All posts by pdacnm

PDACNM Newsletter July 10, 2018



They will be here at Roosevelt Park from 2-4 on 7/11.  Bring a lawn chair and a new voter with you.  There will be a BBQ and a DJ.  Come show your solidarity with this group of survivors who are busting their rears right now to help inspire and educate youth about gun violence, and prep them for the upcoming election/s.  Here is what they told me:

They have all of the permitting, contracting, voter registration people, food, music and details handled. Wow!

So . . .  they want us to focus on getting them turnout – especially the new voters. Even if a youth has already registered to vote, this event will inspire them and they are encouraged to attend and become part of this sense of community that is developing around the issue of gun violence prevention.

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PDA CNM DIGEST July 10, 2018

How much is your health worth?

Recent editorial comment from the Albuquerque Journal.

We must look to changes that will meet future needs

THE JOURNAL published an opinion column by R. J. Samuelson,” Our heavy investment in the past is shortchanging our future,” on June 14. His point seems to be that Medicare and Social Security payments are going to come close to bankrupting this nation and must be reduced both in dollars and coverage, particularly aimed at the over-65 population and the disabled.

Samuelson in his concern for the percentage of federal spending for Social Security and Medicare fails to take into account that every wage earner since the early 1930 s has contributed to these funds. Both of these programs are self-funding through payroll taxes and do not, and have not, impacted the deficit. Samuelson states “. taxes will have to go up, but some spending will have to go down, and this is virtually impossible.” without cutting Social Security and Medicare.

It is possible by raising the cap on Social Security – fully funded to 2034 – and significantly reducing out-of-pocket costs for health care and health care costs in general by adopting Medicare for All legislation, e. g., HR 676.

Continue reading How much is your health worth?

PDACNM Action Alert June 28, 2018

Rally at Civic Plaza at 9:00 on June 30 to protest Trump’s inhumane policies.
Please donate to make this happen at gofundme.

Ways to Help

Statement from the NMHBA:
Parental rights “in the care, custody, and control of their children” are “perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.”  –

Troxel v. Granville.

530 U.S. 57, 66 (2000).

We, the Board Members of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association (NMHBA), an organization comprised of more than three hundred attorneys and students throughout New Mexico, stand in solidarity with immigrant families and against President Trump’s policies that separate families and any policies that indefinitely place families in detention.  We support and stand by the statements released by the Hispanic National Bar Association and the American Bar Association.  Though we may hold different views on national immigration policy, we can agree that it is inhumane to separate children from their parents at the border.

While separation of parents and children has taken place on an incidental basis in the past, it has never been applied uniformly as a strategy to deter migration.  It is apparent from the public comments of several high-ranking Trump Administration officials that a primary purpose of the “zero tolerance” policy was to serve as a deterrent for migrant parents who enter the United States without authorization and are accompanied by their children.  Not only does existing law suggest that this policy violated rights to family integrity and due process, but the policy is unfair, inhumane and ineffective. These federal constitutional rights and protections have been applied equally to immigrant and citizen parents in child welfare cases.  See, e.g., In re Doe, 281 P.3d 95 (Idaho 2012); In re E.N.C., 384 S.W.3d 796 (Tex. 2010) and In re Interest of Angelica L., 767 N.W.2d 74 (Neb. 2009).

On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order geared toward “ending” family separation.  This Order indicates that immigrants who are arrested while entering without documentation will continue to be prosecuted criminally and that families will be detained indefinitely.  Current law does not require that immigrants be jailed for entering the United States without permission – that is merely a narrative pushed by the Trump Administration.  The Executive Order also directs the Attorney General to seek to modify the Flores Settlement, so that children will be detained with their parents in jail rather than being released to close relatives or being detained in the least restrictive conditions possible.

We must call on the Trump Administration to immediately reunite the families that have been separated due to his policies.  The newly signed Executive Order is not a reversal of the previously implemented policy.  It merely serves as optics for the administration to claim that they are not ripping families apart.  The Executive Order is expected to temper the moral outcry from concerned individuals, but we must continue working to assure humane treatment and due process for families crossing the border.

Long term, the NMHBA looks forward to assisting in developing and advocating for policies that promote due process and family integration within our immigration system.  Our nation has always served as a beacon of hope for those fleeing violence or persecution.  We cannot now, or ever, become the evil that we seek to rescue others from.

