. Let us synchronize and unify in deep courage, compassion, creativity, willingness and joy with our brothers and sisters of humanity, to be who we truly are here to be, and do what we are truly here to do. Let us awaken our dormant powers. Let us dream the highest dream. Let us ride the upward spiral through the accelerated currents of change. Let us face the death of the body that we may live from a place of realizing who we are as an essence; a heart. Let us seriously invest in cultivating our intuition and inner-knowing. Let us celebrate and nurture our interconnectedness. Let us paint new beauties upon the canvas of our Earth. Let us be grateful for this life we are given, here and now, ever-evolving as children born of the One Great Mystery.

December 21, 2012 at 07:01 AM in History, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luján Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic heritage monthCongressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15.

“Hispanic Heritage Month represents an opportunity to reflect on the enduring contributions of a community that has strengthened the fabric of a nation whose diversity is a source of strength and pride. As one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanics have increasingly played a vital role in our country as businessmen and women, members of the armed forces, teachers, and first responders.

“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and this year’s theme of ‘Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit,’ we are reminded that we are united by the common bonds that include the belief in the American Dream and the desire for a brighter tomorrow.

“With the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, we also recognize National Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Week. HSIs play a key role in educating approximately 50 percent of all Hispanics enrolled in colleges and universities. A quality education is essential to a stronger future not only for Hispanics, but for all young Americans. The role that HSIs play is critical to providing Hispanics with the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge that is necessary to get ahead in an increasingly global economy.

“This month, as we recognize the impact of the Hispanic community and the rich culture, traditions, and values that have influenced our nation, let us continue our efforts to live up to the hopes and aspirations of a community whose influence on our nation runs deep.”

September 17, 2012 at 09:51 AM in Hispanic Issues, History, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Exact Same Words Could Be Said Today by Martin Luther King Jr.

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday I found a segment of a speech called "Time to Break the Silence."  MLK states in this speech " Year after year to spend more money on military defense then on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." And yet it goes on year after year after year.

Just to be very clear on how much of our hard earned tax dollars go to military spending I attach a pie chart from 2010.

Defense-spending-graph-11-18-10[1] (2)

This is the paradigm shift we have got to keep working on. It may be too late, but we are still alive and we can serve. We too can be a servant.

January 16, 2012 at 06:31 PM in History, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday to the Great State of New Mexico

January 6, 1912 - New Mexico is admitted to the Union and is the 47th State of the United States. Today at 11:35AM we are supposed to blow our horns and make a collective racket in Celebration of the Proclamation of New Mexico's Statehood.

Aerial-photo-of-albuquerque-nm-1913  South-from-the-Metropolitan-Life-Tower-nyc-6302

The images above are both taken in 1912. The image on the left is an aerial image of Albuquerque, and the image on the right is an aerial image of NYC. Myself as an easterner have always marveled over the difference in development of areas of this country and that it is not taken more into account. After all you would not expect your baby brother, 124 years younger than you, to be as mature and wise as you are. When I am home visiting I walk by structures dated late 1700's and I picture Santa Fe streets at that time.

I found two historic time-lines that I think are fascinating. One for New Mexico and the other for New York. It is interesting to see what was being done in both areas of this country around the same time. But I think this historic fact is the most exciting, the first entry in the NM time-line is "25000 B.C. Sandia people leave earliest evidence of human existence in what is now New Mexico". So that blew the theory of being a younger brother.

I found other interesting facts that happened in 1912 just to have some bearings: Woody Guthrie was born in July 1912. Fenway Park home of the Boston Redsox was opened in 1912. The unsinkable Titanic sunk in April of 1912. War was alive and well with The Balkans War beginning. Carl Jung published his 'Theory of Psychoanalysis'. The Girl Scouts were founded in 1912.

And lastly I found this interesting trivia which is for the entire country for the year 1912:

Population:95,335,000
New Births:2,855,000

Federal spending: $0.69 billion
Unemployment: 4.6%
DOW Average: 87.87

Average Income (year): $1,033
New Home (median price):2,750
New Car (average cost):$941
Gas (gallon):7¢
Stamp: 2¢

Bacon (pound):24¢
Bread (loaf):5¢
Butter (pound): 37¢
Eggs (dozen):34¢
Milk (quart):9¢
Sugar (pound): 7¢
Steak (pound): 23¢

There are many events planned to celebrate this milestone. Please check out the New Mexico Centennial website to learn about coming events and other interesting information about this Great State of New Mexico.  

