Category Archives: Meeting Recap

PVA Meeting Recap – January 25, 2018

Border Partners works hard to change lives

Paul Dulin is on the Board of directors of Border Partners, which is an organization that works with the people in Palomas, Mexico. They have four major programs: education, health and recreation, promoting sustainable technologies, and fostering economic growth. Therefore, some of the things they work on with people is encouraging healthier eating and lifestyle, create school and home gardens, educating seniors about healthy eating, and talking about the importance of getting enough nutritional calories. They are working on a water filtering system because the water contains arsenic. They also provide bicycles to people in Palomas and work to create play structures for the children.

Paul also presented some statistics: New Mexico is 48% Hispanic (New Mexico is number 1 in the country, percentage-wise, for population of Hispanics and Latinos). Of that population, 40% are eligible to vote. Only 40% of those eligible to vote actually do, compared to 62% of non-Hispanic whites. 94% of local elections can be decided by a handful of votes. This is some food for thought.

For more information, visit the Border Partners website or email Paul.

Unified Action

This month’s Unified Action is to sign up for the Legislative Response Team. When you sign up, you’ll get emails asking you to call or email local legislators and make your position known on important bills. If you were on the list before, you’re still on it. If you want to be added, send an email to legislativeactionNM@gmail.com.

Angel Peña for US Congress, District 2

Angel Peña introduced himself and explained why he is running for Steve Pearce’s seat (Con. Pearce is running for Governor). Angel talked about his background which includes protecting the Grand Canyon, working on Bear’s Ears National Monument, and drafting legislation with Congressman Beto O’Rouke of El Paso. He said he works to get things done and will prioritize your voices.

For more information, visit the campaign website or send Angel an email.

Jeff Apodaca for Governor

Rafael Reyes spoke on behalf of Jeff Apodaca, who is running for Governor. He talked about how New Mexico has a $23 billion investment fund, and all of the money is invested out-of-state. Jeff believes we should be investing state dollars in education, broadband, jobs and job training here in New Mexico. Jeff has developed opportunities in the private sector working at Univision – he wants to apply those skills to running the state.

For more information, visit the campaign website or send Rafael an email.

Norm Osborne has the best clipboard of all

Norm Osborne is running for re-election and asked people to sign his nominating petition, so he can qualify to be on the ballot for Magistrate Judge, Division IV.

(And, yes, his clipboard might just have an image of an adorable kitten on it.)

For more information, email Norm.

Steve Fischmann for Public Regulation Commission, District 5

Steve Fischmann asked an uncomfortable question: Do you know what the (powerful and well-paid) PRC does? He explained: the Public Regulation Commission regulates utilities, including electricity, gas, water, and sewer. It also oversees telecom and transportation. Steve thinks their department has been mismanaged. An example is that PNM, the largest electric utility in the state, recently contracted for utility scale solar power at $45 a megawatt hour, but Austin, TX recently contracted for $25 a megawatt hour. Why should we pay so much more, Steve asked?

Steve’s goals are to bring professionalism to the PRC and save consumers money. There are a lot of important offices to vote for in June and November, but considering how much the PRC affects your everyday life, this is a really important one.

For more information, visit his campaign website or email Steve.

Another successful Progressive Summit

Lucas Herndon of Progress Now NM said that 600 people attended the Progressive Summit in Albuquerque on January 20.You can check out the pictures on their Facebook page here. They will do another summit in southern New Mexico in early fall. Lucas also wanted to note that the recent Doña Ana County Commission meeting included some powerful remarks by Billy Garrett, which were worth listening to. Lucas said to go to the county website and listen to the words that Billy said before and after the discussion between Johana Bencomo and County Commissioner John Vasquez.

For more information, email Lucas or visit his Facebook page.

Here’s a chance to use your personal influence networks

Pat Aguirre is helping out on Billy Garrett’s campaign – he is running for Lieutenant Governor. She asked supporters to spread the word about Billy to Democrats they know in other parts of New Mexico, so Billy can expand his network throughout the state. Also: get a Billy Garrett bumper sticker! The cactus is back.

For more information, email Pat.

