Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day! Labor Day! Break Free, Break Through the Walls of the Status Quo Criminal Class

Below is a great post that Barb did for May Day 2010. It is totally still right on for Labor Day 2012!

Just watch it

My forebears came in from Poland, Germany and Norway through Ellis Island when there were no immigration quotas. They worked like dogs at the jobs Americans didn't want, like almost all immigrants do. I am the beneficiary of their courage and hard labor. And so is our nation.

I grew up in Chicago, a city built by immigrants of every ethnicity. Most of today's America was built by immigrants, not the descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. We built on what was built for centuries by slaves and indentured servants, not the ancestors of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Immigrants and racial, ethnic and other minorities have always been our strength and our salvation. They work hard and they unite to stand up to the corrupt forces of the status quo. Think unions, think every civil rights and liberation and reform movement that ever emerged in the U.S.

Now the forces of the status quo and their frightened and misguided followers want to stop all this. They always do, whether it's been freed slaves or immigrants from Ireland or Italy or Eastern Europe or the Caribbean or Africa or Mexico or wherever. The very word 'conservative' means to keep things as they are because I am the beneficiary of power, position and wealth by my very bloodline and/or longstanding connections. The irony is that today's right wingers and teabaggers are often victims of the greedy, insular forces of the status quo, yet they defend the very forces that oppress them, convinced that it's immigrants or minorities or liberals or unions or a government that serves the needs of ordinary people that's to blame for their penury.

Today, on May Day, a day for celebrating the labor movement, a day when immigration reform marches are taking place all over the land, I say fuck the forces of White only and English only. Fuck the forces that scapegoat people willing to take risks and work hard to provide for their families. Fuck the forces that use vile propaganda to stir up hatred and reward ignorance.

Fuck the forces that defend the status quo ruling class so huge blobs of money can keep flowing to those who sit on their asses and "invest" in scams and manipulate and steal and deregulate oil drilling so that our entire Gulf coast -- including all its wildlife, its working people, its entire ecosystem and economic infrastructure -- is going to be devastated and entire ways of life destroyed so BP could save the money it would take to employ technologies to help prevent that. Fuck the forces that keep arms flowing all over the world and eternal wars going to feed the war profiteers and enable the usurping of natural resources all over the globe. Fuck the forces that destroy native cultures and whole communities and huge parts of the world so they can keep themselves and their "investors" in the money.

Immigrants, whether documented or not, and minorities of every kind are not the enemy, are not the terrorists. Our real enemies and terrorists are in power either upfront or behind the scenes in connection with -- or bought off by -- every "deregulated" financial and corporate undertaking that is raping our nation and nations around the globe for obscene profits. They kill and maim and torture people. They kill ecosystems. They kill education. They kill health care. They kill children. They bankrupt governments and homeowners. They kill wildlife and plant life. They poison the seas and the groundwater and the very air we breathe. It is they who must be arrested and jailed and convicted and stopped in their tracks, not families fleeing from utter poverty caused by all the "free" trade and monetary policy scams that have made slave labor the preferred option for the corporate and banking interests who call all the shots.

Today, on May Day, let's start pointing the finger in no uncertain terms at our real enemies. Let's work towards uniting all the hated minorities - the black and brown and yellow ones, the gay and bi and trans ones, the people who care about the earth and human dignity and the animals and justice -- and use our union to go after the bloodsuckers who are causing the horrors that are erupting and spreading each and every day. If we don't, we know the dark forces will win. They've got the guns but we've got the numbers -- only if we unite. We all know in our hearts that's what this era will be about. Can the united forces of progress overcome the stultifying forces of greed and privilege? Only time will tell.

September 3, 2012 at 01:00 PM in Barbara Rose Wold, Civil Liberties, Economy, Populism, Human Rights, Immigration, Jobs, Labor | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Corrected: AFSCME Local 3022 Endorses Marty Chavez

Correction: DFNM was notified from the AFSCME union that the entire voting body of the union voted earlier this year and endorsed Eric Griego candidate for CD1. You can see that previous DFNM post here. The AFSCME union explained that they recently changed there endorsment bylaws in effort of stopping these fractured smaller union bodies going off and endorsing their own candidate. When the full Union body endorses it endorses for all the Locals.

The following release is from the Marty Chavez campaign for CD1.

Municipal Employees Join Growing Coalition of New Mexican Working Families

MartyLast week, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3022 endorsed former Albuquerque Mayor in his race for the House of Representatives in New Mexico’s First Congressional District.

