Thursday, April 07, 2011

4/17: NM Interfaith Power and Light Hosts Serenade for Mother Earth

From New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light (NMIPL):
NMIPL will host its second annual Serenade for Mother Earth on Sunday, April 17, at 3:00 PM at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 601 Montano NW in Albuquerque. The concert will feature the lively music of the Celtic Coyotes, several string ensembles, classical selections played by a talented young pianist, and two pieces arranged for bagpipes and organ.

There will be no charge for admission to the performance, but a freewill offering will benefit New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light, a statewide coalition of more than one hundred and fifty faith communities committed to creation care.

April 7, 2011 at 10:28 AM in Climate, Energy, Environment, Events, Faith Community | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Senators Tom and Mark Udall Intro Renewable Energy Standard Bill

Tom and Mark Udall with portrait of Morris Udall

Known for decades of dedication to protecting the environment, the Udall family is keeping up the fight in the current challenging political arena with U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Udall (D-CO) -- who are cousins -- following in the footsteps of their illustrious dads, Stewart and Morris. Today the two Senators Udall continued their fight to enact a federal Renewable Energy Standard (RES) by introducing legislation that would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2025. 

The bill would set the first national threshold for utilities to provide a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable resources -- with a 6 percent requirement by 2013, followed by gradual increases thereafter to meet the 25 percent by 2025 goal.

The senators first introduced a similar initiative in 2002, while they were members of the House of Representatives. The two eventually built a coalition in the House and won passage of an RES amendment in 2007. Tom and Mark Udall first introduced the legislation in the Senate after being elected in 2008, and are joining forces again in hopes of finally passing a national RES into law.

"Americans want to put our nation on a path towards energy independence, and this bill is our best chance to get America running on homegrown energy while creating good jobs for hardworking Americans," said Tom Udall. "Studies show that a federal RES would reduce energy bills, revitalize rural America, slow global warming and strengthen our energy security. With American innovation and ingenuity, we can put our people to work in a thriving, clean energy economy.”

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April 6, 2011 at 12:50 PM in Climate, Energy, Environment, Sen. Tom Udall | Permalink | Comments (4)

4/13: Dem Women of Sandoval County Host Meeting on Saving the New Mexico Environment

From Democratic Women of Sandoval County:
On Wednesday, April 13, Democratic Women of Sandoval County will host "Saving the New Mexico Environment."

Ray Powell, DVM, NM Land Commissioner, will present the recent history of efforts to save NM land and the current work of his office. What are current threats to the environment? How can we help? See

Barbara Rockwell (Boiling Frogs: Intel versus the Village) will speak about work of Corrales Residents for Clean Air and Water to negotiate with NMED to contain pollution from the Intel plant in Rio Rancho. See articles on Intel in Corrales Comment; read Boiling Frogs, available in libraries; visit

Democratic Women of Sandoval County meets Second Wednesdays in the Bernalillo Town Council Chambers, 829 Camino del Pueblo (starting in July: first Wednesdays). Refreshments at 6:30 PM. Program at 7:00 PM. Business meeting at 8:00 PM. For information about the April program contact Rosemary Keefe at

Democratic Women of Sandoval County gives women a stronger voice in the Democratic Party of New Mexico, unites and empowers women in Sandoval County and throughout New Mexico to take leading roles in political and community organizations, and seeks to educate all citizens about policies and issues important to women.

April 6, 2011 at 10:14 AM in Democratic Party, Environment, Events, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

4/16: Workshop on Teens and Violence in Schools and the Community

From Doug Long, Westside Forum:
A special workshop on "Teens and Violence in Schools and the Community" will be presented by Dr. Linda Menzel on Saturday, April 16, at 3:00 PM. The workshop will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation located at 1650 Abrazo Road (about a mile west of Unser Blvd, near the corner of Abrazo and Inca) in Rio Rancho. This Westside Forum event is free, and all are welcome.

Information will be provided on what causes bullying and violence among teens and what can be done to reduce it. There will also be a panel discussion on teen violence and bullying. Assisting Dr. Menzel will be a teen panel of Peer Educators from Cleveland High School.

Dr. Menzel has worked as an educator and therapist for 30 years. She currently works at Cleveland High School and is the sponsor of the Peer Education Program.

April 6, 2011 at 09:33 AM in Events, Faith Community, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tonight: DFA-DFNM Meetup to Feature Analysis of 2010 Census, Role of USDA Rural Development

This month's DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Meetup is set for tonight, April 5, at 7:00 PM at the Social Hall of the First Unitarian Church on the SW corner of Carlisle and Comanche. Click here to RSVP and/or become a member. All are welcome.

