Senators Dede Feldman and Bill O'Neill: Tales From Two Senators: One in Poetry, the other in Prose

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 6:30pm

Another Way Forward: Grassroots Solutions from New Mexico by Dede Feldman 

Another Way Forward profiles innovative organizations and inspiring local leaders who are changing the world in New Mexico, one neighborhood, one clinic, one classroom at a time. The author, a former state senator, reveals their secrets of success and gives tips on how readers can make a difference at the community level. Her alternative path is focused on community—as well as economic—development and leads through food hubs, land trusts, fire departments, medical homes, outdoor classrooms and even weird museums. Along the way the reader meets asparagus farmers, EMTs, neighborhood hellraisers, radical teachers, public health advocates and social entrepreneurs. Together these resourceful citizens are drawing a roadmap to permanent jobs and healthy communities, something that often eludes national and state officials.

Santa Fe projects highlighted:  MoGro, Santa Fe Fire Department’s Mobile Integrated Health Team, Meow Wolf, Breakthrough Santa Fe

After her decades on the front lines of progressive change in New Mexico, Senator Dede Feldman recognizes that many of the best ideas to move our state forward are homegrown. This uplifting book offers not only well-deserved appreciation to many community champions and change agents. It also serves as a call to action to each of us to engage in making New Mexico a better place to call home.” —Senator Martin Heinrich, US Senator, New Mexico

“If you want to change New Mexico from the bottom up buy this book and read it—cover to cover! Dede Feldman chronicles local heroes, innovative startups, social entrepreneurs and persistent problem-solvers who work for everyday New Mexicans...It’s a source of inspiration and a practical guide to action.” —Alan Webber, co-founder, Fast Company magazine 

Former Senator Dede Feldman’s new book, Another Way Forward: Solutions from the Grassroots, highlights community-led, innovative solutions to improving health and making progress on other critical priorities in New Mexico. The stories represent only a few of the nonprofits, groups and individuals—our unsung heroes—working to make this a better place. We hope people across the state will gain insight and feel inspired by these stories that focus on our greatest asset, our people. ¡Sí Se Puede! --Dolores E. Roybal, executive director, Con Alma Health Foundation


The Freedom Of The Ignored, by Bill O’Neill...the author’s debut poetry book, asks the reader to move beyond the stereotype of a politician and invites the sharing of Senator O’Neill’s most intimate details of his life as an elected official. In his poems the author conveys an ongoing journey informed by the complexity of his relationships with other legislators as well as his personal struggle in caring for his lifelong partner who has multiple sclerosis. This book offers a fascinating window into the lives of citizen legislators and the intensity of the decisions they often face as they fulfill their civic responsibility to us as elected officials. 

"Here lies a great poet and a great politician." Coming across a tombstone with such engraved words, most of us might say, "They buried two people in that grave." But not if it was Senator Bill O'Neill interred there--an insightful politician with the soul of a poet, as this terrific book shows. We're lucky that Bill's still kicking, and writing, and a long way from needing a tombstone. —Former United States Senator Fred Harris

New Mexico State Senator Bill O’Neill is a poet who happens to be a politician and a man with a long history of doing good works for others. He’s a poet with a political conscience who doesn’t necessarily write political poems. In his fascinating first book, “The Freedom of the Ignored,” O’Neill writes as a master appreciator about the world of legislative give and take, the culture of temporary hierarchy, the personalities that make a democracy work, and the nobility of those who consider the political arena to be place as much for integrity to flourish as for movidas to be schemed. He is also a poet who can be honest about both love’s survival though suffering and the humor that carries love along. Surely one of the most moving and powerfully made poems I’ve read in years is “Disabled, II,” a brilliantly dry and overwhelmingly loving poem about O’Neill’s life with his partner who struggles with MS. and how they cope and endure. The poem ends “We have nothing but our strategies,/ nothing but each other.” -- V.B. Price

Bill uses the pen and touches words the way Ruth homered and Neil Diamond sang and James Brown swayed his hips and spit some of the sweetest BLUES around— carry on brother Bill! “ —Jimmy Santiago Baca 

The Freedom of the Ignored Cover Image
ISBN: 9780997310276
Availability: Temporarily Unavailable with our Distributor (Disregard for Forrest Fenn books - always in stock)
Published: Red Mountain Press - August 6th, 2017

Another Way Forward: Grassroots Solutions from New Mexico Cover Image
ISBN: 9780999586402
Availability: Available to Ship - Est. Delivery in 8-13 Business Days
Published: Dede Feldman Co. - November 20th, 2017