Monday, December 29, 2008

Preparing for a New Year

Well a new year is coming quickly. We will be preparing by increasing our voter registration and working on the campaign to help incarcerated people receive human dignity.

This should be an exciting year. It will definitely be different.

Have a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy 3rd Party Holidays!

Real Democracy is about everyone's voice counting equally. What we now have is the rich having voice and the rest of us being allowed to choose between two options. The rest of the industrialized world has multi-party democracy... Why not here?

Here are some links for your viewing enjoyment:

The New Party
Working Families Party
Green Party
Progressive Party With a great quote:
"The Republican and Democratic parties are not the same. The Republicans are an extreme right wing party. The Democrats are a centrist party tilting, perhaps, a little bit to the left but they are not aggressive enough on protecting the interests of working people and the middle class." -Senator Bernie Sanders - October 26, 2007

And of Course I would be remiss without...
La Raza Unida Party - Albuquerque, NM

Monday, December 22, 2008

Great Meeting Last Night 12/22/08

We had a great meeting! Things are starting to roll!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Call to Actions!

Dear Raza Unida Familia:

Now with the momentum and hope people feel toward making change we need to take actions to make feelings into reality. We've seen what 8 years of greed and corruption bring us. 8 years of blocking the majority of the population out of any real participation.

So here's three opportunities to connect organizing, voter choice, and running for office together.

1 - Letters to Elected Officials RE: Human Dignity for Incarcerated people
2 - School Board Election
3 - Save the Date for the "Join the Party Party" (1/17/09)

1 - Human Dignity for people Incarcerated: This Sunday (December 21) we are having a Raza Unida meeting to sign letters in support of changing the release method of people incarcerated in Bernalillo County. As you may know Amber Archibeque was dropped off in the middle of the night and overdosed within hours. We are going to do everything we can to make sure everyone gets treated with dignity. We will be signing letters going to City Councilors and County Commissioners.

We will meet at 1517 Cornell Dr. SE (Near Yale and Kathryn. Two blocks east on Kathryn turn south on Cornell. 3rd House on the right.) at 5pm. It is a potluck meeting. We will also discuss the other items in this email.

We are very proud to be supporting Young Women United and Kalpulli Izkalli in this effort.

2 - School Board Elections: These started yesterday. Lorenzo Garcia - long time Raza Unida supporter - is running in District 3. This is our chance to begin to build our electoral muscles and get someone committed to elminating racism on the school board.

We will talk about ways to help him out. Including fundraising - even if you only have one dollar, every penny counts! School is a place where many of us are guided into the correctional system.

Email Lorenzo at to get involved.

3 - Join the Party Party: Save the date. Bring your friends and family that you'd like to be a part of La Raza Unida. We will provide an overview of the Partido, voter registration, and food!

Saturday January 17, at 5:30 we will celebrate the anniversary of La Raza Unida Party by having our first Join the Party Party. The more active voter-members La Raza Unida has the stronger we will be to make positive changes.

We will meet at 2131B Lead Ave. SE - the back gate. We will have signs posted.

Now is the time to build a caring and strong political force that is based in community. We've all had enough of corporate sponsored politics. Like the name implies - ¡La Raza Unida Jamas Sera Vencida!; The People United will Never be Defeated!

Amor y Rebeldia!

Monday, December 15, 2008

La Raza Unida is... (12/15/08)

We're trying to describe La Raza Unida in a short and compelling manner. Please let us know if this works. Thank you for your comments!

La Raza Unida was borne from the Chicano movement. It came from a love for Chicanas and Chicanos. That's why the name La Raza Unida - The People United - was and is most appropriate for this party.

La Raza Unida has survived pressure and illegal attacks by the corporate-sponsored parties in power. La Raza Unida has survived unfair laws meant to discourage the freedom to participate in an open democracy. For many years we focused on community organizing, cultural, and youth work.

La Raza Unida was always open to everyone. From the beginning we knew that the obstacles in the way of Chicanas and Chicanos were in the way of others as well. We understand that we are all in the same boat together.

La Raza Unida has grown beyond the love for Chicanas and Chicanos and expanded to a deep caring and honoring of all life. With this caring comes responsibility. In order to act on that responsible caring requires strength. We gain our strength through solidarity, unity, and organizing.

