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Monday, October 31, 2005

A Forum of Successful Progressive Candidates Set for 11/19 in ABQ

From People Taking Back Their Government
Community Partners: Central New Mexico Labor Council, Gray Panthers of Albq, Plumbers & Pipefitters LU 412 and World Voices

A Forum of Successful Progressive Candidates

United State Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont
NM Legislature: Rep. Mimi Stewart and Senator Cisco McSorley

Plumbers Hall, 510 San Pedro SE
Saturday, November 19
1:00 - 4:30 PM

The progressive elected officials at this forum will share their stories of why they decided to run for office and how they won. Those interested in running for public office in our communities and the community at large should attend to learn what it takes to be elected when you don’t follow the accepted guidelines or have a great deal of money.

The Coalition to Take Back Our Government believes that there is a need for more people from the community to run government. That it needs to be those of us who understand how it is not to have a job, not be able to send your children to college, and that healthy living means having clean water, trees, and rivers to have healthy and safe communities. There are many of us who know that preventing disease, and funding research for those illness which are killing us -- AIDS, cancer, and diabetes -- needs to happen. Adequate health care and educational opportunities for all are a human right. That when we don’t provide the necessary support to working families, and their children the future of any society is adversely impacted.

We invite you to join us at this event to hear the guests who chose to run because they had a dream to be a voice for their community. Come and be inspired to plan strategies to get involved in building healthy and sustainable communities. We the people know our needs and can be the builders for the future.

Be a sponsor and help in getting the word out to people you know. Tables at the event are $15 donation. These donations will serve to support progressive community people who run for public office. For information call: Martha at 275-0597 or Luis at 463-3774 or send an email to: marthacd@earthlink.net. Community Partners: Central New Mexico Labor Council, Gray Panthers of Albq, Plumbers & Pipefitters LU 412 and World Voices.

October 31, 2005 at 09:07 PM in Events | Permalink | Comments (3)

DFA-DFNM ABQ Meetup to Feature NM Rep. Mimi Stewart

NM REP. MIMI STEWART will be attending our DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Meetup to discuss how we can effectively support progressive legislators and bills and work together toward common goals. She'll also be answering our questions. You may recall that Rep. Steward was scheduled for last month's Meetup but was tied up due to the special legislative session in Santa Fe. We're very pleased to have Rep. Stewart as our guest and hope we'll have a big turnout to welcome her!

After announcements about several upcoming events, there will be a round-table discussion about our legislative goals, as well as how we can get elected officials and candidates to commit to core Democratic values.

Hope to see you this Thursday, November 3rd at 7:00 PM at the First Unitarian Church at Carlisle and Comanche for our DFA-DFNM Meetup!

If you plan to attend, please RSVP at our Meetup site by clicking here or on the Meetup logo on the upper left-hand sidebar on this page.

October 31, 2005 at 11:48 AM in DFA, DFNM - Albq, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sunday Bird Blogging: Dia De Los Muertos-Halloween Edition


With the potential dangers of bird flu being hyped day and night, Bosco the peach-faced lovebird has been contemplating the underlying messages of the coming Day of the Dead and Halloween holidays. Of course in the photo above he may look more interested in chewing Fall leaves, but rest assured his mind is chewing on larger philosophical concepts.


As you can see, he feels a special affinity for the green skeleton because it provides such a stunning background for his electric green feathers. And he admitted to me he thinks this pose makes him look scary and bold to the parakeets in the house.


However, even brave Bosco gets his feathers ruffled by thoughts of his own mortality. That's why he's planning to fly over to tonight's burning of Kookooee (also known as El Cucui or Coco) in Albuquerque's South Valley. He's looking forward to writing a note about his fears for the coming year and having it burned with Kookooee at the Festival de Otoño. He's no bird brain.

(Click on images for larger versions.)

