[These minutes were approved by the executive committee on 27 December 2021.]
Adelante Progress Caucus
Minutes of regular meeting
22 November 2021
The Executive Committee of the Adelante Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico convened for a regular monthly meeting on Zoom from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Monday 22 November 2021.
- 1 Call to order and quorum check
- 2 Introduction of guests
- 3 Reading and approval of minutes
- 4 Reports of officers and committee chairs
- 5. Unfinished business
- 6. New business
- 7. Any other business
- 8. Announcements
- 9. Adjournment
- Summary of Action Items
Executive Committee members:
- Athena Christodoulou (Political Director)
- Cheryl Harris (Chair)
- Samuel Nevarez (Congressional District 1 Chair)
- Michael Sperberg-McQueen (Secretary)
Other caucus members:
- Carol Courtney
- Wanda Harrison (data manager)
- Jay Levine
- Karlyne Nordholm (webmaster)
- Nicole Olonovich
- Susan Selbin
- Maurreen Skowran
- Dimid Hayes (Treasurer)
Absent without notice:
- Colton Dean (At-Large Officer)
- Patricia French (Vice-Chair)
- Call to order, roll call, and quorum check [Chair]
- Guests, candidates, members, and Exec. Committee introductions
- Reading of minutes of 10-19 and approval. [Secretary][ see unfinished business]
- Reports of officers and committee chairs
- Chair [ tonight's prior meeting with all caucus chairs and DPNM Chair]
- Vice Chair
- VC/Political Director
- At-Large Vice Chair
- CD1 Vice Chair
- Pia Gallegos, APC Representative on National Coalition of Progressive Caucuses
- Web Master
- Unfinished Business
- a. Executive Committee approval of Chair appointment of Nicole Olonovich to VC- Administration.
- b. Schedule of meetings- move planning and business to 3rd or 4th Monday from 3rd Tuesday nights? [Chair] QM
- c. Format of minutes and sharing/approval [Secretary] QM
- d. Special committee on membership flow chart of data - set a date to meet [Chair, Sec, Treasurer, membership list manager, web master] QM
- e. Redistricting [Maurreen, Michael, and Chair] Update on maps, update on special session, discussion of action items we should take to advocate for preferred decisions. Make our voices heard!
- f. Legislation updates, call from Governor, volunteers to help with specific lobbying efforts, such as Energy, Hydrogen, The Green Amendment, RCV, State Bank, Water, ECE, Native American initiatives, Broadband, other?
Special small political committees for session? Which [3 to 5?] initiatives should we work on? Athena- poll in CHAT.
- New Business/ New Action Items
- a. Candidate recruitment and endorsements [ following 30 day session session] creation of a special committee under political Vice Chair (vote on proceeding up/down)
- b. Blue CD2 NM / legal PAC status / candidate support/ action items? [Dimid Hayes, Rochelle Williams] (vote to proceed and support?)
- c. Proposal for an Adelante Champion Awards (?) End of Year, Beginning of 2022?
Concept- like an Adelante MVP award / Criteria?
Chosen by small internal special committee or Executive Committee?
Categories? Not just legislators, everyday Dems too! (vote up/down to explore idea?)
- d. "Make Good Trouble"
Where do you stand? What do we do?... And who do we do it with? We had better answer that! Remember...... 1976 Network
- Other new business and member comments
- Announcements of common interest
- Adjournment and thank you to all.
1 Call to order and quorum check
The chair called the meeting to order at 7:37 pm and confirmed that a quorum of the executive committee was present.
2 Introduction of guests, members, and executive committee members
The chair welcomed the caucus members in attendance.
3 Reading and approval of minutes
The corrected draft minutes of the meeting of 19 October were reviewed. There being no corrections, they were approved unanimously (on the motion of MSM, seconded by AC).
4 Reports of officers and committee chairs
The chair reported that the second statewide meeting of DPNM caucus chairs occurred tonight.
