PVA Meeting Recap – August 27, 2015

You’re Entitled to Your Own Opinion but Not Your Own Facts

County Commissioner Wayne Hancock shed light on some of the attacks that have been made recently on the County Commission. He spoke specifically about the budget and the public transportation situation. He answered a variety of questions. Wayne concluded by urging us to talk to the commissioners when we hear attacks or dubious reports. Get the whole story. Be informed and support the work of an exceptional group of commissioners. Read the strategic plan and the regional planning initiative.

For more information send email to Wayne.

Unified Action

Steve Fischmann introduced the Unified Action and explained “lower the peak” so well that even the most energy illiterate among us understood the concept and were motivated to write a letter to the Public Regulation Commission telling them why we want El Paso Electric to “lower the peak.” Please read complete details about the Unified Action here and send your letter.

Orange Was the New Black, but Now There’s More

Ken Murray reported that people are wearing orange (the color hunters wear for safety) to symbolize their stand against gun violence and their support for sensible gun safety laws. There’s a growing movement. Ken was sporting a bright orange t-shirt. He referred to his long history with the United States Air Force and his considered decision not to own a gun in civilian life.

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

El Paso Electric Is Cleaning Up—Figuratively, That Is

Rocky Bacchus, an intervener in the EPE rate case, brought a slew of facts about rate problems including the discrepancy between El Paso and Las Cruces rates. He pointed out that Texas, but not New Mexico, got a rate decrease in 2012. He has a plan to reward residential customers for using power at times other than peak demand periods.

For more information send email to Rocky.

Keeping Up With EPE

Allen Downs updated us on EPE’s numerous cases (at least 5) before the Public Regulation Commission. He identified six government entities intervening: Doña Ana County, City of Las Cruces, City of Anthony, Department of Defense, New Mexico Attorney General, and New Mexico State University. Other interveners are the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, Vote Solar, Western Resource Advocates, and Alliance for Solar Choice. Merrie Lee Soules and Rocky Bacchus are also interveners.

For more information send email to Allen and call him at 575-915-6969.

Introducing Candidate Jack Eakman

Wayne Hancock introduced Jack Eakman, candidate for city councilor in District 4. Wayne spoke of Jack’s work on behavioral health services for southern New Mexico and gave him a whole-hearted endorsement.

For more information send email to Wayne.

Jack Eakman for District 4

Jack Eakman said his training in public administration and his years as chief operating officer for a large regional hospital will be assets for a city councilor. He knows big budgets, human resources, and planning. He is deeply committed to securing adequate behavioral health services for our region. His campaign is focused on well-managed growth, quality of life for all, and steady economic progress.

For more information send email to Jack and call him at 575-635-2227.

Eakman Campaign Welcomes Volunteers

Delilah Eakman promised that her husband of many years will be a great city councilor. She welcomed volunteers to join the campaign. People are needed for everything from signing petitions, to putting up a yard sign, to making a donation. Delilah listed the many ways in which to contact the candidate: Facebook (Lets Elect Jack Eakman), website (jackeakman.com), email (jackeakman@q.com), and text or call 575-635-2227.

For more information send email to Delilah and call her at 575-635-2098.

Canvassing for Jack

Pat Aguirre, campaign field organizer, invited everyone to join in canvassing for Jack, especially the kickoff event:

First Days of Canvassing with Jack
Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13, 3 p.m.
2104 Vista Lejano in Tierra Verda

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

Councilor Greg Smith Runs for Second Term

Greg announced that he is running for a second term as District 2 City Councilor. He has served as mayor pro tem the past two years, and he wants to continue working to make Las Cruces “the best home it can be.” He’s decided to take campaign contributions only from residents and businesses in District 2.

For more information send email to Greg and call him at 575-202-5654.

Good News About Teen Birth Rates

Earl Nissen brought great news about teen birth rates in Doña Ana County—they are down, way down. You can obtain a detailed study from Earl, but, in a nutshell, the DAC teen birth rate has dropped dramatically from highest in the state and highest in the nation. Birth rates are now at the state average and approaching the national average. There has been a 50 percent decrease since the advent in 2005 of school-based health centers. The health centers are now present in most of the county’s high schools; their services include primary care, behavioral health, reproductive health, and health promotion.

