Recap August 20th, 2019
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and comments below are those of the speaker and not official positions of Taos United / Taoseños Unidos , a non-partisan, nonprofit community information and education group.
Special Guest: Deb Haaland, Congresswoman CD1
Personal notes: Deb Haaland (DH), is a member of Laguna Pueblo, enjoys coming to Taos and knocked on doors here during the 2018 Election. Earlier on the day of the forum, she attended the wildlife corridor conference. She co-sponsored bill on this topic. A single mother, DH supports public education, has been on food stamps and still has student loans. Family members are farmers.
Update on time in Congress:
Natural Resources. DH sponsored a bill to protect a 10 mile radius around Chaco Canyon. There were no Republican votes on the committee. It will get to the House floor soon.
Bi-partisan bills have reached the “Mitch McConnell graveyard” such as Violence Against Women
HR1 – included voting rights. Inspired by John Lewis’ closing argument for HR1. The House has also passed background check law, and another bill extending waiting period to 10 days. A bill to ban assault weapons will be up for a vote soon. DH came out for impeachment.
Q. 6.8 billion for ICE. How is this money being spent? For private prisons? Certainly no help for immigrants. How did you vote? (DH supported this bill because it supported unannounced visits, medical provision, doctors to screen immigrants. Didn’t expand beds or fund the border wall. The Senate had their own “weak” bill , that Haaland did not vote for. DH has made two trips to the border — and will go again.)
Q. Reaction to Planned Parenthood withdrawal from Federal Title X funding? (“Disheartening” DH Available to help PP in any way she can.)
Q. Thanks to DH for her work on Missing or Murdered Indigineous Women. Could Trump cut this funding? Also concerned about tribal sovereignty issues. (DH : Working with Elizabeth Warren on a bill to assure promises are kept to Native Americans. During government shutdowns, funding for Native American programs, including IHS services are halted. This bill would prevent this.)
Q. Kamala Harris called out Trump’s crimes against humanity. 45 Can’t be indicted. Should be tried in a world court. (DH. agrees.)
Q. How do we deal in a permanent way with the nuclear waste we have generated. (DH: Is there a viable solution? We shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Holtec International wants to bring all nuclear waste to New Mexico. DH. signed a letter against this.)
Q. What will be done to penalize employers who hire undocumented? (DH: we need comprehensive immigration reform. “If you don’t have a heart, can’t make you care about children.”)
Q. The rich are in control and get to decide what happens. Overturning Citizen’s United is essential. (DH supports bill saying money is NOT speech introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal . DH is unsure if she’s co-sponsored, but if not, she will.)
Q.My friend was recently murdered and it’s very difficult to get information from the FBI. (DH: call Ben Ray Lujan immediately.)
Q. A meeting will be held at KCEC Boardroom Friday August 23rd – 6 PM. about LANL making more plutonium/ nuclear missiles asked DH to coordinate with Pueblos on this issue.
Q How is working with Pelosi? (DH: “The most strategic person I’ve ever met. Was made the ‘face of evil’ by the Republicans. Pelosi is very kind and doesn’t strong arm. DH. supports the mission of the House right now — to pass bills that support people. Often bills that do support people, such as the minimum wage bill, are represented as “socialism”.)
Q. Problem is “messaging” and “framing” We need short and obvious phrases: e.g. “How can you be pro-life and put children in cages.” Media wants soundbytes. (DH: send me some good ones!)
Q. Can you explain Pelosi’s thinking on impeachment? (DH: Committees are suing Trump administration and are not through with their process. Cannot remove him, so impeachment may not be a good use of time and resources. Some think it’s dangerous. Dems who won in Trump districts (Ben McAdams in a R+25 district, for example) must be careful.)
Q. Constitution doesn’t make allowance for public opinion, and Pelosi should do her job. Tomorrow night is a fundraiser for Mark Kelly (AZ Senate race) . Santa Fe at 5:30.
Q. Taos High School student: has become distrustful of government. What do you say to young people who don’t trust this government. (DH: the worst thing to do is to not participate. Work to elect people that you agree with. Trump is the biggest downer we’ve ever had. “Perservere” Disillusioned young people should run for office! Make people talk about your issues.)
Q. How can we diversify Sandia and Los Alamos’ mission to concentrate on climate change. (DH: Ben Ray and I would like to move that forward.)
Q. What Democratic candidate are you supporting? (DH: respects everyone’s choice. Supports Warren. DH feels she is genuine, down to earth, and thinks she can win. She is the only candidate rising in the polls. only takes grassroots donations. DH: has co-sponsored universal pre-K bill with Warren. Also a tax increase on the very wealthy and a Native American plan.)
Q. The most important issue is remove Trump. (DH: Register as many people as we can and get them to vote Democratic. Some people are not yet paying attention to this election.)
Q. Is there a movement to overturn memo stating that the president cannot be indicted.? (DH: we need mass protest, ala Puerto Rico.)
Q. concern — the educational system doesn’t really teach civics. (DH: agrees)
Q. What qualities should we look for in selecting a new CD3 congressperson? (DH: will not endorse. Look for someone who works hard and inspires you.)
TU/TU Community Forum Segment:
TU/TU Election Group: Marjorie Lucky – Sign-up sheet or contact Marjorie at email@example.com. Inital 2020 Election Group meeting will be Wed Aug 28th 4:30-6:30 PM at the Taos County Democratic Headquarters. If you’re interested, contact Marjorie: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-902-6091
Satrupa (email@example.com) Encourages nindfulness practice in the schools. Offers to join with others to chant/repeat “Metta” prayer (loving kindness) to cope with the times we are in.
Global Climate Strike (Todd Wyndward) – Meeting August 21st at TILT with a Santa Fe facilitator for movement build-up to Global Climate Strike Sept. 20th. Youth and allies to converge on the State Capitol.
Renewable Taos Electric Vehicle Expo (Jay Levine firstname.lastname@example.org) 2nd annual EV Expo will be Saturday August 24th at the TCA EV Chargers now at the Kit Carson Park. Volunteers are needed.
US Congressional Candidate (Kyle Tisdel) is pleased to announced his candicay for US Congress in CD3. Kyle is an attorney with WELC working with public lands and extraction. His main issue is the climate emergency. He will focus on creating a liveable future. Economic diversity. Clean economy. A just transition for people working in the oil and gas industry. New Mexico is one of four states where the majority of State income comes from the extraction industry. tisdelforcongress.com
Moms Demand Action (Bud Branch). We need your help. Meeting: Aug 29th: 5:30. Text “Events” to 64433
Squads of Kindness (Marcia Cruz-Redding) email@example.com reported on her Squads of Kindness experiences in Taos. Just do something kind every day.
Los Alamos Study Group on LANL’s plutonium warhead plans. August 23rd at Kit Carson Electric Board Room. The arms race is being re-ignited. Our Senators and Governor support this. (Jean Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org)
Darien Fernandez , candidate for State Senator stands with Planned Parenthood (PP). Our current State Senate failed to repeal antiquated abortion laws. PP has withdrawn from federal funding rather than lie to their clients. If you’re not already a member of PP, they need your support.
Next month’s forum: August 20, 5:30-7:30 PM we’ll feature (Next month we’ll have Teresa Legere Fernandez and Valerie Plame candidates for Congress in CD3)
Thank you, Kit Carson Electric Co-op for providing space for our monthly meetings on the the 3rd Tuesdays of each month.