DISCLAIMER: The opinions and comments below are those of the speaker and not official positions of Taos United, a non-partisan, nonprofit community information and education group.
Terry Surguine, TU Election Committee, opened the meeting and introduced Wally Cox, organizer of the TU parade vehicle. Wally gave special thanks to Chuck Doughty, who built a structure for the back of Sidney Bender’s pick up truck to carry our banners. Volunteers added decorations, and with the help of jumper cables, Wally drove and they made it thru the parade! Volunteers walked alongside the truck distributing TU info cards & stickers, and Deb Munroe took photographs.
The Gay Pride Parade is this Saturday at 10:30. Form up is 10:15 on Albright St alongside the County Courthouse and will proceed to the TCA.
Volunteers needed this Friday, 1-4pm, to help decorate the truck at the Cox home, 421 Liebert Street.
Volunteers needed this Saturday to walk alongside the truck in the parade.
They will wear nail aprons carrying TU info cards & stickers to pass out along the way. Please contact Wally at 224-1234 .
Wally gave a special shout out to Melanie Baca and family who accompanied the TU float in the Fiestas Parade.
Diane Shifrin TU has made a conversion from gmail to MailChimp. This will allow us to create more interesting emails and target subgroups. Gmail was tending to classify our emails as spam, making it necessary to change over. Feedback welcome.. email@example.com
2 min speakers
ACTION ALERT TEAM seeks volunteer
Bea Balsamo of the Action Alert Support Team announced they are in dire need of an additional person to help collate and create the Action Alerts. This is a once a month commitment of about 3 hrs. Interested volunteers please contact TUActionAlert@gmail.com
MEDIA GROUP – GET OUT THE VOTE !
Laurie Bender, Danielle Freeman and Ronnie Blevins form the Election Media Group. They have been working on public service announcements about TU events. Current focus: getting out the vote messages. You need 7 repeats of a message for it to sink in. Laurie suggested everyone ask 10 people if they are registered and plan to vote. All conversation should be positive, informative and motivating. Speak in ways that establish a connection. Know information about voting and registering so you can answer questions.
It is just 91 days to Nov 6th
Last day of voter registration: October 9th
Early voting begins Oct 20
STOP THE GUN LOBBY!
Paula Claycomb. TU for Gun Sense has joined MOMS DEMAND ACTION for Gun Sense in America. Bud Branch organized the local chapter, and Jim Ludden reconnoitered the database. Paula shared an astonishing visual map of gun related violence in the continental United States thru 3 pm today. 30,000+ people have been victimized by gun violence so far this year. The group is pushing for support of Senate Bill 48/House Bill 50 – legislation that would close the background check loophole in New Mexico and require criminal background checks for all gun sales. Join the gun sense movement!
Jim Ludden – TENT – Taos Elders and Neighbors Together Seniors have trouble living alone. 20% live below the poverty line. They are in need of social connection, driving to doctor appointments, grab bar installation in bathrooms, meal prep, and dog walking. TENT is looking for members, volunteers and donors. Next meeting: Sept. 5th, 2:30 at Valverde Commons Donation box, sign up sheet & brochures on side table.
RENEWABLE ENERGY – wonderful news !
Bob Bresnahan. A 1.1 megawatt solar facility overlooking Eagle Nest Lake opened last week. Eagle Nest and Ute Park will have solar based power on sunny days. Unfortunately there are lengthy permitting processes of 3-4 months in both Taos County and the Town of Taos. In contrast, Rio Arriba processes permits within one month. Of note: 30,000 people die every year from emissions of coal plants.
12 new charging stations for electric vehicles will be installed in the Town of Taos this year. 8 are coming from Tesla through a Tesla grant.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE EXPO: Sept 8, 12 til 6 at Bataan Hall on Civic Plaza Drive
RT seeks volunteers, donations & support.. firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLINS LAKE RANCH
Glen Carlberg has been working for 22 years with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Presently he lives in Taos and works at Collins Lake Ranch in Cleveland, NM. There are many people in Taos and surrounding areas with special needs. They have value and can contribute to our community. At Collins Lake Ranch they are cooking and growing their own food. Please check out the website: www.collinslakeranch.org Glen likes what we are doing at TU and asked that we consider ways our community can be more inclusive and accommodating to people with disabilities. Recently he saw someone pushing a wheelchair on the main Paseo in front of the Taos Inn because the sidewalk is too small to accomodate a wheelchair. He urged us to be more welcoming as a community. Be gracious – look people in the eye, say hello and smile. One human to another.
