June 20, 2024

Featured Presentation – 

We heard from the Las Cruces Presiding Municipal Judge, Anthony Filosa. He gave us some of his background and talked about what the court is trying to do. The Municipal Court deals with alleged violations of the municipal code. Judge Filosa said his main focus is observing everyone’s constitutional rights. He said the court is trying to reduce failure to appear warrants (yes, you do get reminders for court dates). Also, there’s a new diversionary program called SOS, which aims to get people assistance through social services rather than sending them to jail.

For more information, email Judge Filosa.

Senator Hamblen congratulates PVA on 20 years in inspiring remarks

State Senator Carrie Hamblen congratulated and thanked the PVA for our 20 years of steady advocacy and support for elected officials, and celebrated the growing presence of LGBT+ people in our state legislature. She also encouraged members of the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party to select Janette Mondragon as the Democratic candidate for Magistrate Judge in their upcoming selection process, and reminded us of her own campaign for re-election this fall.

For more information, email Carrie.

Volunteers welcomed for Gabe Vasquez re-election campaign

Claire Neal-Wallace was warmly welcomed as a field organizer with Gabe Vasquez’s campaign as she pointed to the weekend of June 29 and 30 when the campaign will be canvassing throughout District 2 as part of a Reproductive Rights Weekend of Action. Claire met with interested volunteers after the meeting and would welcome anyone who would like to share with voters Gabe’s strong stand in support of reproductive rights for all.

For more information, email Claire.

A new litter of wolf puppies inspires continued action

Peter Ossorio announced a new litter of wolf puppies and that his and Jean Ossorio’s steadfast efforts to reintroduce the Mexican Gray Wolf in New Mexico continue unabated. He feels the US Fish and Wildlife Department’s and state departments’ assessments are more favorable than the actual situation, and he urges us to elect state legislators willing to reform our current state Fish and Game Department to make it truly a Conservation Department. He urges us to visit this site or this site to find out more about reintroduction efforts and to see photos of the wolf pups. Spoiler alert: they’re cute! 

For more information contact Peter or Jean.

A kindred spirit visits from the north – and takes a selfie!

It was an honor to welcome to PVA Senator Leo Jaramillo, who represents rural areas of Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties. He singled out Senator Carrie Hamblen and Representative Doreen Gallegos as great partners to work together with for the benefit of the people in our state, and invited us all to listen to the New Mexico politics podcast Tres Leches New Mexico, hosted by Leo, Carrie and Albuquerque Senator Harold Pope. And finally, he took a selfie at the PVA meeting, to share with everyone back home. 

For more information, email Senator Jaramillo.

Paid canvassing opportunity

Former Doña Ana County Democratic Party Chair Adam Sommers is now serving as the deputy field director for the NM House Democratic Campaign Committee. He said NMHDCC is currently hiring paid canvassers for state House races in Doña Ana County at $15-$20/hour. He is also always welcoming of volunteers!  

For more information, email Adam.

Dr. Jon Hill a victor in House District 53!

Jon Hill expressed to us his gratitude for all of the help that was provided to him by PVAers, members of his district and everyone else who helped him win the Democratic primary in District 53.  It was a hard fought campaign – with Jon himself visiting over 900 doors.  His general election campaign against a Republican opponent is already gaining attention from both parties as one of the top House contests in the state, and would really appreciate your active support in the fall campaign.

For more information, email Jon.

Support being delivered for Ruidoso fire

Marci Dickerson announced that her non-profit charity, Revolution 120, has collected and sent four semi-trucks of supplies to the responders and those affected by the Ruidoso fire. “One hundred percent of funds collected will be spent on supplies for evacuees,” she said, adding that the funds are needed immediately. You can read more about Marci’s efforts here. You can donate here.

For more information, email Marci.

Shaharazad Booth isn’t going anywhere!

Shaharazad Booth was warmly welcomed by many who supported her strong campaign for District Attorney. She said she had decided early on that she would run as who she truly is as a person, and she comes out of the close contest happy, proud and with her head held high, ready to move forward in serving this community. She made clear that the relationships she has built through her campaign will continue, and she looks forward to maintaining and deepening those relationships as we go forward.

For more information, email Shaharazad

The fight to cover New Mexico’s Downwinders continues

Mary Martinez White made clear that, despite federal coverage for New Mexicans sickened by the Trinity nuclear bomb test not being included in the recent House budget proposal, momentum for eventual coverage remains strong, and state, national and international advocates will not – despite pleas from the office of House Speaker Mike Johnson – “turn down the heat” that the Speaker is feeling on this issue. In fact, we can turn up the heat by calling Speaker Johnson’s office at 202-225-4000 and asking him to pass SB3833 to expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

Mary also asked us to call Governor Lujan Grisham and ask that the state film office promote the movie “First We Bombed New Mexico” to Netflix with the same energy they promoted “Oppenheimer” a few months ago.

