Category Archives: Information

2020: Renewing our Commitment to Challenge Racism, Just Mercy Film & More

Every day, select some media to widen your understanding and listen to diverse perspectives.  Here’s some to get you started:

 The movie JUST MERCY – opened Jan 10th

Powerful true story about Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative!

– Bryan talks about the film:

– Film trailer:

– Equal Justice Initiative:

Continue reading 2020: Renewing our Commitment to Challenge Racism, Just Mercy Film & More

May You Rest in Power and Peace, Mitch

On June 24th of this year the Democratic Party progressive community lost a much revered leader when our New Mexico Adelante Caucus Vice Chair Mitch Buszek departed the planet.  We miss him so much.

Mitch spent decades doing the nuts and bolts visionary work that real change requires, pioneering a path for progressives all over the country and lighting a fire in the belly of our New Mexico movement to build a more just and livable world for our people.  He set an example by boldly speaking truth to power when that was a very risky thing to do. He showed us how to fight the good fight in the right spirit and generously mentored new leaders to follow in his footsteps. The many roles in which he gave his all include service as a campaign manager and as a front lines community organizer. Wherever he went and whatever he did, his heartfelt humanity and passion for justice infused life into the room.  He was a devoted father and grandfather, a warm and forthright friend, a person you could trust, a beautiful human being who gave of himself unstintingly and in good faith.

In all ways from the personal to the political, Mitch bequeathed us something to aspire to in our own precious time on this planet.  Perhaps that was his greatest gift to those who come behind.  Let us honor his legacy by carrying it forward in these terrible times when the inhuman forces of greed are inflicting untold suffering on living beings everywhere.  At this pivotal historic moment, with our sustaining earth being despoiled beyond recall and our hard won democracy under threat, our work is cut out for us. The stakes couldn’t be higher.  As we gird up our loins to keep taking on Goliath, we are blessed to have Mitch as our intrepid inspiration and guide.

Thank you, Mitch.  Rest in power and peace, dear friend.  You will ever live on in our hearts, and in the work we do on behalf of generations to come.

PDA Educate Congress July Letter Drops On Climate Emergency

PDA Citizen Advocacy

This month PDA is asking our Representatives and Senators to sign on to a Climate Emergency Resolution introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, Representatives Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez. In the same letter we are asking that they sign a letter to DNC Chair Perez requesting a national climate debate. The information below provides the PDA letters to the House and Senate, a helpful fact sheet which contains the text of the Resolution, a list of sponsors of the Climate Emergency.

Huge Climate Emergency Resolution Push

Click here to see if your Rep. is on the house version. Click here to see if your Senator is on Senate version.

Click here for the Resolution Letters: Dem. House; Dem. Senate; Republican House; Republican Senate.

Click here for an online fact sheet with some helpful links. Click here for a printable/deliverableversion of the fact sheet. (Suggested for your delivery.)

Click here for a downloadable/printable version of the resolution.

Here’s a list of the endorsers:

  • APAL Communications Connections
  • Architects Advocate for Action on Climate Change
  • Bold Iowa
  • Brattleboro Common Sense
  • Bronx Climate Justice North
  • Catholic Divestment Network
  • Chicago Water Protectors
  • Climate Justice at Boston College
  • Climate Reality Project Southern CT Chapter
  • Climate Revolution Orlando
  • Ecocentric Media
  • Englewood Indivisible
  • Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality
  • Fridays For Future Sacramento
  • Global Warming Education Network (GWEN)
  • Great Plains Zen Center
  • Greenbelt Climate Action Network
  • International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
  • Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition
  • Liology Institute
  • Mass Interfaith Worker Justice
  • Mid Ohio Valley Climate Action
  • Mid-Hudson Valley Sunrise Movement
  • Moms Clean Air Force
  • Movement for a People’s Party
  • North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
  • North Bronx Racial Justice
  • NYCD16 Indivisible
  • Open Source Healing
  • Orange County for Climate Action
  • Our Green Challenge
  • Parents For Future Seattle
  • Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
  • Re-nourish
  • Redwood Campaign Advisors
  • Refuge Ministries of Tampa Bay International
  • RESTORE: The North Woods
  • Santa Cruz Climate Action Network
  • Shoegnome Architects
  • South Beach District 6 Democratic Club of San Francisco
  • South Beach District 6 Democratic Club of San Francisco
  • earth
  • Sunrise Movement of Howard County
  • Sustainne, LLC
  • Teens Against Pollution
  • The Clime
  • Touching Earth Sangha
  • Volcano Rainforest Retreat
  • We, the World


Migration is a Human Right

Imprisoning Children is a Mass Atrocity! Use your outrage and act. In this document are simple things you can do every day to reunite the families, end detention, close the concentration camps, defund ICE, and stop the raids.