Comprehensive Plan for the City of Las Cruces

City Councilor Yvonne Flores said constituents come to her with concerns about public safety, weeds, sidewalks, bike lanes and transportation. The city’s comprehensive plan is the key to dealing with all these issues and more. The plan has intelligent planning and incorporates good sustainability ideas. Yvonne also wants to continue the city’s partnership with Las Cruces Public Schools.

For more information, email Yvonne.

Judge Brianna Zamora for Court of Appeals, Position 3

Judge Brianna Zamora is currently a District Court Judge in Bernalillo County; she’s running for the Court of Appeals, Position 3. Judge Zamora said there are positive things about the criminal justice system. She gave an example of a person who had mental health issues and she gave them a tough sentence, but they also received rehabilitation. Later that person thanked her. She said a judge needs to understand the day-to-day court decisions.

For more information, visit her campaign website.

Update from Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice

Jan Thompson said on January 24, there was an email action to sign a petition to repeal HB16 -the outdated, dangerous criminal abortion statute in New Mexico. New Mexico HB56 would require forced parental permission for minors to get an abortion. On the national level, Congress passed a bill banning abortion at 20 weeks. The House sat on it, but the Senate decided they would take it up.

You’re invited to:
The Coalition for Reproductive Justice planning meeting
February 9 at 4 pm
Full Circle Health Center, 210 W. Las Cruces Ave.

The group wants to create sub-committees to be able to handle all the new state and national level laws.

For more information, email Jan.

Magistrate Judge Richard Jacquez running for District Judge

Judge Jacquez grew up in Anthony and practiced law in Gadsden. For three years he’s been a Magistrate Judge, Division 7, and now he’s running for District Judge.

No contact information provided.

Magistrate Judge Jeanne Quintero running for District Judge

Jeanne Quintero, Magistrate Judge, Division 2, is running for District Court Judge. She would appreciate people signing her nominating petitions.

For more information, email Jeanne.

Get ready for the 2nd annual March for Science!

Hiranya Roychowdhury said the March for Science will be on April 21 in Las Cruces. Please spread the word. It will be at the Las Cruces Plaza, but the time is tbd (stay tuned). Hiranya said we need to be together now; grab hold of a Republican and bring them with you. They are also raising funds.

For more information, email Hiranya.

Unified Prevention Coalition

Marisol Diaz spoke on behalf of the Unified Prevention Coalition. Their goal is to help prevent alcohol and substance abuse in youth. They got a grant to analyze alcohol problems in Doña Ana County. When underage drinking occurs when an adult is present, they want the police to hold the adults accountable. You can find out more about this coalition and its mission here.

For more information, email Marisol.

Mary Martinez White for HD33

Mary Martinez White announced that she’s running for House District 33. She was a Statewide Magistrate DWI Drug Court Coordinator. She believes alcohol and drug addicts should be returned to their families. She is familiar with state government and feels she is well qualified for the position of state representative.

For more information, visit her campaign website or email Mary.

Thoughts about the Sheriff and Undersheriff of Doña Ana County

Peter Goodman said that after a sexual harassment investigation, Undersheriff Ken Roberts got a 10 day suspension without pay and is required to attend sexual harassment training. Peter asked, “Should someone run against the current Sherriff?” Stay tuned. Someone who will run for Sheriff will be at the next PVA meeting, he said. Peter will continue to interview candidates on his radio show on KTAL-FM-LP on Wednesday mornings at 8 am.

Question? Send an email to Peter.

Kent Wingenroth won’t ask for your vote, but would appreciate it… if you think he deserves it

Kent is running for re-election for Magistrate Judge. He was a state police officer for 21 years, and a magistrate judge for 12 years. He enjoys his work and he wants to continue his job. He says he just asks people to consider him and if they think he’s the right guy for the job, vote for him, and if they think his opponent is better, vote for that person. But, he hopes you’ll send him back.

For more information, email Kent.

Tariff on Solar Panels

Troy Guglielmina from Positive Energy said that the Trump administration recently imposed a 30% tariff on all imported solar cells. Troy explained that this is a big blow to the solar industry and will cost people their jobs. He asked that people to continue to support renewables at the local and state levels. He also suggested that people support solar friendly candidates. He said, “Solar is on the right side of history, the climate, and the bottom line, too.”

Also, El Paso Electric started charging a minimum of $30 per month for all solar systems, but that’s for Texas customers only. It does not impact New Mexico customers.

For more information, email Troy.