January 6, 2012 at 12:22 AM in Events, History | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

2012 Marks New Mexico's Centennial Celebration-Op-Ed by Sen. Michael S. Sanchez

2012 Marks New Mexico's Centennial Celebration
Op-Ed Submitted by Sen. Michael S. Sanchez, Senate Majority Leader (D-29-Valencia)

Centennial logo

Many of you are already aware that 2012 marks New Mexico's Centennial — 100 years of statehood. As we approach our 100th birthday, I think it is important to think about a few things. Like any birthday, our centennial is a chance to look back at how far we have come as a state.

It is an opportunity to reflect on the New Mexico so many of us grew up in and the New Mexico our children and grandchildren will grow up in. We should be mindful of our history, not only because having a sense of history helps us understand how best to move forward, but also because it might help us to avoid repeating some mistakes.

Our centennial is a celebration. It is a time to pause and give thanks to those who came before us; it is a time to gather with friends, family and community to acknowledge that what makes us similar is much greater than what makes us different.

Our centennial should be celebrated like our own birthdays. Birthdays should be a time when close friends and family take a moment to be with each other in appreciation of one another.

While we must always be careful about how we spend money as a state, a celebration of 100 years of statehood is important enough to merit some funding. During the 2011 regular legislative session, money was appropriated for the centennial celebration however, the Governor vetoed the appropriation. Despite the veto, it is my hope that the administration is willing to collaborate with the legislature and private sector during the upcoming legislative session to fully acknowledge this milestone in our state's great history. This is an event that should not go unrecognized and a modest amount of money could go a long way to bring awareness of centennial celebrations to people living in and out-of-state.

We have much to celebrate on our 100th birthday:
• Our History — from some of North America's oldest inhabitants to some of the New World's
first explorers, through westward expansion of a new nation to World War II and into the new
millennium, New Mexico has as rich a history as any other state in the United States.
• Our Diversity and Culture — New Mexico truly exemplifies America's melting pot: a place where distinct cultures intermingle with one another every day, while remaining mindful of who we are and where we came from. We have always taken great pride in how the divergent cultures have blended to create the unique New Mexican.
• Our Food — It may sound cliché but I do not know anyone who leaves New Mexico for any period of time that does not come back craving a plate of enchiladas or a green chile cheeseburger. For many, it is the first stop outside of the airport.
• Our Landscape — While it is difficult for anyone to take credit for this one, the stunning natural beauty of New Mexico is what attracts so many of our visitors and what drew many residents in the first place.

During the coming year, I encourage everyone to take a moment to look back at how far we have come and to honor the fact that we are here and this is home. The vast communities that run from Lordsburg to Raton, from Farmington to Jal, from the Navajo Nation to the Mescalero Apache Reservation and all the towns and pueblos in between are why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. I encourage each and every New Mexican to take some time in 2012 to think about our statehood while attending some of the centennial events taking place in your area of the state. If your area is not offering any events, I hope you and other members of your community will work together to commemorate this important date in our history. After all, the centennial belongs to all of us and we deserve to celebrate. Happy Birthday, New Mexico!

December 7, 2011 at 01:35 PM in Current Affairs, Events, Guest Blogger, History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No More Injustice: The Executions of Troy Davis and Willie McGee

This is a post by contributing writer, Stephen Jones, of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

TroyDavis It's a tricky business, this politically charged issue of capital punishment. On the one hand are the victims of crime, who understandably seek emotional closure over the shattering of their lives, and the loss of their loved ones, usually under terrible circumstances. On the other side, as the execution last night of Troy Anthony Davis despite nagging questions as to his guilt reminds us, is the troubling reality that our legal system is never foolproof, disproportionally penalizes the poor and historically has targeted minority communities. Without minimizing the suffering of the victims, the historical parallels -- as in the case of Davis -- to a dark American past, ought be cause for all of us to consider the issues of his case, the application of the law and deeper questions of justice and injustice.

