Monday, November 19, 2012

How Workers Cooperatives Work

This is important to understand. If we want democracy in our society we need to support it everywhere. Work is one of those important places where we need democracy to flourish.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Healthism and Neoliberalism

Why has LRU decided to focus on healthy politics? Because of the pain, suffering, and death placed upon our families and communities from colonization, neocolonialism, genocide, and neoliberalism continues to fuel our passion for a healthy world.

Unfortunately many of our allies don't see that the "healthism" of today which makes our health a commodity by aligning our health goals with market goals like "take your medicine," "lose weight," "buy exercise equipment," etc. it makes us even more governable. This healthism comes from an unaccountable neoliberalism running our national and local governments.

The point of neoliberalism is to make us subjects to the market. Looking at the agenda of US major parties that is what both of them are presenting to us. The point of neoliberalism is to privatize our lives. Neoliberalism, the kind supported by the recently applauded former President Clinton, is what has destroyed the economy, environment, and lives of millions of people across the planet. The promises of neoliberals is prosperity for all and we have seen the terrible results.

This is why La Raza Unida is setting priorities for a healthy world. We are taking on our commitment to invest in the future of our communities and planet. Join with us in future conversations to come up with a plan of action. We will continue to write and promote a healthy world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Follow up to first "How Oppression Makes You Sick" conversation

Thanks for those who were able to attend the "How Oppression Makes You Sick: Towards a Healthy Politics" event. It was great having some healers in the room. One of the things we talked about was Chronic Adrenal Fatigue. Here is a quote about it from a book called Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health.

This is from the chapter "People Under Threat" and was posted on the Facebook “event” page. And sparked a discussion.
“These worries, along with the stresses of everyday racism, sexism, homophobia and the impacts of colonialism have a profound impact on the body’s stress managing systems – the sympathetic adrenal medulla (SAM) and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex (HYPAC), both located near the brain.”
“The SAM-HYPAC system is structured to deal with everyday stresses in addition to more acute stresses. The system regulates our bodies through short-term stressful times and helps us maintain overall wellness. The problem arises when long-term, chronic stresses, such as those described above, eventually overtax the SAM-HYPAC system. The adrenal system becomes overwhelmed and is unable to maintain physiological balance. The result is adrenal fatigue. Chronic adrenal fatigue causes depression, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, ulcers, chronic stomach problems, allergies and eczema, autoimmune diseases, headaches, kidney and liver disease, and overall reduced immunity (Varcarolis, 2008). These physical and mental health outcomes of adrenal fatigue are embodied in oppressed peoples. They combine with social and material deprivation and discrimination to create consistently unjust health outcomes and an everyday kind of physical and spiritual suffering that has gone unacknowledged for far too long.”

“The health care system is ill-equipped to engage in the anti-oppression practice necessary to honour the impact of chronic stress on the minds and bodies of oppressed individuals and families.”

Part of the discussion…

Question - Is there any herb or practice that can support our adrenal system? Is acupuncture helpful for this?

Answer 1 - Acupuncture is EXTREMELY helpful for this. One of the best, especially when combined with kineisiology to diagnose herbal and vitamin therapy. These modalities treat the underlying cause of illness, not just symptoms.

Answer 2 - That's an excellent question! We'll try to explain so someone who didn't attend gets some of the background we discussed.

When we take a step back and look at it - depression, diabetes, cancer, etc. are diseases in themselves and symptoms of Chronic Adrenal Fatigue, which can be a result of living under oppression. So we can treat the diseases mentioned with lots of medicines both Traditional and Western practices. We can treat the body systems, which become exhausted through living with oppression, with many of these medicines as well.

What we cannot treat with these medicines is the foundational cause of the ill health or dis-ease, oppression - in its various forms. That is why it is important for all healers to also  work on the system and policy changes needed to eliminate (or at least reduce) oppression. Even small amounts of advocacy will help.

It is like giving asthma medicine to a child who lives in a home with mold. The medicine will deal with some or almost all of the symptomatic issues, maybe to the point of someone saying it is "under control." Until the underlying environmental issue - mold  - is dealt with that's not completely true. If it is an issue that landlords are not held accountable to keep healthy living conditions then a policy change is also needed.

