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Letter by Coalition to Senator Heinrich
Dear Senator Heinrich:
We represent a consortium of Indivisible chapters, Democratic groups, and other progressive organizations from across New Mexico. We are writing to request clarification of your position on eliminating or reforming the Senate filibuster rule. Although some of us discussed this issue with your staff last week during our monthly Indivisible group call, we remain unclear as to exactly what your official position is on this important issue. We understand that some Democrats see the elimination of the filibuster as a double-edged sword that could potentially come back to bite us if the GOP regains control of the Senate. We, on the other hand, see this tool continually used in a way to thwart the will of a democratically-elected government and to give almost insurmountable power to a minority who are opposed to any significant change. Common application of this rule has created a de facto supermajority requirement to pass much legislation in the Senate. The filibuster rule, and what it applies to, has been modified numerous times in the past, most recently in 2017, to allow for Senate confirmation of Supreme Court justices by a mere majority vote. As you also know, there are quite a few bills, some involving major legislation, that are able to avoid the filibuster rule as they are debated and voted on in the Senate. To us it is clear that, with more and more exceptions to the way the rule is applied, the elimination of the rule entirely is on the horizon. For these reasons as well as many others not elucidated here we support the view that the filibuster should be eliminated now, or, at a minimum, significantly reformed. We hope that you support that position as well, but if not, we would like a clear explanation of what your position is on this. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for all of us, and for taking the time to respond to this letter.
Sandoval County Indivisible
Sandoval County Federation of Democratic Women
Indivisible Sierra County
Indivisible Duke City
Indivisible Nob Hill
Indivisible SOS Santa Fe
Rio Grande Indivisible
Indivisible Santa Fe
Progressive Democrats of America Central NM Chapter
Indivisible Las Cruces
Wheeler Peak Progressives
Members of Indivisible Santa Fe have published more than 25 letters to the editor and op-ed pieces in the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican since September.
Here is a link to a recent article about our voting rights protest and voter registration on May 8:
Here is recent letter from John House
In 2021, we’ve seen more than 349 bills introduced in the legislatures of 47 states attempting to suppress the vote in communities of color. The reasoning behind these attacks is clear: Those who support them believe if you won’t vote for them, you shouldn’t vote at all. Congressman John Lewis shed his blood and dedicated his life to ensuring that all Americans, especially voters of color, were able to participate in American’s electoral process.
On Saturday May 8 in over 120 cities around the country, people will gather to honor John Lewis’ legacy and to ignite massive public support for critical reforms to our democracy. Together, we will demand Congress pass both the For the People Act (S. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4). In Santa Fe, join us at noon for a rally at the intersection of South St. Francis Drive and Cerrillos Road to get into some “good trouble”
Letter from Pam Rogers
No to merger
I urge Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to oppose the Public Service Company of New Mexico/Avangrid merger. We cannot afford to let a foreign big business siphon profits outside our state when we could have local control of our state’s amazing resources in wind and sun. Picuris Pueblo has already done it. They are doing it successfully in California and Illinois. We can have a quicker and more certain transition to clean energy and export it to our neighbors if we let municipalities and tribes/Pueblos control energy. It could turn our economy completely around. Or we can let PNM continue to exploit our citizens and resources. The new company already has a terrible track record in Canada and Maine, and the deal they are offering is a steal. We cannot afford this. Our leaders need to represent us, not big business.
Letter by Donna Thiersch
Margaret Strickland, our own New Mexican attorney, has an excellent reputation fighting for her clients in civil rights case and criminal cases in state and federal courts in New Mexico.
She also advocated and supported the passage of House Bill 4, the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, which allows a person claiming a deprivation of any “rights, privileges or immunities” secured by the Bill of Rights of the New Mexico Constitution to be able to sue and win damages and relief in state District Court. The bill was opposed by municipalities and insurance carriers, with multiple amendments proposed. The New Mexico Civil Rights Commission Final Report and the help of Strickland’s testimony gave New Mexicans in support of passing the bill numerous speaking points communicating with their state representatives. Now Strickland has been nominated to be a federal judge. She is more than qualified to serve as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court.