Just over sixty years ago, on May 8, 1951, Willie McGee, an African American laborer, was executed by the State of Mississippi despite a lack of evidence that he had committed any crime. Thanks to the efforts of one southern writer, William Faulkner, and others who soon joined his cause, McGee's case was one of the few capital punishment cases in the Jim Crow era that ever rose to international attention. The false charge against Willie McGee became one of the models for the fictionalized case against the character Tom Robinson in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. McGee's case was revisited by the award-winning New Mexico writer Alex Heard last year in his book, The Eyes of Willie McGee. The history of abuse of the law is as troubling today as it was then.

McGee's trial lasted less than three hours. The all-white jury deliberated only two-and-a-half minutes before sentencing McGee to death. In the appeals that followed, a crusading young lawyer from New York, and a future Congresswoman, Bella Abzug, fought for clemency for her client, Willie McGee.

In the last days of McGee's life, the Mississippi Supreme Court refused to hear Abzug's appeal, and the Governor refused to meet with her; the hotels in Jackson, Mississippi refused to house her. In the final days just before McGee's execution, Bella Abzug was forced to spend the night crouched down and hiding in a locked bathroom stall of the Jackson, Mississippi Greyhound bus station while a band of racist thugs searched for her. Bella Abzug's legal crusade never stood a chance. In Willie McGee's Mississippi there were two systems of justice.

Decades after the McGee case, studies have repeatedly shown that race, place and economic status are key factors on who lives and who dies in capital punishment cases. A 2003 University of Maryland study shows that race and geography continue to plague the justice system in death penalty cases. A similar study in North Carolina found similar statistics. Another report, commissioned by the New Jersey Supreme Court, also turned up a similar pattern of capital convictions and helped convince that state's legislature to abolish the death penalty in the Garden State in 2007.

Last night's execution of Troy Davis by the State of Georgia makes painfully clear, once again, that six decades on we still have two systems of justice in the United States. Davis was convicted of the murder of a white police officer in Savannah in 1991. The officer, Mark MacPhail, was gunned down while rushing to the rescue of a homeless man being pistol-whipped in the parking lot of Savannah's Greyhound bus station. The day after the murder, several witnesses told police that Troy Davis was the shooter.

Subsequently, seven of nine eyewitnesses, including the homeless man who was under attack at the bus station that night in 1991, recanted their statements, citing pressure from police in the case. Others implicated Sylvester "Redd" Coles, one of the original so-called "witnesses" to the crime. No physical evidence was ever presented that linked Davis to the crime, and the weopon was never recovered. Yet despite so many doubts in the Davis case, the courts refused to stop the execution that was carried out last night.

With so many questions about what really happened in 1991, Davis's life should have been spared.

"I hear Rosalee, see the eyes of Willie McGee," wrote the haunted African-American playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, in her poem Lynchsong, shortly after the execution that was carried out in Mississippi in 1951. The lines of her poem were a reference to the pleas of Rosalee McGee for the life of her husband. Like the southern writers, William Faulkner, and later Harper Lee, images of injustice were just outside the doorstep and never very far away from the thoughts of Lorraine Hansberry, as well, though she lived far from the Jim Crow south. Her family fought housing segregation in the courts in Chicago, and her circle of friends, including Richard Wright, Langston Hughes and Claude McCay, used their own pens over the whole span of their lifetimes to fight against a double-standard of justice far north of the Mason-Dixon line, where they lived and worked. New York's "Battling" Bella Abzug never stopped fighting for the equal treatment for all, in the courtroom or in Congress.

The rest of us need to pick up the torch and carry on their cause. No more injustice!

It is too late for us to save the life of Troy Davis, but it is never too late to carry on the work to end inequality, and demand equal application of justice for all. We need to abolish the death penalty, nationally, once and for all time, and end that state-sanctioned system of vengeance that disproportionately sentences the poor and the powerless -- while doing nothing to deter crime -- and we need to do it now. For proponents of fairness, last night's action by the State of Georgia against Troy Anthony Davis ought to prove one thing: silence is never an option.

To see more posts by Stephen, visit our archive.

September 22, 2011 at 07:37 AM in History, Justice, Legal Issues, Minority Issues | Permalink | Comments (5)

Monday, August 15, 2011

8/18: Free 'Night Over Taos' Presentation at National Hispanic Cultural Center

Official-project From New Mexico Centennial:
Night Over Taos: A Theatrical and Historical Journey from the Taos Revolt to Statehood is a performance/reading of a historical drama about a key period of New Mexico history, a panel discussion by distinguished historians about the play and its historical implications, and a special Centennial Broadcast of play and panel on KUNM during Centennial Week. It has been designed collaboratively by four of New Mexico’s most respected cultural organizations -- Teatro Nuevo Mexico, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Camino Real Productions, LLC, and KUNM, the public radio station in Central and Northern New Mexico.

