Richardson Blog Round Up for Friday, August 24, 2007
by Bill Richardson for President, Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 01:36:50 PM EDT
Go West Young Man: And See People Walking The Walk On Global Warming.To learn more about the Western Climate Initiative and Governor Richardson's plan for a new energy revolution, click here.
Raising awareness on the issue of Global Warming is great, but I, and others, have grown increasingly anxious to see some action.
Kudos to the elected officials in the Western States (and to Governor Bill Richardson especially) for getting their act together and working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
I had the chance to listen in on the conference call announcing this initiative and what struck me was that these leaders are seeing the impact of global warming firsthand. They see the snow melt, the forest fires, they are living through the changes and they are doing something about it... what the Western Climate Initiative proves is that misleading the public is not so easy when the public can see proof you're lying with their own eyes.
A couple more things struck me about the call. Not only was it Western States, but it's two provinces of Canada and, if I understood a comment correctly, soon a province from Mexico was going to join the program.
The other thing that impressed me was the solid work of Bill Richardson here. Now that green is rapidly becoming a favorite color of many politicians, seeing how much work Richardson has actually done on the issue was refreshing. I applaud our leaders in DC for having committee meetings and so forth and setting meetings to have a meeting, but time is running short.
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico, was greeted with applause from Democrats and Republicans alike as he entered the room at Fernley High School on Wednesday night during a campaign stop.Also this week, Governor Richardson participated in Prez on the Rez, the first presidential candidates forum ever to take place on Native American land. New Mexico political blogger Heath Haussamen covered and commented on the event:
Richardson began his speech by saying he loves rural towns and feels at home in rural Nevada. "New Mexico is very much like Nevada. We've got a few big cities and then the rest is rural - like Fernley, where values are important," he said...
Richardson said the country is divided and needs to be united. "We've got to bring this county back together," he said. "We're deeply divided as a nation. We're divided over the war, we're divided by immigration, we're divided over health care."
In his career, Richardson has been a diplomat, the secretary of energy, a congressman and in the president's Cabinet. Richardson said he knows how to get things done. "I can bring people together, I'm a unifier," he said, continuing that the nation needs to heal. "We are too divided - we think of ourselves too much as red states, blue states. But we need to think of ourselves as red, white and blue states. It's America."
Richardson said the event, the first of its kind on American Indian land, was a pivotal step for American Indians. "It shows that this is in my judgment a step forward, although it is negative and embarrassing that not every candidate is here," he said... Richardson was joined at the forum only by Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel...Michelle DeArmond of The Press-Enterprise has more on this historic forum:
Robert Martin, chairman of the Morongo tribe of Southern California, which hosted the event, said candidates who discounted the influence of tribes were wrong to do so. "They should take a moment and talk to Al Gore about what a few hundred votes can mean," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "Some candidates still don't get it." ...
Richardson on Thursday also announced his Native Americans for Bill Richardson group, obviously designed to draw the support of American Indians. "As president, I will work to restore the trust between our government and our country's native peoples. My administration will focus on policies that promote the continued strength, integrity and resiliency of Native Americans," Richardson states on his Web site. "The relationship between the federal government and tribes has increasingly come under assault. President Bush's administration has created an environment that undermines tribal America's forward progress. The attack on tribal sovereignty must stop." Leadership of the new group includes tribal members from New Mexico, California and a number of states from Alabama all the way to Alaska.
Three political candidates' stock rose Thursday among American Indians after they appeared for the first-ever presidential forum on a reservation, with tribal leaders decrying other contenders for shunning the event.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel appeared at the Democratic forum for the unprecedented event billed as "Prez on the Rez." Organizers had hoped to have all the Democratic presidential candidates participate, declaring it was time for candidates to start paying attention to Indian issues, but the front-runners declined. Tribal leaders and political players said the decision was unwise.
"It will have an impact. The reality played out here today will have an impact in Indian country," said Frank La Mere, chairman of the Democratic National Committee's Native American Coordinating Council. "There is some fence mending to be done between now and the Iowa caucuses." ...
The three candidates who attended touted their individual histories of supporting Indian sovereignty and other key native issues, urging tribal leaders to throw their support behind a candidate who is in touch with Indians' needs... Richardson, who reminded attendees he was the first candidate to agree to attend the forum, met with tribal leaders before the forum and laid out a 14-point plan for addressing Indian issues. Among his pledges was a plan to help Indians develop energy sources... All three candidates vowed to improve Indian representation in federal government, from judicial appointments to Cabinet positions...
Kalyn Free, president of the forum's organizing group, didn't tell people to shun the candidates who avoided Thursday's event, but lauded it as a way to build influence. She encouraged the some 200 people who attended the event to view it as "an incremental step" in building stronger Indian political power on a national level. "Put our money and our votes and our organizing strength behind the candidate that best supports Indian issues," said Free, president of INDN's List, also known as Indigenous Democratic Network List of Tulsa, Okla...
The forum drew members of several Inland tribes, including other ones with a history of political largesse. Members and staff of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which has a reservation in San Bernardino, were there. At least one member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, whose reservation is near Temecula, was there, and the nongaming Ramona Band of Mission Indians, with a reservation near Anza, had representatives there.
Photo credit: Ramon Mena Owens / The Press-Enterprise
Click here to watch video highlights of the Prez on the Rez Forum, and click here to learn more about Governor Richardson's record and policy platform on Native American issues, or to find out about joining the Native Americans for Bill Richardson community.
