Monday, November 28, 2011

Health and Justice

Here are some articles on health and politics. Privatized politics is keeping us from having universal health care. Yet many advocate for this without dealing with the political context. It is like taking some aspects of socialized medicine from another country and placing it a US context.

Our political system narrows the political choices in the US. This narrowness in political parties also limits the possibilities for policies. Policies which impact health are many. Income inequality is a primary factor in health. Education, housing, and jobs are other things that impact our health. Segregation is bad for our health as well.

It is time to focus on how politics and health relate. We need a change in our political system to create more choices. Without working-class oriented parties willing to fix the maldistribution of resources and power in our country we'll keep getting the results we're getting.

Monday, November 21, 2011


On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, community leaders will gather to announce plans to ameliorate the racially hostile climate at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque campus). The Minister’s Fellowship of Albuquerque and Vicinity (MFAV), a 70-year old organization of pastors dedicated to providing religious and community service, have joined with the local NAACP branch to highlight proven injustices against African American UNM employees.

Complaints against UNM include documented cases of the following:

1) Hostile Climate for African Americans;

2) Compensation Disparities;

3) Adverse impact of policies upon African Americans that reduce the number of role models, reduce quality of healthcare, and reduce the same service delivery; and

4) Inequitable distribution of federal funding for minority healthcare research.

A press conference will be held at New Hope Church, 1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NE at
10:00 am, Albuquerque, New Mexico. All members of the press are encouraged to attend as representatives from the Minister’s Fellowship and NAACP will announce the filing of its Title VI Civil Rights complaint against UNM. Additionally, cases of injustice will be shared as well as plans to redress them. The time is overdue for the University of New Mexico to rectify policies and procedures that result in unfair disparities and reduction of service delivery to the African American community. The Minister’s Fellowship and NAACP, along with other community allies will work toward ending the institutional racism at UNM.

For more information contact Bishop David Cooper at 505/881-7780.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Día de La Revolución - 2011

Today is Revolution Day for Mexico. La Raza Unida commemorated this by screening the documentary The Internationale last night at El Chante. Tomorrow 11/21 is the anniversary of Ricardo Flores Magón dying in Fort Leavenworth.

Look for more word on May Day 2012 and the Walk to Cure Capitalism!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who is Ordering the Arrest of Demonstrators?

During the early 20th Century the Socialist Party had about 1,000 elected officials. Over 70 were mayors. Some of them kept their police forces from attacking striking workers. Now in the 21st Century who is ordering the attack on demonstrators fighting for the working class?

"Time to Occupy the Democratic Party" says:

"But Oakland is hardly alone when it comes to Democratic mayors ordering mass arrests of Occupiers for exercising their First Amendment rights. In fact, aside from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - a Republican turned independent - most of the mayors involved have been Democrats. Boston's Mayor Tom Menino had 141 people arrested on October 11. Under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, roughly 300 Occupy supporters have been arrested in a series of attempts to set up a stable base camp. In Atlanta, 52 protesters were arrested on October 26 under orders of Mayor Kasim Reed, who said the “last straw” came when a man carrying an AK-47 joined the demonstrators. But the man was rejected by the Occupiers, and what he did was legal under Georgia law. Besides, no Tea Party demonstration was ever shut down because someone there was carrying an assault weapon.

The weekend after Olsen was shot in Oakland, 27 Occupiers were arrested in Portland under Mayor Sam Adams, and 25 were arrested in Denver, under Mayor Michael Hancock. The Denver arrests were particularly violent as police in riot gear attacked peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and pepper spray pellets. Dozens more have been arrested in Des Moines, St Louis, Cincinnati, Seattle, Sacramento, and San Francisco - all with Democratic mayors.

While some mass arrests have been deliberately planned, and very professionally handled by police, the predominant pattern has been much more troubling: Despite a grudging admission that people have a right to protest, Democratic mayors have generally viewed Occupy demonstrators in a negative light, and have not shown much interest or inclination in any sort of productive relationship. The city of Los Angeles was a noted exception initially, with city council members even visiting them, and passing a supportive resolution, but more recently both the mayor and an initially enthusiastic councilmember have begun to talk about shutting them down."

At least Albuquerque has some support from City Council, even though the police have helped to shut down Camp Coyote and arrested people. It is time to get out and vote as Left as possible while staying in the streets that are ours!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interlocking Issues

It is unfortunate that much of the response from the "occupy" people in dealing with racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and colonialism is the old line of "it shouldn't overshadow THE issue" - corporate greed. Corporate greed feeds off of the divisions created by classism, racism, sexism, homophobia and colonialism. That keeps the 99% divided. And divided it is easy to implement corporate greed.

Part of taking that on will require dealing with the isms as well as changing electoral and economic systems.

For those interested below are the "left" parties recognized in NM.

La Raza Unida de Nuevo Mejico (LRU)
New Mexico Socialist Party (SNM)
New Party of New Mexico (PNM)
Peace and Freedom Party (PAF)
Socialist Labor Party (SLP)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Worker's World Party (WWP)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Today was Bank Transfer Day!

There have been studies that show that different electoral systems give different outcomes for both poverty and health between countries. There needs to be similar studies done within the US for local or state governments. Luckily there are studies that show local area health and poverty. Here is one example showing county level income inequity.

There are Secretaries of State who track good information for the state. Such as how many people are registered in which parties. Believe it or not many counties and states do not publish this. It may be that they are worried about encouraging people to register in other parties. Here is one example of sharing good voting data. The 20+% of voters not categorized into parties may be "left" or "right." Since they are not listed they often get put into the category of "middle of the road."

Measuring and reporting those in different parties might encourage participation in these parties. In NM there are many parties recognized and more people registering in these parties will show that people have specific values and policies they support.

Democracy is about voice and about choice. It is important to recognize that there is an attempt to disenfranchise voters. House Dems wrote to all Secretaries of State and encouraged them to be advocates for participation and democracy.

Here is a list of "Left" parties in NM. You can register in one of these by putting the three letter abbreviation in box 5 of the voter registration form.

La Raza Unida de Nuevo Mejico (LRU)
New Mexico Socialist Party (SNM)
New Party of New Mexico (PNM)
Peace and Freedom Party (PAF)
Socialist Labor Party (SLP)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Worker's World Party (WWP)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Public Health Solidarity 11/1/11

Some people know that public health has social justice roots. Part of this is showing in a Public Health Pledge to Support the Occupy Movement. There are also resources for how Public Health can help out.

So far that we know of La Raza Unida, SWOP, the International District Health Communities Coalition, and the Economic Democracy working group of the Bernalillo County Community Health Council have all expressed solidarity with (un)Occupy Albuquerque. If you work in Public Health please sign the pledge!

11/1/11 IRV Updates

Maine Politics - a quick poll

An endorsement of an opponent - much different than politics than usual

Why Ranked Choice Voting is Good for San Francisco - examples of how instant runoff voting works well for this large city.