For those that are looking to help out immediately, we suggest several avenues:
  • VOTE
    • New Mexico General Election
      s: Tuesday, November 6, 2018


The Board of Directors for the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association

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PDACNM NEWSLETTER June 25, 2018. Making America Great Again?


We are all  horrified by what is happening to these families.  It’s a human reaction to the horror and overwhelming fear one feels at the thought of having one’s child ripped from one’s  arms with no knowledge of where that child is going, what kind of care she is under and if it will ever be possible to find her again.  Anyone who has momentarily lost a child in a crowd knows that chest tightening, throat clenching sense of panic and helplessness.  Imagine feeling that panic for days, months, even years.  Only people with no conscience can stand by or approve of this ghastly turn of events and of the mad monster who dreamed it up.

And we can take no solace from Trump’s decision to stop the practice of separating children from their parents because we knew this was not an act of compassion, that something equally bad or worse would result.  Sure enough there is no plan to reunite the families but there is a plan to keep families together in detention indefinitely, defying the Flores decision, a decades-old court settlement that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention centers for more than 20 days,  And we progressives are outraged and all are saying, “This is not US.”  How soon we forget.  The Obama administration would never have allowed this latest inhumane practice to occur but there was certainly plenty to object to concerning the Obama administration’s immigration policies. Perhaps if progressives had been as vocal then as they are now, something like this current obscenity might have been prevented. Why are we so reluctant to hold our own party accountable for evils that we are all too willing to protest when the other party is at fault?  While we need to spend our energies on the immediate danger, we must begin to  face the reality of past US immigration injustices, past and current interventions in the economics and  politics of our neighbors to the south (and everywhere else in the world), and the ridiculous but profitable  “War on Drugs”. Else we will continue to have desperate people coming to our borders trying to escape the terror that our country has played a large part in creating. Laura Stokes

DemocracyNow! is a very good source for what is happening with this situation.  Following is part of an interview with Clara Long, senior researcher with Human Rights Watch.

Continue reading PDACNM NEWSLETTER June 25, 2018. Making America Great Again?



Understanding the Issues:
  • Israel prosecutes in military courts as many as 700 Palestinian children each year – 10,000 children since 2002. They are not allowed attorneys. Israel is the only country in the world that systematically tries children in military courts. Right now, hundreds of children are in military prisons.
  • The Israeli military routinely uses violence on as many as 3/4 of all detained children – chokeholds, beatings, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, verbal attacks, and emotional abuse, and threats that extort confessions.
  • Since 2000, over 1,800 children have been killed in occupation-related violence.
  • All of this in direct violation of international conventions. Israel ratified in 1991 the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, committing Israel to providing all children with a safe childhood and protection to ensure that childhood is a time free from insecurity, violence and abuse.
  • Read more here.
What everyone can do to help!
1. SUPPORT LEGISLATION: H.R. 4391 – Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.   Introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (202-225-6631).
  • Ask your representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 4391. (Talking points above & on back.)
    • Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM D1): 202-225-6316, 505-346-6781
    • Steve Pearce (NM D2): 202-225-2365, 575-522-0771
    • Ben Ray Lujan (NM D3): 202-225-6190, 505-984-8950
  • Direct email to your legislators: here
  • Call the members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs listed below.
2. Sign the online petition for No Way to Treat a Child campaign: here
3. Promote the #nowaytotreatachild campaign on all your social media: 

4. Join the campaign and support the cause:  here
5. Educate yourself and friends: 

6. Get involved locally! Have these groups speak at your organization meetings or join these groups:
     You can always check with the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice – 505-268-9557
Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act

Bill Summary:

This bill prohibits U.S. assistance to Israel from being used to support the military detention, interrogation, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law or the use against Palestinian children of: (1) torture, inhumane, or degrading treatment; (2) physical violence or psychological abuse;  (3) incommunicado or administrative detention; (4) solitary confinement; (5) denial of parental or legal access during interrogations; or (6) force or coercion to obtain a confession.  The Department of State shall annually submit to Congress: (1) a certification that none of the funds obligated or expended in the previous fiscal year for assistance to Israel have been used to support any of such activities; or (2) if the State Department cannot make such certification, a report describing each activity and the amount of funds used by Israel in violation of this bill. The State Department shall include in each annual report on the barring of development assistance to a country that engages in human rights violations a description of the nature and extent of detention, interrogation, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli military forces or police in violation of international humanitarian law.
24 Co-sponsors – list here
Why should MoCs support and vote yes to bill H.R. 4391?
  • The U.S. provides $3.8 Billion in military aid to Israel every year.
  • Nothing prevents Israel from using this aid to mistreat Palestinian children.
  • H.R. 4391 would bring transparency to how Israel uses American aid and would protect children.
Also will help create movement toward equal justice under the law, and create conditions that could lead to a just and lasting peace.

