Saturday, April 26, 2008

Politics in Albuquerque

Wow. So awhile back I had heard that someone working for Senator Shannon Robinson was parked outside of Tim Keller's house and Tim saw this person drive away as he opened his garage door. I thought that was a little creepy, but probably part of normal politics.

At a funeral for a community leader recently Shannon talked about being challenged for his seat on the State Senate. Not sure how cool that was, but seems like a standard politician again.

This week he showed up at an event an very few people in that particular group knew who he was. Mainly because lots of people don't see him around in the neighborhood. He sometimes talks about his area being impoverished and forgotten, but he also doesn't mention that there is a world of difference from his house and three blocks away. Three blocks away on Indiana SE there are four signs for Tim Keller, why? Because those people have met Tim and most don't know who Shannon is.

This Friday Senator Robinson approached someone who is on the literature for Tim Keller and was asking why they were allowing themselves to be used that way. She told him, "well bring your sign down by my house and we'll put it up." She was told to be careful.

I was just asked about being on Tim's literature and I said, sure! Then I was told "we don't want to jeopardize any of your community work." My response? "What's going to happen? Where I live is going to STILL not get any redevelopment, I'm a Raza Unida voter so it's not like I can get punished for party disloyalty." Third party stuff is always interesting, people try to avoid it. Campaigns suck on the fact that there's no way around it that the point is to WIN. I think some more progressive individuals have moved into office lately. I really appreciate the work being done on that.

The only thing next to actually make systemic change that will allow people to have power. Even while the US was "leading" the world it was still behind social democratic countries in health care, workers' rights, open democratic institutions, social equity, etc. I heard a Democrat this week say the only way we are going to get real change in affordable housing is through deep policy change or through a socialist government. Well the policy changes are laid out - universal health care, public financing of higher education, pro-union policies, progressive taxation, living wages, and so much more.

Tomorrow morning on KNME the Unnatural Causes documentary continues. So does a special Extreme Home Makeover for a home done in Trumbull. Maybe Vicente Navarro is right - we're still falling short on health care reform but maybe we just need to go a little bit higher up the tree to the political system...


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