Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Move To Amend Meeting this Thursday

The local chapter of Move To Amend is meeting this Thurday to discuss the draft resolution and the strategy for moving forward with this campaign. Below is a letter from the steering committee inviting participation on this crucial campaign.

The resolution can be seen at www.corporatedownsizing.ning.com


Greetings everyone,

We are excited to report that the SF Move to Amend Resolution sub-committee has been making progress and thanks to the good work of some of our amazing team members we now have our own unique local resolution to take to the streets on its way to City Council. We agreed at our first meeting to follow a progressive strategy that included the following general stages:

1. Local Campaign
-Launch a community education/outreach campaign to build wide-spread grassroots support (through the collection of individual, nonprofit, and business signatures in support of the resolution)
-Pass a City Resolution
-Pass a County Resolution

2. State-wide Campaign
-Share the Resolution and our organizing/training support with folks in other NM communities including cities, towns, & tribes
-Pass a Resolution through the State Legislature

We are having a follow-up Campaign Strategy meeting this Thursday at 7:45PM at Earth Care (1235 Siler Road, Suite D).

At this stage, we’d like to engage the larger group of Move to Amend volunteers and interested community members to help develop the strategy for this campaign and make it a reality. We also initiated a Study Group and would like others to join with us in the effort to educate and empower ourselves regarding this issue. A great way to begin this work is to sign up to our NM website where educational resources as well as information from our meetings, and the latest Move to Amend news from across the Country is available. There are working group areas set-up on the site for the Study Group, the Resolution, and the other groups we designated in previous meetings.

This will be an important tool as we coordinate this grassroots campaign here in Santa Fe. In part because it will allow the organizing effort to be much less centralized and much more democratic & participatory. So please sign-up and tell your friends and hopefully we’ll see some of you this Thursday.

In solidarity,
Move to Amend SF Coordinating Committee

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vote August 3

Residents of Santa Fe's Community College District will be able to vote Tuesday, August 3, on a bond issue authorizing $35 million dollars to improvements to the existing campus as well as construction of another campus, dubbed the Higher Learning Center, at the site of the former College of Santa Fe.

Please visit sfcc.edu or lwvsfc.org for details about the election, and to santafecounty.gov to find your polling place. Early voting is going on at the college and the county building through next week.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Term Limits

Last week, the Santa Fe County Commission voted 4-1 in favor of supporting a state constitutional amendment to change term limits for themselves from two four-year terms to three four-year terms.

Voting Matters does not support this change. We see holding office as a way to do public service, and oppose the trend of people becoming career politicians who serve for life. Instead, we would like to see term limits applied to the legislative branch as well as county offices and state executive branch positions.

Opponents of term limits say every election is an opportunity to oust an incumbent, but this simple minded attitude overlooks the incredible advantages of incumbency, from name recognition to fundraising ability to gerrymandered districts.

We support changes to our election code, but this is a step in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Move To Amend

The Independence Day Holiday brought together friends and neighbors, good food and good cheer, and the inevitable discussions of our democracy and our government.

Two recent Supreme Court decisions were in the air- Citizens United, which establishes corporate personhood, and McComish v. Bennett, which strikes down parts of Arizona's Public Campaign Financing law. Both shift power towards the moneyed interests and away from open and fair elections.

Arizona's Public Campaign Financing law was found by the Court to "chill" free speech spending by providing matching funds to participating candidates who are outspent by non-participating candidates or independent campaign committees. This is one of the key elements that hold together public campaign financing systems in states and municipalities around the country, as it ensures competitiveness and encourages participation.

Citizens United is even more broad and more damaging. It establishes as law the falsehood of corporate personhood by expanding first amendment rights to corporate spending on elections.

That is why Voting Matters is supporting a Constitutional Amendment clarifying that corporations are not the same thing as natural persons.
Please visit www.movetoamend.org to join the over 84,000 natural persons who have signed the motion in support of three principles to be included in the Amendment.
(1) To firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional protections.
(2) To guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and have our votes and participation count.
(3) To protect local communities, economies, and democracies from illegitimate "preemption" by state national and global governments.