“We’ve worked closely with Marty for years and know that he is the only candidate in this race that can get the results our members and their families need,” said Andrew Padilla, speaking on behalf of the Local. “While we respect our brothers and sisters from around the state, Marty has proven that he can tackle tough issues and find serious solutions to the problems our nation faces.  During difficult times like these, we need representatives in Washington who can actually get things done, and that’s why we’re throwing our support behind Marty.”

“It’s truly an honor to earn this endorsement because I am committed to building a strong grassroots coalition of working families in this campaign,” said Chavez. “I’m especially proud to have their support because of the close working relationship we maintained during my years as Mayor that led to more people working in Albuquerque.  That’s real progress that middle class families can count on.”

Lee Whistle, Vice President of Local 3022 added, “Basically, our decision to support Marty comes down to two vital reasons.  First, we know Marty from years of working together and he fights and delivers for working people and respects the job we do.  Second, he’s the only candidate in this race who we believe can actually win – and we have to keep this seat blue.”

As a New Mexico State Senator, Marty Chavez maintained a 100% AFL-CIO COPE rating.

December 12, 2011 at 09:10 PM in Labor, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | |

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ohio Voters Offer A Cautionary Tale for Gov. Susana Martinez About Workers’ Rights in New Mexico

Tuesday, November 8th, voters in Ohio issued a definitive statement to their union-busting Governor, John Kasich (R) that should cause New Mexico’s own Governor Susana Martinez (R) to think twice about her plans to eliminate workers’ basic rights in our state. 

After muscling through a law that stripped Ohio public sector unions of collective bargaining rights earlier this year, Gov. Kasich saw voters overwhelmingly reject his vision for eliminating workers’ voices, as Ohio voters on Tuesday repealed a law that severely limited collective bargaining by a 61% to 39% margin.  From a policy perspective, Tuesday’s results are a victory for sensible legislation that doesn’t seek to use fiscal crises as an excuse for stripping workers’ rights.  From a political perspective, Tuesday’s results are a resounding defeat for Gov. Kasich, as well as a cautionary tale for other politicians pursuing extreme, anti-worker agendas – like New Mexico’s own Gov. Martinez.

Here in New Mexico, some have speculated that the setback to Gov. Kasich and the results in Ohio have little bearing on Gov. Martinez and our state’s ongoing bargaining process because   Gov. Martinez hasn’t tried to eliminate public workers’ unions in the fashion of Ohio and Kasich’s ideological brother-in-extremism in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R).  However, this is largely because Gov. Martinez doesn’t have the same control over the state legislature, so she’s attempting through backdoor means to achieve the same extreme outcome – eliminating workers’ rights and voices.

They might not be identical twins, but John Kasich’s SB5 bill in Ohio and Susana Martinez’s union-busting attempts in New Mexico nonetheless bear a strong familial resemblance,” said CWA Representative and Lead Contract Negotiator, Robin Gould, “Both Governors and both attempts to silence workers’ voices are built on the myth that eliminating the rights and voices of public sector workers will somehow aid the state’s economic recovery.  Nothing could be further from the truth or more distracting to the work we need our policymakers to focus on – creating policies that strengthen jobs and move our state back in the right direction.”

In New Mexico, where state employees already are greatly restricted in what they are allowed to negotiate for, a successful Martinez power grab in eviscerating workers’ rights would be devastating for many middle class workers and communities.  Earlier this year, Gov. Martinez attempted to eliminate the Labor Board, which did not work.  Now, she’s set her sights on trying to strip state workers’ rights further through negotiations, remaining insistent in efforts to eliminate three decades of worker gains (including basic rights like breaks). 

Like much of the far right conservative movement, Gov. Kasich included, Gov. Martinez seems intent on pursuing a policy vision that would shrink public services in favor of privatization schemes. This is the wrong direction for New Mexico’s families and communities – and wrong for any political future that Gov. Martinez envisions for herself.

See this fact sheet for an overview on what Gov. Martinez is proposing for New Mexico workers: 11.15.11Bargaining Background on SEA-CWA.ORG

November 16, 2011 at 10:22 AM in Labor, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

IBEW Local 611 Endorses Marty Chavez for Congress in NM-1

MartyWedumToday, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 611 endorsed former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez in his race for the House of Representatives in New Mexico’s First Congressional District.

