Democratic Party of Bernalillo County

July 10, 2020

Weekend Li'l Blue

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Senator Fred Harris on Politics

Part 1: Fred Harris and the Kerner Commission Are Never Out of Date

New Mexican Fred Harris was there – has been there at many of the most important events of the past 70 years. Senator Harris (he was a Democratic US Senator from Oklahoma from 1956 to 1972, when he made his first of two runs for president) lives in Corrales, where he graciously received me for an interview among many other recent interviews he’s granted recently to much more prestigious writers.
Fred Harris has been receiving increased attention of late because of his membership on the Kerner Commission, founded by proclamation of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1967 at the behest of Senator Harris. The Kerner Commission (officially the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, and named after Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois, the group’s chair) following race-based riots in many cities in 1967. The report, issued the following year, has obvious relevance to the recent protests following the murder of George Floyd.
During my interview with him, Senator Harris quoted the report and its reception by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We found that the riots resulted from black frustration at the lack of economic opportunity. Rev. King pronounced the report a "physician's warning of approaching death, with a prescription for life." It listed African-Americans’ grievances as being of three levels of intensity:

First Level of Intensity
  1. Police practices
  2. Unemployment and underemployment
  3. Inadequate housing
Second Level of Intensity
  1. Inadequate education
  2. Poor recreation facilities and programs
  3. Ineffectiveness of the political structure and grievance mechanisms
Third Level of Intensity
  1. Disrespectful white attitudes
  2. Discriminatory administration of justice
  3. Inadequacy of federal programs
  4. Inadequacy of municipal services
  5. Discriminatory consumer and credit practices
  6. Inadequate welfare programs
Senator Harris indicated that he felt that the report and the concerns surrounding it began to make a difference right away on racial relations, including increasing economic opportunities and de-segregation. But he felt that that progress ended about 10 years later and that there has been much backsliding since, both on race relations and on combatting poverty.

He stated that he held considerable hope for results from the current Black Lives Matter coalitions and protests, for several reasons:
  • The wide base of coalitions that have been formed,
  • The already long-lasting nature of the protests and responses to the protests,
  • The fact that protestors come from many backgrounds, varying by race, gender, and age, and
  • The very low level of violence of the protests.
Senator Harris addressed the proposal to “defund the police,” saying that the Kerner Commission had recommended against the militarization of police (by providing them with surplus military weapons) and had pushed for “making the police look like community they’re policing.” He rejects the overload on the police caused by their being called to all sorts of family disturbances and mental health, and hopes that these functions can be transferred to more appropriately-trained people, such as social workers.

A 26-page summary of the 426-page Kerner Report is available at . It is still relevant today.
New York Times article during the 50th anniversary of the report, 2018:
Address by Senator Fred Harris to the University of Minnesota Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Minneapolis, about the Kerner Commission report:
Recent KQED story about the 1967 riots, the Kerner Report, and the current unrest, quoting Fred Harris:

City Council Emergency Ordinance Proposal

By Eric Shimamoto, Chair, Precinct 162

This coming Monday, June 29, the Albuquerque City Council will be considering an emergency ordinance introduced by City Councilors Lan Sena and Ike Benton. The main components of this bill are:

--providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers.
--providing hazard pay for essential workers who deal with the public
--providing temporary paid sick leave during the ongoing public health emergency

The council has already approved funding to purchase and distribute PPE to employers. That appropriation is already before the mayor for him to sign. Monday's vote will simply require that employers provide their workers with that PPE. The hazard pay provision applies to larger employers (50 or more employees). And, the temporary paid leave provisions are intended to take advantage of federal funding for paid leave provided through the Families First Act enacted by Congress, and would expire at the end of year, when that federal funding expires.

So, these are all temporary measures. There is also a bill to address sick leave after these measures expire, but that will not be taken up until August at the earliest. I believe that Covid-19 has demonstrated the dire need for permanent paid sick leave in Albuquerque. But on Monday, the council will only be voting on these three emergency provisions: PPE, hazard pay, and temporary sick leave.

I am asking you to support these temporary measures because we do not have time to waste during the ongoing emergency. I am aware that unless you have been paying close attention for a while, there isn't time to fully study the issues surrounding this legislation, but the councilors have put together a reasonable temporary approach. So, I am asking you to focus on what is good and healthy for the community, and what is protective and just for all of Albuquerque’s working people, especially the essential workers who have stayed on the job and will stay on the job in these uncertain times, working for the rest of us.

Some of our favorite local businesses have suffered financial hardship as well. But retail businesses are reopening as the governor's public health measures are being relaxed. It is now more important than ever to have a paid sick leave provision in place that reaches all working people. If local businesses are to get back on their feet, they need to address the new reality: protect their workers thereby protecting us.