October 30, 2005 at 11:05 AM in Bird Blogging | Permalink | Comments (2)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Noted Photographer to Discuss Censorship of Arctic Refuge Work


“This wild, free valley and the barren ground beyond is but a fragment of one of the last pristine regions left on earth, entirely unscarred by roads or signs, indifferent to mankind, utterly silent.”--Peter Matthiessen


“The refuge is so remote and untamed that many peaks, valleys, and lakes are still without names and shall remain that way. Marsh fleabane cluster along the lakeshore, while Nichenthraw Mountain and spruce trees are reflected on the calm water of early morning.” --Subhankar Banerjee

Editor's Note: Subhankar Banerjee's website, which includes 20 examples of his astonishing photos of astonishing vistas in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, is well worth a visit. It also has a wealth of resources about the ANWR and what we can do to help save it from oil drilling. If these photos don't convince us to do all we can to save ANWR, I don't know what will.

From UNM Today:
Photographer Subhankar Banerjee will visit the University of New Mexico School of Law to discuss his artwork and its place in the artic refuge oil drilling controversy. His presentation "World Without Borders" is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 2 - 4 PM in Room 2404.

Banerjee quit his engineering job in 2001, cashed in his 401k and headed for the Alaskan artic where he spent nearly two years photographing under harsh conditions. The result of this sojourn is his book, “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land.” Former President Jimmy Carter wrote the introduction.

Banerjee's work became the object of censorship when linked to the battle over drilling for oil in the artic. In September, Banerjee spoke at a rally in Washington D.C. The Lannan Foundation awarded Banerjee its first Cultural Freedom Fellowship for his work to increase public awareness about issues that threaten the health and well being of the planet.

Banerjee's presentation at UNM Law School is free and open to the public. For more information on his work, visit www.wwbphoto.com. For information on the presentation, contact Sherri Burr, 277-5650.

October 29, 2005 at 03:00 PM in Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

Join Mayor Martin J. Chávez for 4 Duke City Dialogues

Editor's Note: It would be great to see some progressives attend one or more of these sessions to add our perspective to the discussions. You need to RSVP (see below).

From the Mayor's Office:
Come with thoughts on the following new focus areas for the City of Albuquerque, and be prepared to share your ideas with others. Help us elevate our community ever higher over the next four years! The sessions:

I.  Education
What does the community need from its education providers?  Learn about other models of public school governance and discuss ways to enhance the city’s relationship with the school system.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005, 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Bear Canyon Senior Center, 4645 Pitt NE

II.  Transportation
Offer feedback to the City’s short term transportation plan, hear about existing programs you might not be aware of, and help us set the stage for an enhanced mass transit matrix and light rail.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2005, 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Los Volcanes Senior Center, 6500 Los Volcanes NW

III.  Public Safety 
How can prevention/intervention techniques help Albuquerque combat crime?  Come understand some of the new trends in Community Oriented Policing and then talk about how you can help make it work.   
Wednesday, November 16th, 2005, 4:00 to 8:00 PM
Barelas Senior Center, 714 7th St. SW

IV.  Animal Issues
How can Albuquerque become a more animal-friendly community?  Join us in discussion on creating a "live-exit" culture at our shelters, promoting spay/neuter and adoption, improving the care and treatment of pets, and better living with surrounding wildlife. 
Saturday, November 12th, 2005 (Call 311 for time)
Rio Grande Zoo, Education Building, 903 10th St. SW

(enter through the main entrance, participants will be directed from there)

Refreshments Provided! Seating is limited so RSVP’s are encouraged. Please call 311 for more information.

A.J. Carian, Assistant to the Mayor
(505) 768-3047, ajc@cabq.gov

October 29, 2005 at 10:54 AM in Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 28, 2005

EQNM Hosts Sweet Meet and Greet Fundraiser


(Click on image for larger version.)

October 28, 2005 at 01:31 PM in Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

ACLU Challenges Albuquerque Voter ID Law

Editor's Note: Barbara Grothus, whom many of you know from our activist work, is a plaintiff in this lawsuit. You may recall this voter ID measure was originally proposed by Republican City Councilor Sally Mayer and was passed by voters in a referendum in the October 4th municipal election. It requires a photo ID from in-person voters, but requires nothing from those who vote using absentee ballots.

Not coincidentally, many more Republicans than Democrats vote absentee. Democratic City Council members tried to pass a version of voter ID that included absentee voters. Their effort was thwarted when Republicans Mayer, Tina Cummins and Craig Loy voted against the bill, which needed 7 votes to change the city's election code. Now the city will have to bear the cost of a lawsuit due to the law's focus only on in-person voters.