You can download a PDF of this post here.

Use your outrage and act. Below are simple things you can do every day to reunite the families, end detention, close the concentration camps, defund ICE, and stop the raids.

#CloseTheCamps #DefundHate #AbolishICE #Not1More #KeepFamiliesTogether

1 – Tell the TRUTH to everyone! Challenge the lies.

. Migrants arriving at our borders have the legal right to seek refuge and asylum.
. The atrocity is that we are imprisoning children. No child should be in prison, ever, for even one day.
. The wider problem is that our government has criminalized migration. They are treating a
humanitarian crisis as though it’s a crime, and doing all they can to punish people.
. No migration crisis springs out of nothing. In the powerful words of poet Warsan Shire, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” For over 120 years in Central America, the U.S. has been leveraging land and resources for corporations and holding profit above human well being.
. The migrants arriving at our border are undeterred by the cruel practices that receive them, because every element of safety and security in their own countries has been destroyed.
. These border-based cruelties join hundreds of years of America’s assaults on brown and black bodies.

All of us together are the power to change America into a place that welcomes everyone.

2 – Select ORGANIZATIONS to support, join or follow their media, like:

Continue reading Migration is a Human Right

The Institute for Public Life

About the Institute for Public Life

Albuquerque Interfaith organizes in congregations, schools, and caring communities to develop leaders who, through building relationships that lead to action, reweave the social fabric of community life. Without intentional leadership development to sustain and strengthen local institutions, member families remain isolated and disconnected in weakened institutions.

From every disaster comes an opportunity. From this disaster of our immigration policy and the treatment of asylum seekers, we seek to build this organized caring community into a powerful constituency to impact policy locally, statewide and nationally. Therefore, we are developing the Institutes for Public Life to provide the opportunity for education, compassion, and action around our broken immigration policy.

Please join us.

Read more about the Institute and upcoming events.

Ranked Choice Voting for Albuquerque, the Time Has Come

by Jerilyn Bowen

Come election time in Albuquerque next November, how would you like to be able to cast a ballot for your favorite candidate without worrying that your vote won’t matter?  Or that it might even serve to help an abhorrent candidate get into office?  Imagine being allowed to rank candidates in order of preference so that, should your top preference not land a majority on the initial tally, your second choice will automatically receive the vote you cast rather than getting lost to an either/or dilemma.

This common sense instrument of voter liberation is called Ranked Choice Voting.  It’s designed to allow democracy to flourish rather than struggle against unnecessary impediments.  RCV has accordingly been adopted to good effect by many locales across the country, including our neighbor Santa Fe.  It earns its stripes by making the electoral process fairer, less expensive, more efficient, less acrimonious, more participatory, and more user-friendly for both voters and candidates.  We of the Burque persuasion now have a chance to bring RCV to our fair city.   A bill to introduce this improvement is under consideration by the Finance Committee of Albuquerque City Council; if approved at their May 13th meeting to go to the full City Council, it could be passed and put into effect in time for next fall’s municipal elections.

Conserves City Funds & Increases Voter Participation

One great advantage of RCV is that it eliminates the high cost of runoff elections.  In an Albuquerque mayoral race, that cost comes to almost a million dollars.  In a council election, the runoff tab is similar.  In all cases, the money saved can be far better used in programs and public works that benefit the citizens of our city–everything from schools, housing, transportation, and community safety to water conservation, flood control, pollution abatement, and infrastructure upkeep.

Under RCV both publically and privately financed candidates benefit as well–first, from not having to rustle up the funding required by costly runoff elections; and second, by escaping the wear and tear of another round of campaigning.  Since runoff turnouts are notoriously low, the RCV instant runoff also ensures that more voters have a voice in the final outcome.

When people feel they can vote their conscience and their votes actually count no matter what, more of them show up at the polls.  In its first RCV election last year, Santa Fe saw a 10% increase in turnout over the 2014 mayoral election there.  Were Albuquerque to stick with its present old style runoff system in next fall’s election, given that the runoff would be held in the midst of the December holiday season, the usual lower turnout for runoffs would no doubt recur with a vengeance.

Encourages Issue-Oriented Clean Campaigns

Ranked Choice Voting offers many advantages beyond the immediately obvious ones.  By way of background:  when no one candidate gets 50+ percent of the vote on the first round, the candidate with the fewest first choice votes is eliminated and the second choice of those voters is counted.  If there’s still no candidate with a majority, the process continues by eliminating the remaining candidate with the least popular support and counting the next choice on those ballots; and so it goes until one candidate attains a majority vote.  In practice this means that some elections will be decided taking into account second and even third choice votes.  That being the case, Candidate X has good reason to consider the cost of trashing an opponent who will likely be the favored candidate of some voters, voters who by-the-by may be inclined to put Candidate X down as their second or third choice.  This game changer mitigates against the dirty campaign tactics that typically enmire our elections and encourages an upstanding focus on issues, policies, and overall vision of the common good.  Wonder of wonders, our elections could become about what matters most to us rather than about who did the best job of confusing the electorate with spin, stirring up fear, creating distrust, and inflaming antagonisms.

