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Sat Feb 25, 2017, 01:58 PM

Just Back From Congressional Town Hall. The Dragon is Awake.

Back in the mists of time, I occasionally helped to organize Congressional Town Halls for the late, great Bruce Vento. So I knew the drill, I thought.

And knowing that a venue is generally selected based on the turnout for the previous Town Hall in that area, I figured it would be smart to arrive early, because there'd certainly be a bigger turnout this time. But, here in cobalt-blue Santa Fe, on a sunny but cold and windy Saturday morning, I estimated it wouldn't be that MUCH bigger. Ben Ray Lujan's popular here, he's more or less doing what a good Democrat should do at the moment, and the meeting was located right in our neighborhood.

Which, as I mentioned last week, is the smallest Ward in the County, and while not exactly inaccessible, it's off the beaten track. And there's another Town Hall scheduled for this afternoon in Rio Rancho (a formerly small town which has become a largish northern suburb of Albuquerque), at the High School auditorium, so I figured most people would be going there.

Rather than the community room of the South Side Boys and Girls Club, a few blocks from where we live.

We could have walked, but as previously mentioned, it's cold and windy this morning, and the Esposo and I are both at the tail end of URIs, so we decided to drive, and timed ourselves to get there 20 minutes early.

We could see from a block away that the Boys & Girls Club parking area was already full, the street parking was filling up, and a line was already forming outside the main entrance to the building. "Good thing we got here early" we told each other.

The parking area across from the Boys and Girls Club, which serves a small office building of businesses mostly not open on Saturday, was almost empty, so we decided to park there, pulling in behind two or three other cars that had the same idea. As we pulled into our spot, another car pulled up beside us. As we got out of our car, a woman got out of the car we'd pulled in next to. "Is it over there?" she asked, waving toward the Club building.

Guess she's not from around here, I thought. And sure enough, as we started walking toward the venue together, she mentioned she was from the other end of Santa Fe. We chatted as we circled the block to go around to the main entrance of the Club building.

A steady stream of people was joining us.

The library parking lot, across the street, was full. People were streaming toward the Club building from there, too.

By the time we reached the line, it was a good half-block long, and there were people in knots and groups up near the entrance.

We began to suspect they wouldn't have room for us all.

I know the Boys and Girls Club facility, the largest space they have would comfortably accommodate maybe 40-50 people in theater-style seating, and if they reeeeeeally squeezed, they could possibly get right up to the Fire Marshall's maximum of 80 for the space.

There were more than that in line as we joined it.

Everyone was cheerful, chatting, exchanging "have you heard about...?" and showing off their signs. As we stood in line some people began coming back from the building entrance. "They're full," they told us. "They can't let anyone else in, but they'll broadcast it out the window. And they say it's really important for everyone to at least get to the entrance and sign up at the sign-in sheets, so they'll get a bigger venue for the next one."

So we stayed in line.

So did everyone else.

More people were joining the line.

I caught sight of a guy with a Santa Fe New Mexican press ID on a lanyard, standing in the basketball court, taking a photo of the venue and the line.

The line moved slowly. A few people, having signed up, trickled back out. A few stayed, up by the windows and around the picnic tables, chatting.

We decided, given the cold and the wind, we'd sign in and trickle back out ourselves. They were saying the video would be posted on the Representative's website tomorrow or Monday, we could catch up with it there.

People were still arriving, when we finally reached the sign up table. There were stacks of filled-out sign-in sheets, one of the organizers was putting them in a folder. They had three clipboards going. I signed us up (the Esposo's handwriting is unreadable.)

We smiled and greeted a few neighbors, and began working our way back along the line, passing on the info about "stay in line and sign in, please" and the broadcast out the window.

No one said "aw, fergit it," and walked away from the line then and there.

More people were still working their way toward the venue, through the parking lot, along the street, in a steady stream. Some had signs. Some wore pussyhats.

By the time we got back to where we'd left our car, that parking lot was full. We'd been one of half a dozen or so cars when we left it. There were easily 20-25 cars there, and as we pulled out, someone else pulled into our spot.

As we drove away from the venue, we could see cars circling, looking for parking. The line outside the door was even longer than when we'd arrived, even longer than when we'd walked past it, leaving. People were still converging on foot, along the sidewalks, making for the main entrance.