La Raza Unida is now taking that strength to fight for freedom. We are fighting for freedom from discrimination; freedom from want; freedom to have a fulfilling life; and freedom to participate in a healthy democracy. We will fight to end the corporatocracy that says only the rich have a say and create real democracy open to all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

DEP Amber

Hello Familia:

There is a vigil tonight for Amber Archibeque at Robinson Park tonight, 5-7pm. Amber, 22 years old died too young. She died because she lived in a society with a cold and heartless system.

It's time for that to change. We need a revolution. A revolution of caring, responsibility and strength.

We need to create a politics of caring. Politics where we all pitch in because together we can create so much more than in isolation. Politics where everyone has value.

It is time for something new. For the last 30 years we've dealt with the cold and heartless politics. We need to create a future where there is sense of responsibility for all of us from all of us.

But we need strength to do that. Building a party that can present a vision for a solid vision is one way - building a strong Raza Unida; Community organizing is another; Running for office another. There is a crack in the wall and we need to push it over. Too many people are suffering while we wait around going after one issue at a time.

Taking over the whole thing is all that is left. Taking advantage of any little crack in the wall is key. Opening it up until it starts to crumble and we can have real freedom. This will take time and energy.

Greed, authoritarianism, and exclusion will be a thing of the past. We will look back and say "it was worth it." We will look forward and continue creating!

*DEP - Descanse en Paz (Rest in Peace)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's time to get to work!

Some words from Jay on

Basically, we need to get to work! We need to use the outcome of this election to our advantage and keep the momentum going. It is our job as citizens to hold elected officials accountable and let them know what we need.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cheap Labor Trap (12/04/08)

There is a myth of economic freedom in this country. One important thing to ask ourselves is "who is left out of this story?" The conservative economic freedom story leaves out about 45 million people. Who are they?

Conservative myth telling leaves out the forty-five million people working hard for a living but cannot afford health care. People who are too old or sick to work are left out. The millions of working class people whose wages have not gone up over the last thirty years while prices have risen, while profits go to stockholders, and while CEOs get paid more and more each year!

We need those jobs done - picking fruit and vegetables, flipping burgers, day laborers in construction - those jobs that are absolutely necessary to our current lifestyles. Let's include Educational Assistants, Child Care workers, and school food service employees - it shows how little we care about children. These people are left out of the myth and they are caught in a cheap labor trap.

Their trap is to hold up all of our lifestyles. A living wage would help, but we need more than that. Imagine if all of the employees without health care went on strike?

The beginning of the solution is to develop labor policies, health care policies, business and tax policies from the moral principle of fairness.

Yes, better wages is key - people deserve fair compensation for work done. Our current market is unfair in this area. It is time for working people to be fairly compensated for the profits that they bring to employers.

Regardless of the imperfections of the early USA there are important principles to build from. It is very wise to collect our common wealth for the common good in order to provide the infrastructure that everyone can access for their fulfillment. That's the positive of taxes. Without taxes we don't have highways, the Internet, public education, parks, and so much more. Without a common wealth there is no common good.

We need policies that hold up our highest ideals, our moral responsibilities for freedom. If you work for a living, you should earn a living. Work is a contribution to society at large, and fair compensation is the right thing to do. The cheap labor trap is immoral and we need to eliminate it.

We need a quality educational system that serves ALL children. We need to end and reverse the huge transfers of wealth from ordinary taxpayers to the rich. We need to create expectations for ethical business. Corporations impose themselves in ways similar to governments, we need to make them accountable to the public well being.

All institutions that govern our lives should be accountable to the people. Privatization removes the accountability - the same as "taxation without representation." The civil justice system needs to be protected in order for it to protect the people. Public education and the diversity of Albuquerque are what will be the great engine of wealth - if we remove the barriers. Markets are not "natural" and we need to ensure that they serve the public good.

This will be the transformation necessary to turn around the economy and many of the problems we've been dealing with for decades, and in some cases centuries. We are all in this together and all of us working together will make the biggest difference.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Progressive Freedom (12/03/08)

There is often talked about. Often it is the conservatives telling what freedom is. What would be progressive freedoms?