For more information, email Mary.

Mayor ProTem Bencomo urges us to support Realize Las Cruces

Las Cruces Mayor Protem Bencomo wished PVA a happy 20th Anniversary and thanked everyone for the emails councilors have been getting in support of the new Realize New Mexico code that will be discussed at a council work session at 1 pm on Monday, June 30. Realize Las Cruces will change the city’s land development code to conform with the Elevate Las Cruces comprehensive plan through the creation of walkable neighborhoods, city parks and many other features that will build a good quality of life for all Las Cruces residents.  

For more information, email Johana.  

City Councilor Graham seeking a Planning and Zoning Commissioner

Las Cruces City Councilor Becki Graham is looking for a Planning and Zoning Commissioner from District 3 who values affordable, attainable housing, walkable neighborhoods, bike infrastructure, and other elements essential to a healthy living environment – this could be a job for you! Have a look at a look at this map to see if you live in District 3 – if you’re uncertain email Becki to check.

For more information, email Becki.

Rocky updates us on the latest from Ruidoso

Rocky Bacchus informed us that 8,000 people have been evacuated in the Ruidoso area due to wildfires, and at least 1,400 structures have been consumed in the blaze. In addition, a huge effort was made to get all the horses out from the stables at Ruidoso Downs. He urged us to support initiatives to help the people of that area.

For more information, email Rocky.

Commissioner Reynolds seeks member of county ethics committee

Commissioner Shannon Reynolds is looking for someone from Commission District 3 to serve on the new County Ethics Committee, to help evaluate the merit of complaints that are filed. You can check this map of the commission districts, and if you’re interested and think you might be in District 3, be sure to let Shannon know.

For more information, email Shannon.

Update about the Special Session

State Representative Doreen Gallegos wished PVA a happy 20th Anniversary and thanked us for our support over the 12 years(!) she has been in office. She gave us a preview of the upcoming Special Session of the legislature where there doesn’t seem to be a pre-Session deal in place between the governor and the legislators, leaving a variety of issues to discuss. Doreen sees the Special Session as a good place to work out capital outlay appropriations for Ruidoso and for additional shoring up of mental health and medical services in the state. She shared that the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico is an additional place that money can be sent to help people in Ruidoso.

For more information, email Doreen.  

Jim Hoerst continues to advocate for the separation of church and state

Jim expressed his concern about the recent gathering near City Hall for the National Day of Prayer. He felt that, due to the presence of the mayor and chief of police, the event had the appearance of being endorsed by the City of Las Cruces. He also felt that there was insufficient accountability within the city as to who was in fact sponsoring the event and in what capacity city representatives were there.

For more information, email Jim.

Get involved and be persistent!

Jim Wilcox said that when he moved to Las Cruces, he would get involved when he saw a need. There was a cemetery in his neighborhood that was in disrepair. So, he called the city about getting it cleaned up. The city wasn’t sure who owned it. Many phone calls later, it turned out the city owns it. It was cleaned up. Good going, Jim! Jim’s next goal is doing something about the loud vehicles that race up and down our streets, affecting our quality of life.  

For more information, email Jim.

Hot enough for you?

Gary Camunez shared several ways to donate goods to help Ruidoso. The supplies left for Tularosa on June 21. Gary also introduced us to the “fan vest,” which is how he stays cool while working outdoors. Here it is: https://a.co/d/0gZdSjLx.

For more information, email Gary.

Healthy Waters, Healthy Futures

Phil Simpson announced that a group called Rio Grande WAVES (Water Advocates for Vital Environmental Sustainability) is sponsoring a film and lecture on the challenges and opportunities facing the Rio Grande (south of Elephant Butte dam), and the aquifers that sustain our community and environment. Here are the important dates to remember:

Film Screening & Community Discussion: Requiem for a River
June 26, 6pm
NMSU – Domenici Hall Room 106

Lectures & Community Discussion: Planning for our Water Future (with water experts Dr. Fred Phillips & Dr. Peggy Barroll)
July 17, 6pm
NMSU – Domenici Hall Room 106

Regional Water Plan Open House
July 24, drop in between 3pm-7pm
Las Cruces City Hall, conference rooms 2007 B & C

For more information, email Rio Grande WAVES.

Democratic candidate for District Attorney seeks unity in November

Fernando Macias, winner of the Democratic primary for Doña Ana County District Attorney, began his remarks by honoring his primary opponents for their strong, committed campaigns and for what those campaigns reflect about the strength of our democratic process. He pointed to the importance of the District Attorney position and its effect on every aspect of our lives, and he asked that we support and vote for him in the upcoming general election. Fernando also took a moment to thank the entire corps of Doña Ana County emergency management personnel who are currently in Ruidoso working long hours working on behalf of that community.

