Other Group

Retake Our Democracy

Location:

Santa Fe, NM

Formation:

2016

Type:

Nonprofit

Retake Our Democracy is a left-of-center lobbying organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, founded in 2016 by longtime left-wing activists Roxanne Barber and Paul Gibson. The group supports Democratic candidates and left-progressive legislation in New Mexico through organizing and advocacy. [1]

In 2017, Retake established the Roundhouse Advocacy Team (RAT Pack), and began to target what it deemed “must pass” bills in both the New Mexico House of Representatives and Senate. [2] In order to better advocate for these bills, Retake created the Statewide Roundhouse Rapid Response Network, which sends “action alerts” to anyone signed up to receive them. These alerts have constituents contact their representatives, using Retake’s talking points, in support of their left-of-center agenda. [3]

Background

Roxanne Barber and Paul Gibson each got involved in activism by protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s. The couple married in 2010 and relocated to Santa Fe in 2012, where they coordinated Bernie Sanders’ local campaign in 2015, Santa Fe 4 Bernie. [4]

Barber and Gibson co-founded Retake Our Democracy after the 2016 Democratic National Convention. [5] Retake Our Democracy is a group promoting and providing resources for local activism, focused on left-of-center social, racial, environmental, and economic issues. They have a detailed website, and produce an online blog and weekly radio show on KSFR, Santa Fe’s public radio station, each providing resources for local activism. [6] Their website presents resources on left-of-center organizing tactics such as “Civil Disobedience Guidelines,” “Boycotting to Create a Better World,” and “Guide to Hosting an Open House Activism Party.” [7]

Initiatives

Retake the Roundhouse was the first major initiative of Retake Our Democracy, through which democratic candidates were endorsed and supported in their campaigns for the New Mexico State House in 2016. Retake continued to advocate at the state and local levels and created a Roundhouse Advocacy Team (RAT Pack) in 2017 as part of its legislative strategy. [8]

The RAT Pack networked with other liberal organizations like Sierra Club, Common Cause, Planned Parenthood, and New Mexico Voices for Children to learn more about the legislative process. Retake then put together a set of “MUST PASS” bills that support their left-of-center democratic agenda, in order to streamline their advocacy and legislative lobbying efforts. [9]

The Statewide Roundhouse Rapid Response Network was created by Retake to support what they have designated as their “MUST PASS” bills. Retake’s advocates sit in committee meetings and send “action alerts” to everyone signed up for their network, in order to have constituents contact their representatives using Retake’s talking points on specific bills that support Retake’s agenda. [10]

Retake Our Democracy published a “2019 New Mexico Legislative Report Card” that summarizes votes on the “MUST PASS” bills, and tallying legislative votes by Democrats, calling out Democratic legislators who voted against these bills, both in the New Mexico House of Representatives and Senate. The report highlights Democrats who voted no, questioning the influences of their campaign funding. [11]

People

Roxanne Barber and Paul Gibson are the co-founders of Retake Our Democracy.

Affiliated Groups

References

  1. “Retake Our Democracy: Statement of Purpose.” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019.  https://retakeourdemocracy.org/retake-our-democracy-statement-of-purpose/ ^
  2. “What is the Roundhouse Advocacy Team?” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019.  https://retakeourdemocracyorg.nationbuilder.com/what_is_retake ^
  3. “What is the Roundhouse Rapid Response Network?” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://retakeourdemocracyorg.nationbuilder.com/what_is_the_rapid_response_network ^
  4. “Roxanne Barber, Co-founder.” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://retakeourdemocracy.org/roxanne-barber-co-founder/ ^
  5. “About Retake Our Democracy.” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://retakeourdemocracyorg.nationbuilder.com/about ^
  6. “Retake Our Democracy: Statement of Purpose.” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019.  https://retakeourdemocracy.org/retake-our-democracy-statement-of-purpose/ ^
  7. “Resources.” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://retakeourdemocracy.org/ ^
  8. “About Retake Our Democracy.” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://retakeourdemocracyorg.nationbuilder.com/about ^
  9. “What is the Roundhouse Advocacy Team?” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019.  https://retakeourdemocracyorg.nationbuilder.com/what_is_retake ^
  10. “What is the Roundhouse Rapid Response Network?” Retake Our Democracy. Accessed September 8, 2019. https://retakeourdemocracyorg.nationbuilder.com/what_is_the_rapid_response_network ^
  11. “2019 New Mexico Legislative Report Card.” Retake Our Democracy. July 31, 2019. Accessed September 8, 2019.  https://retakeourdemocracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Report-Card-FINAL-REV-7-31-19-1.pdf ^
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Retake Our Democracy

P.O. Box 32464
Santa Fe, NM