The Wall. Guess where they are planning to start building it…

Kevin Bixby, from the Southwest Environmental Center, told us that:

  • On Wednesday, January 31, SWEC is hosting a Climate Resistance Watch Party with Bernie Sanders (on video) at 5:30 pm at SWEC, 275 North Main Street.
  • The federal government got a waiver of federal, state and local laws to build a border wall 20 miles west of Santa Teresa. The funding has been appropriated by Congress. Trump literally plans to start building his wall in Dona Ana County. Call the New Mexico Attorney General’s office and ask them to intervene.
  • There will be anti-border wall rally at the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in Texas. This is home to a lot of wildlife that need to have access to both the US and Mexico.

For more information, email Kevin.

Xochitl Torres Small for US Congress, District 2

Xochitl talked about how she wants to make Southern New Mexico a place where there is opportunity for all of us. She wants everyone to have access to quality education. Working in US Senator Udall’s office, she worked on job training programs, implementing the Affordable Care Act, and the DACA program. NM has a need for broadband in rural communities, accessible transportation, and water conservation planning – these are some of the issues that Xochitl takes seriously and wants to work on, if elected.

For more information, visit her campaign website or email Xochitl.

Gill Sorg re-elected!

Gill Sorg thanked everyone who helped on his re-election campaign for City Council, District 5. He also introduced Stuart Ed, the Las Cruces City Manager, who was at the meeting.

For more information, email Gill.

Opportunity to see special Martin Luther King, Jr. film

Jeff Lewis announced that the Temple Beth El Social Action Committee is showing a film of Martin Luther King, Jr giving a speech on March 12, 1961 in Worcester, MA. This event is in conjunction with the NAACP and the NMSU Choir on:

Sunday, February 11, 2 p.m.
at Temple Beth El
3980 Sonoma Springs Ave.

There will be a Q&A session afterwards, and refreshments will be provided.

The emphasis is on unity and brotherhood, it will be a feel good event.

For more information, email Jeff.

Paul Ponce for County Assessor

Paul thanked everyone for their support so far. He wants the Assessor’s office to be a professional, businesslike environment. He believes in treating people with respect and dignity. Experience is very important in this job, and being the Chief Deputy Assessor has given him the experience to be the next County Assessor.

For more information, email Paul.

Micaela Lara Cadena for HD33

Micaela Lara Cadena is running for House District 33. She said that government can work for all of us if it listens to the voters. She grew up in District 33, so she knows it very well. She wants to work on improving access to healthcare, wants to reform the criminal justice system and thinks we should stop using privately run prisons.

For more information, visit her campaign website or email Micaela.

El Paso Electric Update

Allen Downs, who is with the El Paso Electric Public Advocacy Group, gave us a valuable report regarding our Electric Company.

Allen explained that the next Integrated Resource Public Plan will be filed in May. He said, “We suffered a setback when the PRC downgraded the importance of Integrated Resource Plans, and eliminated their ability to protest a plan after it is filed.” EPE is considering a new substation in the Talavera area. Steve Fischmann has been leading a fight to push them to consider other alternatives like storage, and to require approval in advance for large transmission and distribution expenses.

The county commission approved a resolution requesting an investigation into the possibility of unnecessary capital investment. Merrie Lee Soules has filed concerning the retirement of the Rio Grande 6 generator and the county has intervened. Allen said we are expecting the city will as well.

EPE has filed a fuel reconciliation case. Allen said, “We hope to prove that they have lost over $20 million a year in the last 2 years in off system sales. We are hopeful that both the city and county will intervene. We’ve worked hard with the city and county to save money for residents and businesses. We are laying the groundwork for the next rate case.” Thanks, Allen!

For more info, email Allen.

School Bond Vote February 6

Ali Scotten said he is looking for volunteers to get the vote out for the February 6 school bond election. He is encouraging people to vote for the bond. Early voting has already started at the county building.

Email Luis Guerrero to volunteer to help.

Bugs and Worms hold the World Together

Alice Anderson said that according to the Xerces Society for Conservation of Invertebrates, bugs and worms hold the world together. If you want to learn more, pick up a magazine from her. Alice said that due to climate change polar bears and pandas will probably go extinct, and sadly, we can live without them. However, we can’t survive without bugs and worms.

