PVA Meeting Recap – August 25, 2016

Democratic National Convention from Rita Triviz’s POV

Rita Triviz brought stories and memorabilia from her life as a Democrat, a feminist, and an activist. She said that she did “feel the Bern” but was drawn back to Hillary by her stand against gun violence. As someone who has long had “Go to inauguration of first woman president” on her bucket list, Rita found herself in a “puddle of tears” during the roll call vote in Philadelphia. For more information join Rita on Facebook and read the Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of her trip to the convention.

Who Doesn’t Love Ice Cream in the Park?

Radwan Jallad of the Islamic Center of Las Cruces invited everyone to an ice cream social in the park—no politics, no religion, no politics, just relaxing and getting acquainted. The Islamic Community of Las Cruces, Peace Lutheran Church, and The Great Conversation are sponsors. [This turned out to be a fine event on a beautiful afternoon.]

Community Ice Cream Social
Friday, August 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Pioneer Womens Park

For more information send email to Radwan.

Media Promo Op for Candidates

Mark Steffen, a media specialist offered a promotion opportunity for candidates: a 30-minute interview and two hours of airtime all for the low, low price of $350. Mark’s work airs on Comcast Channel 98.

For more information send email to Mark and call him at 575-630-3842.

Labor Is Serious about Progressive Candidates

Jon Hendry, president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, pronounced PVA to be the only four-hour-drive-worthy meeting he knows of. He outlined the union’s commitment to electing pro-labor candidates this November. In addition to their northern New Mexico offices, they have opened offices in Las Cruces, Silver City, and T or C, where they will be working hard for Rudy Martinez and other progressive candidates.

For more information send email to Jon.

Angelica Rubio for NM House District 35

Angelica said that her district, NM House 35, is considered progressive and “safe” for November’s election. Nevertheless, there are many needs in her district, and she is knocking on doors and getting to know the people she hopes to represent. She invited others to join her in knocking on doors and suggested a modest donation to her campaign of $20.17.

Angelica introduced her mother (a familiar face to everyone who follows Angelica online) who was visiting from eastern New Mexico. She spoke of her background as the daughter of farm workers and the importance of bringing that perspective to public service.

For more information send email to Angelica, join her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@rubionm35).

Infographics for Candidates; Bumper Stickers and Buttons for Military Families

Ken Murray noted that on June 2, the day of gun violence awareness, Hillary Clinton wore orange in solidarity. Ken [retired Air Force] has bumper stickers and buttons to share with the message that military families and veterans support Hillary.

Ken confessed his passion for charts as a means to make complex issues clear and an efficient way to bone up on the pressing issues of our day. He will gladly share a digital version of his chart collection with candidates.

For more information send email to Ken and call him at 575-382-9249.

The (EPE) Beat Goes On

Allen Downs, tireless and optimistic El Paso Electric watchdog, reported that the upcoming challenge is getting EPE to follow the renewable energy rules. The rules call for EPE to get 15% of the energy they sell in New Mexico from renewable sources now, and that number increases to 20% in 2020. Nevertheless, EPE has filed an Integrated Resource Plan that says over the next 20 years they expect to fuel 92% of new power with gas. Thankfully the City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, Merrie Lee Soules, Steve Fischmann, and One Hour Air Conditioning are intervening in the case.

Allen concluded by saying that the utility industry is changing, renewables are becoming cheaper, and the interveners and watchdogs will be pushing El Paso Electric to give up their old ways and move into the future.

For more information send email to Allen.

Retake the Roundhouse

Joyce Westerbur introduced “Retake the Roundhouse,” an organization that emerged from New Mexico’s grassroots campaign for Bernie Sanders. The group is a coalition of Sanders and Clinton supporters unified to elect a far more progressive legislature in New Mexico.

They have identified nine House and seven Senate races that are viewed as winnable by Democratic strategists. These 16 seats could swing the House back to Democrats and strengthen the Democratic majority in the Senate. The candidates in the targeted races in Doña Ana County are Jeff Steinborn, Joanne Ferrary, Nathan Small, and Rudy Martinez.

