March 28, 2024

The legislators have the floor!

Each year, after the legislative session, we invite our local legislators to come to PVA and tell us what happened. Here are some of the topics they covered:

Rep. Angelica Rubio talked about the need to modernize the legislature, starting with paying legislators; “It’s an equity issue,” she maintained. New Mexico is the only state that does not pay its legislators. Angelica is dedicated to getting this done–specifically she wants an independent commission to establish salaries for legislators. Click here to read the House Joint Resolution.

Sen. Carrie Hamblen noted the need to modify our state constitution regarding the 30 and 60 day sessions. She also talked about some notable parts of the 2024 omnibus tax package, especially in the areas of healthcare, education, business & economic development, and the environment.

Rep. Joanne Ferrary spoke about the alcohol excise tax, funding for behavioral health, and addiction prevention and treatment. She is in favor of increasing the cost of alcohol to reduce consumption. She is also a supporter of the green amendment and is working to debunk the opposition to this legislation.

Sen. Joseph Cervantes, who is in his 24th year serving in the legislature, spoke about passing two gun violence bills, one being the 7 day waiting period (HB129), and the second being preventing guns in polling locations (SB5). He also told us about sitting on three committees, and explained the purpose of the Committees Committee! He announced that there will be a special session in the near future.

Rep. Willie Madrid said that he was inspired to run for office by Nate Cote, who formerly represented District 53. He said Nate told him to do the right thing for the people. For example, he is proud of his work with the wastewater treatment plant in Chaparral. He said there’s still much more to do in the large district, which includes two counties. You can see Willie’s capital outlay requests here.

Thoughts from a brain specialist

Dr. Jerome Walker said he was very impressed with Joe Biden’s recent State of the Union speech. “Biden’s brain works just fine!” said Jerome, a retired neurologist. He wanted to make two points: Nikki Haley voters should vote for Biden, and if elected, Trump won’t leave the White House peacefully. Jerome recommended this op-ed titled, “Why Haley Voters Should Support Biden.”

For more information, email Jerome.

A working definition of antisemitism

Ed Frank spoke about an Executive Order issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Executive Order 2022-118, which is titled Adopting Working Definition of Antisemitism. The Order adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. Ed does not see anything in the definition that inhibits free speech, and he clarified that criticizing Israel does not mean one is antisemitic.

For more information, email Ed.

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

Dr. Jon Hill said he believes he can be an effective leader in District 53. He has an extensive resume which you can look at here. He has 4 asks: 

  1. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter
  2. Donate either here or by visiting the campaign website
  3. Volunteer to host a meet & greet
  4. Volunteer for a photo session on 4-2-2024

For more information, email Jon, visit his website, or call 575-800-4641.

Be a poll worker for the Primary Election!

Lynn Austin is proud to have been a poll worker for the elections in Doña Ana County for the last 4 years. He highly recommends getting involved. Here are the requirements for being a poll worker. [Did you know New Mexico’s elections have been ranked #1 in the nation? Check it out!]

For more information, email Lynn.

Take a hike — Get a cookie!

Gayle Eads was wearing two hats for her announcements. First, she informed us that the Sierra Club is leading a hike on Earth Day to La Cueva; the hike is being led by a BLM archaeologist. Afterwards, the group will meet at the pavilion for a picnic, so bring a bag lunch for yourself. The Sierra Club is providing cookies and water. “This is a great excuse to visit our monument,” said Gayle.

Sierra Club Hike & Picnic
Saturday, April 20, 2024, at 10:30am
La Cueva Picnic Pavilion

Second, Gayle suggested we visit the Blue CD2 website. She continues to write postcards to voters in order to help reelect Congressman Gabe Vasquez. Let Gayle know if you want to help! Blue CD2 also needs people/volunteers who are active on social media.

For more information, email Gayle.

Books cluttering up your shelves?

Sandy Katayanagi said you can donate books to the Branigan Library. Contact Bonnie Poloner if you have books to donate. Sandy also announced the following author talk:

Author Talk: Jennifer Bonhoff
“The Hunt for Pancho Villa and New Mexico’s Part in WWI”
Monday, April 22, 1:30pm
Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room

For more information, email Sandy.

Shaharazad Booth, running for District Attorney

Shaharazad Booth, who is running for District Attorney, wanted to make it clear that she is a lifelong Democrat. Apparently, her opposition has been spreading rumors. She said she is inspired by Barack Obama, saying, “If there’s a place for a Barack Obama, there’s a place for a Shaharazad.” You can read about her reasons for running here. “Our life can change because of one election,” she said, adding that she’s not scared by her opposition’s attacks.

For more information, email Shaharazad.

Marisol Richardson, running for County Treasurer

Marisol Richardson wanted to introduce herself – she is the current deputy treasurer and she is now running for treasurer. She said she’s very comfortable with the accounting parts of her job; she is still getting used to the campaigning part of running for treasurer, and she’s thankful to be running unopposed. 

