**UPDATED-GOP Staffer: Blacks Should Thank Whites Post-Slavery

Yep, you read the headline right. This week, GOP Staffer, Stella Padilla, added to her own barrage of hate-fueled social media posts with a new image depicting deceased Civil War soldiers, the text above it reading: Over 620,000 White People Died to Free Black Slaves And Still To This Day Not Even 1 Thank You. (See below for original post and enlarged, *graphic* image.)

This is the same GOP contractor who sought to exploit the conditions in which asylum seekers were going to be housed in Albuquerque. After trespassing, she and GOP side-kick Dinah Vargas were kicked off the closed campus for unauthorized filming. You would think that the GOP-which has incessantly beaten the drum on Real ID initiatives, and is obsessed with people’s birth certificates would have done their due diligence to vet a prospective employee.

Progress Now NM Welcomes New Progressive Voice

Last fall, our boots-on-the-ground grassroots movement helped ensure we elected more progressive legislators to office. This January, we pushed progressive policy issues to the forefront at the Legislature. It’s now June, which means our calendar is stacked with municipal elections, legislative interim committees and a clock that’s counting the days until primary season! Fortunately, our Progress Now New Mexico team is growing to help keep you informed every step of the way! We’re excited to welcome another team member ready to fight battles on behalf of our progressive community.

Progressive Alliance Aims to Engage Creative Community

Beginning in December, the shared office space of ProgressNow NM, the Center for Civic Policy, and America Votes will hang its first art “show.”

“Our community is rich with art and culture. ProgressNow and our partners are thrilled to have an opportunity to help connect local artists with our work, and our work with local artists.,” said ProgressNow NM’s incoming Executive Director, Stephanie Maez. Speaking on behalf of the Progressive Alliance she continued, We are fortunate to have physical space available for this project and are excited to be present on a daily basis with   the work of our community’s talented artists.”

Understanding well that artists in our community are some of the hardest working activists and community organizers – the organizations have decided to showcase that reality and give talented local artists prime real estate. The Progressive Alliance (PNNM, CCP, and AV)  serves as civic engagement partner to more than 90  ally organizations – it is a busy office  frequented by individuals  from all walks fighting to ensure all New Mexico’s families have the same economic and educational opportunities, that our communities are safe, that our democracy is fair and policies passed represent the richness of our culture.  .

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.

New Mexico is officially the “Worst-Run State” in America (again)

For the second year in a row, New Mexico is at the top of a list: the worst-run states in the nation. The embarrassing news first reported in New Mexico by the NM Political Report:
A high poverty rate, dire budget situation and high unemployment led to New Mexico once again being named the worst-run state in the nation, according to a list compiled by 24/7 Wall St. This is the second year in a row that the publication ranked New Mexico as the worst-run state in the country. The site ranks the states based on “measures of financial health and fiscal responsibility, as well as socioeconomic outcomes such as unemployment, poverty, and crime — conditions state governments are tasked with managing and improving.”

In addition to other economic factors, 24/7 Wall St. cited Moody’s Investor Services downgrading the state’s credit rating which came because of a general lack of general fund reserves.

#SmallBusinessSaturday: In New Mexico, shopping local keeps 3X more money in local economies

Odds are you or someone you know were part of record long-lines at WalMart Thursday night or early morning sales at shopping malls and big box retailers across the state. But don’t forget your local Main Street retailers who put more of your spending back into our local economy to power schools, public projects and charitable giving. And shoppers who opt for the convenience of online shopping not only rob local stores of income, they cut state and local programs like education, public safety and cultural programs who depend on local sales tax for funding.  (A report published by The US Small Business Administration reported that states and cities lost $11.4 billion in local revenue due to online shopping in 2012). 

Local government in New Mexico lost at least $27 million last year alone. Earlier this year, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on efforts to have New Mexico join 14 other states already taxing online sales to support state and local programs — and Republican efforts to kill it.

Here’s how ABQ Journal readers are reacting to a Trump election

The day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, the Albuquerque Journal launched an editorial calling for “action” against “illegal immigrants.”  That’s not a surprise to Journal readers who also had a few things to say about the election that shocked the world. A quick hat tip to our own reader Charlotte Lipson of Las Cruces who flagged these letters, along with her own providing some balance to the populist analysis. Here are a few excerpts from letters to the Journal this week:

Election results deserve acceptance
AMERICA, THE land of the free and the home of the brave; a place where we can rest easy knowing that our constitutional rights are protected by a strong military and great leaders. If you’ve read your history books, you have learned that these freedoms didn’t come easy.

A “Frack-tion” of the Conversation: NM Rapper Def-i Releases Video About Fracking

When one thinks of the context of the next twenty years, and the future of people and land in the Southwest region, it is likely that that person thinks about the advancement of: people, communities, access to resources, and ensuring the safety of youth as they approach adulthood, and access to said resources for generations to come. When talking about resources, sure, gas and oil might come to mind, but staples for life and livelihood ought to strike a more urgent cord – things like: water, should top that list. Although “list toppers,” in regards to topics might change depending on whom you ask. Ask the Bureau of Land Management about the next twenty years and the Southwest region, and their “plan” is sure to include fracking on land throughout the Northwest and Four Corners areas. In fact, more than 38 million acres have been designated and identified for BLM use, only 57% of which is currently being used for drilling, but plans exist that would allow for use of other designated areas, over time.

Bryan Cranston surprises NM delegation at DNC

Bryan Cranston surprised the New Mexico delegation with a visit last night at The Democratic National Convention. Juan Sanchez, Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, took a selfie with Cranston — a local hero who played “Walter White” in the iconic series Breaking Bad.  

President Obama’s DNC intro video premiered last night, which Cranston narrated.  

Cranston also authored “Black Voters Are Being Silenced at the Polls” yesterday for TIME. He states:
“We must not stand by as some Americans lose the hard-won civil right to vote.

Happy Independence Day!

What does it mean to be independent in our modern world? I’m partial to President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as they address the conceptual freedoms laid out in the Constitution, as well as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In a modern world though, FDR’s third freedom, the freedom from Want, affects the ability of everyone in their ability to achieve those other freedoms. After all, how can we be free of Fear, when so many people are wanting for basic necessities? How do we celebrate Independence Day in a country where so many are really not free, and so many others fear that a progressive shift in politics will limit their freedom? When we talk about Independence Day there’s a strict historical narrative about former British subjects throwing off the shackles of monarchical rule and establishing a representative government.