April 25, 2024

Featured Presentation: Mayor Eric Enriquez

Our newly elected (November 2023) mayor noted that he was born in Las Cruces, attended Mayfield High School, and started his work life as a Las Cruces firefighter. He gained administrative and city government experience in Hobbs and returned to Las Cruces where his jobs included assistant city manager. Mayor Enriquez touched on a wide variety of challenges facing the city: accountability for repeat offenders, maintenance of parks and other city infrastructure, improved funding from the state for capital improvement projects, and resources for treatment programs to help individuals overcome drug addiction. The mayor explained that there are plans in the works to create outreach courts in Las Cruces. The mayor said he’s “very excited about what’s happening with our municipal courts. We’ll have public defenders. We’ll have a caseworker.” Asked to name his top priorities, the mayor listed “a safe community” as his number one concern followed by taking care of parks, and taking care of young people. 

For more information, email the Mayor.

Taste of Las Cruces

Eric Walkinshaw, who is on the board of Casa de Peregrinos, wanted to thank the state legislators for funding proposed brick and mortar food pantries in Hatch, Sunland Park, and Chaparral. Thanks also to Congressman Gabe Vasquez for securing $375,000 in federal funds to complete the Hatch pantry (phase 2). Eric also announced the Taste of Las Cruces fundraiser:

Taste of Las Cruces
June 20
Las Cruces Convention Center

For more information, email Eric

Thoughts about panhandling in Las Cruces

Katalina Hadfield informed us about a vote that the city council will be taking at their work session on Monday, April 29, regarding an ordinance that would ban panhandling in Las Cruces. She feels strongly that the council should vote no, saying that this kind of ban will further exacerbate the problem, perhaps trapping people in the system. Katalina said that instead of criminalizing poverty, the council should be coming up with solutions. She said that if you agree you should contact your city councilor and tell them to vote no.

For more information, email Katalina.

Magistrate Court

Judge Jannette Mondragón was appointed to fill a vacancy in the magistrate court by the governor (here is the press release about her appointment), and is the first Native American to serve in the district.  Since the appointment occurred after the deadline for registration for the June primary, Jannette will have to be chosen by members of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County as the Democratic candidate for the November election.

For more information, email Judge Mondragón.

Metro Court

Local attorney Israel Chavez proposed that the county should consider converting the magistrate court to a metro court. Click here to learn more about what that means. In addition, he mentioned that his office is on Mesquite Street, and wanted to point out that Klein Park is in the heart of the Mesquite Historic District, and is deserving of attention from the city.

For more information, email Israel.

Endorsement for Shaharazad Booth for District Attorney

Johana Bencomo said that her pick for Doña Ana D.A. is Shaharazad Booth. She touted Booth’s skills and appreciated that she spent many hours with her to explain complex issues that affect us all. You can learn more about Shaharazad Booth on her Facebook page.

For more information, email Johana.

Dr. Jon Hill, running for State Representative, District 53

Dr. Jon Hill said he has been working hard on his campaign for state representative. He announced a meet and greet:

Dr. Jon Hill Meet & Greet
Sunday, April 28, 11am
4199 La Purisma Drive, Las Cruces

For more information, email Jon or visit the campaign website.

Magistrate Court

Rosenda Chavez Lara announced that she is seeking the 2024 general election nomination for Magistrate Court Judge Division III. She explained that the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County, County Central Committee will meet after the June primary for a special meeting to select the nominee for the 2024 general election. Rosenda outlined some of her ideas, including bringing the magistrate court to the people, starting a self-help clinic, and exploring treatment courts. She announced the following event:

Free Legal Clinic
May 18, 2024, 10am-5pm
Hatch Municipal Court 

For more information, visit Rosenda’s campaign Facebook page.

Fernando Macias, running for District Attorney

Fernando Macias pointed to his impressive record of public and community service, including successful administrative and managerial experience at every level, as key to his ability to provide the organizational skills and vision needed for the District Attorney’s office in our district.

For more information, visit the campaign website.

Now is the time

Johnnie Aldrich said that if you were ever thinking of joining the League of Women Voters, now would be a good time. They meet once a month, on zoom and in person. With it being an important election year, she said the League is looking for help, especially with registering voters. 

For more information, email Johnnie.

Sierra Club Primary Election Endorsements

Gayle Eads announced that the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter has officially put out their endorsements for the primary election. They endorsed Dr. Jon Hill for House, District 53, and Rep. Angelica Rubio for House, District 35. For more about these endorsements, visit the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter website.

For more information, email Gayle.

Ramona Martinez, running for District Attorney

Ramona Martinez said she is running for D.A. because she’s passionate about ensuring justice and fairness in our community. She said it’s time for new leadership and fresh ideas. She welcomes help with her campaign; she canvasses every Saturday and you can join her:

Canvassing with Ramona
Every Saturday at 10am
Contact via website for address

For more information, visit the campaign website.