You can learn more here. 

School Board Vice-President asks you to vote for the LCPS Bond

LCPS School Board member, Ed Frank, said that state money can’t be used to maintain school buildings – we can only do that with bonds. Therefore he encourages you to please vote yes for school bonds on February 6. Among other things, roofs and HVAC need to be repaired, schools need to be retrofitted so they are safe. This bond will not increase taxes, they just continue the tax as other bonds are retired.

For more information, email Ed.

Antoinette Reyes for County Commission, District 1

Antoinette said she was born in Silver City and raised in a both Southern CA and Southern NM. Her family lived on a low income, so she can empathize with the concerns of other low income families. She has a B.A. in Anthropology with a supplemental major in Sustainable Development. She is working on her M.S. in Applied Economics with a focus on the environment and natural resources. She works with children and people with disabilities. She’s worked for the city of Las Cruces and NMSU. If you want to get to know her better, she’s having a meet and greet fundraiser:

Saturday, February 10, 5-7 pm
Rokoko Art Gallery, 1785 Avenida de Mercado, Las Cruces
Visit the event Facebook Page here.

For more information, visit her website or email Antoinette.

Billy Garrett for Lt. Governor

Billy Garrett asked people to consider becoming a delegate to the state Democratic pre-primary convention. He’s proud of the good things we’re doing in Doña Ana County. However, there are some things he hasn’t been able to get done because, honestly, the system is rigged. The state government supports the wealthy. He said there is institutionalized bias against the poor, women, and people of color. Progressive Democratic leadership is needed in all parts of the state. As Lt. Governor, he’ll be able to make some changes.

For more information, visit his website or email Billy.

Solar Goals for 2025

Brooke Beason from Environment New Mexico is working with mayors and city councils to set the following solar goals:

Albuquerque – 25% solar by 2025

Las Cruces – 30 – 40% solar by 2025 (currently 6%)

She has petitions to support this campaign and is looking for volunteers.

Send an email to Brooke if you want to help.

League of Women Voters Community Education

Win Jacobs said that the League of Women Voters of Greater Las Cruces is celebrating their 50th anniversary. They have two upcoming events:

1/30, 7-9 pm – forum on electoral issues with Peter Ossorio moderating

1/31, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, forum at the Las Cruces Public School offices

For more information, email Win.

School Bond Election on February 6

Terrie Dallman, LCPS School Board Member, asked everyone to vote in the February 6 School Bond election. Principals submit a request for what their schools need, and then a task force prioritizes what the schools need. The principals requested $200 million, but the bond is for $50 million. Only a quarter of the needs will actually be met. It’s important the schools get this money. Please vote “for” the bond, either by voting early or on February 6.

Here is the bond question and where to vote on February 6. You can vote early at the County Building, during business hours, until February 2.

For more information, email Terrie.

Psst! You have an election to vote in! It only takes a minute to vote for our schools

Maria Flores, LCPS School Board President, said that early voting has started on the School Bond election. You can vote early at the Doña Ana County Government building. Election day is February 6. Our schools need roofs repaired and due to safety concerns, entrances to schools need to be redesigned, so that visitors must go past the office to get into the school. There are some ADA compliance changes that need to be addressed. They’ve also asked for $1.5 million go towards solar panel installations.

Once again, here is the bond question and where to vote on February 6. You can vote early at the County Building, during business hours, until February 2.

For more information, email Maria.

Update from Joy Goldbaum, Municipal Court Judge

Joy Goldbaum thanked everyone who supported her in her election for Municipal Judge. She is working hard to make the Homeless Court Program a reality in Las Cruces. If you want to help, send her an email.

Joseph Cervantes, Gubernatorial Candidate

Laura Garcia spoke on behalf of her cousin, State Senator Joseph Cervantes, who is running for Governor. She said that during the last legislative session, it was Joseph who pointed out that if the Governor doesn’t comment on the reason that legislation is vetoed, it can’t be implemented as law. He also introduced a bill that small amounts of marijuana should be legal. She is collecting signatures to get him on the ballot.

For more information, email Laura.

Lynn Ellins, who is running for County Commissioner, District 1, makes a promise

Lynn Ellins, former County Clerk and former deputy County Clerk, is running to be the County Commissioner for District 1. He said it will be a four way Democratic primary for this seat. He also said that if elected, he will immediately delete his Facebook account!