“Marty has been a champion for working families throughout his career and a stalwart friend of the IBEW.  During his time as Mayor, our members were working because of Marty’s policies that delivered good paying jobs to our city,” said Business Manager Chris Frentzel. “Marty has proven he can get results and I know he will continue to make progress for our families in Congress.”

“It’s an incredible honor to receive this endorsement because I am committed to building a strong grassroots coalition of working families in this campaign,” said Chavez. “I’m especially proud to have the support of IBEW Local 611 because they know what’s at stake and will work hard to help bring opportunities to our community.

Jeep Gilliland, former President of the New Mexico AFL-CIO, added, “This is great example of the momentum Marty’s campaign is gaining.  As a State Senator, Marty maintained a 100% AFL-CIO COPE rating and carried legislation vital to New Mexico’s labor community.  Marty has proven that he can get the job done and right now, New Mexico’s working families need leadership that gets results.”

The Chavez campaign for Congress pointed out that it has received strong personal backing from Democratic, progressive and environmental leaders from New Mexico and around the country including Ambassador Joe Wilson, Ambassador Ed Romero, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Carbon War Room CEO Jigar Shah, President of the Earth Day Network Kathleen Rogers and President & CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies Thomas Peterson. 

October 19, 2011 at 08:06 AM in Labor, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | |

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

TONIGHT 10/4: DFA-DFNM Meetup With Special Guests Marty Chavez, Jon Hendry

This month's DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Meetup is set for TONIGHT, Tuesday, October 4, at 7:00 PM at the Social Hall of the First Unitarian Church on the SW corner of Carlisle and Comanche in Albuquerque. Please RSVP. All are wecome to attend!

We'll be hearing from former ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez, who's a candidate in the Democratic primary race for Congress in New Mexico's First District. He'll be discussing his campaign and positions on the issues, and answering your questions.

Labor leader JON HENDRY, who serves as President of the New Mexico Federation of Labor and the business agent for IATSE local 480, will also be speaking to the group. He'll discuss workers' rights and the role of unions in today's anti-working class, anti-middle class political environment dominated by corporate and right-wing greed.

October 4, 2011 at 05:10 AM in DFNM - Albq, Events, Labor, Martin Chavez, MeetUp, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Photos/Videos: Occupy Albuquerque in Solidarity With Occupy Wall Street

Click for photo album

Today more than 400 members of The 99% of us who aren't on the plutocratic gravy train were arrested crossing Brooklyn Bridge in connection with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York City. A number of marchers and observers claim those arrested essentially were lured onto the bridge roadway by police specifically so they could be trapped between lengths of orange plastic fencing and arrested for trespassing.

I guess Mayor Bloomberg is beginning to tire of the Occupy Wall Street folks as 14 days of their diverse, nonviolent and sometimes exotic presence in Zuccotti Park and elsewhere in the city begins to fray the nerves of the 1% of city dwellers who like the worker bee classes to be seen and not heard as they go about waiting on their masters. Just yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg felt compelled to chastise the protestors for picking on bankers and stock brokers who are "struggling to make ends meet." I'm not kidding. He insisted people are focusing too much on the causes of the financial crisis and that we need to be nicer to the banking industry so that it starts lending again. He concluded by saying that we are “blaming the wrong people” by “blaming the banks” for the recession.

Chanters.                             Driving past some protesters.

Energized Crowd in Albuquerque
Meanwhile about 500 more of The 99% assembled and walked between two locations -- near the US Bank building on Central Avenue SE as well as the Bank of the West -- as the Occupy Albuquerque protest kicked off in solidarity with the action in New York City. Just check out the signs in the photos and videos to understand what prompted folks to turn out on a beautiful Saturday morning during Balloon Fiesta to make a stand. The time has finally come today when more and more people are ready to proclaim, "We just won't take it anymore!"

Similar occupations were in progress or being planned for cities and towns (including Santa Fe) across the nation -- and the world -- as momentum continues to grow for the people's movement. More and more are inspired and excited about confronting the forces that are hard at work undermining our freedoms to benefit the 1% of plutocrats who think they now own the nation -- and who intend to operate it as a nasty, greedy oligarchy at the beck and call of Wall Street, and global banking, financial and corporate interests.

City Councilor Rey Garduno comments on demonstration

The Great Awakening
As Paul Kantner's rowdy Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (PERRO) once sang on "Hijack" on Blows Against the Empire

"Where do we go from here? Chaos or community?"

