Green Party Green New Deal–No Nuclear

The Green Party of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area (GPAMA) acknowledges recent efforts by members of the Democratic Party to take on the work of a Green New Deal. American Green Party candidates have been running on a Green New Deal since 2010.

The Green Party Green New Deal says no to nuclear power. March 11 is the eighth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that led to multiple explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station that released radiation into the environment with contamination reaching the United States. Nuclear facilities in the United States face similar catastrophic risks from increasingly volatile weather events. The Green Party Green New Deal seeks to create a sustainable job program that reduces the risks of global climate change by eliminating subsidies for the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries and investing in renewal energy training and expansion through public utilities, regenerative agriculture, and ecosystem restoration all while turning away from fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Stopping perpetual war for oil and nuclear one-upsmanship will allow a drastic decrease in the military budget. We could fund research and development in renewable, clean energy sources and public transportation. Universal healthcare and universal childcare would benefit all citizens; reparations to down-winders from nuclear weapons testing could be assured; clean-up of water and land contamination around military bases could be completed.

True tax and financial reforms that end loopholes and bail-outs for the super wealthy, provide small business investment, and establish public banking would open a living-wage economy to more people and allow equitable reduction of educational and housing debt burdens.

Time will tell if the major parties have the courage to establish a carbon tax and reject corporate control of the future of our planet, but time to act is running out. The Green Party Green New Deal is the real deal.

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Serious about Climate Change?

The Green Party of New Mexico will submit the following statement to various outlets.

 

In accordance with the Green Party pillar, Ecological Wisdom, the Green Party of New Mexico and its affiliated local chapters laud Governor Luján Grisham’s Executive Order on January 29, 2019, committing New Mexico to essential climate change action. Given the lack of federal leadership on the climate question–as witnessed by the recent presidential State of the Union address (no mention whatsoever)–it is up to state and local governments to step up to the plate.

The Task Force appointed by the governor is a useful vehicle for getting action on climate change moving ahead with all due speed. We encourage the governor to tap the significant expertise in non-partisan, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as input from affected citizens themselves for the ongoing Task Force. Just as much as or more than the oil and gas industry is, NGOs and citizens are important stakeholders in the discussions and should help shape climate decision making through the state administration.

Comments on Public Charge Rule

GPAMA is a local of Green Party of New Mexico (GPNM). GPNM submitted the following public comment on the proposed Public Charge Rule concerning admissibility for immigrants.

The Green Party of New Mexico (GPNM) opposes the proposed expansion of the assistance benefits under consideration by the Department of Homeland Security and the proposed consideration of any past use of public benefits under the public charge rule. GPNM strongly opposes the inclusion of state and local assistance programs in the admissibility assessment.

The expansive list of negative factors–including inherently subjective ones–that could be applied under the proposed changes potentially describes every native-born U. S. citizen in some way. The income threshold that would be established as an overriding positive factor, 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, when considered for a three-person household, is greater than the median household income in New Mexico.

In addition to the detrimental effects on families and public health the proposed rule changes likely would have, they would also make it harder for employers to keep skilled workers on H-1B visas. The proposed changes would be harmful to immigrants who arrived the United States legally and are working in the U. S. economy.

Speaking out About Glyphosate

ANOTHER UPDATED UPDATE!! (13 November 2018) The glyphosate resolution is NOT on the agenda for the County Commission meeting this evening. We have beed advised that a public information effort of some sort is being developed around the issue.  The expectation is that it will be passed as strengthened at the last meeting.  GPAMA will stay vigilant regarding this resolution.

More people spoke about glyphosate at the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, October 23.  It looked like a first-step resolution was going to be adopted to look at ways to minimize glyphosate use, but individual commissioners wanted additional language that would strengthen the resolution.  In the end, the resolution was deferred to the next meeting (November 13th) with the intention of adopting a resolution that includes the immediate cessation of glyphosate application to public zones administered by Bernalillo County, an examination of alternatives to all County pesticide use, and provision of disposal options for unused glyphosate.  Grassroots!

UPDATE!  Bernalillo County will look at alternatives to glyphosate use.  We believe commissioners and county staff were moved to take action after hearing the information we presented.  Please contact the Bernalillo County Commision and encourage them to follow through with this.

GPAMA collected approximately 500 signatures calling for the end of glyphosate use in public zones in the four-county area.  We submitted an electronic copy of the signatures to Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller with this letter. We will present this request to the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners at the meeting on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 5:00 p. m., Vincent E. Griego Chambers, One Civic Plaza, in downtown ABQ during Public Comment. Please add your comments at the meeting or on line. Here are some useful bits of information:

  • Glyphosate has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the IARC based on sufficient evidence in animal studies and limited evidence in humans studies.

  • A former groundskeeper who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma was awarded $289 million in California.  He had repeated exposure to glyphosate as part of his work duties.