The group will be hearing from two knowledgeable folks about two important topics. Meetup member Sterling Ray Fluharty, who has made a careful study of the demographic changes captured in the 2010 census, will discuss their meaning for politics in New Mexico. Terry Brunner, the State Director for USDA Rural Development in New Mexico, will fill us in on what his important agency does to support communities in NM, and how its focus fits in with the demographic changes highlighted in the recent census.

We'll also be discussing what's going on in the pro-worker movement here and nationwide, and what we can do to keep the momentum going.

April 5, 2011 at 03:18 PM in DFA, DFNM - Albq, Local Politics, MeetUp, Rural Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

State Rep. Mary Jane Garcia Applauds Enactment of Anti-Bullying Bill

SGARC Yesterday, Senator Mary Jane Garcia (D-Doña Ana-36) applauded Governor Susana Martinez’ signing of Senate Bill 78, titled “School District Bullying Prevention Programs.” SB 78 was one of Senator Garcia’s priority bills this past session.

“This law will ensure that every school district has a program in place to address bullying and it sends a strong message that in New Mexico, we will not accept any type of violence in any form in our public schools.” Senator Garcia continued, “This bill will not only help to support a safe and healthy learning environment for students, but it will also help to protect school districts from the expensive litigation that we have recently seen at certain schools.”

Continue reading "State Rep. Mary Jane Garcia Applauds Enactment of Anti-Bullying Bill"

April 5, 2011 at 10:27 AM in Children and Families, Education, Environment, GLBT Rights, NM Legislature 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Javier Gonzales: Summing Up the 2011 NM Legislative Session

JavierGonzales This is a guest blog by Javier Gonzales of Santa Fe, who is chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

If I had to sum up the 2011 legislative session it would be this: Democrats were focused like a laser beam on jobs, education, ethics, and preserving our land and water, while Gov. Susana Martínez spent her historic first legislative session pushing wedge issue after wedge issue. Her promise to New Mexicans to focus on jobs never materialized, and our state and its struggling families are paying the price.

Most new governors use their first 60-day legislative session to drive an aggressive agenda to make an indelible mark on the state in an effort to move New Mexico forward. Rather than take advantage of significant political stock to bring forward a jobs initiative for New Mexicans, Susana Martínez spun her wheels and engaged in divisive campaign tactics. 

Her difficulty in transforming her role from prosecutor to governor was evident by where she focused her priorities. While the dialogue over driver's licenses for foreign nationals and voter ID have a place in public discourse, no one believes either addresses the issue of the historically high unemploy-ment rate New Mexicans are facing. 

And when Democrats came to the table to address this legislation and seek compromise on these divisive issues, she took to her courtroom methods and chastised legislators and demonized those who would be impacted by the legislation. Her "my way or the highway" approach caused her driver's license and voter ID pet projects to be shelved, while all along, New Mexico's most pressing problem — a lack of jobs — continued unabated and unaddressed. Hardly gubernatorial.

Continue reading "Javier Gonzales: Summing Up the 2011 NM Legislative Session"

April 4, 2011 at 05:39 PM in Democratic Party, Guest Blogger, NM Legislature Special Session 2010, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (2)

4/8: Kickoff Reception Welcoming Emerge NM's Class of 2011

From Emerge New Mexico:

JOIN US IN WELCOMING our Class of 2011
CELEBRATE Our Future Leaders
Featuring Karen Middleton, Emerge America President
2011 Kickoff Reception
Friday, April 8, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
at the home of Traci and Michael Cadigan
2705 Bosque del Sol Lane NW, Albuquerque, NM
Click for Flyer (pdf) with more info

Emerge New Mexico inspires, recruits and trains Democratic women to run for public office, and win.

April 4, 2011 at 03:48 PM in Candidates & Races, Events, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Photos and Videos: César Chávez March and Festival in Albuquerque with Dolores Huerta

Click for larger version or photo album

This past Saturday, the 18th Annual César Chávez Day March and Festival was held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. There was a large turnout of people from all walks of life and a diversity of ethnic backgrounds who are all bound by at least one thing -- a dedication to honoring the heroic labor and civil rights organizer and leader, and keeping his nonviolent activist mission alive in a new era of attacks on working people, minorities and collective bargaining itself.

César Chávez, who passed away on April 23, 1993 at age 66, founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, later to become the United Farm Workers - the UFW. Chávez worked in tandem with fellow activist Dolores Huerta, a co-founder of the union, who was this year's honored guest at the Albuquerque events.

Dolores -- now an energetic, passionate and active 81 years young -- has carried forward the work she started with Cesar, and expanded her activism to include advocacy on a variety of civil rights, economic and social justice issues over the years. She now heads the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring and motivating people to organize sustainable communities to attain social justice.