HOW DID WE GET HERE
Danielle Freeman’s favorite thing is to connect people with books. SOMOS (108 Civic Plaza Drive) has a large collection of some 200 military history books in very good condition. Consider: how did we get here? While responding to current events may mollify us for the moment, it is vital to read about historical events that have delivered us to present circumstance.
Self educate, become a learner, these books are just $1 each !
Ham Brown asked what has been done about registering young people to vote. Mya Coursey responded with excellent news: the Unitarian Congregation has been awarded a grant for voter registration! Taos United will collaborate with Common Ground Youth Group to put together a plan whereby young people will register young people. Also, our participation in the Fiestas and Gay Pride Parades is a great opportunity to inform our community. There will be a voter registration table at the parade destination at TCA. Terry Surguine added the TU Voter Registration Group has registered voters at Taos High School, UNM and Dreamtree. Del Endres said it had been a discouraging process marked by reluctance and apathy among youth. Students do not comprehend the time it takes to make change. They tend to to say that nothing counts or works.
Diane Shifrin. The Postcard Posse meets at 4pm every Thursday at Democratic HQ (729 A Paseo del Pueblo Sur, east side, north of Cruz Alta) George Brown generated 2 important lists for postcard writing: one of 18-22 year olds in Taos County who have never voted and another of one time only voters. Please join the Posse – this is a great way to get out the vote!
LITTLE LIBRARIES NEED BOOKS
Del Endres is looking for youth & children’s books for use in the Little Free Libraries around town.
Regarding youth voter registration, ways to make registering more of an in thing to do are being considered. One student remarked he was warned not to register in order to avoid a call for jury duty. However, it is stated on the SOS online page that the two are not connected. Registering for a driver’s license and paying property taxes are connected to jury duty. Of note: gun & abortion issues are not things to talk about in Taos County.
Glen Carlberg announced a discussion group of how humans deal with despair from a Buddhist point of view, based on ACTIVE HOPE by the amazing author Joanna Macy. This 1 hour event will be held on the next 3 Wednesdays – Aug 15, 22 and 29 @ 5:30 pm at Somos, 108 Civic Plaza Drive
NEED LOCAL ACTIONS
Paula Claycomb said the Action Alert Team is in dire need of support – please send summarized information of local actions to TUActionAlert@gmail.com
STEPHANIE GARCIA RICHARD for State Lands Commissioner
Dion Smith of the TU Education Committee is interested in educating voters. He will be distributing information comparing candidate platforms in the near future. He heard Stephanie Garcia Richard, Dem candidate for State Lands Commissioner speak at Dem HQ on Monday evening and thinks she is a great candidate. She would like to see an increase in royalties from land trusts. All surrounding States have succeeded in getting much higher royalties than our State. He would like to have her speak at a TU Forum.
VOTING INFO in TAOS NEWS
Laurie Bender has spoken to Stacy Matlock of THE TAOS NEWS about establishing a block of voting information in the paper. Stacy had already been thinking along those lines. Laurie encouraged everyone to write letters to the Editor and MY TURN articles. This is an excellent opportunity to get info out there for a blue tsunami in November!
COMPASSION & DYING BILL
Terry Surguine asked if there would be interest in a speaker on the subject of a compassion & dying bill, and there was an overwhelming YES in response.
LET’S GROW TAOS UNITED
Del Endres suggested everyone bring 1 or 2 new people to the meeting in September.
ORIGIN of our FORUM
Marianne Furedi asked if people knew the origin of our present Forum. In Las Cruces, NM, a group of citizens began getting together following the Gore debacle in 2000. Over time they developed the Forum concept which led to a change in the composition of the local town council and school board. Marjorie Luckey learned of this group one afternoon while listening to a speaker in Santa Fe and brought the concept to Taos United.
We need to focus on what we care about right here and right now!
Next meeting: Tues Aug 21, 5:30pm at KCEC