Legislators Report from Santa Fe
As is our tradition this time of year, PVA invited all the local legislators to attend our first meeting following the close of the legislative session. Five legislators were able to come and talk about what went on in Santa Fe during the 30-day session. Bill Soules talked about the drama that was the minimum wage resolution. (It very nearly passed.) Nate Cote said he was pleased to be able to pass the Service Member Child Custody Act and he hopes the Governor will sign it. Doreen Gallegos reported that she sits on the Appropriations and Finance and the Agriculture and Water Resources Committees. “We held the line,” she said, even under intense pressure. Rudy Martinez concurred with Doreen about standing firm when others expected someone to cave. He said that he’s happy to now have 11 Doña Ana County precincts in his district. Joseph Cervantes explained tactics that can be used to get bills passed or not. Joseph continues to focus on water-related issues and was able to pass the School District P.E. & Graduation Requirement Bill.
We thanked our citizen legislators as best we could with a hearty round of applause. They put in the long hours and take the tough votes—and all for no pay. We want them to know we recognize their excellence and we appreciate them.
Unified Action Update
Cheryl Frank, coordinator for PVA’s unified actions, reminded us that the January action was to support the Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument proposal by attending a public meeting with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
Nathan Small, sponsor of this unified action, reported that Secretary Jewell’s visit was “incredibly successful.” The secretary said she had never seen anything like the turnout at the public meeting and the degree of the community support for the monument.
For more information send email to Cheryl.
Vote for the One Who Can Beat Gov. Martinez
Ann Gutierrez spoke in support of Lawrence Rael for governor. She said she knows him well and knows that he is smart, has integrity, and understands how to get things done. She noted that he has worked in many New Mexico communities, was Albuquerque’s city manager, and got the Rail Runner Express completed on time and on budget. Ann said that the Democratic candidates for governor are all good, but Lawrence is the only one who can beat Susana.
For more information send email to Ann.
Rep. Pearce Doesn’t Feel Like Talking About the Issues
Leslie Endean-Singh, candidate for Congress, District 2, said she continues to try to engage Rep. Pearce on the issues, and she’s not giving up. You can read about her efforts on her Facebook page. She recently delivered to Pearce a petition with 1,000 signatures in favor of raising the minimum wage. Sign up to receive her campaign emails, and you will hear about her upcoming press conference and future events in the community. Leslie promised that she will not shy away from the tough issues.
For more information send email to Leslie.
Arte sin Fronteras—Border Artists Respond to Border Violence
Charles Bowden announced a month-long series of events that will use the arts to raise awareness about the violence of the borderlands. The events are titled “Arte sin Fronteras: Artists Responding to Violence … Working for Social Change in Mexico.”
All events will be held at West End Art Depot, 401 N. Mesilla, Las Cruces. All proceeds will benefit projects working for peace in Mexico.
Arte sin Fronteras
Opening Reception with music by Mariachi Fuego del Sol, Canto a mi Tierra, and Los Santanicos
Friday, March 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
International Women’s Day: fair trade artisan sale and women’s stories
Saturday, March 8, 1 to 6 p.m.
“Dead When I Got Here” by Mark Aitken
Film screening and panel with Charles Bowden, Molly Molloy, and Pastor Galvan
Friday, March 21, 7 to 9 p.m.
Merrie Lee Soules is Absolutely Qualified for the PRC
Merrie Lee Soules asked for support in her campaign for Public Regulation Commission, District 5. She said she has the right experience and training for the job. She is an engineer and has an MBA from Harvard. Her experience includes executive positions with General Motors that required the management of substantial budgets. “I will not be beholden to anyone,” she said, explaining why she is running her campaign with public financing.
County Assessor Segovia Is Running for Re-election
Andy Segovia asked for support as he runs for re-election. He said his office is committed to outreach and will continue to hold community meetings to spread the word about the County Assessor’s office and the services they provide.
For more information send email to Andy and call him at 575-640-5675.
Las Cruces Will Recycle Glass and Spaceport Road Will Be Paved
County Commissioner Wayne Hancock announced that at long last Las Cruces will start recycling glass. Starting on Earth Day, April 27, glass bottles will be accepted at two locations: the SCSWA Recycling Yard at 2855 W. Amador Ave. and the Old Foothills Landfill at 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd.
Also in the “at long last” category, Wayne announced that the State Legislature approved funds for paving Spaceport Road.
Wayne spoke in strong support two candidates for County Commission: Billy Garrett, who is running for re-election, and Beth Bardwell who is running for the first time in District 3.
For more information send email to Wayne.
Magistrate Judge Cano Is Running for Re-election
Joel Cano is running for re-election for magistrate judge. He reported that he is not opposed and hopes it stays that way. He would be honored to serve for four more years. Joel asked people to call Gov. Martinez (505-476-2200) and ask her to sign HB 141 which would create an additional judgeship in Doña Ana County.
For more information send email to Joel.
