Category Archives: Information





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

Join an Adelante Caucus Committee!

Dear Adelante Caucus member,

Caucus members are signing up to volunteer for various committees! Would you like to get in on the ground floor of helping build the caucus and carry out its mission? Together, we can build a strong statewide caucus.

We are just getting started, so you could help decide the structure and functions of committees. The time commitment is flexible. We are especially looking for leaders. Committee leaders will receive guidance.

Below are some examples of different jobs each committee might handle.

* Content for Digital Media
* Letters to the Editor
* Newsletters
* Press Relations
* Interpretation
* Visual Media

Working with under-represented populations to:
* Register Voters
* Cultivate Leaders within the Caucus and the Party Structure and as Potential Lawmakers
* Serve as Liaison to Market the Caucus to those Communities and Bring their Concerns back to the Caucus

* Budgeting
* Developing Financial Controls
* Fundraising

Membership and Events
* Arranging Event Venues
* Arranging Event Guest Speakers
* Child Care at Events
* Data Entry
* Recruiting Members

Nominations for Caucus Officers
* Seeking candidates
* Evaluating candidates

Policy and Politics
* Candidate Recruiting and Development
* Candidate Research and Evaluation
* Developing Small-Donor Fundraising for the Party
* Lobbying Officials
* Party Rules Changes
* Supporting Candidate Campaigns
NOTE: The direction of this committee will likely depend on goals to be decided at an all-day goals session June 2, for which we have already reached capacity.

* Data Analysis
* Database Management
* Mapping
* Technical Aspects of Digital Media

No matter what your interests and skills, you can help build the caucus by volunteering.

PLEASE SIGN UP, by filling out the form at

If you have any questions, please write to the interim volunteer coordinator, Maurreen Skowran, at


“Indian 101” Presentation

Our May 2nd evening program was honored by our two guests, LaDonna Harris and Kathryn Harris Tijerina, bringing the acclaimed Indian 101 presentation developed by the Americans for Indian Opportunity.

“We don’t study the history of America. We study the history of the Europeans coming to America.”
–  LaDonna Harris (Comanche) AIO President

Indian 101 BINGO challenged PDA members on their knowledge of American Indian and indigenous peoples’ history and contemporary experiences.  The origin of the word “caucus” is from the Iroquois language and means to assemble in order to make a decision. Kathryn pointed out that our new Adelante Progressive Caucus in the DPNM owes its origins to the Haudenosaunee 6-nation confederacy. BINGO winners received blue corn for planting from our tribal neighbors.

Play Indian 101 BINGO (download here) and read the answers (download here) .

The Americans for Indian Opportunity 4 R’s show how closely progressive values link with the heritage values of our native nations.Kathryn took us through “500 years in 50 minutes” covering key events, concepts and critical issues. AIO’s recommended reading list can be downloaded here so we can all learn more since much was left out of our formal educations and mainstream press does not adequately represent Native issues. The slide below formed the outline for the presentation and Kathryn added detail, indigenous lived experiences, and Indian rights legislative and legal successes and stories.

Click the image to enlarge

We were asked to consider cultural misappropriation and how we can all choose our words more thoughtfully like “… hold the fort down” and “low man on the totem pole,”and which sports teams to support like the Washington Redskins (a direct reference to bounty take from murdered Natives).  Continuing to support negative stereotypes attacks tribal identify and culture. The original Doctrine of Discovery used to conquer this land continues to resonate through our legal system and generational trauma impacts the health and lives of indigenous people today.

New Mexico has one of the highest populations of indigenous people living in both rural and urban areas. It is our responsibility to speak up in support of American Indians’ rights.  Here’s something we can each do – go to the National Congress of American Indians at & read and watch the videos. Then act by contacting sports teams you support and current or former schools that have derogatory Indian mascots, imagery or names. Look here for direct actions.

The resilience, self-determination and governance of Native peoples was the final focus of the presentation including:

If your organization or business would benefit from the Indian 101 presentation, please contact to schedule and discuss the fee:

Americans for Indian Opportunity
1001 Marquette Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-842-8677
Contact: Brittany Schulman at

The Stop Wars & Occupations Action Team – PDA 2018 Candidates Peace Pledge

The Stop Wars & Occupations Action Team will be sending out the Peace Pledge to all candidates for statewide office and then to New Mexico House candidates in Bernalillo and adjoining counties.