Nobody knows quite yet, but it's clear that many abused and ripped off residents of the Planet Earth are finally awakening from their slumbers, their denial and/or their paralyzing cynicism to admit what's really going on with the corporate takeover of our governments and resources, and gathering to brainstorm about a situation that gets worse every day for the 99% of the population whose labors, resources and talents are essentially being stolen to support the consumerist addictions of the other 1%.

As Cornell West told Amy Goodman yesterday:

Well, I think we’ve got to keep the momentum going because it’s impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand, or two demands. We’re talking about a democratic awakening. We’re talking about raising political consciousness, so it spills over; all parts of the country so people can begin to see what’s going on through a different set of lens.

And then you begin to highlight what the more detailed demands would be, because in the end we’re really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution; a transfer of power from oligarchs to every day people of all colors, and that is a step-by-step process. It’s a democratic process, it’s a non-violent process, but it is a revolution, because these oligarchs have been transferring wealth from poor and working people at a very intense rate in the last 30 years, and getting away with it, and then still smiling in our faces and telling us it’s our fault. That’s a lie, and this beautiful group is a testimony to that being a lie.

When you get the makings of a U.S. autumn responding to the Arab Spring, and is growing and growing -- I hope it spills over to San Francisco and Chicago and Miami and Phoenix, Arizona, with our brown brothers and sisters, hits our poor white brothers and sisters in Appalachia -- so. it begins to coalesce. And I tell you, it is sublime to see all the different colors, all the different genders, all the different sexual orientations and different cultures, all together here in Liberty Plaza; there’s no doubt about it.

Cisco Padilla comments.           Greedy pig diorama!

Goals and Principles
So what are the preliminary goals of the occupations? It's up to each of the participants to join what is being called a "general assembly" in order to come up with proposed principles, goals and strategies and come to a consensus. These can vary widely depending on the makeup and interests of the occupation group, and can be as abstract or specific as the group desires. The main goal of the occupations at this point is to get people talking with one another about what's really going on with our economy of late, as well as interacting and connecting so that there's a good chance they'll continue to participate with one another in the future and perhaps even reach out to new people.

Exactly what that future of these occupations will be isn't known yet, but the hope is that momentum for taking on the damaging status quo will continue to grow, and that the goals and actions of the groups will develop organically from the ground up instead of from some leader on down. More will be revealed in the coming days and weeks as a new kind of protest movement takes shape and refines its targets.

In the meantime, the group, which is organizing an occupation of Freedom Plaza in DC that starts on October 6, has come up with these principles. They're a good start:

  • Tax the rich and corporations
  • End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending
  • Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and improved Medicare for all
  • End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests
  • Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation
  • Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages
  • Get money out of politics.

Photos and videos on this post by M.E. Broderick. Additional photos and videos of Occupy Albuquerque can be found here. If you've got some, please put a link to them in the comments thread of this post.

October 1, 2011 at 10:05 PM in Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Finance, Investments, Jobs, Labor, Occupy Wall Street (Everywhere) | |

Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday at ABQ Balloon Fiesta: Working Families to Launch Hot Air Balloon Calling for Congress to Take Action on Jobs Crisis

From New Mexico labor unions, the Central New Mexico Labor Council and Working America: Jobless New Mexicans and working families from across the state will launch a hot air balloon starting Saturday, October 1, at 7:00 AM at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta calling for lawmakers to focus on fixing the growing jobs crisis affecting the country.


The balloon launch will feature a 40-foot “America Wants to Work: Good Jobs Now” banner, and unemployed workers will be present telling their personal stories about how the jobs crisis is affecting them and why they are calling on Congress to act on passing a strong jobs agenda. In addition to this Saturday, the balloon will also be launched at 7:00 AM on Sunday, October 2; Wednesday, October 5; Saturday, October 8; and Sunday, October 9, from field position F-10.

“I have been unemployed for almost 3 years,” said LeRoy Apodaca, an unemployed Working America member. “I want to work, but finding a job these days is difficult. We are asking our elected officials to focus on job creation and make that their most important issue.”

In addition to his membership with Working America, Apodaca has been an active participant of New Mexico Wants to Work, a program that has been organizing unemployed workers since January.