The freedom for open information - government should tell me the truth.

The freedom to find a good job and make a decent living at it.

The freedom to live in a country free from discrimination and working toward healing the effects of past discrimination.

The freedom to live in a corruption-free political system minimally affected by concentrations of wealth.

The freedom to live in a community where my family and I are as secure as possible and where everyone is treated fairly.

The freedom to live in a poison-free community, free from the pollution of others.

There are many, many more!

adapted from G. Lakoff's "Whose Freedom?"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Democrat Governors Urge Obama to Help the Poor

This is great! I think his idea of creating jobs and a bottom-up approach is a good idea. He wants to create a new stimulus package. He is still seems to be following the anti-common wealth ideas on taxes though.

Obama is sincere in looking for ways to help. He is also asking the American people to step up, so all of us should! We should share our vision! Hopefully enough people will echo that progressive taxes are a good thing as was stated during the campaign.

Without taxes we wouldn't have roads, public schools, or this internet we are using. Taxes is what we all pitch in to create a common wealth in order to support a common good. If there were no public schools businesses would have to do all of the training of their workers - now they get much of that without paying much. Giant corporations who move goods by rail or roads would need helicopters or wagons if it weren't for the public funding of roads - most of them don't pay much for that. If you've ever needed fire department or police department assistance hopefully you know that is part of our common good paid for by all of us. Business definitely relies on that support.

Hopefully Obama will create the jobs that create the taxes needed to help with the deficit. Jobs create income for the government so that we can have quality roads, quality schools, and hopefully quality health care. If health care costs are crushing businesses then the government has a moral obligation to assist businesses in keeping jobs available. Obama seems willing to let the rich stay off the hook in paying their fair share of taxes, so we'll need to organize and remind him that paying a fair share is a good American value.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Irresponsible Government

NPR reported this morning that the Bush administration has contracted out more of government's jobs than any other president. That is basically outsourcing or privitizing government's responsibilities. This was done on no-bid contract so there was no public discussion and there has been no accountability.

These types of actions give away our tax dollars to private corporations, often friends and supporters of the administration. This results in an income redistribution from tax payers to wealthy stockholders or individual owners. Since there is no oversight we don't know if they are staying in budget nor if jobs are being created.

This also means that many aspects of our lives are governed by the decisions of corporations. They are essentially governing without accountability.

This, and other deregulation does not create less government. Deregulation simply transfers governing power from public forms of government - elected and accountable to the people, to private government without accountability.

This is not what we expect from government. Irresponsible government using our tax dollars to fund private companies is far from efficient. Democracy may sometimes be slower, but it is better!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Working For a Living (11/26/08)

People who work for a living deserve a fair shake. Communities often pay taxpayer dollars to support business in many ways: tax breaks, education of the workers, infrastructure, and contracts with government. It really is only fair for business to return some of this payment with living wages for workers. That's just good ethical business.

Communities benefit from living wages in many ways. They lower the cost of community services by allowing people to move out of poverty. Services of people impoverished by poverty wages include emergency medical care, food programs, housing programs, drug and alcohol programs, and much more. Living wages make communities better places to live. With living wages there is less poverty, less crime, less homeless and less addiction. There would also be more selfrespect if people knew they could support a family with one full time job. People would have more community pride, and better kept communities. When communities improve, more people want to live there and more businesses want to locate there. Living wage benefits spread positively across entire communities.

Living wages also benefit businesses. Businesses benefit from living wages with increased morale, increased productivity, and increased worker retention. Because workers stay where wages are good businesses save on recruitment and training costs.

Occasionally some businesses may face lower profits. Well run businesses can deal with these moral limits on profits. Effective business owners have coped without slavery, child labor, and other moral benefits given to workers. Competent business owners should be able to cope without below-poverty-level wages.

The cost to business of paying living wages has been found to be extremely low. Between payments by the community and the benefits of increased productivity and lowered costs, living wage costs should be easily absorbed when accounting practices make the trade-offs clear. Businesses can both do good and do well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bailout who??

Working For A Living (11/25/08)

The American Dream - the idea that if you work hard you'll be rewarded with a decent standard of living, including the opportunity to own a home. It is a human ideal that everyone inherently deserves to have basic needs met. Working a job should pay enough to at least meet basic needs. Yet many people have to work two jobs just to make ends meet.