Here is a recent letter in New Mexican by Ricann Bock
Community solar will benefit renters, homeowners and landlords as it accelerates our transition to a carbon-neutral New Mexico. I commend the Legislature and all the various participants and stakeholders who studied, talked and found compromise, resulting in this bill. And thanks to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who signed this legislation Monday.
Here is a recent letter in New Mexican by Donna Thiersch
I see our newly elected Senator Ben Ray Lujan has been busy in the senate He is co-signer for the SB51 Washington, D.C. Admission Act, for citizens to have equitable access to the decisions made that affect their lives in Washington D.C. He voted in congress last year to impeach the former president and recently in the Senate voted to convict. I am also encouraged that he may also be supportive for the Filibuster Reform in the Senate as we all want meaningful legislation for our Nation. Although Santa Fe has a higher minimum wage then most of the counties in New Mexico, I believe it’s critical in the fight for working families that we legislate an increase to a $15.00 minimum wage. Senator Ben Ray Lujan is in the position to support this reform.
Here is a recent letter in the New Mexican by Pam Walker
Cover the trash loads
Regarding roadside litter: I recently spent a couple of nights in Albuquerque, driving from Santa Fe and back. On both legs of the trip, I first noticed more roadside litter than I’ve ever seen, and wondered about the sources of the littering and the lack of cleanup by the state or other political entities responsible. Then I noticed a number of large dump trucks, ones longer than wide, hauling trash but not securely covering their loads. Trash bags and loose trash came flying out of the truck beds. I was afraid of a collision with a large load, especially those containing glass that might puncture my tires. Aren’t there state regulations about covering loads, whether trash or other stuff? If there aren’t, why not? And if there are, what are the problems with enforcement? Roadside litter results from individual irresponsibility, for sure, but what about governmental responsibility or the lack of?
Here is a recent letter in the New Mexican by Alexa Bradford
Misses the point
I believe Paul Gessing misunderstands the intent of Senate Bill 66 (“High-interest loans have a purpose,” My View, March 8). SB 66 is not “eliminating needed financial options for working people.” It merely caps the legal interest rate for the industry at 36 percent.
Payday loans are a form of predatory lending and are not “quality credit” options. They are usurious and abusive, and frequently trap borrowers in an even deeper cycle of poverty. Gessing unfairly excoriates legislators for “passing judgment on people of lesser means.” On the contrary, it appears SB 66 is intended to protect our most vulnerable citizens from legalized financial abuse.
Here is recent letter in New Mexican by Patti LaSalle Hopkins.
Be hopeful, with caution
As our nation surpassed the tragic milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, numerous other issues captured and competed for our attention. President Joe Biden was wise and thoughtful in leading us to rise above the distractions and pay homage to the deceased and their families. At a White House ceremony, he said, “To heal, we must remember.” We must also remember this: The best way to pay tribute is to pay attention. Experts caution that pandemic progress is fragile, threatened by variant strains as we struggle through its first lethal incursion. Progress with vaccinations does not negate the necessity to wear masks, socially distance and avoid crowds.
Yet here we are on the brink of spring break, when young adults in particular will be tempted to break out of social isolation and flirt with risk. Here in New Mexico, reopenings hold the promise of spring’s reawakening of our everyday lives. But let’s remember. Let’s pledge allegiance to caution and care, even in the light of new hope.
Here is a recent letter by Donna Thiersch
Celebrate and support
This week we must celebrate and support one of our own, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland as her nomination hearing for the secretary of the Department of the Interior starts Tuesday. The United States has had a long, untenable history with Native Americans. The historical treatment of Native Americans was so mercilessly institutionalized. While the current relationship is bankrupted, fueled by greed and contempt for tribal nations in their own backyards, the future relationships will depend on us acknowledging the broken treaties and ignoring all promises made to Native Americans here in the United States. It is long overdue having a Cabinet leader that can represent broad oversight of tribal affairs and energy development. The future is promising with Deb Haaland, who will have a voice in amending the deceit which has so long plagued us in the United States.
On July 11, from 11 am to noon, members of Indivisible Santa Fe along with sister Indivisible SOS and Represent Us New Mexico will hold a rally at the Federal Building in Santa Fe (across from Scottish Rite Temple). Clearly voting rights are under attack with Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression, an incredible threat to our democracy. Please come and show your support for Democracy.