The balloon event is part of the “America Wants to Work” National Month of Action calling for a jobs plan to:

  • Rebuild America’s schools and transportation and energy systems
  • Revive U.S. manufacturing and stop exporting good jobs overseas
  • Put people to work doing work that needs to be done
  • Help federal, state, and local governments avoid more layoffs and cutbacks of public services
  • Help fill the massive shortfall of consumer demand by extending unemployment benefits and keeping homeowners in their homes
  • Reform Wall Street so that it helps Main Street create jobs

The America Wants to Work balloon and banner are sponsored by New Mexico labor unions, the Central New Mexico Labor Council and Working America.

September 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM in Children and Families, Economy, Populism, Events, Jobs, Labor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

10/1: Join AFGE Rally at Tiguex Park to Support Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid & Government Services

From the AFGE:
Join your American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) to rally for our public programs in Albuquerque on Saturday, October 1, at 12 Noon at Tiguex Park. Members of the AFGE union work for the Social Security Administration. The event takes place during their Hispanic Coalition's national meeting.

The rally will focus on the importance of protecting, preserving and strengthening Social Security benefits, the jobs, benefits and pensions of state, county and federal employees, government services and benefits and your family's future.

America’s Working Families are Under Attack
Let’s fight back! Click for Flyer
Free Food and Drinks, Entertainment and More!
Bring your signs, banners and T-shirts

Speakers will include:
  • AFGE National President John Gage
  • AFSCME Leader Jose La Luz
  • HISCO Chair Jose Gonzalez
  • NMFL President Jon Hendry
  • AFL/CIO Don Manning
  • New Mexico ARA Terry Schleder
  • AFGE National Vice Presidents
  • SSA Council President Witold Skwiercynski

Sponsored by AFGE National Office, AFGE Local 4041, AFGE Local 2063, AFGE Local 2142, AFGE Local 2263.

September 29, 2011 at 04:59 PM in Events, Healthcare, Labor, Social Security | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New National Report: How Gov. Susana Martinez's Big Business Agenda Endangers New Mexicans

Susana1Cr Just the facts! Food & Water Watch, joined by Conservation Voters New Mexico and the New Mexico Federation of Labor, today (pdf) that outlines numerous examples of how Governor Susana Martinez has given special privilege to industries like oil and gas, industrialized dairy, homebuilders and mining -- at the expense of environmental protection and the local economy. The well-documented report also provide useful charts that demonstrate -- in no uncertain terms -- how and why the Martinez administration puts politics and campaign donor wishes ahead of the needs of New Mexicans and protecting our vital natural resources. 

Immediately following a press conference that took place in front of the Capitol Roundhouse at 12:30 PM, the groups and other concerned New Mexicans hand-delivered the report to Governor Martinez’s office and demanded that she give advocates for small business, working families and the environment a seat at the table that has otherwise been reserved solely for big industry.

“New Mexicans are fed up with Governor Martinez’s secret task forces, industry appointments and decisions that do little to address the dire economic and environmental problems we face,” said Food & Water Watch New Mexico organizer Eleanor Bravo. “We are here today to remind Governor Martinez that she works for us –- the residents of New Mexico -– and not the big industries that threaten our health, our environment, worker rights, and home-grown small businesses.”

As the report says, "From the moment she became New Mexico’s governor on January 1, 2011, Susana Martinez has worked overtime to dismantle key protections that the state put in place for the benefit of New Mexicans and the air, water and land they cherish ... Unfortunately, Governor Martinez, who swept into office with the help of campaign donations from oil and gas, mining, mega-dairy and other big industries, has demonstrated little restraint granting the wishes of those who want to see the state’s environmental protections rolled back."

161899_182186898472448_2411796_n Big money talks -- and Susana Martinez listens. The report notes that oil and gas, industrialized dairy, mining and the construction industries all were big financial supporters of the Martinez gubernatorial campaign. Oil and gas gave more than $1 million to candidate Martinez, homebuilders and general contractors gave $621,000 and the livestock and dairy industry gave $267,900.

The must-read report, (pdf), describes how in her first six months in office, Martinez has rapidly worked to roll back the rules and regulations that protect New Mexico’s natural resources, public health and working families. It explains how her “Small Business-Friendly Task Force” does not truly represent small businesses, and how Martinez's big business agenda is particularly harmful to lower income, predominately Hispanic communities in New Mexico.