For more information send email to Earl.

Mayor Ken Miyagashima Runs for Reelection

The mayor announced that he is running for a third term. He spoke of positive changes in Las Cruces and of his commitment to transparency in the workings of city government. He mentioned that he changed his position on raising the minimum wage. Initially, he was opposed; but as he learned more about the issue and the ramifications, he became a supporter of the wage hike.

For more information send email to Ken and call him at 575-571-2440.

Praise for the Mayor

Charlotte Lipson read an eloquent letter in support of Mayor Miyagashima. She noted his unfailing courtesy (extended to all whether or not you agree with him and whether or not you are being courteous yourself). She referred to his calm and rational leadership throughout the heated minimum wage debate and the divisive recall effort. “He understands that our gorgeous public lands are great assets to our community and the entire nation,” she said.

For more information send email to Charlotte and call her at 575-527-4083.

Introducing Candidate Kasandra Gandara

Angelica Rubio introduced Kasandra Gandara, candidate for city council, District 1. She spoke of Kasandra as a candidate with the experience, the work ethic, and the values to be an outstanding city councilor. Angelica has taken a leave of absence without pay from her work at Café in order to work on Kasandra’s campaign.

For more information send email to Angelica.

Kasandra Gandara Runs for City Council, District 1

Kasandra spoke of over 20 years of experience as a social worker and currently as a supervisor for Child Protective Services in southern New Mexico. She said that collaboration is one of her strengths and that she is committed to being a voice for hardworking families.

For more information send email to Kasandra and call her at 575-640-6334.

Music and Fireworks under the Stars

Cynthia Garrett invited everyone to an outdoor concert presented by the Las Cruces Symphony Association. The family-friendly event will have popular music, patriotic music, show tunes, and a grand finale with fireworks and the1812 Overture.

POPS Under the Stars
Sunday, September 13, 8 p.m. (gates open at 6:30 p.m.)
Presley Askew Field, NMSU Campus

Cynthia mentioned that season tickets are still available, and the season is going to be great.

For more information send email to Cynthia and or call the symphony office at 575-646-3709

County Commission News

County Commission Chair Billy Garrett thanked everyone for support of the commissioners’ work and their goal of making this county a good place for everyone. He mentioned the good news that the comprehensive plan and the budget were both passed. Billy has a Facebook page that is devoted to the work of the county commission. It is a place to publicize the facts and the work that’s being done. Plans are underway for a website with a similar mission.

For more information send email to Billy and call him at 575-915-5755.

Be Prepared, Be Strong, and Be Civil

Peter Goodman praised this place we call home. He pointed out that we have city councilors and staff who care about people, have expertise, and are competent. “We’ve got something special here,” he said, and reminded us not to take it for granted. He predicted that the opposition in the municipal election will be well-funded and formidable. His advice? “Be strong and be civil. No matter what—be civil.”

For more information send email to Peter.

ProgressNow New Mexico Opens Las Cruces Office

Lucas Herndon announced that ProgressNow New Mexico is in Las Cruces these days, and Lucas is the person in charge. He invited everyone to send him concerns, issues, and ideas for a progressive agenda.

For more information send email to Lucas.

Whole Woman’s Health

Linda Prine, physician at Whole Woman’s Health, introduced herself and said she was happy to be serving the women of southern New Mexico and western Texas. The health center will have an open house in the fall to which everyone will be invited. She promised to be available after the meeting to answer questions.

For more information send email to Linda and call her at 917-520-2889.

More Support for Mayor of New Mexico’s #1 City

Gill Sorg, city councilor for District 5, spoke in support of Mayor Miyagashima. He said Ken has been a good mayor who represents the city well. He praised the mayor’s strong and steady leadership during the recall effort and urged us to vote for him.

For more information send email to Gill and call him at 505-358-3773.