Together they will produce a radio adaption of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Maxwell Anderson’s 1932 historical drama Night Over Taos, set in Taos in 1847. They will present and record it before a live audience at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Thursday, August 18th, at 7:00 PM in the Bank of America Theatre at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Free, ticketed event. Call the NHCC Box Office at (505) 724-4771 for reservations. Update: No reserved tickets will be available. Instead, tickets will be available the day of the show starting at 6:00 PM at the venue.

After the performance, a panel of distinguished New Mexico historians -- Dr. Rick Hendricks, the NM State Historian; Dr. Laura Gomez, author of Manifest Destinies; and Dr. Brian Herrera, UNM theatre historian -- will address questions raised by the play and discuss New Mexico’s journey from defeat in the Battle for Taos in 1847 to statehood fifty-five years later.

During fall, 2011, the post-production work will be done in preparation for the radio presentation. Then on January 8, 2012 from 6:00-8:30 PM, the radio production of the play and the panel discussion will be featured in a special Centennial broadcast over KUNM and its affiliated stations throughout the state, as well as streamed live on the internet.

August 15, 2011 at 12:46 PM in Arts, Events, Hispanic Issues, History | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Stuart Heady Guest Blog: Pissed Off American on the 4th of July

6a00d834519ed469e2014e87cd3f38970d-800wi This is a guest blog by Stuart Heady, a freelance writer and political activist who lives in Albuquerque.

My father's line began in America with an ancestor named John, who came over from England in 1680, four hundred years ago. Two ancestors fought in the American Revolution; Peter, who died with his long rifle in his hands and his son Daniel, who survived.

Now, as the last of my line, I regard a prospect: it would be best for me to die suddenly in such a way that it doesn’t leave behind medical bills for my wife. This state of affairs exists for many people and it should really piss us all off.

My parents had an upper-middle-class lifestyle and died with good insurance coverage and a little bit left to pay the bills left in the bank. This seemed a continuation of a good run of generations. My father left the small town in upstate New York along the Erie Canal where his great grandfather had established a small livery stable business, in order to pursue an education on the GI Bill and a career as an electrical engineer. That was the post-WWII thing to do. That was moving on up. 

Now, what has become of America? Apparently the Tories on Wall Street have taken the Revolution back in a way that their musket-toting redcoat ancestors could not. Now we are moving on down. 

Muskets are not the answer. What is the answer is that we must throw off the illusions of comfort and consumer paradise we have all gotten used to since the 1950s and regain the ability of our founding generation to think clearly and speak the truth. 

Speaking the Honest Truth, Not Spin
We have adopted the principles of Edward Bernays, one of the founding fathers of Madison Avenue, and have more and more polluted our politics with the notion that there is no truth, only spin and framing, carping and belittling. The founders are still quotable over two hundred years later because they spoke in cut-to-the-bone truth and unremitting honesty. That was a political tool of the time. Sword-sharp minds, sharp debate and a true aim on honesty. Of course they were also skilled at politics and Machiavellian maneuvering, but they did not have to operate in a public atmosphere that was full of illusions and magician tricks with image and language that many people apparently can’t see.

A lot of people talk about the need for a new revolution. But does anyone seriously think you can shoot 7-10 billion people on the planet to deal with Peak Oil, resource depletion, globalization and the other mega-issues that the human race really faces in the long run of the 21st century and into the 22nd?

Wake up, pissed off America!

Create a Genuine Public Dialogue
We have the means at our disposal, in the existence of the internet, personal computers and other electronic devices coming out every year, to create a real public deliberation about the truth of our situation and what constructive solutions might work. We still have an education system, in decline though it is. While we still can, we should make use of it. We have become mentally obese just as we have become physically obese. Our ancestors didn’t come from Mount Olympus and weren’t absolute aberrations as humans. We have their DNA and their minds. They were just mentally athletic and in superb shape for exercising their intellects. We The People need to regain those abilities. 

We should quit listening to people who want our votes but who offer only to think small, to talk about irrelevancies and who seem to be in denial about what it really going on.