Caucus representatives were concerned with lack of information available to Democrats on the DPNM web site, organizational status of some caucuses, requirements for caucuses to report info bi-annually to the state party, posting and archiving of those reports, status of SCC membership by caucuses, lack of state leadership on tonight's joint call of caucuses and elected state officers, lack of a state policy on ethics and behavior by Democrats, and other conflicts between reality of performance and expectations of performance on both the sides of the caucuses and the state party leadership.
The group will work towards a joint calendar and will meet again in January. The caucuses will work with the state party to try to make the DPNM web site more helpful, especially as regards information about caucuses.
CH has been talking with Mayor Keller and Blue CD 2 in preparation for future meetings.
And she has been continuing her work on the membership list, sending emails to members who have not yet paid dues.
The vice-chair being absent, there was no report.
The secretary reported that as of this afternoon, our contact list shows 101 members in good standing (paid or with a dues waiver), 18 pending members (people who have filled out the member information form and indicated they will pay dues, but have not done so), and 385 other people.
That is one more paid member, one fewer pending member, and seven fewer other names than last month.
At the previous meeting, the secretary had undertaken to make recommendations at this meeting or in December on changes to our document sharing practices and to the maintenance of our contact list; he is not ready to make recommendations at this meeting but hopes to be able to do so in December.
The treasurer being absent, there was no treasurer's report.
4.5 Political director
The political director's report summarized work done during the legislative sessions of 2021. An online poll was used to gauge members' interests, and interested members called and emailed their legislators and attended committee meetings. We coordinated with other groups, for example the League of Women Voters (on redistricting). Both the House and the Senate used Zoom for committee meetings, but the procedures for offering public comment varies. APC sent out alerts for committee meetings and to urge people to call or email their legislators; collaboration was helpful here.
AC listed the use of Zoom in committee hearings and our collaboration with other groups as positive points in the experience. On the negative side, she said, our efforts were not tightly focused, and there were issues working with Senate committees. APC volunteers also participated in the special session.
APC endorsed Antoinette Sedillo Lopez to replace Deb Haaland as the representative for CD-1, and has worked successfully with Melanie Stansbury, who was elected to that position.
Adelante and its members have also worked on mayoral and city campaigns, and some members have become candidates for office.
The major issues APC has worked on include the Green Amendment and the national Build Back Better plan. Some members worked informally on the soccer stadium bond issue.
Plans for future work will come up later on the agenda.
4.6 At-large members of the executive committee
The at-large member being absent, there was no report.
4.7 CD 1 Vice Chair
SN of CD-1 reported on a great deal of activity.
Districts 7 and 9 [of the Albuquerque city council] are in runoffs; we need to get out the vote. OLÉ and the Working Families Party are doing text-banking; it would be good to have volunteers to help in that effort.
Work (and possibly pay, $15/hr) is also available for canvassers.
Work on the Green Amendment continues; maybe we should invite them to our December meeting?
SN has been looking at the redistricting maps; map E, he said, looks similar to what we have now.
SN and NO noted that constitutional amendments on healthcare, housing, and food may be coming up in the 2022 legislative session.
SN has been collecting signatures for Brian Colon.
SN was mentioned in a Telemundo news in story on rent control; his rent rose 40% ($700 to $975).
SN serves on the community policing council for the Foothills area; they had a meeting on sex trafficking. LGBTQIA under 18 are among the most affected. Albuquerque is opening a center for under-18s; SN will try to get more information about it.
At a meeting for the Foothills community policing council, SN said plans were described for cleaning up the area around Central and Tramway, but they started by evicting all the unhoused people from their campsite. This has damaged trust in the police department. SN's criticism was not well received; as a result he has been under a certain degree of stress.
SN reported that he will continue working on a newsletter; he has recruited people who will check it before he sends it out. The Bernalillo County treasurer wants to put something in the newsletter; that seems a good sign.
NO reported that she and AC had attended some meetings of legislative interim committees relevant to science and technology. APC is not officially signed on as a sponsor of the Green Amendment, and NO asked that we sign up. There will be lots to do for Green Amendment.
CH said there was apparently some misunderstanding: APC did sign up for the Green Amendment, long ago. [Minute-taker's note: the FAQ at http://nmgreenamendment.org appears to confirm this; it displays the APC logo among others.]