Call the House Committee on Foreign Affairs members. ALL NUMBERS START 202-

Chairman Ed Royce R-CA, Commt. office – 225-5021. Francis Rooney R-FL , Vice Chairman – 225-2536

Eliot Engel D-NY, Ranking Member – 225-2464.     Ami Bera D-CA, Vice Ranking Member – 225-5716

Christopher Smith – NJ – 225-3765
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – FL – 225-3931
Dana Rohrabacher – CA – 225-2415
Steve Chabot – OH – 225-2216
Jose Wilson – SC – 225-2452
Michael McCaul – TX –  225-2401
Ted Poe -TX –  225-6565
Darrell Issa – CA –  225-3906
Tom Marino – PA – 225-3731
Mo Brooks – AL –  225-4801
Paul Cook – CA – 225-5861
Scott Perry – PA – 225-5836
Ron DeSantis – FL – 225-2706
Mark Meadows – NC – 225-6401
Ted Yoho – FL – 225-5744
Adam Kinzinger – IL – 225-3635
Lee Zeldin – NY – 225-3826
Daniel Donovan – NY – 225-3371
Jim Sensenbrenner -WI – 225-5101
Ann Wagner – MO – 225-1621
Brian Mast – FL –  225-3026
Brian Fitzpatrick – PA – 225-4276
Tom Garrett – VA – 225-4711
John Curtis – UT – 225-7751
Brad Sherman – CA – 225-5911
Gregory Meeks – NY – 225-3461
Albio Sires – NJ – 225-7919
Gerald Connolly – VA – 225-1492
Ted Deutch – FL – 225-3001
Karen Bass – CA – 225-7084
William Keating – MA – 225-3111
David Cicilline – RI – 225-4911
Lois Frankel – FL – 225-9890
Tulsi Gabbard – HI – 225-4906
Joaquin Castro – TX – 225-3236
Robin Kelly – IL – 225-0773
Brendan Boyle – PA – 225-6111
Dina Titus – NV – 225-5965
Norma Torres – CA – 225-6161
Brad Schneider – IL – 225-4835
Thomas Suozzi – NY – 225-3335
Adriano Espaillat – NY – 225-4365
Ted Lieu – CA – 225-3976


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PDA CNM DIGEST June 12, 2018


in response to attacks on Rep. Lujan Grisham

While PDACNM has had reason to be disappointed In Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s lack of support for many of our progressive issues, we do not agree with the latest attacks by her Democratic rivals concerning her involvement with Delta Consulting, the high risk pool management firm. From what we have learned, these accusations are misleading and unfounded. Yes, there is a not very significant discrepancy in the fiscal reporting and some questions about how the contract was obtained but the political debate should be about issues that most impact the lives of New Mexicans, given the dismal condition of our state after 8 miserable years of Republican corruption, incompetence and non-governance. There are plenty of unanswered questions PDACNM has for Rep. Lujan Grisham, but her Democratic rivals are not asking them. For example, why has she not co-signed  H.R. 676 : Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.  This kind of legislation would do away with obscenely expensive medical costs and leave less need for companies like Delta Consulting.  Let’s talk issues and message.
Laura Stokes

Following is a statement by Dr. Nandini Kuehn Ph.D., MHA. She worked in NM for fifteen years as an independent Health Care Consultant.  This statement clarifies the need for the pool that Politico challenges.

“There is a story circulating right now on Politico here that makes some serious accusations against Michelle Lujan Grisham and her involvement with Delta Consulting which manages the high risk pool.  The story then attacks and calls into question the need for such a pool.  First, a portion of the pool’s enrollees are among the sickest and most expensive patients in our state. Once the ACA kicked in, anyone on the pool who was there because they were denied coverage for pre-existing conditions moved to the regular insurance pool on the Exchange. So the people who were left include the sickest and or the undocumented who are a substantial portion of the pool.  The Board is composed of consumers and experts from insurance plans who understand the financial risk this would pose to a small state and the small numbers on the NM Exchange.   Pool members with high risk, complex conditions cost tens of millions of dollars (this from a Board member of the pool who knows).  Dumping them into the Exchange general enrollment population would be a disaster for insurance plans that they might sign up with. And most importantly, the high intensity needs of these patients would get lost in the shuffle.  In this highly managed pool, their care is monitored and they are managed for the complexity of their condition.