Support for Kasandra for District 1

Cecilia Rosales spoke in support of Kasandra Gandara for city council. Cecilia said she grew up in District 1, and has been friends with Kasandra for many years. She trusts her to be a great advocate for families and children and a hardworking city councilor. She invited everyone to the campaign kickoff.

Campaign Kickoff
Sunday, August 30, 5 to 7 p.m.
Home of Ernie and Trynn
2719 Spitz Ave.

For more information send email to Cecilia.

Take It From a Friend

Sally Carter, another longtime friend of Kasandra Gandara, vouched for her work ethic and her dedication to her work with families and children. Sally welcomed volunteers to the campaign.

For more information send email to Sally.

Feel the Bern

Cliff Pelton extended a cordial invitation to attend a brown-bag lunch and planning session with Las Crucens who support Bernie Sanders for President.

Brown Bag Lunch/Planning Meeting
Saturday, August 29, Noon
Roadrunner Room, Branigan Library

For more information send email to Cliff.

Emerge New Mexico

Rich Ferrary praised Emerge New Mexico, an organization that inspires Democratic women to run for office and trains them to win. He said the women are changing—for the better—the way government works. He named some of the outstanding local women who are Emerge graduates (Joanne Ferrary, Mary Ann Hendrickson, MariaElena Johnson, Beth Bardwell, and Merrie Lee Soules). Emerge New Mexico’s big fundraiser is taking place in Albuquerque; if you can’t attend, it’s still a good idea to make a contribution to a very worthy cause.

For more information send email to Rich and call him at 575-635-2404.

Rally to Support Planned Parenthood

Jan Thompson asked everyone to attend a rally in support of Planned Parenthood. Everyone is welcome. Jan stressed that Planned Parenthood works to prevent the need for abortion. She recommended Vi Cauthon’s recent Sun-News guest column in support of Planned Parenthood.

For more information send email to Jan.

District 4 News

City Councilor Nathan Small, who is not running for reelection, had good things to say about Jack Eakman, who is running for the District 4 city council seat. Nathan said that the City Council meetings on September 14 and 21 will be about housing, economic development, and redeveloping the city’s core.

For more information send email to Nathan.

AdobeHenge Is Moving Onward and Upward

Bob Diven reported that AdobeHenge (think adobe + Stonehenge) is making headway. The BLM is “psyched about the project,” and the numerous organizations that must be involved have been encouraging. Jack will present the project to the County Commission on September 22. Like them on Facebook and follow their brand new account on Twitter, which is quite fun. For example: You know you’re deep into this process when learning from BLM no RMP amendment needed for the RPP lease gets you excited! ‪#‎hengetastic ‪#‎buildadobehenge

For more information send email to Bob.

Gun Violence and Rep. Pearce

Roberta Gran spoke of her concern about gun violence and the need for sensible gun safety laws. She said she calls the office of Representative Pearce when there is a shooting [specific criteria were not provided] with this message: “I hold you personally responsible for the death of _____.” She asked others to do the same.

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

New Mexico Is the Face of the Future

Elisa Sanchez described herself as a person who was born in Doña Ana County and has lived here all her life. She characterized our multicultural region as “the face of the United States tomorrow.” She said we need a multicultural education system for all children and left us with these words from Nelson Mandela:

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

For more information send email to Elisa.

15th Annual Labor Day Breakfast

Mary Ann Hendrickson invited everyone to the Labor Day Breakfast sponsored by the Doña Ana Democratic Party.

Labor Day Breakfast
Monday, September 7, 9 a.m.
Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road

For more information send email to Mary Ann.

Hot Dogs with the Mayor and Also Canvassing

Pat Aguirre, field organizer for the mayor’s reelection campaign, invited everyone to the mayor’s traditional hot dog picnic at Veterans Memorial Park and the kick off of the door-to-door canvassing part of his campaign.

Hot Dog Picnic
Saturday, September 5, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Park
2651 Roadrunner Parkway

Canvassing Begins
Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13, 4 p.m.
1510 S. Solano

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

PVA Meets Again
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m.
Munson Center, 975 S. Mesquite

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