The Dragon is awake.

I do not think it will be dozing off again soon.

determinedly,
Bright

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Just Back From Congressional Town Hall. The Dragon is Awake. (Original post)
TygrBright Feb 2017 OP
mcar Feb 2017 #1
Stuart G Feb 2017 #2
sagesnow Feb 2017 #3
secondwind Feb 2017 #4
marybourg Feb 2017 #5
zentrum Feb 2017 #6
Ligyron Feb 2017 #7
LAS14 Feb 2017 #8
hibbing Feb 2017 #9
SidDithers Feb 2017 #10
PatrickforO Feb 2017 #11
Hekate Feb 2017 #12
cstanleytech Feb 2017 #13
ailsagirl Feb 2017 #14
dae Feb 2017 #15
duhneece Feb 2017 #16
certainot Feb 2017 #20
duhneece Feb 2017 #26
certainot Feb 2017 #33
DownriverDem Feb 2017 #17
elmac Feb 2017 #18
eppur_se_muova Feb 2017 #29
Wounded Bear Feb 2017 #19
radical noodle Feb 2017 #21
ALBliberal Feb 2017 #22
ProudProgressiveNow Feb 2017 #23
Mountain Mule Feb 2017 #24
joet67 Feb 2017 #25
JustAnotherGen Feb 2017 #27
we can do it Feb 2017 #28
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2017 #30
Kentonio Feb 2017 #31
calimary Feb 2017 #32

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:02 PM

1. Thanks for the report

And for signing in. Even in my red area, our comgresscritter's events are packed with people speaking their mind.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:11 PM

2. This Dragon wil not be dozing off..

ever....

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:26 PM

3. Keep Up the Persistent Resistance! n/t

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:41 PM

4. K&R! Insist, Persist, RESIST!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:42 PM

5. Thank you for the excellent report.

Here in one of the reddest parts of AZ we turned out about 60 people to march 3 blocks along the main drag to Congressman Trent Frank's office, with no expectation that he'd be there, and lined up along the sidewalk with signs and flags.

We were invited in in small groups to talk to aides and a feel good time was had. I'm willing to do it every week. They have to know that we are now alert and watching.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:42 PM

6. Great report. nt

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:55 PM

7. Very descriptive report, good job!

As time goes on I realize more and more - THERE'S NO WAY WE LOST THAT ELECTION!!

Some people pulled some serious shenanigans somewhere, somehow.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 02:57 PM

8. Great story!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 03:07 PM

9. Thanks for the report

I think my local indivisible group is going to schedule a town hall and invite a senator who will not show up. She's too busy meeting with the ruling class she works so hard for.

Peace

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 03:10 PM

10. DU rec...



Sid

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 03:27 PM

11. That's pretty awesome! Thank you very much for sharing your

story. The dragon is indeed awake.

We should all REJOICE that it is!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 03:48 PM

12. Thank you for the report, Bright!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 03:57 PM

13. I just hope it can stay awake for the next 3 to 4 election cycles because the Repugnants

deserve to be punished at the polls severely.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 04:05 PM

14. Wonderful!

Thanks for the report!!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 04:16 PM

15. Thank you for sharing.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 04:22 PM

16. Bright, we had 250 at the pretend Town Hall in Las Cruces...

because Tea Party fave Rep. Steve Pearce hasn't shown up for any Town Halls. From Truth or Consequences to Alamogordo to Alto and many from Las Cruces (of course) 250 of us showed up at Pearce's office. We were told that even to deliver letters we had to make an appointment. Our Indivisibles groups are invincible!

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Response to duhneece (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 05:07 PM

20. get pierces attention by protesting UNM and 770 KKOB (for

anyone not anywhere in NM and at night a few states away — that’s a major limbaugh station).

or the station itself — downtown ABQ, i think

pierce regularly uses kkob for friendly guest appearances. so do the martinez people.

unm uses learfield sports licensing co. the local sports talk guy says there was no bidding process and learfield actually pays kkob to broadcast the games. whatever learfield pays unm for trhe radio portion is prob pretty minor, but regardless, UNM is screwing over its students and state.