From the ACLU New Mexico website:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico filed a civil rights lawsuit today asking the federal court to declare Albuquerque’s recently-passed Voter I.D. Amendment “unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.”

The new law requires people who vote in person to present a “current valid identification card containing the voter’s name and photograph.” Among the acceptable forms of identification are a driver’s license, a credit card, and a voter identification card issued by the City Clerk. Absentee voters are exempt from any photo I.D. requirements.

“If you’re poor or homeless, there’s a good chance you don’t have any of the permissible forms of identification,” said ACLU Executive Director Peter Simonson. “Wealth shouldn’t determine your ability to participate in democracy. Americans shouldn’t have to jump through unnecessary hoops to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote.”

Under the Voter I.D. Amendment, an application for an absentee ballot simply requires that people provide their name, address, and the last four digits of the social security number. No photo I.D. requirement applies and the ballot may be cast by mail or delivered in person.

Simonson said, “Why should people who actually show their faces at the polling place suffer more rigorous identification requirements than someone who votes from a distance? It doesn’t make sense. We’re creating two classes of voters. The Constitution doesn’t permit that.”

The filing of the ACLU suit coincides with today’s decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a court ruling blocking another voter I.D. law in Georgia. Like the Albuquerque law, Georgia’s photo I.D. requirements only applied to in-person voters. Simonson said the Georgia decision “sets a very good precedent for our case.”

Attorneys James Scarantino, Joseph Kennedy, and Shannon Oliver are litigating the ACLU’s case along with ACLU Staff Attorney George Bach. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the ACLU of New Mexico and Barbara Grothus.

October 28, 2005 at 10:27 AM in Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sweep Home Chicago

You knew I had to post something about the White Sox sweep in the World Series. This says it all:


Quite a Series. Quite an historic win. Quite an exciting postseason for this Chicagoland native. If only my late father, a lifelong Sox (and Cubs) fan, could have witnessed this championship season. The Black Sox curse is shattered.


As an added treat, we got to beat a team from the Bush homeland, on their home field, in front of little Georgy's parents:


Blue State, Blue City wins big. What a ride.


The Series had everything: a grand slam homer (by Konerko, only the 17th in World Series history), a homer by a benchwarmer (Blum), a 14-inning win by the Sox (the longest game in Series history and tied with Babe Ruth's pitching win with the Boston Red Sox in the 1918 Series for most innings) and a 1-0 nailbiter for the 4th game win. Now, if we can match this White Sox miracle with winning back the Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008, we'll know the winds of change have truly turned our way!

October 27, 2005 at 12:46 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3)

Host a November 15 DNC National Organizing Kickoff Event

Editor's Note: Mary Ellen and I will be hosting one of these November 15th house parties for our precinct and neighborhood. Besides providing an opportunity to get together with neighbors to encourage them to get more involved, these events will feature a conference call with Howard Dean. It would be great if we had a host for a party in every precinct. You don't have to be a precinct or ward officer to host one. You can learn more about the events, sign up to host one or find one to attend by visiting the DNC's National Organizing Kickoff page.

20051024_eventsbtnFrom DNC Chair Howard Dean:
On November 15th, thousands of Democrats will experience our 50-state strategy up close and in person.

In many places there are vitally important elections in just a few weeks -- but we can't afford to stop organizing and stop building after Election Day. Next year's elections will be a national referendum on the Republican culture of corruption in Washington and in the states. We cannot wait until a few months before the election to get ready -- we need to start organizing right now.

On the evening of November 15th, ordinary Americans will open up their homes to their friends and neighbors for a night of planning and action -- our National Organizing Kickoff.

Will you host an Organizing Kickoff meeting on November 15th? It's easy, and you can get started right away:


Hosts of National Organizing Kickoff meetings can download all of the materials for a successful meeting. Information from the national and state party will include a briefing on our party-building efforts nationally and locally, a survey of the political landscape in your state and information about opportunities to take action locally.

I will be joining all of the meetings that night in a nationwide conference call.

Every one of us needs to take responsibility for the Democratic organization in our neighborhoods, and this is everyone's opportunity to come together and focus. We have to be organized to get our message out -- we need a network in place now to persuade voters and activate our supporters.

