On Monday, March 27 (2-4 pm) at UNM Student Union Acoma A & B
Miko Peled, Israeli-American author, international speaker, and podcaster, will describe Israel’s increasingly deadly attacks on Palestinians, and the growing autocracy in Israel, all done with U.S. support to crush Palestinian resistance and to suppress dissent. Miko will be signing copies of his book “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” — Suggested $10 donation but no one turned away.
I first met Helena in Washington, DC on a book tour in 2014. She had recently published a book Gaza Writes Back and invited several of the Palestinian authors to visit the U.S. I lived and worked in Gaza for nine months (2012-2013). Joining the book tour, I took the opportunity to introduce Refaat Alareer to Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham. My goal was to humanize Israel’s occupation for MLG. Four months later, Refaat’s brother was killed by an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip.
[Refaat Alareer in front of U.S. Capitol April 2014]
The elected leaders of our party in the NM House of Representatives do not support an independent redistricting commission. On February 20, they voted to table HJR1 – a resolution to amend the NM Constitution to include an independent redistricting commission. As with any constitutional amendment, this would have required the approval of a majority of New Mexicans. But voters will never have an opportunity to cast a ballot for or against an independent redistricting commission because our elected leaders know best.
Following a time of reflection and consultation with our friends and allies about PDACNM’s future, as well as celebrating our mid-term victories, it’s clear that New Mexicans need a strong progressive voice and PDACNM is uniquely positioned to fill that role.
We believe the vast majority of New Mexicans want and deserve a single-payer universal healthcare system, a stable climate that can support all life, good jobs with fair wages and benefits, and a social safety net that protects our families and children. The challenges are many: including economic inequality, intergenerational inequities, discrimination against women, people of color, indigenous, and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, homelessness and persistent hunger, a for-profit criminal justice system, and a military with an insatiable appetite for more profit from weapons of war and occupations. They’re all interconnected.
New Mexico is blessed with a large pool of talent and expertise to tackle each of these issues, and there are many groups working to move our state and communities in the right direction, among them Retake Our Democracy, New Energy Economy, Middle Rio Grande Water Advocates, New Mexico Working Families, ACLU-NM, New Mexico Common Cause, Think New Mexico, 350 New Mexico, Indivisible Albuquerque and many more. Working together when our interests are aligned strengthens us all. However, given our shared goals and strengths, it’s fair for New Mexicans to ask: why does our state remain at the bottom of so many national lists on poverty, education, crime, homelessness, infrastructure, etc.?
Corporate control over our economy and our politics has rigged the system. When voters don’t see the system working for them, and elected leaders don’t appear to have the willpower to fix it, our country, state and communities suffer. That’s why we believe PDACNM is needed more today than ever before.
New Mexicans need a strong progressive voice to speak truth to power at all levels of government. Since 2004, Progressive Democrats of America has been working both inside and outside the Democratic Party to communicate and demand that our elected leaders act consistently with our “progressive vision of a renewed nation, fully integrated into the community of nations and peoples, respectful of the rule of law at home and abroad, and committed to the universal values of human dignity, justice and respect, and stewardship of the planet on which we live.” PDACNM’s strength is our role as progressive Democrats speaking to other Democrats to support the progressive actions of our allies and amplify our collective wisdom.
Progressivism requires us to keep an eye on our goals, connecting the dots, and thinking in new ways about the serious challenges. As Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” PDACNM will continue to evolve and be a strong voice for our shared progressive values. Stay tuned and stay involved!