Recap Nov. 19th, 2019
Taos United / Taoseños Unidos — Community Forum Recap Nov. 19th, 2019
Terry Serguine, Master of Ceremonies for the Community Forum — Welcomed everyone and reiterated
his commitment to getting the current occupant of the White House out, either through impeachment
or through the 2020 elections.
Jill Cline, Adult Ally for Taos Common Grounds — https://taoscommongrounds.org/ — Aas
accompanied by four youth members of TCG, which bills itself as “Taos Teen Co-Op and Café”. Thanks to
generous donations from individuals and organizations, including Kit Carson Electric Cooperative which
is making a building on Cruz Alta available to the group for $1 annual rent, the young people will soon
have a place open to their peers – and during certain hours, to the entire community. A 4-1/2 minute
video is available on the website and explains the services that will be provided to young people in the
Taos community. These include showers and laundry facilities, an occasional bed, food, a place to hang
out together, counseling, and a café that will help make then self-sustaining.
Taos Common Grounds is still hoping for financial support but also for occasional overnight chaperones,
furniture and other support.
Gayle Montgomery, Taos United volunteer and local artist — Asked for everyone’s support in getting
William Barr, the U.S. Attorney General, disbarred in VA, NY and Washington DC. Under oath, he has
misled Congress about how he would discharge the duties of the USAG and distorted the contents of
Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, amongst many other
unethical or illegal actions. Gayle asked that anyone wishing to file a complaint form to the Virginia State
Bar Association can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org She will send you the form and a
bullet point list of Barr’s actions that you may select from.
George Brown, Treasurer of the Taos County Democratic Party – Invited everyone to four events:
1. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 at the Party HQs – Potluck Dinner and Debate Watch;
2. Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10:00-11:30 – A training for possible delegates to the DNC convention in
3. Monday, Dec. 16, the Taos County Federation of Democratic Women, the lighting of farolitos on
Taoz Plaza, followed by a potluck at the Democratic Party office. You bring a dish or munchies
and they will provide drinks!
4. Sunday, Jan. 5, 1:30 p.m., A conference call for the State Dem. Party to explain their plans for
George also said the office will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 21 to January 6th.
Marcia Cruz-Redding, President, Taos County Federation of Democratic Women – Has also become a
monthly favorite with her descriptions of local acts of kindness towards her and with her. She noted that
Angel, one of the four adolescents with the Taos Common Grounds group, said TCG is trying to help
teenagers “. Marcia said that is not the ways things should be. And at Bealls this weekend, she started
talking to a woman, then another came and she met the first Vietnamese women to arrive Taos some 30
years ago. She then two other people because they all looked at each, smiled and recognized our
commonhumanity. She said while a “Kindness Squad” is being discussed, “being kind to each other
Jean Stevens, Activist and recently trained leader for the Climate Reality project (Al Gore’s group) —
Invited everyone to Vagrant Heart Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 21, beginning at 1 p.m. This will be the
local event as part of a global “24 hours of climate reality”. She will make a presentation from Climate
Reality, students will speak, and everything will be followed by a mini-dance at Vista Grande, with
ecology song from 1991 (Martin Gaye). Everyone who attends will get a tree planted in their honor
somewhere in the world.
Kyle Tisdel, Candidate for NM’s 3 rd Congressional District (the seat being vacated by Ben Ray Lujan,
who is running for NM Senator in the US Congress) – Spoke about his candidacy. A lawyer and Energy
Program Director of the Western Environmental Law Center, Kyle said his professional work has been at
the nexus of public lands and fossil fuel extraction, including Chaco Canyon, Santa Fe National Forest
and more recently in southern NM’s Permian Basin. He spoke of the need to hold the federal
government accountable to the rapid timeline of climate change. Next year’s elections are about
preserving our democracy and the soul of our country, but also preserving “the life of our planet”.