It's up to you to make sure that everyone in your neighborhood is plugged in and ready to do as much as they can. Sign up to host your National Organizing Kickoff event now.

To make an impact everywhere we need to organize everywhere. That's what you mandated, and that's why our party has taken the unprecedented step putting organizers on the ground and building state parties across the country.

The event you host will bring everyone up to speed on our progress, our opportunities and the work ahead. Everyone must commit to working on Election Day 2006 -- but the meeting you host now will help create the road map for a year of sustained commitment until then.

As Republican leaders are investigated and indicted, Americans everywhere are tired of politics as usual. The culture of corruption that Republicans have brought to Washington, DC and statehouses across the country is making more and more people realize that we need change.

Hosting a local Organizing Kickoff meeting is the most important step you can take right now to make sure that our party is in a position to change things next year. When you sign up to be a host you will have access to materials to make planning easy:

You'll be hearing more about these meetings in the coming weeks. Thank you for your time and your commitment to the idea that together, America can do better.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

October 27, 2005 at 09:45 AM in Democratic Party, Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

'We The People' to Feature Air Force Academy Grad Mikey Weinstein

WE THE PEOPLE: October 27, 2005
Mikey Weinstein, Third generation graduate of the Air Force Academy: Religious Discrimination and the U.S. Air Force
7 PM, Albuquerque Channel 27
HOST: Mickey Bock

WE THE PEOPLE is an innovative call-in television show looking for TRUTH and TRANSPARENCY in local, state and federal governments. We hope to remind viewers of their legacy and heritage coming from the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It is our country's government--based on law and not tyranny--that grants us FREEDOM.

Watch us every Thursday at 7-8 PM on Community Cable TV Channel 27, Albuquerque, NM. CALL-IN:  346-1633 (the number will also be flashed on the TV Screen).

Mickey Bock/Judith Binder

Editor's Note: Mikey Weinstein is suing the Air Force for religious discrimination. Here's a Washington Post article about his suit and the response of the Air Force.

October 27, 2005 at 09:01 AM in Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Small Victory for Neighborhood Organizing

New West reports a victory in saving, at least for now, a prime piece of agricultural land in the South Valley. Read it and cheer. We urged people to attend the Bernalillo County Commission hearing about the proposed 54-acre shopping mall for Coors and Rio Bravo in an earlier post. For once, the good guys won. Along with the sandhill cranes and the winter geese. A thank you is in order for the County Commissioners who voted against the mall: Deanna Archuleta-Loeser, Alan Armijo, Tim Cummins and Teresa Cordova. Michael Brasher also voted against it, but later claimed he didn't understand the motion. You can email them at links on the right-hand side of .

October 26, 2005 at 04:21 PM in Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What Kind of Party Are We Having?

In what some are speculating may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, our ears on the ground are telling us that Brian Monaghan, the Democratic Party of New Mexico's Comptroller, has given his two week notice. Compounding the drama is word that Monaghan's resignation was quickly followed by that of Judy Baker, State Party Treasurer and former IRS agent from the 2nd Congresssional District.

Monaghan was first brought on board by then Party Chair Diane Denish to help steer the party out of the legal trouble it had gotten itself into with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) during the 1998 election cycle. Locally and nationally, Monaghan is considered to be one of the best comptrollers in the country because of his knowledge and commitment to adhering to complicated national and state campaign finance laws.

One has to wonder what drove Monaghan to decide to leave now, and why Judy Baker decided to tender her own resignation immediately after he did.

Monaghan's departure from the Democratic Party of New Mexico also represents the fourth resignation to land on Chairman Wertheim's desk since the State Central Committee Meeting in April. These include Gideon Elliot, Deputy Executive Director; Sarah Rosenzweig, Finance Director; and Marci Youngmark who resigned after being promoted from Volunteer Coordinator to Finance Director. Terri Holland, the former Director of State Party Affairs, is also gone, having moved over to the Bernalillo County Party as Executive Director.

All this reinforces the serious concerns being raised by State Central Committee (SCC) members and party activists regarding the DPNM's financial dealings and effectiveness.

What gives?

October 25, 2005 at 12:39 PM in Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (39)