The report chronicles many examples of how Martinez has ignored the concerns of health and environmental advocates to favor the agendas of the big industries that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to her gubernatorial campaign. Examples include:

  • Undermining pollution controls for factory farms
  • Attempting to abolish the Water Quality Control Commission
  • Paving over the Pit Rule that protects groundwater from oil and gas drilling waste
  • Pocket-vetoing local food procurement bill
  • Firing the State Labor Board
  • Vetoing unemployment benefits

"Governor Martinez has launched an aggressive attack on the safeguards on which New Mexicans depend to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe," said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico. "In our view, her systematic dismantling of these safeguards threatens the security of our families and communities."

Bottom Line:

This chronicle of Governor Martinez’s words and deeds during her first eight months in office makes her strategy quite clear -– she’s taken campaign cash from big industry, she’s appointed those industry players to key posts in state government and now she’s cutting the protections that keep New Mexicans and their precious air, water, food and land safe from those industries.

The report and corresponding fact sheets in Spanish and English can be downloaded for free at the Food & Water Watch website.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control. See

September 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM in Energy, Environment, Food and Drink, Labor, NM Legislature 2011, Regulation, Susana Martinez, Water Issues | |

Sunday, September 25, 2011

9/29: AFSCME Reception in Support of Eric Griego for Congress

From Eric Griego for Congress:

Jerome Padilla, Richard Romero, Ron Romero,
Rhonda & Jerry Seidenwurm, Mary Darling, Chris Ortega,
Jon Hendry,  Alicia Lueras Maldonado and Daniel Gutierrez
Invite you to join the
American Federation
of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
for a Reception in support of
Eric Griego
Candidate for Congress | NM’s 1st Congressional District

Thursday, September 29th | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
at the home of
Jerome Padilla
3408 Calle Facio NW | Albuquerque, NM
Click for Invitation With More Info

Requested Contributions:
Sponsor: $100 | Friend: $50 | Guest: $25
Kindly respond to Nick Blencowe at (505) 804-0967 or 

September 25, 2011 at 05:23 PM in Eric Griego, Events, Labor, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Report on Energized MoveOn and NM Unions Rally for Jobs, Not Cuts in Santa Fe 9/17


This is a report from the field by Elizabeth Cook-Romero one of the citizen activists of MoveOn New Mexico. The group is involved in helping to coordinate a series of demonstrations in New Mexico advocating citizen action to help Rebuild the Dream.

Their next event, in conjunction with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), will take place TODAY, starting at 5:00 PM at the Albuquerque Civic Plaza, to counter the right-wing, astro-turf Hispanic Leadership Network that's meeting across the street. Click for details. Activities coordinated by 100 Thousand Poets for Change follow on the Plaza at 6:00 PM. On Saturday, 100 Thousand Poets groups around the globe, including here in Albuquerque.

A half hour before MoveOn’s September 17 rally began last Saturday, singing filled the park behind the Roundhouse. The Union Town Criers were warming up, and MoveOn organizers and their union partners sang along as they assembled the stage and arranged literature on tables. 

The event started a few minutes after one. The crowd was still small -- perhaps a hundred people. The Criers sang two old-time union songs, then guitarist Carol Oppenheimer stepped into the audience, as dozens of health care workers streamed into the space between the stage and the Roundhouse.  Protestors were arriving from every direction, and the crowd swelled to more than 300. Many held handmade signs that read, “Where are the jobs, Susana?” AFSCME members held yellow banners.  Everyone was singing and swaying as Oppenheimer, strumming her guitar, circled through the crowd.

Sen. Peter Wirth, Mayor David Coss

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss served as MC, a daunting task since almost two dozen speakers were on hand to address the crowd. Jon Hendry, President of the NM Federation of Labor kicked off the event, then Coss turned the mike over to state legislators who needed to return to the capitol to cast votes. State Representatives Brian Egolf, Eleanor Chavez, Antonio Luján, Bobby J. Gonzales, Rick Miera, Sheryl Williams Stapleton and Luciano “Lucky” Varela made it abundantly clear that New Mexico isn’t Wisconsin. Like Scott Walker, Gov. Martinez’s campaign was funded by big business, but policies that hurt workers and preserve tax breaks for oil, gas and out-of-state businesses will not get an automatic pass here.

Sen. Dede Feldman, Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton

Teachers, artists, nurses and communications workers stood side-by-side as State Senators Peter Wirth, Mary Jane M. Garcia and Eric G. Griego talked about the governor’s lack of proposals to create jobs. For a while, old-time songs were replaced by the 21st-century slogan of resistance: “This is what democracy looks like!” 

State Senator Dede Feldman, who was not scheduled to speak, climbed onto the stage. She had heard the rally from the Senate Floor, and she urged everyone to yell louder so Gov. Susana Martinez, in her fourth-floor office, would hear.