Their website lays out five strategies and a list of policies that a progressive legislature could enact.

For more information send email to Joyce and call her at 575-336-4501.

Steinborn Kickoff Dinner

Roberta Gran invited everyone to campaign kickoff dinner for Jess Steinborn, candidate for NM Senate District 36. She promised good food, good music, and plenty of f-u-n. Tickets are $30 and available from Roberta.

Steinborn Kickoff Dinner
Thursday, September 1, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Beverly Hills Hall

For more information send email to Roberta and call her at 575-650-8490.

Volunteers Welcome Here

Pat Aguirre, unflagging field organizer, announced that there is excellent team work this year among the Democratic candidates and their staffs. They are trying new strategies as well as the ever-effective knocking on doors and making phone calls. Volunteers, as always, are needed and will be welcomed with open arms.

For more information send email to Pat and call her at 575-532-5127.

Poll Challengers Wanted and Needed

Lynn Moorer asked for reliable registered Democrats to volunteer to protect the vote. Volunteers attend a two-hour training session and spend a half-day at the polls on Election Day. If you need more incentive to take on this critical task, remember that Trump is encouraging his supporters to be poll watchers, and warning them that election “cheating” may rob him of a win.

For more information send email to Lynn and call her at 575-520-3045.

A Medical Billing Nightmare Could Happen to YOU

Ron Cauthon shared a sobering experience with medical billing in hopes that others will be alert to how easily serious errors can occur. After an outpatient procedure at Mountain View Regional Medical Center, Ron received the hospital invoice and proceeded to pay his share of the costs while Medicare picked up the lion’s share. Ten months later Ron received an anonymous statement from a Minnesota address. He called the toll free number, which turned out to belong to a collection agency, and was told that Medicare had withdrawn their payment and that Ron now owed over $95,000. Very long story short: Medicare paid their share and were very helpful in getting the situation sorted out. The hospital? Not so much. Their representatives were unconcerned, unhelpful, and at times untruthful.

For more information send email to Ron and call him at 575-373-0571.

Scott Krahling for County Clerk

Scott Krahling, dressed in his soccer coach uniform, came straight to PVA from coaching his young son’s soccer game. He reiterated his commitment to getting more people engaged in the electoral process—more people registered and more people voting. His campaign team in canvassing the entire county, and yes, they would love your help.

Scott endorsed Maggie Toulouse Oliver, candidate for secretary of state, and praised her experience, her talent, and her philosophy.

For more information send email to Scott, join him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter (@scottforclerk), and visit the Scott for Clerk website.

Conservation Voters NM Fundraiser

Steve Fischmann invited everyone to a fundraiser for candidates who will protect water resources, lower our electric rates, preserve our public lands, and take science seriously.

Conservation Voters New Mexico Fundraiser
Sunday, September 11, 4 p.m.
Home of Cynthia and Billy Garrett

For more information send email to Steve.

AdobeHenge Is Becoming a Reality

Bob Diven brought us up-to-date on the AdobeHenge project. [AdobeHenge was first mentioned at PVA March 26, 2015, when it was only a dream and a drawing.] The project now has its own archeologist, who has been present in the flesh. BLM officials are mapping out trails, and they have created a timeline and a list of specific tasks that must be completed. AdobeHenge is now taking pledges of support—that’s how real it is.

For more information send email to Bob, join AdobeHenge on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@AdobeHengelc).

Labor Day Breakfast: A Cherished Democratic Tradition

Liz Rodriguez Johnson, chair of the Doña Ana Democratic Party invited everyone to the traditional Labor Day Breakfast.

Labor Day Breakfast
Monday, September 5, 9 to 11 a.m.
Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

For more information and tickets send email to Liz.

Rudy Martinez for NM House District 39

Rudy Martinez explained that House District 39 includes parts of Grant, Sierra, and Doña Ana counties and covers a huge territory, but this is not discouraging him. He urged everyone to do all they can to get out the vote and “Take back the House,” i.e., return the New Mexico House of Representatives to a Democratic majority. [Rudy did not mention his résumé, but it includes Vietnam veteran (Air Force), coal miner, licensed journeyman and member of IBEW Local 611, mayor of Bayard, Grant County Commissioner, and state representative before losing to John Zimmerman in 2014 by fewer than 400 votes.]