Peter Hauck reminded us at PrezVid yesterday about Governor Richardson's ongoing Ask Bill initiative. Ask Bill is a way for anyone -- that includes you -- to ask the governor questions about anything. Peter noted two recent Ask Bill video answers in his blog:
Governor Bill Richardson continues to answer voter questions on YouTube. Here's one about Native American issues:Check out Peter's post to watch those two videos, and find more Ask Bill video responses here. Also, you can submit your own questions to Governor Richardson right here.
- "We will have a cabinet-level department to deal with Native American issues."
- "I will treat Native American governments as a separate government."
- "There will be a Native American in my cabinet. Maybe even more"
Yesterday, Governor Richardson announced a new grassroots Latino outreach program, Mi Familia con Bill Richardson. Joining the governor at the announcement in Las Vegas were Felipe Fuentes, DNC Hispanic Caucus Chair Ramona Martínez, Reynaldo Martínez, Gilberto Ocanas, CA State Sen. Alex Padilla, NM federation of Labor President Christine Trujillo, and NM Dep. Secretary of Aging Patsy Trujillo, among others. Lynnette Curtis wrote about the formation and significance of Mi Familia con Bill Richardson for the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Five buddies were hanging out in Mario Molina's garage one day this spring when, after a few cervezas, they got to talking: How can we help Bill Richardson get elected president of the United States?
"Me and my family, we support Bill," Molina said.
Just like that, "Mi Familia con Richardson" was born.
On Thursday, Molina and his buddies proudly watched their small grass-roots Hispanic outreach effort go national when presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson introduced it at a Bally's campaign stop. "Que viva 'Mi Familia con Richardson!'" the governor said. "It's real, it's authentic, and it's the future. The Latino community in America is the future."
Molina teared up and placed one palm over his heart when asked how it felt to have his idea, hatched in a Las Vegas garage, embraced by the national Richardson campaign and the man himself... The guys talked about how much they like Richardson and encouraged others to support him. "The fact that he's Hispanic is the icing on the cake," Hispanics in Politics President Fernando Romero said. "But the cake's ingredients are also fabulous."
Romero was enlisted early by Molina and other friends to help spread the word about Mi Familia. Pretty soon, Richardson's national campaign staffers began calling. "It caught us all by surprise," Romero said. "People really liked the idea." ...
"It had to be approached differently," he said. "In our culture, families get around the table to talk about things. You embrace the whole family, because the decisions they (political leaders) make affect the whole family." ...
"The family unit is the most important thing to Latinos," Richardson said on Thursday. He emphasized, however, that Mi Familia, and his candidacy, reaches beyond the Hispanic community. "All my life, I've tried to bring people together," he said. "I'm running for president for all Americans, but I'm enormously proud of being Latino." ...
His approach won at least one vote. Martha Bautista, a 53-year-old Mission Industries laundry worker originally from Mexico, said it was nice to see a candidate who understands her point of view. She said the 2008 election will be the second time she can vote in the United States since becoming a citizen.
Mi Familia con Bill Richardson community members are the foundation of this grassroots initiative. Each member pledges to recruit five new members, volunteer for the campaign by distributing campaign literature, helping out at campaign offices, writing letters to local newspapers, phoning in to radio talk shows, organizing debate-watching parties, hosting house parties, and so on. To learn more about Mi Familia con Richardson and how you can get involved in this grassroots effort, click here.
Gov. Bill Richardson, a mixed race Oval Office aspirant with Hispanic heritage who has seen his crowds swell in lilly white Iowa campaign stops, today announced a sweeping grassroots initiative aimed at attracting more Latinos, a largely untapped block of potential caucus-goers that could swing Iowa if energized behind one of their own.To learn more about Iowa's Hispanic communities and their potential role in the 2008 Iowa Caucus, Douglas Burns recommended two previous Iowa Independent pieces: this one on an interview with Governor Richardson about the Latino vote, and this one about the growing Hispanic population in Iowa as it relates to the upcoming Iowa Caucus.
"It could certainly play a critical role in the caucus process," Richardson's Iowa press secretary told Iowa Independent as the campaign rolled out Mi Familia con Richardson... It is conceivable that in some cities -- like heavily Hispanic Denison or Storm Lake or Sioux City -- that there could be caucus sites that are all or nearly entirely Hispanic if organizers are successful. That could be huge for Richardson as the Latin community, which has listened for years to disparaging remarks from hate merchant U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, may spy a champion in the Hispanic New Mexico governor -- someone with the stature to give them a voice in Iowa...
The campaign issued the following statement on the grassroots effort:Mi Familia con Richardson will become an essential part of the Richardson for President Latino outreach efforts across the country. Families supporting Governor Richardson will find five additional supporters, and if this goal is met, a local chapter of Mi Familia con Richardson can be formed. Members will commit to aiding the Governor's campaign in a variety of ways leading up to the Democratic caucus or primary in their state.
Coming up today and this weekend, Governor Richardson is back in New Hampshire for a three-day tour of the Granite State. He'll be undergo "Job Interviews" with New Hampshire voters in Peterborough, Keene, Exeter, Windham, Manchestere, and Laconia. Additionally, he'll join Granite Staters at the Nashua Multicultural Festival and the Merrimack County Democrats Summer Barbeque. For more details on the governor's New Hampshire trip, click here.
That's a wrap for the day, and the week for that matter. Until next time,