Be a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago

The Democratic Party of Doña Ana County’s vice-chair, Rich Ferrary, reminded us about two candidate forums coming up. Both nights of candidate forums will be held in the Auditorium at the Doña Ana Community College East Mesa Branch at 6:00 pm. The first forum, on April 29, will feature all four (Democratic) candidates for District Attorney. The second forum, on April 30, will focus on state legislative and county offices that have primaries. The audience will have the opportunity to submit questions during the forum. 

For those interested in going to the National Democratic Convention as a delegate, there is an informational meeting coming up; state chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico Jessica Velasquez and executive director Sean Ward will be there to answer questions.

Informational Meeting about the Delegate Process
Sunday, May 5, 2024, 10am
Las Trancas (on Solano), Las Cruces

For more information, call Rich at 575-635-2404.

Solar for all and a little karaoke

Rocky Bacchus announced that New Mexico has been awarded $156,120,000 (wow!) for 21,000 low income houses to obtain solar power. Read all about it here

Rocky also said Fernando Macias is his pick for district attorney and gave us a little rendition of the ABBA song, Fernando, to help us remember his name.

For more information, email Rocky.

Hoping for Effective Use of the County’s Crisis Triage Center

Earl Nissen recounted a long history of under-usage and non-usage of the County’s Crisis Triage Center since its inception, with the most recent closing in March of this year. Earl said he is hopeful that a new contract issued to PEAK Behavioral a few days ago will lead to beneficial use of the facility in the future. 

For more information, email Earl.

How we can help New Mexicans gain coverage under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

Mary Martinez White, representing the hardworking Tularosa Basin Downwinders Association, urged us to call the office of Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House of Representatives, to ask that he support expansion of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. You can deliver this simple message by calling Speaker Johnson’s office at 202-225-4000.

It’s important that you make this call soon, because the vote will be taken in early May. 

For more information, email Mary.

Protesting the National Day of Prayer

Jim Hoerst urged us to join him in protesting the National Day of Prayer event that will be held on the lawn of the Doña Ana County Building at 10 am on May 2. He intends to provide a non-intimidating presence as witness to what he believes is, through use of the County Building lawn for the event, a violation of the separation of church and state, and to bear witness to what he sees as values of intolerance by some of the Day’s supporters.

For more information, email Jim.

How about test driving an EV?

Allen Downs announced an opportunity for us to test drive a wide variety of Electric EV’s on Saturday, May 4, between 9 am and 3 pm at the Doña Ana Government Center. You can just show up during those times, but even better would be if you sign up in advance at https://evoptions.net/epe to make sure you get a driving slot and a chance to drive the vehicle you want.

Allen also noted that you can visit the El Paso Electric website for information on a wide variety of rebate opportunities for vehicles and homes, including up to half of the purchase price of an electric bicycle!

For more information, email Allen.

She asked for it, we got it!

At the March PVA meeting, Carol Tuck expressed concern about insufficient lighting in the Munson parking lot, which can be problematic for pedestrians entering the Center at night. Fortunately, City Councilor Cassie McClure was in the audience, and she got to work with the City to remedy the problem. Carol wanted to thank Cassie for securing new lighting in the parking lot, which will really facilitate safe evening use of the facility.

Carol also thanked Mayor Enriquez for his emphasis on servant leadership in his and all of the other positions of public service.

For more information, email Carol.

Candidate Forums for June Primary Election

Peter Goodman shared the welcome news that candidate forums/fora will be broadcast prior to the primary on KTAL community radio, 101.5 on your FM radio dial. They will be carried at 8 am on Wednesday mornings and rebroadcast at 2 pm on Wednesday afternoons as part of the regular Speak Out Las Cruces programming. Even better, the forums will be available on the KTAL archives for easy access after the broadcast date.

For more information, contact Peter.

Michael Cain, candidate for District Attorney

Las Cruces attorney Michael Cain, running for District Attorney in the Republican Primary, shared with us his background as a person and attorney, and about a commitment to effective leadership that was instilled in him during his service as a captain in the U.S. Army and has continued throughout his professional and personal life. He is an experienced attorney and he wants to address what he sees as serious deficiencies in the current DA’s office.

For more information, email Michael.

Welcome newly registered Democrats to your neighborhood!

Sherry Hulsey invited us to join a Doña Ana County Democratic Party initiative to send postcards welcoming newly registered Democrats to our own precincts. To get a supply of pre-printed postcards, to which you can add your own short message, contact Sherry.

Reception for Senator Carrie Hamblen

Vic Sakalys invited us to a campaign event supporting Carrie Hamblen from 3-5 pm on Sunday April 28, at 3907 Shady Brook Court. Vic praised Carrie’s work as a senator and urged us to come to the event to talk with her in person.

For more information, email Vic.

If you have questions, comments, or corrections to the recap, please email Cheryl.

PVA meets again 

Thursday, May 23, 2024, 7 pm

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