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NM Conference Asks: "Can U.S. Political System Be Fair?"

Polls show nearly 85 percent of the U.S. population, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, believe money has too much influence in politics. (dukeengage.duke.edu)
Polls show nearly 85 percent of the U.S. population, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, believe money has too much influence in politics. (dukeengage.duke.edu)
April 27, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. – Some very diverse groups will be getting together in Santa Fe on Saturday, determined to find common ground and goals. The event is part of a series of national conversations to encourage civil discussion instead of polarizing debates.

The "Achieving a Fair Political System" conference is billed as an opportunity for people of all political persuasions to work collaboratively to get big money out of politics.

Bruce Berlin is the president of the two-year-old group New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, and says folks from the Sierra Club and Common Cause to the Tea Party will be represented.

"This goes to the old saying, 'United we stand, divided we fall.' So, if these organizations stay in their silos, stay in their individual areas, without coming together in some kind of coalition or alliance, they're going to continue to have limited success," says Berlin.

Berlin says breakout sessions will be held on local, state and national initiatives to require the government to fairly represent and serve all the people of New Mexico and the nation.

Santa Fe Community College hosts the free conference at 6401 Richards Avenue, from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Details are online at 'nmmop.org/conference.'

Berlin, who wrote the book "Breaking Big Money's Grip On America," believes the U.S. and many states and cities are fast becoming plutocracies, ruled by and for the benefit of a small minority of wealthy citizens. He says the intent of the Santa Fe conference is to unite a wide variety of people and groups to focus on changing that.

"How big change is made in the country is through movements, whether it's the anti-Vietnam War movement or the labor movement or the women's movement, the environmental movement,” says Berlin. “That's how people get together, and they push and push until they get the politicians to respond."

Organizers of the National Week of Conversation say three in four Americans believe the inability of people to 'disagree without being disagreeable' has reached a crisis level. Find other conversations across the country online at 'https://nationalweekofconversation.org/.'

Roz Brown/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NM