4.8 National Coalition of Progressive Caucuses
In the absence of APC's representative to the National Coalition of Progressive Caucuses, Pia Gallegos, CH reported on the current state of NCPC. The third meeting took place last Thursday evening; meetings have been drawing between twenty and fifty people. There is support from some big players, including the heads fo the Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, and a couple of other national groups.
In the next quarter, the group will work on governance issues.
Several caucuses have been inspired by the example of New Mexico to ask their state parties to give them Vote Builder access; two have succeeded.
As APC's webmaster, KN said there was not a lot to report. She noted that we have not posted minutes for some time; that topic will come up later on the agenda.
KN expressed concern that someone coming to the web site now get no indication that the caucus is doing anything at all. We never post what we are doing on the web site, and so there is little to engage or inspire visitors.
All the things people are reporting on would be great things to put on the web site; as it is, people don't know we're doing these things.
She urged those reporting on caucus activities to write them up for the web site. If needed, people can be found to help with the writing.
We have hundreds of members who joined because it sounded like a good idea, but don't know where to start.
5. Unfinished Business
5.a Appointment of Nicole Olonovich as Administrative Director
CH noted that (as KN's report had underlined) we have opportunities to improve our communications, which she hoped to address by appointing Nicole Olonovich to serve as administrative director for the remainder of the current term (through the elections of Sept/Oct 2022) and asked that the approval be ratified by the executive committee. She recalled that in the APC bylaws (Article IV section E) the administrative director is assigned the duty to “oversee organizational matters of the Caucus not already assigned to another officer, such as communications, events, and volunteers”. She hoped that better social media outreach would help.
NO introduced herself briefly.
She has an MSW and an MBA. Her family has lived in NM since before statehood. She has been working with AC and SN, and also as a nonvoting member of SPARC. She is particularly engaged in her work on the Green Amendment for the Generations.
She remains a member of the Veterans Caucus, but her heart, she said, is in the Adelante Caucus. We need young people of color in the Democratic Party. NO has been in politics her whole life, first as a Republican and then since 2015 (when she met Bernie Sanders) as a Democrat.
The pandemic has shown her that she is not disabled and unable to work; it's purely a question of how our society organizes work. She knows Word Press, Constant Contact, and Twitter, and will be happy to try to make the caucus more visible on social media.
Jay Levine raised the point of order that the meeting had lost its quorum; the point was well taken. There was a brief delay until SN recovered his connection and rejoined the call.
It was moved and seconded (by AC and MSM) to ratify the chair's appointment of NO as Administrative Director. The motion passed by a vote of 4:0, which satisfies the requirement for a two-thirds vote.
5.b Schedule of meetings
The chair suggested that the meetings of the executive committee be moved from the third Tuesday of each month to the third or fourth Monday. Jay Levine had requested a change some time ago, since the state platform and resolutions committee now has a regular meeting Tuesday evenings.
CH noted that since the executive committee meets at the call of the chair (given the required notice), no formal action seems to be required, but asked for a show of support from the committee, which was forthcoming.
For later months, MSM expressed a mild preference for the third Monday of the month, for more even spacing between the caucus meetings and the executive committee meetings. CH said we would revisit the issue in February or March.
5.c Procedure for approval of minutes of members meetings
The secretary noted that the bylaws require that the secretary take and keep minutes of all caucus meetings, and that normal rules of procedure are that minutes become official only when approved by the body whose minutes they are. Members of the caucus have expressed uneasiness with the idea of posting uncorrected minutes of members meetings on the web site so that they could be reviewed, so the secretary proposed that the executive committee review and correct minutes before posting them for review and approval by the membership.
that the executive committee serve as a standing committee on minutes of the members meeting, with responsibility for reviewing and correcting the minutes of each members meeting;
that minutes of members meetings, once corrected by the executive committee, be published on the Adelante Caucus web site, and that the URI be included in the newsletter together with the call for the next regular members meeting;
that once minutes of members meetings are approved by a later regular members meeting, the draft corrected minutes be replaced on the Adelante Caucus web site by the final approved minutes;
that a policy be added to the policy page on the Adelante Caucus web site, reading
Sharing Adelante Member Meeting Minutes
Minutes of meetings of the Adelante Progressive Caucus will be posted on the web site.