For more information, email Fernando.

Rosenda Chavez-Lara, running for Magistrate Court Judge

Rosenda Chavez-Lara spoke about why she is running for the position of Magistrate Court Judge. She said she wants to take the Court to Hatch, Sunland Park, and Chaparral. She said, “I have civil litigation experience and a proven track record of serving our community. Vote for me for Magistrate Court Judge so that I may continue the work we need to make Doña Ana County better.” 

The Democratic Party of Doña Ana County’s County Central Committee will be voting on who will get put on the ballot for November. Be sure to click here to see some dates you need to know, if you are on the County Central Committee.

Rosenda also announced her next Meet & Greet:

Meet & Greet hosted by Ret. Judge Mary Rosner
July 7, 5:30pm, more information here

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

Writing postcards for Gabe

Gayle Eads came with postcards in hand, ready for those who want to help Congressman Gabe Vasquez’s campaign, via the BlueCD2 postcard writing program. She was able to distribute those immediately to willing volunteers!

For more information, email Gayle.

Hey, what’s this charge for?!

Allen Downs explained El Paso Electric’s new “Adjustment to meet $8.55 minimum” charge. The charge affects electric vehicle owners who are net metered and have the Whole House EV rate rider. Allen has challenged the charge in a formal complaint, but before ruling on his complaint, the PRC approved the charge in the recent transportation electrification case. Allen still recommends the Whole House EV rider if you have an electric vehicle, but don’t expect to get 4.74 cents for every kWh shifted to between midnight and 8am. 

For more information, email Allen.

Judge Jannette Madragón hopes to maintain her position at Magistrate Court

Judge Jannette Madragón spoke about being the first Native American judge to serve the 3rd District. Judge Madragón was appointed by the governor, and after being vetted, she got the position over 7 others. She said representation matters and she wants all who come to her courtroom to feel heard, safe, and respected. “It’s hard to express how honored I am to serve Doña Ana County,” she said, adding, “Please reach out if you have any questions. I also would be honored to have your support.” County Central Committee members will vote between July 10-12.

For more information, visit the campaign Facebook page.

Donate to the Nest

Dasa Bausova let us know that the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter in Ruidoso has been evacuated because of the fire. They are seeking donations. The shelter serves adults, children, and companion animals. You can donate at: www.helpendabuseforlife.org.

For more information, email Dasa.

KTAL news

Peter Goodman announced that KTAL is hosting the Green Chamber of Commerce’s Green Drinks:

Green Drinks at KTAL Community Radio
Wednesday, June 26, 5:30-7:00pm
121 Wyatt Drive, # 9 

For more information, visit www.lccommunityradio.org or email Peter.

PVA’s story

Maria Flores congratulated PVA on the 20 year anniversary of the group; the group was started in December 2004 and we celebrate annually in June with a party! Maria reminded us that PVA was started after John Kerry lost his presidential election in 2004. A group of Kerry volunteers got together and formed PVA. The very first recap was written and states this:

Eighty former volunteers from the Kerry for President campaign gathered in the Mesilla Community Center on December 2, exactly one month after the election, to reflect on the campaign, the election outcome, and our thoughts for the future. Everyone who came was given two minutes to speak, and a wide variety of opinions were expressed. There was a strong feeling of solidarity and mutual respect, even in the wake of Kerry’s defeat at the polls, with several speakers suggesting that we continue to work together politically. At nine pm, everyone had spoken, and we went home.

For more information, email Maria.

Hate canvassing & making phone calls? Try sending postcards!

Mary Beth Hulsey announced that in addition to BlueCD2’s postcard program, which Gayle talked about (above), you can also connect with PostcardsToVoters.org (read about the founder of PostcardsToVoters.org, Tony The Democrat, here). “This is an opportunity to contact voters in other states where a relatively few Democratic votes can swing the vote,” Mary Beth explained. For example, postcards were sent to Democrats to support Trisha Calvarese, who would face Lauren Boebert in November.

For more information, email Mary Beth.

New website focused on climate change

Stewart and Karena Oberman wanted us to know about a website they created to answer the question, “What can we do?” The intention is to gather and present positive environmental information and actions in a simple and easy-to-navigate format that can help our neighbors make good kitchen table decisions and support their desire to do something! Here is the link: https://alrsite.my.canva.site/ycac

For more information, email Stewart or Karena.

Celebration of life for Earnestine Simmons

Earnestine’s daughter Sheila and her two sisters from Tucson are having a Celebration of Life on July 11, 2024, at the Center for Spiritual Living, 575 N. Main St. from noon to 2 p.m., with refreshments following.

PVA takes a break in July. PVA meets again:

Thursday, August 22, 7pm

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