Voter Liberation within Our Reach

If that sounds like an attractive option to you, you are not alone.  And what high quality candidate would not find it a relief to be freed from dealing with personal attacks, not to mention being freed from feeling they must return such attacks in kind?  RCV gives everyone the opportunity to evolve into a more enlightened state of political being.

Along with that, Ranked Choice Voting is a critically needed antidote to the pervasive malaise that now threatens our democracy at every level.  Change always arises from the grassroots and Albuquerque is our high desert field of dreams.  Let us dream a better way to elect our leaders and make that a reality, right here, right now.


1)  Before May 13th call or email Albuquerque City Councilors on Finance Committee.  Urge them to vote for Ranked Choice Voting to come before the full City Council.

2)  Call or email other City Councilors, starting with your own.  Make the case for RCV and ask them to adopt it.

City Council Finance Committee

  • Don Harris,; Bonnie Sutter, policy analyst 505/768-3123.Seems to want to tank this bill. As chair of the Finance Committee, however, it’s important that he hear from Albuquerque residents about how much money the city could save by not having to hold separate runoff elections.
  •  Ken Sanchez;  Elaine Romero, policy analyst 505/768-3183.Not likely to vote for RCV in full Council but may be willing to vote in favor of passing the bill out of the Finance Committee to be considered by City Council as a whole. His vote on May 13th could make all the difference. Please call and ask that he vote the bill out of committee at the Finance Committee meeting so that it can get a hearing in City Council.
  •  Klarissa Peñ;  Cherise Quezada, policy analyst 505/768-3127.Appears to oppose RCV. Even though she’s not likely to come around, it’s important that she get a lot of calls.
  • Patrick Davis patdavis@cabq.govco-sponsor of RCV, just email to thank him.
  • Diane Gibson dgibson@cabq.govsupports RCV, just email to thank her.

Other Council Members

  • Ike Benton  ibenton@cabq.govmain sponsor of RCV, just email to thank him.
  •  Brad; co-sponsor of RCV, just email to thank him.
  •  Cynthia Borrego;Susan Vigil, policy analyst 505/768-3189. Seems quite open to RCV. Key person to call.  
  •  Trudy Jones;Aziza Chavez, policy analyst 505/768-3106. Needs to hear from RCV advocates.


Report to the PDA Action Alert Team: Key Outcomes of the 2019 Legislative Session

Hi, Everybody,

I want to begin by giving a huge thank you to everyone for all your email and phone messages urging our legislators to support legislation of importance to the progressive community. It is heartening to receive feedback from legislators agreeing with our sentiments.  Sure, there were the occasional responses disagreeing with our requests, but that just added evidence that they hear us and know that they have to deal with us.

There was a boatload of progressive legislation this year, as was expected because of the increase in number of progressive legislators.  We ended up following about one hundred bills, memorials, and joint resolutions.  About 60 of those were scheduled for committee hearings, and you emailed or called committee members about them.  Because of the progressive trend in the Legislature and the support of the governor’s office, much of the legislation of importance to us passed.  There were exceptions, often caused by conservative Democrats joining with Republicans to defeat good bills.

Both the good and the bad are discussed below:

