Public Lands Rally 2017: Public Lands are NOT for sale in New Mexico

Over 500 New Mexicans rallied around the Capital in support of Public Lands on Wednesday, brought together by the threats of Trump administration supporters who are calling for federal lands to be sold off to the highest bidder.

The overwhelming response from those in attendance and the legislators who spoke in the rotunda: Not in New Mexico.

Pledge to stand with Sens. Udall, Heinrich against these Trump’s nominees

Donald Trump’s nominees are a who’s who of conflicts, billionaires and bigots and each one must be confirmed by the United States Senate.

Democrats have already given many a grilling and slowed the quick nomination processes Trump and Republican Senate leaders wanted. Our own US Senators have been front and center of those fights. Here are just a few whose appointment could mean big trouble for New Mexico.

A Recap – Progressive Action Summit 2017

Red River, and Raton, and Farmington, and Hobbs, oh my! People came from near and far on January 7th, for ProgressNow NM’s first ever, Progressive Action Summit. The Summit was a jam packed day of exactly that – action. If you weren’t able to be with us, you might be wondering what happened:

22 Community Organizations: delivered presentations, workshops or panels, concerning and or addressing current and or proposed legislation, while gathering awareness and support around their issue. 22 Elected Officials: gave time out of their day to participate, present, engage with and respond to citizens and leaders from our communities.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, AG Balderas, ABQ Mayoral candidates to headline ProgressNow Progressive Summit

Albuquerque – More than 300 elected officials, community organization leaders and progressive activists will convene on Saturday at the New Mexico Progressive Action Summit for New Mexico’s largest day of political action. The one day event, hosted by ProgressNow New Mexico, pairs elected officials and community members/voters to develop policies and bills to be introduced at the legislature and in local governments statewide. US Senator Martin Heinrich will provide the opening keynote address and Attorney General Hector Balderas will welcome attendees.  Other headline events include a welcome from Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and a Albuquerque Mayoral Candidate Forum where each candidate will present a five-minute “TED talk-style” speech on the topic of “My big idea to change Albuquerque.” This will be the first time declared candidates and persons considering running will be featured together ahead of 2017’s mayoral election.

This holiday season, give the gift that fights Donald Trump

As this crazy year comes to a close, I asked our staff to look back at all the work we’ve all accomplished together to build a new progressive majority for New Mexico.  While most other states are licking their wounds and trying to figure out what they did wrong, we have a lot to be proud of. I get to see it up close every day, but even I was surprised to see it in one place. Once I saw what you had done through ProgressNowNM I knew you’d want to see too. We aren’t just building a new voice for the progressive movement – you ARE the voice of our movement and I have the data to prove it.

Four things that make Trump’s new Interior Secretary bad for public lands and New Mexico

After weeks of speculation over which pro-fossil fuel leader Trump would place in charge of our national parks, public lands and oil/gas/coal resources, the President-elect today named Montana’s Congressman Ryan Zinke his Secretary-designate of the US Dept. of Interior. Who is he and what does that mean for our country and New Mexico?  Here’s a quick primer:

Zinke’s homestate newspaper, The Billings Gazette, has said that Congressman Zinke’s efforts are clearly intended to “rob Montanans (and all citizens) of money that’s rightfully theirs.”

After first campaigning on support for President Obama’s climate action plans, he suddenly became a science denier. Not coincidentally, he took in almost $350,000 in campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry since his overnight change.

Udall says no to Gov run; Here’s who else is expected to be in.

Almost exactly a month after he first announced that he was considering a run for governor, New Mexico’s senior senator said today that he’s sticking with the senate. That announcement (full text below), is likely good news for Albuquerque-area Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham who is widely expected to announce for governor soon. Other names rumored to be considering a run for the Democratic nomination include Attorney General Hector Balderas, Santa Fe businessman and former candidate Alan Webber and former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Congressman Steve Pearce have both been rumored to be considering a run to follow Susana Martinez who is term limited in 2018. From Sen. Udall today:

Udall: Staying in the Senate is the Best Way I can Fight for New Mexico

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement:

“I am very grateful for the support of so many New Mexicans who have personally urged me to run for governor in 2018.

Heinrich: Trump will take public lands “over my dead body”

As President-Elect, Donald Trump is wasting no time filling his administration with hardliners pro-corporate, anti– (well, most anything progressive) leadership (they are also all white guys, have you noticed?). With a White Nationalist as a chief advisor and an attorney general who was rejected for a federal judgeship because of racists remarks, what else could they do to reverse centuries of progress in just four years? Turning over control of national parks and public lands to a corporate big oil tycoon, for one; and New Mexico’s Senator Martin Heinrich isn’t having it. This tweet from Heinrich is getting a lot of attention: 

What has him all riled up?  Probably this note from Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump is just starting to arrange the team that will advise him and implement his policy agenda.

GOP Land Commish says oil companies “too poor” to pay rent, but their CEOs fund $500,000 in new attack ads against Dems

The Oil and Gas industry says they can’t afford to keep paying their rent to New Mexico because of the drop in energy prices so Republican State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn directed his office on Monday to allow companies to skip paying the rent they owe the state to lease public land for drilling. “The beneficiaries of state trust lands — mainly the public schoolchildren of New Mexico — will be better served if wells are temporarily shut in, rather than producing at a lower price,” Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn told KOB. Hold on there Mr. Dunn: aren’t those big oil and gas companies shelling out HUGE amounts of political donations to bankroll negative attack ads against Democrats around the state? According to FollowTheMoney.org, Big Oil has contributed $942,495 to candidates directly in New Mexico so far this year (again, just for candidates).  

And Republicans have received the lion’s share of Big Oil money in 2016, no surprise.

Could violent protests over North Dakota pipeline happen in New Mexico?

 

All is not well in North Dakota. For months, members of local tribal groups and other private landowners have been battling an oil pipeline designed to move tar sand oil from Canada down to US manufacturing interests in the gulf. This particular pipeline is slated to go UNDER the Missouri River, a key source of drinking water for tribal groups in the area as well as millions of others down river. Did you know that there have been at least 18 pipeline spills in the US this year already? Two already IN THE LAST 3 DAYS, one in California and another in Louisiana.