Role Model for Progressives Visits PVA, Hails from Vermont
Win Jacobs introduced her friend, Phil Hoff, and told us a little about his career. He served in the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate and was elected the Governor of Vermont in 1962—their first Democratic governor since 1854. He opposed the Vietnam War, promoted racial justice, created the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, and launched innovative environmental and social welfare programs. She said he exemplifies action, commitment, and humility—exactly the qualities we need in our public servants.
For more information send email to Win and call her at 575-521-9331.
Magistrate Judge Wingenroth Seeks Re-election
Kent Wingenroth said he likes his job and hopes to keep it. He would appreciate support for his re-election campaign.
For more information send email to Kent.
Magistrate Judge Perea Seeks Re-election
Conrad Perea asked for support in his re-election campaign. He asked people to call Gov. Martinez and urge her to sign the bill that would provide for a much-needed seventh judge in Doña Ana County.
For more information send email to Conrad and call him at 575-621-9427.
Samantha Madrid Is Running for Magistrate Judge
Charles Madrid spoke on behalf of his daughter Samantha Madrid, who is running for the first time for magistrate judge. She has experience as a teacher, including work in the inner city. As a lawyer she has worked for the defense and the prosecution and has experience with divorce, family issues, personal injury, and criminal defense. Charles said his daughter will be fair, impartial, respectful, and efficient.
Visit Samantha’s Facebook page for more information, and call her at 575-571-4148.
Roxanne Lara Is Candidate for Congress
Roxanne “Rocky” Lara, announced that she is running for Congress, District 2. She is from Carlsbad and is an attorney working with families and children. She said she is one of 20 candidates selected to receive support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in their “Red to Blue” program. The DCCC has placed a field staffer in southern New Mexico to start planning for early voter registration efforts. Rocky said she wants to tackle the major issues facing southern New Mexico families including education, access to healthcare, and income inequality.
NMSU Shines Some Light on the Mental Health Provider Audit
Molly Molloy announced that as part of the celebration of Sunshine Week, the NMSU Library is cosponsoring a panel discussion on open government and the state of mental health care in New Mexico. The panel will discuss the New Mexico In Depth and Las Cruces Sun News lawsuit seeking the release of a 2013 state government audit that resulted in the state withdrawing Medicaid funding from 15 mental health providers due to allegations of fraud.
Sunshine & Shadows: Public Records & the New Mexico Health Provider Audit
Thursday, March 20, 5 p.m.
Zuhl Library, Third Floor
Special Guests: Heath Haussaman (New Mexico in Depth), State Senator Mary Kay Papen, Walt Rubel (Las Cruces Sun News)
Reception will follow; free parking is available on campus after 4:30 p.m.
John Wertheim Is Running for State Treasurer
John Wertheim is running for state treasurer. He said we need a strong voice in the treasurer’s office because New Mexico is currently at the top of all the bad lists and the bottom of all the good lists. John said he is a progressive who is willing to stand up to big corporations and entities like the Koch Brothers. He wants to invest in early childhood education, make college affordable for all New Mexico families, spur economic growth, and increase personal financial literacy.
County Animal Codes Are Bad for Cats, People, and Wildlife
Alice Anderson said that new animal control ordinances at the county may result in more people abandoning unwanted cats rather than taking them to shelters. Alice said the costs of taking cats to a shelter are prohibitively expensive for many people. However, if you simply turn your cats loose, there is no penalty or fee to be paid. This situation seems likely to result in more feral cat colonies, and that will be bad for cats, for people, and for wildlife.
CAFé’s Economic Dignity Campaign Is Alive and Well
Angélica Rubio announced that Café is moving to a new office on Wyatt Drive. Keep your eye on their website for updates. She invited everyone to their next meeting for the Raise the Wage Campaign. Free child care will be available and dinner will be provided. Please RSVP to Angélica if you will attend.
Minimum Wage Initiative Training
Thursday, March 6, 5:30 p.m.
Holy Family Church, 702 Parker Rd. Las Cruces
For more information send email to Angélica and call her at 575-616-1151.
News from the County Clerk’s Office
Chief Deputy County Clerk Mario Jimenez announced that the county is getting new voting machines to be used in the June primary. They are still getting training on the new machines and not all of them have arrived. (We will still use paper ballots.) Mario reminded everyone that March 4 is Election Day for Mesilla, Hatch, Anthony, and Sunland Park; and March 11 is the deadline for candidates to file.
For more information send email to Mario.
Volunteers Needed to Work for Great Candidates
Pat Aguirre, field coordinator for several campaigns, asked for volunteers to help get some very good people elected and re-elected. First, she asked for help getting Beth Bardwell elected to County Commission, District 3. Pat said, “We need Beth Bardwell’s action-based advocacy for Las Cruces.”
Second, Pat asked for volunteers to help re-elect Billy Garrett to the County Commission, District 1. She said that his leadership benefits the whole county, and “we need the experience and good sense of Billy for another four years.”
“These campaigns need a lot of hands on board,” Pat observed and welcomed all volunteers. To sign up and for more information send email to Pat and call her at 575-532-5127
Hard-working Ferrary Is Running Again for the New Mexico House
Joanne Ferrary announced that she is running for New Mexico House, District 37, and asked for support in her campaign. She said she spent the recent legislative session advocating for the minimum wage bill and simultaneously learning how Santa Fe works. She saw first hand the need for a stronger Democratic majority, especially in the House. Joanne said that she will work hard for the people of her district, and that includes serving on interim committees and attending their meetings.