  • This legislature was finally able to pass a bill for a State Ethics Commission (SB 668).  This bi- or multi-partisan commission receives and investigates complaints against public officials and employees, government contractors and lobbyists.
  • Renewable energy, climate crisis:
    • SB 489, the Energy Transition Act, passed.  It includes strong Renewable Portfolio Standards with a target of, among other things, zero carbon dioxide emissions from retail sales of electricity by 2045.  A disappointment was that this Act also included a provision for the costs of abandoning the current, fossil fueled generating plants to be borne solely by the public, rather than sharing those costs by the public and by the shareholders of the plant owners.
    • SB 518, New Solar Market Development Tax Credit, passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, had passed its last committee in the House, but never got a vote on the House floor.  Another casualty of more bills to consider than time to hear them for a floor vote.
    • HB 210, Community Solar Act, passed the House but didn’t make it through the Senate committee process in time to be heard on the Senate floor.  This bill would have established requirements for community solar systems that subscribers could use to meet their energy needs.  A community solar system would supply its power to the public utility serving the area, which would bill subscribers at rates determined by the Public Regulation Commission.
  • Health care:
    • HB 416 and SB 405, Medicaid Buy-In, to allow members of the public to participate in Medicaid by paying the costs, was tabled in House Appropriations while the Senate worked on the budget.  There is $142,000 in the budget for the “study and administrative development of the Medicaid Buy-In plan.”  This allows HSD to prepare to implement the Medicaid Buy-In, including seeking federal waivers to receive federal financing.
    • HB 308, Dental Therapists, passed.
    • SB 337, Surprise Billing Protection Act, passed unanimously.
    • HB 436, Align Health Insurance Law with Federal Law, passed.  This bill amends sections of the NM law governing Insurance plans to include many of the provisions of the ACA, such as prohibiting denial of coverage of pre-existing conditions, prohibiting charging higher premiums for disability, and eliminating co-pays for preventive services.
    • HB 88 and SB 101 to establish a Health Care Value and Access Commission did not progress in the respective committees, but money was allocated in the budget to work towards the goals of these bills:
      • Health Care Value and Access Commission: $275,000 to set up a commission that will review and make recommendations on the ways health care is currently being provided in New Mexico.
      • All Payers Database:  $900,000 to set up a much needed statewide database to track, in accordance with privacy laws, medical procedure usage rates, cost, outcomes and more to give the state data that it currently does not have and needs to better support positive health care outcomes.
    • SB 279 and HB 295, Health Security Act, also died in both House and Senate committees.  HM 92, Health Security Plan Analysis, passed the House and there is $389,000 in the budget for Legislative Finance to complete a fiscal analysis of the Health Security Act, which is the first step needed before implementing the Act.
  • Permanent funds for early childhood:  HJR 1 passed the House, but died in the Senate Finance Committee.  A replacement, SB 671, backed by the governor, also died in the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Voting rights:
    • SB 672, Early & Auto Voter Registration, passed. It combined earlier bills HB 84 and HB 86 to provide for voter registration at early voting sites, at polling places on election day, and to provide for automatic voter registration at Motor Vehicle Department offices as well as some other offices subject to negotiation.
    • HB 57, Restore Felon Voting rights, died in committee.
    • HB 55, National Popular Vote, passed.  This bill commits New Mexico to join a compact of states that agree to assign their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote, whether or not the state itself voted for the winner of the national popular vote.
  • Increasing minimum wage:  Several bills with differing increases in the minimum wage failed, but were replaced by SB 437, Raise Minimum Wage & Create Separate One, and was passed.  This bill, as introduced, would have raised the minimum wage to 11 dollars per hour by 2022.  It was amended to raise it to 12 dollars per hour by 2022, and to cost of living increases thereafter.  The bill also provides for a minimum wage of $8.50 for students in secondary schools working outside of school hours.
  • Increasing salaries of state employees:  A section of HB 2, General Appropriation Action of 2019, increases the salaries of state employees by an average of 4 percent, except that the salaries for teachers are increased by at least 6%.  HB 2 passed.
  • Reducing small loan interest rates to 36%:  HB 22, HB 375, and HB 386 were either not scheduled for hearing or died in committee.
  • Right to work laws:  HB 85, Union Security Agreements, passed.  This bill precludes local governments from adopting or continuing in effect laws that prohibit agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment; i.e., this bill prohibits local governments from establishing so-called right to work laws.
  • Raising income taxes for high earners:  HB 6, Tax Changes, includes a provision to increase the rates for high earners.  For example, married couples filing joint returns will pay income taxes at a rate of 5.9% for earnings in excess of $315,000. HB 6 passed.
  • Background checks for firearm sales:  SB 8, Firearm Sale Background Check, passed and was signed by the governor.
  • Decriminalizing abortion:  HB 51, Decriminalize Abortion, passed the House but failed in the Senate.
  • Gender equality:  SB 25, No Differential Pricing Based On Gender, passed.
  • Decriminalizing recreational use of marijuana:  HB 356, Cannabis Regulation Act, passed the House, but died in the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Hemp:  HB 581, Hemp Manufacturing Act, passed.  This bill allows and regulates production, testing, research, and manufacturing of hemp products.
  • Healthy soil act:  HB 204 passed.
  • Public banking:  HM 41, Study State-Owned Bank, passed its only scheduled committee hearing, but was not considered on the House floor.
  • School ratings:  SB 229, School Support & Accountability Act, passed.  This bill repeals the A-B-C-D-F schools rating act, to be replaced by criteria developed by the Legislative Education Study Committee.

If you want to check the status of other bills of interest, or to see if the governor has signed bills, go here.

Until next year,

Pat Bartels, Laura Stokes, and Paul Stokes