A lot of us can’t put words to it. We feel like horses in a corral before an earthquake. We might just kick anyone who comes close to reassure us, and kick the living crap out of them. But we couldn’t necessarily say why we feel this way. 

The dynamic issues of our world explode past the bounds of the systems we have developed over the ages for dealing with them. The political system is not an R&D system that early adopters can love. It mitigates against frivolous innovations and in so doing, moves slowly relative to those who feel that we need to be moving faster to keep pace with 21st-century realities.

For the political system to be swifter, we have to be swifter.

One could say that America is like a party barge and everyone is having a good time still, despite the fact that we seem to be getting low on the good stuff in the coolers. Nobody wants to hear that the bank seems to be moving or that perhaps it might be connected to a roar in the distance from about where that waterfall downstream is. It is such a drag to have to wake up and deal with things.

But, at least mentally, we need to consider trying on a pair of those old buckle shoes, because we need to fill them. The revolution we need is in our own waking up and becoming conscious and taking on responsibility for thinking above our pay grade, and indeed above anyone’s pay grade. We should dare go there, because there is really nobody minding the store where We The People belong.

Fireworks of the Spirit
Heat lightning flashes blink softly inside banks of clouds above waving fields of Johnson Grass on hot Central Texas summer nights with cicadas buzzing and tension in the air electric. As the black gum earth bakes under the acetylene torch sun of day, humidity rises into thickening air. 

Heat lightning passes through the masses of humans on the ground, although unseen. People discharge on contact with each other, the human system reflecting the natural system, having electric energy potential as well.

In times of stress, one must be especially careful. 

Caring means being open to the energy potential in the human environment. Anger is a fundamental motivator, as one considers injustice. It is a source of creativity. But, like fire, it can get out of control at times.  This is one of the reasons we get mad at each other and find it harder to focus on ways to move progressive change forward. As they say, “if you ain’t upset, you ain’t payin’ attention.”

Fireworks are beautiful, so this 4th with tinder dry forests and brush country, we should resolve to use the motivating force and energy of fireworks of the spirit in ways that have a beautiful impact as we go off into the future.  

This is a guest blog by Stuart Heady. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

July 4, 2011 at 09:37 AM in Civil Liberties, Current Affairs, Guest Blogger, History, Holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stephen Jones: Harry Truman Had It Right, Harry Teague Didn't

This is a post by contributing writer, Stephen Jones, of Las Cruces.

"Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time," President Harry Truman often said.

Faced with the so-called wisdom of the chattering class and the august advice of Washington's political insiders, Truman chose instead to take his own counsel and run his own re-election effort, his way. In the process, as we all should know, Truman transformed his often forecast loss into a solid victory, going away. In doing so, he overcame two fractious third-party efforts by former Democrats and recaptured both houses of Congress to boot.

A day after his historic election, from the rear of a train platform at St. Louis Union Station, Truman held aloft the famously overconfident journalistic faux pas of the Chicago Tribune, whose headline read, "Dewey Defeats Truman."

Dewey-defeats-truman

Harry Truman, as was most often the case, got it right. If Democrats expect to win they need to run on honest principles, get a backbone and stand for something. We need not look too far afield to see that Harry Truman's plainspoken wisdom still holds as true today as it did in 1948. Faced with difficult re-election efforts, two of New Mexico's freshmen Congressmen banked on totally opposite strategies, both in their voting records in Congress, and in their re-election efforts in 2010.

In New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, Martin Heinrich established a progressive voting record in Congress and ran forthrightly on that record in his re-election campaign. In New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District Harry Teague frequently ran away from the tough votes, or failed to support or deliver on many of the key national and local issues that he was first elected on, and which his constituency expected of him. Instead, he expended much of his energy and political capital trying to placate conservative voters in his southern New Mexico district that never had any intention of backing him for re-election and who were always destined to be far beyond his reach.

In his 2010 re-election efforts, Heinrich fielded an enthusiastic and energized base of supporters and won with over 52% of the vote in a district whose boundaries were drawn for his Republican predecessor. Teague, in contrast, ran campaign commercials running away from the Democratic Party and took an arms-length approach to the progressive base of voters in his district. Teague lost, and most importantly he lost badly, not at the hands of progressive critics, but by the votes of the very constituencies on which he had expended all his energy.