No contact information provided.

Children everywhere should have access to education

Rich Renner, from RESULTS, said that children across the globe are denied access to education. RESULTS supports the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in war torn nations. RESULTS wants the US to be a leader on global education and pledge their fair share of money. Call Senator Udall and thank him for his support. Ask Senator Heinrich to support for GPE. Call Congressman Pearce and ask him to reconsider his decision not to support the GPE.

Learn more about GPE at RESULTS website. If you have questions, email Rich.

El Paso Electric – Keeping Them Fair

Rocky Bacchus said that good government makes a difference. In 2012 the city of El Paso asked El Paso Electric to reduce their rates by $15 million and they got it. Recently El Paso asked EPE for a $21 million rate reduction. New Mexico is asking for a reduction too. Rocky thanked the city and county for taking a stand. He said we have to pass a PACE ordinance and stand up to the banking lobby to help people who live on very low incomes.

For more information, email Rocky.

Volunteer to be a Las Cruces Tree Steward

Want to learn about taking care of trees? Craig Fenske announced that the City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department is recruiting volunteers for the Tree Steward program. You take 28 hours of training: Thursdays 8 am–12 noon, February 8 – March 22. After completing the training, you are asked to put in 40 hours of volunteer time to plant, prune and maintain trees in public areas. Visit the Facebook page to learn more.

Craig also sits on the Doña Ana County Soil and Water Conservation District (representing the City of Las Cruces). He let us know that on February 14 at 1 pm, there will be a joint work session between the City of Las Cruces and the DASWCD. The topics will be storm water systems and weeds.

For more information, email Craig.

Michelle Lujan-Grisham for Governor

Victor Reyes talked about supporting Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor. He is proud to say she is standing up for the Dreamers and she wants to raise the minimum wage.

For more information, visit her campaign website or email Victor.

Mad Hildebrandt for Congress, District 2

Mad said all the Democrats running for CD2 are progressives. She talked about how she declared a year ago after the first Women’s March. She said the federal government is broken, and we keep sending the same kind of people. She’s a history professor, with a focus on labor and Middle East terrorism. She said she can make decisions on education and the military because she’s been a teacher and is a veteran.

For more information, visit her website or email Mad.

Andy Segovia supports Paul Ponce for County Assessor

Andy thanked everyone for their support while he’s been the County Assessor. The assessor’s office takes their job very seriously and they do a professional job. Andy said Paul Ponce is now running and he’s ready for the office.

For more information, email Andy.

Shannon Reynolds running for County Commission, District 3

Shannon is running to replace Ben Rawson on the county commission. He is a Vietnam veteran, who was a city councilor in Ohio. He is a certified public official by the New Mexico Edge program. He supports PACE, solar, keeping the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks as it is and internet access to everyone, so New Mexico can compete for business.

Learn more at his meet and greet:

February 13, 2018, 6 – 7:30 pm
Dragonfly restaurant

For more information, email Shannon.

Judge Samantha Madrid for Magistrate Judge

Judge Madrid is up for re-election. She attended the University of New Mexico for undergrad and law school. She served as a teacher in the inner city, so she’s seen what kids go through first hand. She would appreciate your support.

No contact information provided.

Sign NM Rep. Joanne Ferrary’s nominating petition

Pat Aguirre asked people to sign Joanne Ferrary’s petitions, so she can get on the ballot. She’s also looking for volunteers to walk for signatures. If you want to help, contact Pat Aguirre.

Roy Zimmerman in concert

Cheryl Frank said that Roy Zimmerman is giving a performance at the UU Church. He is hilarious and you will feel great when you leave. He does political satire and is a very good musician. Come for an enjoyable evening:

Sunday, February 18, 7 pm
UUC of Las Cruces – 2000 S. Solano
$20 or pay what you can

You can email Cheryl with any questions.

Bill McCamley running for State Auditor

Mary Lujan spoke on behalf of Bill McCamley, who’s running for State Auditor. She asked that people please sign his petition. He wants to stop the border wall being expanded and supports net neutrality. If you want to learn about him, he posts on Facebook every day.

For more information, email Mary.

Next PVA Meeting

The next PVA meeting is February 22, 2018, 7 pm, Munson Center.