So there are lots of things we can do starting with ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, and finally our society which will help alleviate the stresses on our adrenal systems.

Additional Comment:
It would be great to have some of our healers talk about the individual, community, and policy ways to create health.

If it is done correctly even politics can create health!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oppression and Health (1)

There is new literature on Oppression as a social determinant of health. This reinforces what many of us know - living in an oppressive society is harmful to our health.

Social injustice kills and it is important to keep that in mind. There are people who profit from these situations and systems that support oppression.

We met on August 29th to discuss health as a human right. We discussed the reality that health as a human right involves two separate components. One is access to healing services - spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational. The other is health protection, such as society working to ensure clean air and water, education, housing, jobs, and as good a quality of life as possible.

With this in mind we will continue to move forward in the development of an LRU platform with the goal of promoting Healthy Politics.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

ABQ Minimum Wage Campaign - 2 Days to go!

Less than 1,000 signatures to go!

Call today to see how you can get involved! 505-796-6544

Or if you’d rather speak to someone in person, go by their office: 411 Bellamah Ave. NW

Just try to come in from the hours of 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. to make sure you can reach someone.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Healthy Societies (7/7/12)

La Raza Unida is currently sharing items explicitly mentioned in constitutions from around the world that mention health as important to society on our Facebook page. For some countries this is just talk and for others it is serious business. We will continue to publish here information on healthy societies. Health is more than a responsibility, it is a right.

The source for the information is available at

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Voting as if Life Depended on It (7/1/12)

Vicente Navarro and others have point out that for every 1 percent increase in votes for Socialist Democratic Parties, infant mortality declined 0.15 per 1,000 live births in industrialized nations.* That is from a study that includes the US which has ZERO federal level socialist democratic party representation.

"To get a sense of what small differences mean, consider calculating life expectancy in the United States in 2001 with and without the 3,000 deaths of September 11. It would make only a 0.01 year difference." (Dr. Stephen Bezruchka). If we just simply use this calculation then it is theoretically possible that a 1% voter turnout for socialist democrats in the next election could improve the life chances of 45,000 people. More than likely we will need some actual electoral victories. Most importantly would be to elect those willing to break up concentrations of power and money.

Voting Socialist, social democrat, Labor, Raza Unida, Peace & Freedom, etc. is not only good for taking a stance, it may be great for your health!

In the US this will not happen without a strong and solid social justice movement. The US has many movements and little actual movement. Working in solidarity will be key for our future. Connecting direct action, protests, boycotts and other movement tactics with support from working-class electoral and union organizing can make a difference.

Thinking in absolutes, in either/or, and other traditional frameworks will not get us ahead. We have to be willing to think about our relationships and how to build them. We will need people who can celebrate every single step forward as well as those who look at where we need to go. We will need healers as well as leaders.

This is not only possible, it is necessary for our future generations. 

* * *
What does this mean in an election year? 

It means that we will need to be brave and look for opportunities to support Socialist Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Greens, Labor, Raza Unida and other working-class and left parties as much as possible. Until there are systematic changes - which the Democrats put into place to avoid challenges - this means we will need to count votes and ensure we are not getting far-right-wingers elected. Where it is clear that the least conservative candidate doesn't have a chance it means voting left. 

As the primary is over in NM it means that now we start registering people with explicitly working-class and left parties. La Raza Unida (LRU) and Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) are both working in the Albuquerque area. There are other parties such as the Socialist Workers' Party (SWP), and the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP). Just to get to one percent of the voting population in Bernalillo County would require registering close to 4,000 voters. Every voter counts. Talk with your friends, family, and share online. 

This is the time to build. Rarely does one election change the course of history in the US. Slow and consistent development will be as useful as quick bursts of electoral organizing that are disillusioned by the slow changes possible through electoral work. Please help LRU, PSL, and the working-class...  

Register Raza Unida, Vote Raza Unida, In the Streets Raza Unida!