UNM is one of more than 88 universities that broadcasts sports on 257 talk radio stations that headline Rush Limbaugh and support Trump (WWW.REPUBLICONRADIO.ORG).

UNM receives licensing revenue and KKOB uses the association with UNM and the LOBOS to attract advertisers to pay for operations. --

During a 11/22/16 morning program attacking Santa Fe as a sanctuary city, producer Pat Frisch referenced the killer vigilante “Purge” movies, suggesting “some people may say hey, maybe that’s not a bad idea.”

UNM has no excuse not to look for apolitical alternatives for LOBOS games. On behalf of TRUMP/GOP, KKOB uses public airwaves to:
* deny global warming
* fight environmental regulation, support fossil fuels over renewables, promote fracking
* end Obamacare/ACA
* end net neutrality
* defund and privatize public education, attack teachers and their unions, obstruct efforts to lower student debt
* sell voter suppression legislation with lies about voter fraud
* excuse racism, misogyny, homophobia, and hate to divide communities, push voter suppression
* deny reproductive rights for women and access to contraception, defund Planned Parenthood
* fight efforts to increase minimum wage, advocate eliminating it
* undermine the economic and environmental interests of their communities
* use public airways to repeat propaganda that is demonstrably false while using call screeners to exclude dissenting opinions
* attack demonstrators, distort their objectives, encourage police violence

Licensing revenue from radio is minor and donors can be found to make up the difference. The UNM mission statement declares that it strives to “enhance the overall well-being of society.”

UNM has no excuse.

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Response to certainot (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 07:33 AM

26. Congressional District 2 (CD2) is all about NMSU, NM Tech

Western...they don't give a fig about UNM, so that catches no one's attention here. I would have to explore, and I honestly don't have time now. Let's 'talk' soon.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 05:17 PM

33. but they do pay attention to kkob

and i think nm state broadcasts on a limbaugh station too

i have heard pierce on kkob up hear regularly.
it's a major booster for him. if he and other nm gop think they'll lose kkob, even a hint that might happen, they'll scream FREE SPEEECH!!!! re a totally political propaganda operation and then media will notice, and advertisers will flee.

rw radio works because dems ignore it - as soon as they beging to pay attention to it the right's biggest and only real advantage will fall apart

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 04:24 PM

17. Local Coverage

Wow. Excellent! Having local coverage is part of it too. We need to make sure local gatherings are told to the local press. They will cover our story and that will help keep us all going!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 04:31 PM

18. a quote by the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

 

could apply here, only this time a GOP Putin FBI sneak attack against Democracy:

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

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Response to elmac (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 12:36 PM

29. A wonderful line, but apocryphal ...

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2001-10-28/entertainment/0110260564_1_pearl-harbor-tora-tora-richard-fleischer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isoroku_Yamamoto%27s_sleeping_giant_quote

(Yeah, I know.)

A better-verified quote is appropriate, though:

"A military man can scarcely pride himself on having 'smitten a sleeping enemy'; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack."[5]

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 04:33 PM

19. Great news!!!





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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 05:07 PM

21. K&R for a great report!

It's really good to hear.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 05:43 PM

22. I live in Albuquerque but marched

In Santa Fe for the Women's March. A great experience. Thanks for your report)

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2017, 06:45 PM

23. K&R nt

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 02:44 AM

24. YESSSS!

Good work my neighbors from New Mexico! WE SW Colorado Dems and Indies are going to make COSenator Cory Gardenr's townhalls and life in general just as miserable for him as we possibly can! Thanks for the words of inspiration from down south!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 06:09 AM

25. This is how I know it is a real, organic movement and not paid protesters. Thank you

for the report from your area.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 08:43 AM

27. We filled a 900 seat

Capacity room Thursday last week and yesterday morning. We had an overflow room, AND a rally of approximately 400 outside.