Sen. Eric Griego revs up the crowd

A half dozen labor leaders, including Jennifer Garcia (Northern NM Labor Council), Miles Conway (CWA), Delma Delora (NUHHCE) and Carter Bundy (AFSCME) reminded the crowd that industry didn’t agree to the 40-hour week and weekends off without a long, hard fight. A majority of those listening were union members, and their shouts proved they knew history and understood that privatization of government services would replace middle-class civil servants with workers with few rights or benefits -- so that profits could flow to out-of-state stock holders. 

IMG_3939 Cheryl A. Bumpus, president of NEA Santa Fe, shouted that she would like to talk to Susana about cheating. Loud hisses and laughter rose toward the governor’s office as Bumpus was dissing the Martinez administration’s plan to spend $70 thousand tax dollars on an erasure-analysis program to see if teachers are changing their students’ answers on standardized tests.

Santa Fe County Commissioner Kathy Holian told the crowd she would leave inspired by their courage.  And radio host Craig Barnes reminded everyone that radical conservative ideology threatens more than decent wages, workers’ rights and benefits; it threatens the earth we live on.

By the time the last three speakers, Dr. Wanda Ross Padilla (NAACP), Marcella Diaz (Somos Un Pueblo Unido) and Todd McElroy (Equality NM) took the stage, a warm bond had developed -- not only among the three human-rights workers -- but between speakers and audience. Though the fight ahead will be hard, many were smiling. The smiles expressed hope and defiance, but most of all they expressed self-respect.

This is a guest blog by Elizabeth Cook-Romero. 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.

September 23, 2011 at 10:48 AM in Economy, Populism, Education, Eric Griego, Events, Jobs, Labor, NM Legislature Redistricting 2011, Progressivism, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (4)

Friday, September 16, 2011

REMINDER: Big Rally Saturday 9/17 for Jobs Not Cuts! at Roundhouse in Santa Fe

As I posted earlier this week, MoveOn New Mexico, the Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council (NNMCLC); the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME); the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and 1199 National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees are holding a big rally this Saturday to push Gov. Susana Martinez and the NM Legislature to focus on legislation designed to create jobs in the state. Click for flyer (pdf).

The event is set for Saturday, September 17, at 1:00 PM at the east side of the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Anyone and everyone concerned with the question "WHERE ARE THE JOBS?" is urged to attend. Click to .

Speakers will include:

  • Mayor David Coss, MC
  • NM U.S. Congressional Delegation, Statements from Offices of:
    • U. S. Senator Jeff Bingaman
    • U. S. Senator Tom Udall
    • U. S. Representative Ben Ray Lujan
    • U. S. Representative Martin Heinreich
  • NM State Auditor Hector Balderas (tentative)
  • Jon Hendry, President, NM Federation of Labor
  • Allen Sanchez, Executive Director, NM Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • State Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton, Bernallilo County House Majority Whip
  • Jennifer Garcia, President, Northern NM Central Labor Council
  • Cathy Townes, AFSCME
  • Carter Bundy, AFSCME NM Legislative Director
  • Robert Chavez, AFSCME
  • Miles Conway, CWA
  • State Representative Miguel Garcia,  Bernallilo County Chair Labor
  • Marcella Diaz, Director, Somos Un Pueblo Unido
  • State Representative Eleanor Chavez, Bernallilo County Vice Chair Labor Committee
  • Dr. Wanda Ross Padilla, NAACP lst Vice President
  • Delma Delora, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees 1199
  • Santa Fe County Commissioner Kathy Holian (Labor)
  • Cheryl Bumpus, President, NEA Santa Fe
  • Calloway Bastien, SFCC Student Ambassador
  • State Representative Ken Martinez, Cibolla, McKinley, and San Juan Counties, House Majority Floor Leader
  • State Representative Rick Miera,  Bernallilo County Member Labor Committee
  • Craig Barnes, Director, We Are People Here
  • State Senator Peter Wirth,  Vice Chair, Judiciary Committee
  • State Representative Brian Egolf, Santa Fe County, Chair, Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Todd MacElroy, Equality NM
  • State Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela,  Santa Fe County, Deputy Chair, Appropriations and Finance Committee

September 16, 2011 at 09:40 AM in Economy, Populism, Events, Jobs, Labor, NM Legislature Redistricting 2011, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (0)