*From "The importance of the political and the social in explaining mortality differentials among the countries of the OECD 1950-1998" Navarro, et al, 2003.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Battle of Greasy Grass - 2012

This is an important date in indigenous history. Often taught as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Though the genocide and colonization of various native peoples continued this was an important victory.

Among many possible sources here is a quick one

More will be posted in the future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Raising the Minimum Wage in Burque

Let's make it happen!!! 

"...raising the minimum wage isn’t just about helping low wage workers.  It’s also about helping our struggling economy.  If workers don’t have money to spend, businesses suffer.  Some recent studies actually show that raising the minimum wage actually creates jobs! By boosting the pay of the low-wage jobs on which more families are relying than ever before, a stronger minimum wage will help restore the consumer spending that powers our economy and that local businesses need in order to grow. A robust minimum wage is a key building block of sustainable economic recovery."

Go to the page and get involved at

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Continuing forward 5/23/12

The more we look around the more we notice that conservative politicians seem a lot more empowered than progressive politicians. There are only a very few radical politicians as most radicals have understandably turned away from a non-democratic electoral system. Many progressives take good stands but yet the overall changes are far from bold in their direction.

We need bold political parties and politicians. We need to go beyond progressive politics to a practice of radical politics. The idea that only direct action is radical and anything else is not is helpful. The dichotomy between "revolution" and "reform" is exaggerated. For the people who's lives are impacted positively by reforms there is no point in activists and organizers posturing on who is the most radical or "correct."

It is time to practice solidarity on the street and through the ballot box!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gettin back to it! In 2012!

La Raza Unida has been a low-activity organization for a while. It was recharged some by the 2nd annual Walk to Cure Capitalism. Since it is an election year we will go into a planning phase and then start work on promoting democracy across our society!

We need economic democracy, social democracy, and electoral democracy to say the least.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Burque May Day 2012

Here are images for various May Day events in Burque for Tuesday! Please share them. 

Details on the events HERE

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Clear Vision on Elections

This is a very similar take on elections that La Raza Unida takes. We know that the party in power makes a difference, and it cannot make a difference alone it needs the rest of society pushing and guiding.

"See, if you could just vote for the lesser evil candidate and leave it at that, if you could still threaten to vote against him or her throughout the year, if you could still leave the compromising to the officials and speak your opinions without hesitation, if you could still be a good citizen on those other 729 days, then there’d be nothing to complain about. But nobody, or almost nobody, does that."

Read more here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

LRU - Current Policy Directions


Our basic vision is of community. Of La Raza Unida as a caring and responsible family.
Our Policy Directions:

Our Policy Directions are our Principles applied to Politics. We believe that we need to carry on our heritage of expanding rights and opportunities. We owe most of our freedoms to those who worked before us. It is our responsibility to build a better future for following generations.

Democracy: Maximize community participation. Minimize concentrations of political, corporate, and media power. Establish and support publicly financed elections. Increase voter choice. Invest in civic education and participation.

Equal Rights: We support equal rights and fairness for all and in every area.

Peace: Promote peace and dialogue. Force is only a last resort in defense. Provide security and protection with these principles.

Family Friendly Economy: Support for people working for a living in order to support families. Eliminate below-poverty-wages. Create family friendly jobs. Family supports to encourage healthy families.

Health: Eliminate the social inequalities that create health inequalities. Provide health care for all.

Education: A vibrant, well-funded, and expanding public education system. High standards, support for staff, nurturance of children, and support parent involvement.

Early Childhood: Early experiences have high impact. Support high-quality early childhood education.

Environment: Poison-free communities. A clean, healthy, and safe environment for all. Healthy built environments that support safe and healthy communities.

Nature: Preserve our natural heritage for future generations.

Energy: Renewable energy. Energy independence from foreign oil. Look at how energy use impacts public health. Halt global warming. Energy conservation.

Openness: Open, efficient, and fair government.

Ethical Business: Support business practices that serve the common good and create common wealth.

Protections: Provide protections for children, families, consumers, retirees, and workers from unethical business practices and other threats.