Do not regret that this does not provide permanent sick leave. Right now, it will be one step at a time. A thorough study of the Albuquerque market commissioned by the council two years ago unequivocally supported the economic feasibility for employers to confer earned paid sick leave to their employees. I and other supporters will continue to pursue a long-term solution.

Nationwide, there is solid recognition that paid sick leave is a necessary response to the public health emergency, even if there is some financial difficulties facing businesses during the emergency. It is needed temporarily and permanently.

Please write your city councilor and urge them to vote in favor of the sick leave provision to be heard on Monday. (formerly 0-20-26). ALL of us need to write.

Also, you can leave on-line comments for the city council prior to their meeting on Monday, by Email, before 4 p.m.: (If you do this, I suggest you cc: your councilor).

Thank you, and please pass the word on. Time is short.

After Listening to an Interview with Mona Boyd: Considerations

By Liz Copeland

This Juneteenth I heard an interview on international public radio with Mona Boyd, an African American who has thought broadly and deeply about civil rights in the USA. She moved to Ghana thirty years ago, and that has deeply affected her understanding of human rights. While some things she mentions – Juneteenth and police brutality – are being broadly discussed in America today, she also raises concerns that I suspect will never be investigated in mainstream media. For example, she shares her perspective that in a completely capitalistic system like the one she sees in America, a large number of citizens must be kept at the bottom.

When I reflect on the number of persons begging or sleeping on our country’s streets, I understand how brutal that bottom can be.

Boyd refers to other issues that complicate the current narrative. The narrative implies that the present attention to Juneteenth and police brutality is a watershed moment in American history – a transformative moment made possible now that millions of white people understand that African Americans, unlike themselves, must vigilantly view life through what Boyd refers to as the “lens of race.”

Given how very much Boyd covers in this short interview, it seems to me that quite a number of her statements could generate deep and thoughtful questions. The questions that emerged for me, a self-identified progressive, are as follows: What’s the dynamic between social justice and the creation of wealth? How much weight should be placed on economics in the struggle for civil rights? Where does Occupy Wall Street intersect with Black Lives Matter?

There is so much to think about in Mona Boyd’s five-minute interview! Click here to listen, and find out what questions arise in you:

Candidate Focus Forward

What we accomplished, what’s to come

For the last month, leading up to the June 2 primaries, DPBC was proud to present the Dems running in contested races for their candidacies here in Bernalillo County, and to provide voters with insights into their priorities related to the Democratic platform.

Now the primary is behind us (visit for results!), we have a strong roster of Dems in place to appear on the fall ballot. Some are running unopposed, some are heavy favorites in their locales, others face tough challenges from Republicans backed by a party with deep pockets and anxious to gain ground in New Mexico.

We don’t plan to yield a single inch.

What we do plan is to fight for Dem contenders all the way to victory in November. Right now, that means creating a place and platform to provide the candidates with visibility (especially those in tough races) and link them to our volunteers and voters. Watch for Candidate Focus Forward, coming soon!

New Mexico's Delegation to the 2020 Democratic National Convention

New Mexico's Delegation to the 2020 Democratic National Convention

Congressional-District Level Delegates

Gilber Daniel Leiva
John Dyrcz
Darshan Patel
Sherri Burr
Flora Lucero
Sara Attleson
Patricia French
Chris Larranaga
Kathleen McCord
Julia Brown
Trish Ruiz
Robert Lara
Ray Rodriguez
Robert Carroll
Tim Crone
Joseph McCaffrey
Tate Turnbough
Derrick Toledo
Estelle Berger
Bernadette Vadurro
Whitney Muziani-Holland
Merrilee Caldwell
Deborah Dapson

PLEO Delegates

Ricardo Damian Artalejo
Brian Colón
Mona Trempe
Sheryl Williams Stapleton

At-Large Delegates

Charles Powell
James Collie
David Montoya
Aleta Suazo
Deanna Crask-Stone
Claudia Risner
Shirley Baca

Automatic Delegates

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Senator Tom Udall
Senator Martin Heinrich
Representative Ben Ray Luján
Representative Deb Haaland
Representative Xochitl Torres Small
NM Speaker of the House Brian Egolf
DPNM Chair Marg Elliston
DPNM Vice Chair Marcus Porter
Former DNC Chair Fred Harris
DNC Committeeman Raymond Sanchez
DNC Committeewoman Joni Marie Gutierrez

All delegates are pending DNC credential review.