We have seen how war and violence have spread like a cancer throughout our global community. It is causing untold human suffering, draining resources badly needed for the common good, dividing the human family into competing groups, and causing the people to live in fear. Peace seems so far away – like a distant dream. As Rev. Jim Rigby of Austin, Texas has said, “Peace will come when we stop praying for it as a destination and begin living it as a path.” The Peace Pledge is intended to give our elected officials and candidates some guidance on the path to Peace.

Click here to download or view the 2018 Candidate Peace Pledge

CO2 Conscious Farming

Two Youtube videos (about 30 minutes each) that describe how improved agricultural practices can begin to reverse CO2 buildup. (And coincidentally improve ecosystem function, the water cycle and farmers’ financial sustainability.) Submitted by Christina Allday-Bondi (Stop Global Warming Action Team).

May PDA Letter Drop

The Honorable Ben Ray Luján

Hand delivered to Joseph Casados

Dear Representative Luján,

We all know: when it comes to improving economic prosperity, too many hardworking Americans have been left behind. Our economic and political system has lost sight of what matters most: We the People. Now more than ever, it is critical that we have a federal budget that reflect the needs of ordinary Americans around the country, not the wealthiest one percent and corporations. We ask that you vote “Yes” when The People’s Budget is presented as a budget amendment.

The FY 2018 Congressional Progressive Caucus Alternative Budget, The People’s Budget tackles systemic issues with comprehensive solutions, from the impact of climate change on rural communities and communities of color, to implementing criminal justice reforms, to repairing and replacing outdated infrastructure to create millions of sustainable, good paying jobs all over the country.

•    Invests $2 trillion in America’s infrastructure to transition to a 21st Century economy and transform our energy, water and transportation systems

•    Expands our commitment to efficient renewable energy and green jobs, including job assistance and training for those transitioning from fossil fuel to clean energy jobs
•    Protects and expand affordable healthcare for millions of Americans, including support for states to transition to a single-payer healthcare system and provisions to lower prescription drug prices
•    Expands affordable housing for low-income Americans by increasing CDBG and HOME funds to cities, allocating $32 billion for Public Housing repairs, ensuring 100% of operating needs for Public Housing, adding 400,000 new Section 8 Vouchers and fully funding the End Homelessness Act
•    Reduces military spending by eliminating unneeded weapons and reducing rather than increasing the US nuclear arsenal, to fully fund badly needed social programs rather than the profit margins of giant military contractors


Progressive Democrats of America Central New Mexico Chapter
Contact:  Paul Stokes,, 505-898-1237

The Honorable Tom Udall
Hand delivered to Bill Woldman

Dear Senator Udall,

Every dollar spent on education is an investment in America’s future; a nation as powerful as ours can always afford wise investments – we have only lacked the political will. This month thousands of college seniors will be graduating; most will be starting their life as independent adults drowning in debt.

Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced S806 – the College for All Act which does the following:

  • Makes public universities and colleges tuition- and fee-free for families making less than $125,000 per year, offer free community college with no tuition and fees for all, and eliminate or reduce fees and tuitions at schools that serve historically underrepresented minorities.
  • Uses existing aid to combat the cost of college, so low-income students could use Pell Grants for books instead of university fees, states and tribes have incentives and funding to reduce costs, and work-study programs would triple in size.
  • Slashes interest rates by offering students the lowest interest rates possible and finally allowing them to refinance student loans at today’s low rates

Working families (students, parents and grandparents) are currently saddled with more than $1 trillion in student debt. Student debt has followed the same track as broader economic inequality. As the worst of the 1 percent have hoarded most of our economic gains, wages and family incomes have stagnated. Public university education has been slashed to pay for tax handouts for the richest few. Without inexpensive, quality public education to hold down prices, tuition at all colleges has skyrocketed –in fact, college in the U.S. has gotten 12 times more expensive in one generation.

If education is our future, it is critical that we make education affordable so that our brightest and best can ensure our continued success.


Progressive Democrats of America Central New Mexico Chapter
Contact:  Paul Stokes,, 505-898-1237