  • Glyphosate use has been linked to the decline in the monarch butterfly population. There is also evidence that glyphosate exposure affects the navigational ability of honeybees, potentially affecting foraging success, and a new study indicates that glyphosate alters the gut microbiome of honeybees with a subsequent increased risk of infection.  These may be contributing factors in colony decline.

  • In 2017, Bernalillo County spent nearly $12,000 for ~730 gallons of glyphosate. Little League and soccer fields are regularly sprayed, as well as medians, parks (including dog), trails, and senior center grounds.

  • If a chemical agent were needed as a last resort in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), several products approved for organic crop production are available.

Nuclear Schmuclear

New Mexico´s history and economy are intertwined with nuclear energy.  Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is the birthplace of the atomic bomb.  Southern New Mexicans are getting national attention directed toward the aftereffects of the Trinity Site detonation only 70 years later.  The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has been housing transuranic waste since the late 1990s. We have learned over the years that LANL has been careless with the nuclear materials in its care, repeatedly violating safety protocols.  A ruptured drum from LANL stored at WIPP caused a leak in 2014 that shut down the underground storage facility for nearly three years.

The Green Party of Taos County has revised a resolution from Santa Fe regarding clean-up activities at LANL.  The final language should be available soon, but here is a recent draft–the list of known violations is eye-opening.  GPAMA crafted a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the proposed Holtec Consolidated Interim Storage Facility in Lea County.  This proposed facility would store spent-fuel waste from commercial and military reactors from across the country.  The deadline for public comment on the scope of the required Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is Monday, July 30, 2018.  Please read and use the GPAMA letter to send your own comments to Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov.

https://www.nrc.gov/waste/sphttps://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/cis/holtec-international.htmlent-fuel-storage/cis/holtec-international.html

Salir a la luz: ICE melts in sunlight.

During the Guerra Civil de Guatemala in the 1990s, many groups of extranjeros worked (and continue today) in the country in various capacities to aid indigenous groups. A particular organized action, Salir a la Luz, involved mostly young European visitors and temporary residents accompanying indigenous guatemaltec@s to and from public spaces, both as a show of solidarity and a deterrent to harassment or murder by the military. After decades of displacement, abuse, torture, and murder, Mayan-descended guatemalans endured more than a decade of no accountability and no justice.

Today, shining a light on atrocities is aided by rapid communications with global reach. That has happened to some extent with the zero-tolerance policy of the Trump administration, started on May 5 and ended on June 20. There are calls for the abolition of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Businesses have declared that they will not or no longer participate in the transportation of children to detention facilities. Others may continue to profit.

It is time for a thorough review of the creation, performance, and need for ICE. The heat of sunlight melts ice. Salir a la luz.

More information can be found at these links:
https://cja.org/what-we-do/litigation/the-guatemala-genocide-case/
https://www.factcheck.org/2018/06/nielsens-rhetoric-on-family-separations/

May Day, May Day, May Day

In a major labor strike for an eight-hour work day, hundreds of thousands of workers across the United States began the first May Day labour celebration on May 1, 1886. The strike in Chicago remained peaceful for two days before violence between police and strikers caused death and injuries. Police brutality has been around a long time. This episode, known as the Haymarket Affair or the Haymarket Tragedy or the Haymarket Riot or the Haymarket Massacre, was commemorated three years later with the declaration of May 1 as an international labour holiday by the International Socialist Conference. It continues to be celebrated widely as International Workers’ Day.

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! is an internationally recognized call for distress and meant to convey grave and imminent danger to a vessel at sea or in the air.  Real (constant 1982-1984) average hourly earnings in the United States range from $9.21 to $10.75.  Current national average hourly earnings range from $22.42 to $26.82.  Looking at the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, service sector annual salaries range from $19,762 in Food Services to $20,838 in Personal Care to $22,386 in Cleaning and Maintenance.  A living wage for a family of four with one adult working is $25.41 per hour or $52,854 and $44,720 per year before and after taxes, respectively.  If both adults work full-time, the living wage for a family with two children is $16.13 an hour or $67,112/$56,707 annually before/after taxes.  Working families headed by those without college degrees or technical training are clearly under water.  Educational workers ($45,008 average annual salary), office workers ($33,077), and construction workers ($37,392), as single parents with only one child ($51,514/$43,589 b/a taxes) are losing altitude.

Find a May Day march, rally, protest, or celebration and share your voice and presence in support of a living wage.  Make noise for distressed workers at your city hall, state legislature, and congressional representatives’ offices.  The Green Party supports a living wage for all workers and an increase in the federal minimum wage.

https://iww.org/history/library/misc/origins_of_mayday
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/may/01/may-day-history-international-workers-day
http://time.com/3836834/may-day-labor-history/
https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/07/01/sos-mayday
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/realer.pdf
http://livingwage.mit.edu/metros/10740