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

Important documentary in the Las Cruces International Film Festival

Mary Martinez White announced that the documentary “First We Bombed New Mexico” has two showings in the Las Cruces International Film Festival:

First We Bombed New Mexico
Friday, April 5, at 4pm & Sunday, April 7, at 1:30
Cineport 10 at Mesilla Valley Mall

Mary also asked that we call the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, and ask him to support the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). The number is: 202-225-2777.

For more information, email Mary.

Read a banned book!

Mindy Del Campo works at the Branigan Library and announced two new book clubs. There’s the Banned Book Club, which meets the last Thursday of the month at 12:30pm, and the Social Justice Reading Group, which meets the last Tuesday of the month at 3pm. Both clubs have recommended reading lists. Get reading!

For more information, check out the Book Clubs Facebook page.

The District Attorney’s race is heating up

Rocky Bacchus is endorsing Fernando Macias for District Attorney, saying, “The bottomline is that he’ll be a good manager.” More about Macias can be found here.

For more information, email Rocky.

Casa de Peregrinos celebrates 45th anniversary

Eric Walkinshaw announced that Casa de Peregrinos is having a big (cowboy themed!) party to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the food program. Individual tickets are $100. Click here to purchase a ticket. 

CdP Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, April 20, 5-9pm
Las Cruces Convention Center

Eric added, “Thanks to the legislators for supporting CdP’s capital improvement projects. The money will go to building brick and mortar food pantries in Hatch, Chaparral, Sunland Park, and the El Caldito Soup Kitchen expansion, including food entrepreneurs and emergency response.”

For more information, email Eric, or visit the CdP website.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming candidate forums!

Chair of the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County, Monica Gomez Taylor, announced the following candidate forums for candidates in contested primary elections, being held at the DACC East Mesa Campus auditorium:

District Attorney Candidates
April 29 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Moderated by the Honorable Marci Beyer

County & Legislative Candidates
April 30 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Moderated by County Chair Monica Gomez Taylor

For more information, email Monica.

El Paso Electric’s system peak analysis

Allen Downs brought us information about the peak load on El Paso Electric’s system. He said the highest load occurs on hot weekday afternoons. Increase in peak is being driven, in part, by the conversion from swamp coolers to air conditioners. More than half the houses in EPE’s territory now have AC and that AC is running more because temperatures are rising due to climate change.

Here’s another acronym for you: did you know that rooftop solar is also called distributed generation or DG? DG helps lower the peak by supplying electricity in the early afternoon, but DG output drops off rapidly, leaving a late afternoon peak, most often between 4-5pm. Allen believes that EPE has a real challenge to meet as the change from gas fired generation to solar generation and battery storage continues.

For more information, email Allen.

Congressman Gabe Vasquez opens his Las Cruces office

Sarah Polsin, Gabe Vasquez’s field director, said, “This is a critical race for Democrats! Gabe has done so much for the district and we all need to help keep him in office.” Let Sarah know if you can give some time to canvass door-to-door or make calls. Sarah also announced that Gabe is having an office opening party:

Gabe Vasquez for Congress Office Opening
Saturday, March 30, at 4:30pm
105 West Griggs Ave, Las Cruces 

For more information or to volunteer, email Sarah or call 505-750-0324.


Peter Goodman spoke about how the small businesses in Las Cruces have been having problems with drug addicted persons sometimes camping out in front of their business and sometimes being aggressive and violent. Then, if arrested, the person might be determined not competent to stand trial so they are released. “This is not a homelessness problem,” Peter asserted, “But we do need to deal with the competency issue.”

For more information, email Peter.

Sen. Carrie Hamblen, running for reelection, Senate District 38

Carrie had two events for your calendar:

Carrie’s Reelection Kickoff
Sunday, April 7
Email for time & place

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks 10 year Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, May 18, from 5:30-9
Las Cruces Convention Center 

For more information, email Carrie.

Connie will take your check

Connie Chapman is the campaign treasurer for both Rep. Angelica Rubio and Sen. Carrie Hamblen. She will happily take your check for either or both candidates. Connie is concerned, however, because Angelica has a primary opponent. “Angelica has given 8 years, so far, of excellent service to the community and state. Pay attention! Re-elect Rep. Angelica Rubio.”

For more information, visit Angelica’s facebook page.

They are a cult

Elisa Sanchez said, “Please stop calling them Republicans – they are a MAGA-cult. Even the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, is taking orders from Trump.” Elisa emphasized that we must stop Trump from winning in November. 

For more information, email Elisa.

Round Two

PVA Rules: After everyone who wishes to speak has had a chance to speak once, everyone who wishes to speak a second time may do so.

To be sure that we left smiling, Allen Downs read a poem about a bricklayer. You can listen to the song version here. 🙂

And with that we called it a night.

If you have questions, comments, or corrections to the recap, please email Cheryl Frank or text her at 575-650-7607.

PVA meets again:

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 7 pm

Print Friendly, PDF & Email