Approved [date of approval]
The motion passed without dissent.
5.d Special committee on membership data
The chair appointed a special committee to consider the management of data for our membership list, consisting of the secretary, the treasurer, the manager of the membership list, and the webmaster.
She asked that the group set a meeting date within the next sixty days.
CH pointed out that the legislature will be meeting beginning 6 December.
What action items should we take to advocate for a preferred map?
MS noted that there are objective evaluations of the maps, some done under contract by the CRC and some by others. The CRC expert reports that all maps meet standards of partisan fairness.
In Republican-controlled states, the legislatures are engaging in blatant gerrymandering, so sticking to our principles on this risks bringing a knife to a gun fight, but MS argued that we should nevertheless stick to the principle of resisting partisan gerrymandering.
There was discussion of whether Adelante should endorse specific maps, and if so which. Some supported that approach, and others urged caution, since we risk alienating potential allies.
CH moved that APC publish a comment on our web site and in our newsletter supporting the position taken by Fair Districts NM, in particular their requests that the legislature adopt a CRC-endorsed map or explain in detail why, and that the legislature hold all meetings openly. MSM seconded. Motion passed without dissent (SN abstaining).
CH moved further that we urge our members to call their legislators and urge them to vote for fair maps and oppose gerrymandering. NO seconded; passed unanimously.
ACTION: MS and NO to draft a piece covering these two points.
5.f Legislation updates
The chair noted that the call from the governor for the January session is out; we need volunteers to work with Athena, and we need to pick 3-5 topics to focus on.
AC posted a link to a poll intended to help identify focal points on which people want to work. She asked that people take the poll before the next meeting.
6. New business
Given the lateness of the hour, the group did not take up any of the items listed in the agenda under new business. The chair limited herself to saying that she has been in touch with the Blue CD-2 NM organization; they are being careful to abide by restrictions on what PACs can and cannot do, and when.
She also described briefly her desire that the caucus make some award to someone who had done good work as a champion of progressive causes -- not necessarily a legislator, and not necessarily an APC member. Such an award would help draw attention to the causes involved. She urged people to think about it.
7. Other business and member comments
NO asked that APC get more involved, as an organization, in work on the Green Amendment, through social media and otherwise. Concretely, she asked CH to attend the December meeting and make a public statement about APC's support of the Green Amendment. CH consented and said we would also put the Green Amendment on the APC program again.
There was discussion of ways to draw attention to an issue, other than protest marches. Signs on street corners or medians (digression onto Burma Shave ads). Signs at or near the entrance to events (when people are slowing down anyway). Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals was recommended.
The meeting adjourned at 9:50 pm.
Summary of Action Items
New action items
ACTION: Maurreen Skowran and Nicole Olonovich to draft a short piece for the web site and newsletter about our support for the FDNM position on what the legislature should do, and urging people to ask their legislators to vote for fair maps and stand against gerrymandering. ETA: within the next two weeks (before the special session starts).
Continuing action items
ACTION: CH to work with Flora Lucero on such a unified calendar (at least for Bernalillo County). ETA: not specified.
ACTION: MSM to report plan for management of
membership database and related resources to executive
November or December meeting.
ACTION: MSM to report plan for management for
document management and document sharing to executive
November or December meeting.
Completed action items
DONE: CH to send out a newsletter tomorrow calling attention to the petition and inviting people to sign it as individuals. ETA: 20 October.
DONE: MSM to try to fix the data integrity issues and report on the quantitative measures for senate concepts A-1, C, and C-1. ETA: 22 October. The problems encountered were due to the fact that some of the maps adopted by the Citizen Redistricting Committee are drawn using what DistrictR describes as "2020 Precincts" and some using what DistrictR describes as "2020 VTDs" (voting tabulation districts). MSM has been unsuccessful in attempts to import VTD-based maps into the web site davesredistricting.org for analysis.
DONE: MS and MSM to write newsletter / web site article. ETA: not specified.