As an insurer, Medicaid shares in the cost of the pool. The 43 million dollar savings to the state is grossly misstated by the author of the article, as every dollar that Medicaid puts into the pool generates 9 from the federal government back to the state!Most of the money that pays for the pool goes for staff and clinical management of the patient needs, not to the owners of the company.

Who does the story serve?  There is no attempt to claim that eliminating the pool would be better for the high-risk individuals whose needs, as said earlier, would get lost if they were subsumed into the Exchange.   It doesn’t serve the state which could lose Exchange carriers, nor the Exchange members who without the help of the Pool would pay much more in premiums.  Clearly it is a hatchet job on a candidate for Governor, and given the facts, the bias of the uninformed reporter who did not do adequate research has to be called into question.  Is she a Pearce mole?”

We do not need to be reminded that Steve Pearce will be a disaster for NM.

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PDA CNM DIGEST June 4, 2018





Rep. Ben Ray Luján:  DC office – (202) 225-6190; Rio Rancho – (505) 994-0499

Please thank Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her no vote.  DC office – (202) 225-6316; ABQ office – (505) 346-6781

Farm Bill: Republicans Want to Cut Food Assistance & MORE!
  • What’s the issue: The Farm Bill was last passed in 2013, and it must be reauthorized every five years. It’s a $100 billion legislative package that covers everything from farm subsidies and agricultural programs to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps). Typically, it is a bipartisan exercise-but in April, Republicans passed a partisan bill out of committee that takes away food assistance from people (over two million people could be kicked out of the program) and instead funds unproven, unscalable job training programs that will leave people hungry.
  • What to expect: The House is expected to vote on the Farm Bill the week of May 14; it will probably pass with few or no Democratic votes. The Senate will take it up after that; it’s likely they will start from scratch with their own version.
  • Bottom line: Only a few months after voting to give trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, House Republicans are back to make life worse for families who rely on federal food assistance. The House vote in mid-May will only be the start of this fight; we’ll keep you updated as it goes forward.
Links to info about Farm Bill:
 Farm and Ranch Freedon  Here
Sierra Club here
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy here
AgMag here
Here are six strikes against H.R. 2, the Agricultural and Nutrition Act of 2018:
  1. The Rich Get Richer – The House farm bill creates new loopholes that further tilt farm subsidies toward the largest, most successful farm businesses and away from small family farmers. The bill would allow cousins, nieces and nephews of farmers to receive subsidies even if they don’t live or work on the farm. A recent report by the Department of Agriculture found that the share of subsidies claimed by the biggest farms has tripled since 1991, and H.R. 2 would make this problem worse.
  2. The Poor Get Poorer – The same bill that enriches the largest and most successful farmers will also cause more than 1 million low-income households – more than 2 million people, including working families with children – to lose their food-assistance benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or have them reduced. The bill includes unworkable job training requirements that will place new burdens on states and leave many poor Americans without food assistance.
  3. Drinking Water Gets Dirtier – The House farm bill cuts conservation spending by $800 million, including programs designed to protect drinking water from farm pollution. Although the bill includes some reforms, these provisions are outweighed by proposed cuts and new pesticide safety loopholes.
  4. Diets Get Less Healthy – While the House farm bill increases funding for SNAP recipients who shop at farmers markets, the bill eliminates funding for other programs that help finance farmers markets and help farmers build local markets for healthy products. The bill also cuts funding for programs that help organic farmers.
  5. Rural America Gets Left Behind – At the very same moment Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was hosting a conference on the importance of broadband internet to rural America, the House Agriculture Committee was voting to cut USDA rural development funding by more than $500 million. The House bill also cuts funding from programs to help farmers produce more renewable energy.
  6. States Get Sidelined – The House farm bill included a sweeping amendment from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that would broadly preempt state and local food and farm laws, including food safety and food labeling laws. Although intended to block a new California animal welfare law, the King amendment would wipe away thousands of state and local laws regulating everything from invasive pests to fishing.

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PDA CNM DIGEST May 17, 2018