In his 2008 election, Harry Teague captured 50% of the vote in his home base, Lea County in far southeast New Mexico (see chart). In 2010, Harry Teague only garnered a devastating 21% of the vote in his home base (see chart). The same happened in Chaves and Eddy Counties.

In Doña Ana County, the largest county in the district, Teague captured 60% of the electorate in 2008 and held onto a solid 57% of the vote in his 2010 re-election effort. Harry Teague rolled up an even more impressive victory in Grant County, where he took 61% of the votes cast. In 2010, Teague won Luna and Hidalgo Counties as well.

Given the high registration numbers in Doña Ana County and the low voter turnout in Lea, Chaves and Eddy counties, Harry Teague might have won if he had been a little more progressive in the votes he cast in Congress, and if he had run another kind of campaign. Instead, he tried to play it safe. In the end, the majority of voters in the 2nd District just weren't all that happy with Harry Teague, and what had been a promising start to a Congressional career ended after only one term.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but last year's election should be instructive to Democrats everywhere, from the President on down the line, both inside and outside the power centers of the Washington, D.C. "beltway" and in Santa Fe. As Harry Truman told us back in 1948, when Democrats keep to their principles and stand for something, we win. When we don't, we lose.

To see more posts by Stephen, visit our archive.

April 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM in By Stephen Jones, Contributing Writer, Democratic Party, History, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2010, Progressivism, Rep. Harry Teague (NM-02), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (9)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Photos and Videos: César Chávez March and Festival in Albuquerque with Dolores Huerta


Click for larger version or photo album

This past Saturday, the 18th Annual César Chávez Day March and Festival was held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. There was a large turnout of people from all walks of life and a diversity of ethnic backgrounds who are all bound by at least one thing -- a dedication to honoring the heroic labor and civil rights organizer and leader, and keeping his nonviolent activist mission alive in a new era of attacks on working people, minorities and collective bargaining itself.

César Chávez, who passed away on April 23, 1993 at age 66, founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, later to become the United Farm Workers - the UFW. Chávez worked in tandem with fellow activist Dolores Huerta, a co-founder of the union, who was this year's honored guest at the Albuquerque events.

Dolores -- now an energetic, passionate and active 81 years young -- has carried forward the work she started with Cesar, and expanded her activism to include advocacy on a variety of civil rights, economic and social justice issues over the years. She now heads the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring and motivating people to organize sustainable communities to attain social justice.

The march and festival were organized by the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee, whose mission is to educate our youth and communities about the legacy, life and work of the great American civil rights leader, César Chávez. You can follow the group's activities on Facebook.

After the march, participants gathered to celebrate the historic legacy of César Chávez with food, dancing, entertainment and more at the NHCC's Plaza de Major, including activities for kids and booths with local merchants and more information about a number of causes. Also addressing the crowed were a variety of speakers including Dolores Huerta, Rep. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and City Councilor Rey Garduno. (See videos below.)


Rep. Heinrich introduces Dolores Huerta


Rep. Ben Ray Lujan talks to crowd

In her remarks (see video below), Dolores Huerta thanked all involved in organizing the events, as well as the New Mexico Legislature -- especially the Senate -- for defeating anti-immigrant legislation and stopping New Mexico from becoming another Arizona. She said, "New Mexico has always been a very, very different place. New Mexico has always had a very different kind of politica. The politics here have always been different. New Mexico has always been ... a place of humanity, of caring, a very spiritual place where people really care about each other, regardless of your immigration status," she said.


Dolores Huerta addresses the crowd

"New Mexico is a state that unifies Mexico and the United States. Here is where it combines," she continued. "We are all proud to be New Mexicans ... I was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born in New Mexico. So we are very proud of this state ... I hope that you keep marching and organizing. We have to go from the march in the street to the march in our neighborhoods. We've got to go out and organize our neighborhoods so we can be even stronger than what we are right now so when we come to the elections in 2012 it's going to be a different picture."

"We cannot have politicians that are elected that are against teachers, Dolores said. "How can anybody even run for office and be against our teachers? That is absurd -- it's obscene. When they are against our teachers, they are against our students, and we know that if we do not have an education ... the greedy and the powerful are the ones that rule." 

"We're going to fight for our labor unions also," she said, "because we know if we do not have organized labor, then we don't have a democracy. The unions are the only ones that can get the money from the very wealthy to the working people ... Si, se puede, we can do it!"