Kyle said he hadn’t planned on being a politician, but that there is an urgency to climate change for the
planet and for our state. He views the coming years as providing major opportunities for NM to
transition to clean energy. He said the oil and gas industry has more debt any other industry in the
country – it costs more to drill than what they extract. He acknowledged that In NM, “our revenues
suffer when O&G goes down.” New Mexico has been an oil and gas colony for 100 years – with much of
the wealth going outside the state.
Questions and answers followed Kyle’s comments. They focused on shifting money from the defense
budget into ecological concerns, the State Investment Council and Los Alamos laboratories. Kyle
supports funding to Los Alamos for research into renewable energy. He has a 6-point plan, including
health, green jobs, safeguarding democracy “true `00% clean energy and landscape restoration and
community resilience — on his website, http://www.tisdelforcongress.com/
Terry Swerguine noted that at the December 17 TU Community Forum, Kyle’s colleague at WELC, Kelly
Noakes, will be a featured speaker. Her emphasis is on wildlife.
Al Kelly, another TU monthly favorite – Spoke this month about public health. With more than 40 years
in public health, Al noted that many people erroneously think public health is only about elephantitis
clap, gonorrhea or syphilis or other STDs. Or that it is only about epidemiology, or about TV ads for
elderly people to solve their dry mouth. But public health is far more. “Our capitalist system is upside
down”, he said. We pay doctors and other health care workers enormous amounts of money, which is
not shared with the “real public health workers” – the garbage collectors, men and women at the
landfill, street cleaners, maids in hotels hostels and hospitals. Bus boys and dishwashers, the so-called
janitors in schools, clinics and hospital. These are the infectious disease controllers, he said – without
them, bacteria “would do us all in”. He asked for our respect for all these people. He wished everyone a
Happy Indigenous Day.
Tracy Brewer and Diane Shifrin, Postcard Posse activists – Every Thursday afternoon at 3:00, we are all
invited to write postcards to targeted individuals! Diane and Tracy collect topics throughout the week or
suggestions are made to them. They generate a “good sized stack” of cards that are mailed to anyone
from elected officials to candidates to CEOs and others, Terry noted that the postcards vary from
complaints to compliments to suggestions to thank yous. He said, “We will write to anyone who needs
our attention.” He also noted the therapeutic aspects of writing postcards with like-minded people
Some of their efforts focused on the State of Virginia and “look how well we did in Virgina”! The posse
will spend at least one afternoon writing to people in states where they’ve been purged from the
election rolls, about getting re-registered. Everyone is welcome to participate – again, 3 p.m. at the
Demorcatic Party office.
Marji Luckey, TU Board member and chair of the TU Elections Committee – Noted that in VA, a lot was
done on the ground but also with Swing Left – see https://swingleft.org/. TU has a Swing Left chapter
and will probably head to Arizona soon to register voters. TU and the Postcard Posse wrote 500 letters
to people who could be nudged to vote, and turnout in VA was enormous – over 250,000 letters were
sent by Swing Left. She said that we CAN make a difference in states that will count for the Senate. She
urged everyone to go to the Swing Left website, go to the bottom of the home page to “find a group
near you”, find the Taos Swing Left group and join!
Kayce Leopold, volunteer with Plastic Free Taos – Said PFT has been meeting about 10 months and
have narrowed their goals to three: Minimize use of plastic; promote recycling; and public education.
The next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 in the Kit Carson Board Room (where the TU Community
Forum is held). They hope that individuals will be able to give about 6 hours a month.
Paula Claycomb, volunteer with Renewable Taos – Said there were beginning plans for a cloth bag
giveaway at Smiths, Super Save and Albertsons some time in 2020. Likewise, there may be an initiative
to open a used electric vehicle (EV) car lot in Taos. Nusenda Credit Union already offers a low-interest
loan for the purchase of an EV. Anyone interested in either effort may contact her
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and comments above are those of the speaker and not official
positions of Taos United / Taoseños Unidos , a non-partisan, nonprofit community
information and education group.
Thank you, Kit Carson Electric Co-op for providing space for our monthly meetings on the the 3rd Tuesdays of each month.