For more information send email to Rudy, call him at 575-534-7546, and visit his campaign website

Julie Vargas for NM Court of Appeals

Julie Vargas introduced herself as the Democratic candidate for New Mexico Court of Appeals. She noted the importance of the decisions rendered by this court and the fact that she had been one of three candidates earlier recommended to the governor by the Judicial Nominating Commission. She explained that the court contests are the last items on the ballot, and (possibly preaching to the choir) she urged us to be sure to work our way through to the very end of the ballot and vote in every race.

For more information send email to Julie.

Michael Vigil for NM Supreme Court

Michael Vigil asked for support in his bid for a seat on the New Mexico Supreme Court. He noted his 13 years of experience on the Court of Appeals and the fact that his opponent is Governor’s Martinez’s appointee. Vigil’s lengthy and impressive résumé is on his website.

For more information send email to Michael.

We’re Broke!

State Senator Joe Cervantes explained that a special session of the legislature is being called to address grievous budget deficits caused, he proposed, by reckless policies of the governor and her supporters. A very good reason to “Take back the House!” he suggested. Furthermore he vowed to match contributions to Rudy Martinez’s campaign made at tonight’s PVA meeting. No further praise for the candidate necessary.

For more information send email to Joe, join him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter (@SenJoeCervantes).

Democrats Had Better Get Busy

Lucas Herndon came to PVA straight from a forum held by the New Mexico Business Coalition. Fox News radio, Doña Ana Republican Party, Southern New Mexico Business Alliance, La Posta, and others. Ten opposing candidates participated: Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Nora Espinoza (Secretary of State), Bill Soules and Ceil Levatino (State Senate), Judith K. Nakamura and Michael E. Vigil (NM Supreme Court) Stephen G. French and Julie J. Vargas (NM Court of Appeals), and Kim Hakes and John Vasquez (Doña Ana County Commission).

Lucas characterized the event as an attempt to sabotage some candidates and not others. He said the forum had promised to ask opposing candidates the same questions, but reneged on the promise. Lucas was there as a member of the press but was not allowed to record the proceedings. He was disappointed and frustrated by the entire event. The moral of the story, he said, is that progressives need to work hard this campaign season. “Do everything you possibly can. It’s important. Get busy!”

You can read more about the forum and the battle for the Secretary of State’s office here.

For more information join Lucas on Facebook and follow him on Twitter (@LucasHerndon).

Meet the Campaign Manager

Matthew Gloudemans, from Albuquerque but here for the campaign season, introduced himself and said he was happy to be managing campaigns for two outstanding candidates: Rudy Martinez and Joanne Ferrary.

For more information send email to Matthew and call him at 505-440-6026.

POV from a Bernie Delegate

Nicole Bagg spoke of her less-than-ideal experience as a Bernie delegate at the Democratic National Convention. She urged the Hillary and Bernie supporters to engage in some open dialogue.

For more information send email to Nicole.

John Vasquez for County Commission, District 5

John Vasquez (arriving from the NMBC Forum) described himself as an “extreme progressive” who listens to the ideas of others and thinks for himself. He invited everyone to a fundraiser for his campaign.

Fundraiser for John Vasquez
Wednesday, September 7, 6 p.m.
Los Compas Restaurant, 1120 Commerce Drive

For more information send email to John and call him at 575-494-3435.

Check Out these Agendas

Billy Garrett announced that the County Commission has several work sessions coming up on topics that affect everyone in Doña Ana County. For example, the Detention Center will be discussed soon. The work sessions are usually held on the first and third Tuesdays at 9 a.m. Agendas are on the county website, and Billy urged us to stay connected with the commissioners and pay attention to their work.

For more information send email to Billy and join him on Facebook.

Immigration in a Caring Community

Olga Pedroza invited everyone to a forum that will examine current immigration law from legal and moral perspectives.