"It's not enough to vote anymore," Huerta cautioned. "Every one of us that is here ... we can change an election. We can get on the telephone. We can walk. We can knock on doors ... This is the way we keep César's legacy alive ... todos juntos! ... Join our movement. We are a movement and we're gonna continue this fight for justice, for equality for everybody." She encouraged people to visit her foundation's website and Facebook page, and stay involved.

Click to see all the videos from Saturday's events.

All videos and photos by M.E. Broderick.

April 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM in Civil Liberties, Economy, Populism, Education, Events, Hispanic Issues, History, Immigration, Jobs, Minority Issues | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

REMINDER: Important Union/Progressive Public Vigil Monday in Albuquerque

New Mexico Communication Workers of America and AFL-CIO Union Members, La Raza Unida, Sierra Club, UNM Students, Interfaith Workers Justice Network present: 

  • What: A Public Vigil in Honor of MLK’s Lifetime Support of Collective Bargaining, Workers’ Rights and Public Services
  • When: Monday, April 4, 12 Noon to 1:00 PM
  • Where: 5301 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, Corner of San Mateo and Central, outside the Bank of the West Building
  • Why: If this country does away with collective bargaining, it is the first step in doing away with representative government

On this day, April 4, 2011, New Mexico workers and their families recall the bravery of millions of dedicated and hard-working American laborers, many of whom are still alive and remain committed to human rights and dignity. Local CWA union families lead the way planning workplace action and community events. We're joining allies throughout labor and progressive organizations protecting workers' rights.

On the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, activities will focus on honoring and remembering his commitment to help workers earn those rights. Hundreds of rallies are being held across New Mexico and the country; the Albuquerque effort represents the flagship event in New Mexico.

Labor and community organizations are setting aside time on April 4th, to remember the struggles of working families in our country, and to especially remember the significance leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave his life on this date in 1968, while standing up for the Rights of Memphis City Refuse Workers;  and remembering the legacy of Caesar Chavez, who was the voice of the Farm Workers of America for so many years, and inspired countless worker to stand up for their rights to have fair wages, a safe workplace and hope for their children's futures.

April 3, 2011 at 08:17 PM in Children and Families, Events, History, Jobs, Labor | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

4/2: César Chávez Day March and Festival in ABQ with Honored Guest Dolores Huerta

From the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee (RCCC):

César Chávez Day
MARCH & FESTIVAL
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Honored Guest
DOLORES HUERTA
Co-founder of United Farm Workers

11 AM March begins
National Hispanic Cultural Center
(4th St. at Avenida César Chávez SW)
(Bring your signs and banners!)

Noon – 3 PM FESTIVAL
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Kids’ activities, cultural performances, food, community exhibits
FREE CONCERT BY:
CULTURA FUERTE, EN-JOY & ANTONIO REYNA
Click for Flyer (pdf)

For more information: e-mail rcccabq@gmail.com, visit www.cesarchaveznm.org or call 246-2261

Co-sponsored by the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee, City of Albuquerque, County of Bernalillo, National Hispanic Cultural Center, McCune Charitable Foundation, NM Commission for Community Volunteerism, Center of Southwest Culture, and NM Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

See below for the Spanish language version:

Día de César Chávez
MARCHA Y FESTIVAL
Sábado, 2 de abril, 2011
Invitada de Honor:
DOLORES HUERTA
Co-fundador de United Farm Workers

11:00 AM Empieza la Marcha
el Centro Nacional de la Cultura Hispana
(Calle 4ª y Avenida César Chávez suroeste)
¡Traiga sus Pancartas!

Mediodía – 3:00 PM FESTIVAL
el Centro Nacional de la Cultura Hispana
Festival con actividades para niños, comida, actuaciones cultural, y exhibiciones
CONCIERTO GRATIS CON:
CULTURA FUERTE, EN-JOY, Y ANTONIO REYNA

Para recibir más información: www.cesarchaveznm.org, rcccabq@gmail.com, o llama 246-2261

Co-sponsored by the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee, City of Albuquerque, County of Bernalillo, National Hispanic Cultural Center, McCune Charitable Foundation, NM Commission for Community Volunteerism, Center of Southwest Culture, and NM Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

March 31, 2011 at 11:05 AM in Civil Liberties, Events, Hispanic Issues, History, Holidays, Labor, Minority Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)