Upcoming DPBC Programs: Pursuing Questions of Racial Equity
June 2020 Racial Equality in Healthcare Program
Upcoming DPBC Programs: Pursuing Questions of Racial Equity

DPBC is about to launch an ongoing series of monthly programs dedicated to discussion of racial equity as it applies to critical issues and challenges arising across the country, in our state and county, in our neighborhoods, in our individual lives.

Our first presentation will address Racial Equity and Health Care. That there’s a crying need for change around this issue has been all too cruelly revealed by the heightened incidence of illness and fatalities among people of color during the pandemic. Our panelists will present the facts and talk about what we, as active Democrats, can and must do to make a difference:
  • Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, District 12
  • Teresa Gomez, Community Activist
  • Mario Cruz, MD, Director of Quality and Informatics, University Of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • Sara del Campo de Gonzales, MD, Medical Director, Young Children’s Health Clinic
Moderator: Sonya Smith, Director of Primary Health Care, Southwest Cares

The Racial Equity and Health Care discussion happens June 30 at 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm.

Click here to reserve your place among the digital audience
Storehouse New Mexico Needs Volunteers
The Storehouse New Mexico food pantry is desperate for volunteers to sort and pack food boxes for distribution. Any amount of time is welcome. Bring your own mask, gloves provided.

Storehouse New Mexico
106 Broadway SE
Online Classes Through the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County
Did you know that you can take an online class through There are courses in using technology to collaborate and connect, on how to be a precinct chair, and how to elect and/or become a delegate. also offers Transgender 101, and Introduction to Inclusive Practices. Check one out today!

Transgender 101
This class covers basic terms, definitions, and concepts; how to begin to be a good ally to transgender and gender nonconforming people. Presented by Adrien Lawyer, Transgender Resource Center of NM

Introduction to Inclusive Practices
Tools and techniques that help candidates, activists and party members understand the importance of inclusivity and intersectionality.
How to Show Support for the Black Community in Albuquerque
In the past weeks, protests demanding justice for Black victims of police violence have swept the nation. Protesters are voicing their outrage at decades of state-sanctioned violence against Black people.

Here you’ll find some suggestions on local and national ways to support communities impacted by police violence along with a list of local Black owned businesses in Albuquerque. This list is by no means exhaustive, and the road to reform goes far beyond financial support. However, it is a good place to start. We encourage you to send us your feedback and other suggestions ways to help by emailing

You + DPBC + Social Media

You can help us expand our audience by joining us on social media. Follow us on Facebook at the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County, on Twitter at @DPBC, and on Instagram at bernalillodems.

Share our content with your social network. Our voices, raised in unity, will be heard.
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Events in Bernalillo County
DPBC Event Calendar: CLICK HERE
Event listings are open to Democratic candidates, their representatives, and organizations whose philosophies are in line with Democratic values. Event listings are a service to the community. They do not indicate endorsement of a candidate by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County.
Due to coronavirus, please contact event organizers for information regarding cancellations.
The National Democratic Training Committee Presents:
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Join the National Democratic Training Committee on Friday, June 26th from 1:00-2:00pm ET for a free virtual live training on “Train the Trainer: How to Cope with Virtual Meeting Fatigue.” Have you just moved your training programs from an in-person to a virtual environment? Do your trainers need to be trained on virtual facilitation for trainings? Have you been wanting to level up and increase your skillset as a virtual trainer? The more confident and comfortable a trainer is, the more your trainees will gain from a training experience.

During this train the trainer session, our trainer will train on effective time management, screen breaks, and logistics for meetings and trainings. The trainer will also share ways to ensure you have energy as a meeting facilitator virtually. An email with directions and login information will be sent out prior to the virtual live training.
  • June 26, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Zoom Webinar
DPBC June Program: Racial Equity in Healthcare
June 2020 Racial Equality in Healthcare Program
Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Mario Cruz, MD, Director of Quality and Informatics, UNM School of Medicine
Teresa Gomez, Community Activist
Sara del Campo de Gonzales, MD, Medical Director, Young Children's Health Clinic

Moderator: Sonya Smith, Director of Primary Health Care for Southwest Cares
Register here:
  • June 30, 6:00 pm
  • Zoom Webinar
Virtual Town Hall
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Join Representative Melanie Stansbury (House District 28) for a Town Hall with a recap of the Special Session.

  • July 01, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Individualized Phone Canvassing and Texting Training
Virtual PB and Txt trainging
Twiddling your thumbs while staying at home?
We've got a way to put your thumbs to good use! We are building a team to send out texts, along with a team of phone canvassers, to get out the word about absentee voting and to let folks hear about Claudia's message. It's easy, quick, and best of all, it makes a big difference in our community and our state all while sitting at your own kitchen table. Sign up here and we will be in touch to set up a time for a training.

This is on-going training.

Recurring Events

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