Shit is getting real.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 09:02 AM

28. Thanks. Encouraging

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 01:57 PM

30. Yay!!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 02:01 PM

31. K&R!

 

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2017, 03:46 PM

32. YEAH! This is a terrific report, TygrBright!

I went to a Dianne Feinstein - um - er - I was going to say town meeting but she wasn't there. But WE were. This was Friday afternoon. There was a private meeting scheduled up on her 9th floor offices, with only names-on-list entry. The rest of us "great unwashed" whose names were not on the list were left outside, not allowed to go upstairs to her actual offices. And that meeting was only with a staffer out here from Washington DC., who was evidently here to record the meeting and their questions so she could hear the playback. We were told Feinstein herself was here, but at a fundraiser elsewhere in town.

So okay then. We went outside. Nobody I saw was giving up and heading back to their cars.

We were confined to the sidewalk outside of this office building on a busy corner of West L.A. There looked to be about 20 of us. No - wait - a few minutes later there were more people. And then a few minutes later, still MORE people. By the time things got rolling, with a leader and her megaphone, introducing speaker after speaker who were all members of the crowd, each given two minutes to speak, it looked like there were at least 100 of us!

LOTS of homemade signs, a few pussy hats, special t-shirts on people who had been obviously been to the L.A. Women's March, and one of the organizers had thoughtfully made up 8x10 two-sided colored flyers for those of us who hadn't brought our own posters. I got one that said "#NotMyPresident" with caricatures of trump, Kellyanne CONway, and I think Stephen Miller on one side, and "Where's Dianne?" on the other side. An older woman was passing out bumper stickers with the word "IMMIGRANT" on them. I took one of those, also.

There were plenty of cheers for IMPEACHMENT (which I'm always going to write in caps, to draw attention to it and underscore the importance of it). One young woman had made a sign that said "Honk If You Are Ready To IMPEACH" And she stood at the edge of the group, closest to the street, holding it up for passing traffic. Sometimes, when the light changed and you could cross the street, she did, dancing along the crosswalk as she went, holding her sign up so it faced traffic that was stopped, waiting. And MAN did they honk! There was so much honking you could barely hear yourself think. Sometimes there were long, loud, low-pitched honks that came from passing construction trucks. Lots of appreciative fists punching the air, thumbs-ups, and hands waving at us from the many vehicles that passed us. From the many anti-Iraq War rallies I've attended here, I knew that was a show of approval. Some of the honking was staccato, others sounded like the driver was just leaning on his/her horn. But there were DEFINITELY loads of commuter supporters out there.

There was ONE guy crossing the street from where we stood, who I think was on his way to lunch, and he turned and smiled at us good-naturedly, and said something about "let's give the guy a chance!" We disagreed, although we were respectful and not abusive about it.

ONE guy. Versus what had to be a few hundred cars and trucks, and of course the 100-or-so of us.

There was much cheering, and chanting! "Do Your Job!" "Where's Dianne?" "This Is What Democracy Looks Like!" and my own submission: "Where Are The Tax Returns?" Many other chants but I can't remember them all. Many pro-immigrant signs. Many more anti-trump signs. Someone had used that mural art of trump and Putin in a kissing embrace and the caption "From Russia With Love." #NeverTrump. "Still Not getting Paid To Be Here." "Fact-free Zone" on a photo of the White House. "Trump Supporters It's OK To Admit You Were WRONG." "Immigrants Feed America." "Don't Privatize America." "Don't Tread On Us." "NO #Swamp Cabinet." "38% Approval. SAD!" "Making America Hate Again." "NO to GOP Supreme Court HEIST! Filibuster!" "Love It! Improve It! MEDICARE FOR ALL!" 'Indivisible. Resist Trump." "Donald Trump! WHAT PART OF DEMOCRACY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? Investigate Russian Ties." And "RESIST. America has Lost Her Way. SAVE HER! RESIST" in red, white, & blue hand-drawn letters.

I saw a guy with a stack of homemade posters which he'd created - printing various things out and then mounting them on a white foam-core backing. They were very sturdy, which was nice because it was a little big windy out there. I admired them and complimented him on how well-done they were - they looked really professional. After it was all over and I went home, I borrowed his idea and mounted several of the signs I'd collected on large sheets of cardboard left over from the dismantling of a large cardboard box. That, a hoodie in honor of the L.A. Women's March, and my new pussy hat, went into a box in the trunk of my car. I'm now thoroughly prepared for any future marches and actions!

Yes. The Dragon is awake.

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