The march and festival were organized by the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee, whose mission is to educate our youth and communities about the legacy, life and work of the great American civil rights leader, César Chávez. You can follow the group's activities on Facebook.

After the march, participants gathered to celebrate the historic legacy of César Chávez with food, dancing, entertainment and more at the NHCC's Plaza de Major, including activities for kids and booths with local merchants and more information about a number of causes. Also addressing the crowed were a variety of speakers including Dolores Huerta, Rep. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and City Councilor Rey Garduno. (See videos below.)

Continue reading "Photos and Videos: César Chávez March and Festival in Albuquerque with Dolores Huerta"

April 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM in Civil Liberties, Economy, Populism, Education, Events, Hispanic Issues, History, Immigration, Jobs, Minority Issues | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

REMINDER: Important Union/Progressive Public Vigil Monday in Albuquerque

New Mexico Communication Workers of America and AFL-CIO Union Members, La Raza Unida, Sierra Club, UNM Students, Interfaith Workers Justice Network present: 

  • What: A Public Vigil in Honor of MLK’s Lifetime Support of Collective Bargaining, Workers’ Rights and Public Services
  • When: Monday, April 4, 12 Noon to 1:00 PM
  • Where: 5301 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, Corner of San Mateo and Central, outside the Bank of the West Building
  • Why: If this country does away with collective bargaining, it is the first step in doing away with representative government

Continue reading "REMINDER: Important Union/Progressive Public Vigil Monday in Albuquerque"

April 3, 2011 at 08:17 PM in Children and Families, Events, History, Jobs, Labor | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Pics and Video: Rep. Martin Heinrich Speaks to Media After César Chávez Event

MartinHeinrichJulie2 MartinHeinrich1
MartinHeinrich2 MartinHeinrichJulie
Click images for larger versions

This morning, Congressman Martin Heinrich announced his entry into the 2012 race for U.S. Senate in New Mexico, using a video released to his supporters via email and on Facebook, Twitter and his new campaign website. This afternoon, Rep. Heinrich attended the 18th Annual César Chávez Day March and Festival at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, where he introduced this year's honored guest, Dolores Huerta. Afterwards, he appeared with his wife Julie and spoke to local media outside the NHCC about his candidacy, and answered questions.

Rep. Heinrich talks to media

From his refreshingly modest announcement to supporters via video this morning and Rep. Heinrich's comments to the media this afternoon, it's clear that he will stick with the informal, relaxed and accessible approach to campaigning that has been his hallmark ever since his days on Albuquerque's City Council. Always approachable and comfortable with voters, Rep. Heinrich expressed excitement about heading out soon for a grassroots-style listening tour to all corners of our large and diverse state.

Rep. Heinrich stressed that his first priorities would be to continue to provide representation in Washington to average New Mexicans, and to get as many people as possible involved in the political process. Explaining that he and Julie made the decision to get into the race about a week ago, he said they're very excited about approaching the Senate race "as a way of fighting for the people who may not even pay attention to politics."

He said he wants to represent folks "who just get up in the morning and go to work and work hard and hope that they can send their kids to college, that there'll be some sort of retirement for them, that they can afford a modest home." He noted that, "with all of the interests in Washington DC these days, I think that is the perspective that is missing most."

A Day for Honoring César Chávez and Working People
Asked why he decided to make his announcement today at an event honoring César Chávez, Rep. Heinrich said, "I think the thing that runs through my life as a thread that I can always touch back to is how hard my parents worked when I was growing up -- so that I would have more opportunities than they had. My mom never finished high school. My dad never finished college. They're two of the smartest, hardest working people I've ever known. Because they worked so hard, they gave me opportunities that they didn't have."

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April 2, 2011 at 06:01 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Economy, Populism, Education, Events, Hispanic Issues, Jobs, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (2)

State Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas Says He's Weighing First Congressional District Run in 2012

MoeMaestas Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D-Albuquerque) released a statement today announcing that he is "closely considering" a run to fill the First Congressional District seat being vacated by Representative Martin Heinrich. Maestas is a three-term State Representative from the Westside of Albuquerque who is also a small business owner, former prosecutor and Albuquerque native.

"This is an exciting time for New Mexicans. Senator Bingaman's retirement presents an opportunity for a new generation of New Mexicans to provide national leadership," Rep. Maestas said in a written statement. "The impulse is for politicians to exploit wedge issues that divide us, but it is imperative to elect leaders with a proven record of bringing people together, particularly in these trying economic times -- and that's exactly why I am considering a run for Congress. I will talk at length with my family, friends and constituents and come to a decision about what is the best role for me to serve the Westside and the people of New Mexico."

Continue reading "State Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas Says He's Weighing First Congressional District Run in 2012"

April 2, 2011 at 01:41 PM in NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (3)