As the weather cools and the politics heats up, it was suggested that a weekly update on progress on the front lines would be useful. This is the first report. As you know New Mexico Resistance and Espanola Indivisible combined forces to push a progressive agenda in Northern New Mexico. There are currently three areas of interest. The first to organize, the Immigration group, has made contact with community leaders and works to support immigrant friendly policies. That effort will pick up again this fall. The second group, formed around environmental issues, is focused on turning the Jemez Mountains Electric Co-op to renewable energy and banning the use of chemical herbicides along state roads. We have made significant progress on both.
At last Friday’s JMEC Board meeting, the Board again directed the General Manager to contact Tri-State, our wholesale supplier about renegotiating our contract. We are on the verge of building a 7.5 Megawatt solar array which will bring us up to the 5% cap in the current contract. It is time to move beyond that restriction. The next step is a public meeting to put additional pressure on the Board and Tri-State. We’ll let you know of the date. Jemez is also building a new headquarters, which we think should be a showcase for efficient design and renewable energy. We’ve asked to be involved in the early stages of that design.
Today a group of about a dozen residents of Mendanales and myself met with Department of Transportation officials about spraying along state roads there. They committed to no more spraying of Roundup and 2,4-D in the area. Locals will ‘adopt’ SR 233 and keep the roadway clear of brush and weeds. The Department will try a number of methods we suggested, including flaming, mulching, planting, and mowing along other highways.
On October 10th, at 10:00 there will be a tour with the Highway Department in Dixon. We’ll meet at the Embudo Post Office and caravan from there. Even if you are not from Dixon, this is an opportunity to talk to the Department about alternatives to chemical herbicides.
Michael, Saraswati, and I have been meeting regularly with people from Retake Our Democracy in Santa Fe on election strategy. It is a two-pronged approach. First, we are developing a legislative agenda for candidates to adopt. We’ve whittled the number of bills down to about 15. We plan to survey statewide and prioritize perhaps 10 of these bills. Secondly, we are searching for progressive candidates to run in the 2018 primaries. We also have identified vulnerable Republican seats across the state.
A number of us want to get everyone together in early November to talk politics and kickoff the election season. I’ll send out an email with possible dates. It will be potluck and should be a lot of fun.
Let me know during the week of events and items of interest and I’ll include them in the Wednesday Edition. Thank you again for all you are doing to protect the land, one another, and our future.