For more information send email to Joanne and call her at 575-649-1231.
Billy Garrett Is Running for Re-election
Billy Garrett is running for re-election for County Commission, District 1. He said he is committed to a county government that is professional, focused, and effective. He said the Commission has made good progress on the strategic plan and has hired an outstanding county manager. Billy’s list of priorities for a second term included fostering community engagement, getting a fair minimum wage, and creating a sound plan for water management.
For more information send email to Billy.
ETZ Will Listen to the Public on the Fate of Tortugas Mountain
Dael Goodman announced a meeting of the Extra-Territorial Zoning Commission regarding Tortugas Mountain.
Note: The meeting was scheduled for March 6 but was subsequently canceled. Dael wrote: The bright pink signs will come down, and 15 days’ notice—in the form of new signs—will be given when a new meeting is scheduled, most likely in April.
For more information call Dael at 521-0424.
JR Stewart Is Running for Sheriff
J.R. Stewart asked for support in his run for sheriff. He said his priorities as sheriff would be recruiting and retaining officers, raising the morale of the department, and increasing the number of officers in order to improve public safety. He expressed concern about the recent loss of 25 positions in the sheriff’s department.
For more information send email to J.R.
Speak Up, Las Cruces!
Peter Goodman announced that Brad Lancaster, an expert on water harvesting, will speak in Las Cruces on April 10, tentatively at 7 p.m. at the Rio Grande Theatre. He will talk about ways for the city and county to create new water policy and structures that allow rainwater to percolate into the soil and replenish the aquifer.
In news from his talk radio program, Speak Up, Las Cruces! Peter reported that Merrie Lee Soules, PRC candidate, recently appeared on the show and did a fine job of answering questions regarding her qualifications to serve on the PRC. The schedule of Peter’s diverse and relevant guests is posted on the website of KOBE 1450 AM.
Peter thanked Evelyn Erhard Madrid for her outstanding 2012 campaign for Congress, District 2, aka Steve Pearce’s seat, and everyone joined in that thank you.
For more information call Peter at 575-521-0424.
Diana Bustamante for Probate Judge
Diana asked for support in her run for probate judge. She noted her bilingual and bicultural credentials and her long history of working with communities in Doña Ana County.
For more information send email to Diana and call her at 575-642-7228.
Curtis Childress, Candidate for Sheriff
Curtis Childress asked for support in his campaign for sheriff. He spoke of the need for community policing—for example, having officers stationed in Chaparral so that response time is shorter for calls in that community. Other priorities would be a gang task force and a vigorous focus on code enforcement issues that impact quality of life.
For more information send email to Curtis and call him at 575-639-0162.
A Thank You and a Request from Evelyn Madrid Erhard
Evelyn thanked the PVA for support during and after her campaign for the New Mexico’s Second Congressional District. She spoke of her concern about the zoning for a large parcel of land on the southeast corner of University and Highway 28. The Mormon Church has recently purchased the land. Evelyn asked people to call the Mesilla Town Hall and let them know your thoughts about land use in Mesilla and this corner lot in particular.
For more information send email to Evelyn and call her at 575-993-8670 or 575-524-0830.
A Few Things You Should Know About the Minimum Wage
Rich Ferrary delivered some facts about the minimum in Las Cruces.
- A $1 raise in the minimum wage would result in $10 million added to the local economy
- Doña Ana County has 18,000 minimum wage workers; 53% are over the age of 30; 60% are women
- Most minimum wage workers are employed in retail, health care, restaurants, and hotels
For more information send email to Rich and call him at 575-649-1231.
Las Cruces City Council Is Working on the Minimum Wage
Olga Pedroza, city councilor for District 3, assured us that the City Council is working seriously and with deliberate care on the minimum wage issue. She clarified that while Great Conversations is planning discussions about raising the minimum wage, that organization does not provide directives for the City Council.
For more information send email to Olga.
Another Voice for Raising the Minimum Wage
Jerry Nachison spoke in favor of raising the minimum wage. He issued an invitation to attend CAFé’s strategic planning meeting and stressed that the meeting is open to all interested members of the community.
Raise the Minimum Wage
Thursday, March 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Holy Family Church
For more information send email to Jerry and call him at 575-649-9098.
St. Luke’s and The GroundUp Are Doing Good Work
Martha Stephens announced that St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic at the Community of Hope offers excellent assistance for people who need help applying for Medicaid or other health insurance. The service is available on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Martha also endorsed NMSU’s solidarity newspaper, The GroundUP, which is available in print and online. She recommended the paper’s reporting on the privatization of the university.
Childress and Navarrete for Sheriff and Undersheriff
Cheryl Navarrete spoke in support of Childress and Navarrete as they campaign for the positions of sheriff and undersherriff. She gave a wife’s point of view, stressing the values and work ethic of the two men.
For more information send email to Cheryl
PVA Meets Again
Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.