Immigration in a Caring Community
Thursday, September 29, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Las Cruces City Hall, Council Chambers

For more information send email to Olga.

Our Revolution

Davena (spending the last hours of her twenties with PVA) gave her take on the Democratic National Convention. A Bernie supporter and an optimist, she started with the positives: she met a lot of interesting people and attended a lot of interesting forums. As the for the nominating process, she felt there was room for improvement and a need for more respect to be given to Sanders and his supporters.

For more information send email to Davena.

SWEC Keeps on Working

Kallie Renard announced that the author and environmental historian Dan Flores will be in Las Cruces to give a talk entitled “Coyote: Biography of an American Original.” Flores’s most recent book, “Coyote America,” relates directly to SWEC’s work to end wildlife-killing contests. Flores has an op ed in the NY Times on the subject.

Coyote: Biography of an American Original
Tuesday, September 13, 7 p.m.
Rio Grande Theater

Save the date for the Annual SWEC Gala. There will be great food, wine and beer, music, dancing in the street, and more.

SWEC Annual Gala
Saturday, October 15, 6 p.m.
275 N. Downtown Mall

For more information send email to Kallie.

John Birch Society in Las Cruces? Yes, Really!

Earl Nissen reported on attending a meeting of the John Birch Society that was held across from City Hall at Mountain View Baptist Church. The meeting was billed as “Support Your Local Police,” and one of the purposes of the meeting was to establish a local chapter of Support Your Local Police (SYLP) aka the John Birch Society right here in Doña Ana County.

For more information send email to Earl and call him at 575-496-3405.

What to Read Next

Alice Anderson recommended “The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan.” The author, Laurence Learner, interviewed perpetrators, plotters, lawyers, and survivors to the tell the story of the 1981 lynching of a 19-year-old black man in Mobile, Alabama, and the subsequent criminal and civil trials. The book is at Branigan Library on the new-book shelf (364.134 Lea).

For more information send email to Alice and call her at 575-522-5279.

Support Maggie Toulouse Oliver for Secretary of State

Nayomi Valdez spoke in support of Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Democratic candidate for secretary of state. She noted Maggie’s distinguished service as Bernalillo County Clerk and asked for volunteers to help with her campaign in this part of the state.

For more information send email to Nayomi.

Veterans Democratic Council

Shannon Reynolds, campaign manager for District Attorney Mark D’Antonio in his bid for re-election, spoke of the goals of the Veterans Democratic Council of Doña Ana County. The group supports Democratic candidates who will stand up for workers’ rights, public safety, and education.

For more information send email to Shannon.

Support the Candidates Who Support Solar Energy

Theresa Westbrock issued a second invitation to the CVNM fundraiser, emphasizing that there will be excellent live music, great food, and beer provided by her husband, Mark Westbrock, who has been winning awards for his English Brown Ale, his Belgian Strong Ale, and more.

Theresa also reminded everyone of the fundraiser for candidates who support solar energy. The candidates will be on hand, and it will be another evening with good food and beer. All proceeds from the event go to the candidates.

Stand Up For Solar!
Wednesday, August 31, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Pecan Grill

For more information send email to Theresa.

What’s Happening at the County Assessor’s Office?

Paul Ponce reported from the assessor’s office that 1250 valuation protests have been received this year (down from the previous year). The staff is currently recovering from a major software upgrade and preparing to schedule all of the valuation appeals meetings.

For more information send email to Paul.

Nathan Small Is Running for NM House District 36 and His Field Organizer Wants Your Help

Last but not least, Cheryl Frank made a heartfelt plea for volunteers to help her with the important and far-from-easy task of getting Nathan Small elected to New Mexico House District 36. Nathan, two-term city councilor and tireless proponent for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, is facing the incumbent, Andy Nuñez. Nuñez, also mayor of the Village of Hatch, was previously a Democrat and an Independent but is currently a Republican. He is anti-choice and would prefer that wolves become extinct.

Nathan and Cheryl will be knocking on doors all of September and October (beginning Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.) and will welcome volunteers with open arms and also cookies.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

PVA Meets Again
Thursday, September 22, 7 p.m.
Munson Center

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