It is immoral for anyone working for a living at a full time job to be stuck below the poverty line. Working for a living includes being able to support a family. Anything less is a failure to live up to the American Dream.

This is an issue of morality - an issue of justice. Markets have rules structured by morality. We no longer allow child labor because it is immoral. We no longer allow slavery because it is immoral. We no longer allow employees to be beaten because it is immoral. Increasing profits of a few by decreasing pay to below poverty level needs to be outlawed because that too is immoral! Impoverishing people consciously is very immoral!

Markets have been set up to serve special interests. Energy subsidies to oil and coal are good examples. These so-called "subsidies" are really just payments from taxpayers to these corporations. They help to make us think that oil and coal prices are allow so we become dependent on them. This serves those companies because we don't see that we pay at the pump or meter and pay again through our taxes!

Markets need to serve the public interest!

These tax breaks take money out of our pockets and give them to corporations. The fair thing these companies can do is to pay living wages to employees. That's a responsibility they need to live up to.

As the new administration starts its stimulus plan hopefully they will make sure that the books balance for working people as well as the corporations. It will be up to us to keep pushing that message. It will be up to us to organize and be the active people that democracy needs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Purpose of the Market (11/24/08)

We've been living in a fantasy land about markets. This fantasy land of markets and irresponsible government has been showing that the only things that move with unlimited growth are cancers that devour the hosts. With all the jobs vaporizing along with retirements and the American Dream of home ownership we are realizing that democracy was replaced by corporatocracy right before our eyes.

Markets are there to create our common wealth. Markets should serve democracy and the people - not the other way around. Strong unions and worker's rights supported by an open democratic society will provide a win-win for all involved.

Markets should be part of making people free. That' what the vast majority of people want - FREEDOM! Freedom from want, freedom from harm, freedom from fear. We want freedom to meet our needs and fulfill our dreams.

The market is there to serve the common good. It is not to make us all slaves to a corporatocracy created by irresponsible government that has given away its responsibility to protect and serve all. Markets and government are there to serve us and democracy!

Everyone who works deserves to earn a decent living. Everyone who works deserves to be free from want. Everyone deserves freedom from illness, harm, bigotry and fear.

The natural world deserves preserving and protecting. It is the heritage that we will pass on to future generations. The market needs to support that as well.

It is our responsibility to ensure that government works to allow the markets to succeed in serving the common good. The common wealth belongs to all of us. Those who benefit most from the common wealth need to pay their fair share! No more tax giveaways!

We can move toward a market that serves the common good and not giving it away to the rich by organizing, voting our values and holding government accountable!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Meeting Since Election

Had a great first post-election meeting for Raza Unida. We decided to begin having "Join the Party Parties" and the first is January 17, 2009 at 5:30.

We have a great communications team and an awesome voter registration team. There are three of us thinking about running for offices and the whole group was willing to work on a campaign.

The website and the literature need to be redone and the communications team will be dealing with that.

We talked about presenting our values comprehensively and working for people power moving beyond one issue at a time politics. I'm excited because it was clear to all of us in the room that voting out W means nothing if people aren't willing to get involved and hold government accountable to protect and empower people to have safe, healthy and thriving lives!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

¡Feliz Dia de La Revolución!

Orale Familia!

This blog is being created today for posts related to La Raza Unida and politics. Today being Dia de La Revolución seems like a perfect day to start this.

La Raza Unida exists, and I am a member of it, because people care. They care about what happens to them, to their families and their communities. Many even care about what happens to the whole planet. That's why the title "Nuestra Familia" was chosen.

Like a family you take action on your caring. We're all in this together so that action, that responsibility, is often political. It is often organizing, advocating, and building relationships.

That responsibility leads us to hold our collective - government and society - responsible as well. Responsible to protect everyone - our children, our neighbors, and those in need. That responsibility also requires us to provide the best opportunities for a fulfilling life. From education to health care, decent paying jobs to quality housing - we have a responsibility to help everyone thrive.

Have a wonderful day! Being generous usually makes people feel better about themselves so take time to share a smile, a handshake, or a hug with people today.