PVA Meeting Recap – June 22, 2017

Exciting Work Being Done at the Southwest Women’s Law Center  

Having just driven down from Albuquerque, Pamelya Herndon, gave a dynamic presentation about what the Southwest Women’s Law Center works on. Pamelya has been the executive director since 2011. “We are focused on getting good legislation passed,” Pamelya explained. For example, she told us about how they passed the Fair Pay Act for Women. After the law was passed, they tested to see whether the law was being applied, and wouldn’t you know it, they found the State of New Mexico itself was still paying women less than men! Pamelya told us that when the Southwest Women’s Law Center filed a lawsuit, Governor Martinez’s response was, “You can’t sue the state!” It turned out because the Fair Pay for Women Act falls under the Human Rights Act, the governor was wrong – the state can indeed be sued. Read more about that here.

In the 2017 Legislative Session, the Southwest Women’s Law Center was also instrumental in getting the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act passed, with bipartisan support. The governor then vetoed this bill, saying “I believe businesses will just do the right thing.” Read more about this here.

These are a couple of examples of the pieces of legislation that the Southwest Women’s Law Center have helped to fight for and get passed. But, after their experience with the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act, Pamelya said, “We are now going to court for everything! Lawyers are stepping up! Because,” she added emphatically, “we’ve got to do something! You’ve got to do something!”

Click here to visit the Southwest Women’s Law Center’s website.

For more information send email to Pamelya.

Support Group for People Who Hear Voices

Al Galves is a psychologist who is starting a new “Hearing Voices Support Group.” He welcomes help publicizing and perhaps even organizing this group. He said this will not be a clinical group, but a social group for those who hear voices.

Hearing Voices Support Group
Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Peace Lutheran Church
1701 Missouri Ave, Las Cruces

For more information call 575-522-8371 or send email to Al.

Tell the World You Are a New Mexico Progressive with a T-Shirt!

Jerry Nachison announced that they will discuss the latest facts about healthcare at the July Southern New Mexico New Progressives meeting. They will do Voter Registration training at their August meeting. And, at both of these meetings you can purchase spiffy new SNMNP t-shirts! Click here for the SNMNP Facebook page.

Southern New Mexico New Progressives Meeting
Saturday, July 22, 11am-1pm
Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room

For more information send email to Jerry.

Are You Concerned about the Future of Healthcare?

The founder of the Las Cruces Indivisible Group, Tony Martinez, said if you are as concerned as he is about the Senate Healthcare Bill, you need to do something. He said we are lucky to have two Senators who won’t vote for it, so call their offices and tell them that you support them. Tony said if you know anyone in states where the Senators are undecided, have those people call their Senators and tell them to vote no on this bill. Click here for the Trumpcare Toolkit.

For more information send email to Tony.

EPE Says It Does Not Need to Buy More Rewewables and Wants to Charge You Even More!

Allen Downs gave us an update about El Paso Electric’s Public Advisory Process and Integrated Resource Plan. EPE filed its annual renewable energy plan which says it doesn’t need to buy more renewables because they have exceeded the cost threshold; it also asks for a Cost Rider to recover excess renewable costs. They have also asked for permission to raise the residential rate to above the current going rate.

In addition, Allen told us the following:

The 10 MW solar plant PPA (Purchased Power Agreement) was approved for use in Texas only in 2013 and went online in 2014. EPE is requesting a waiver of the rules that say they need to request approval in NM within 30 days of initiating the PPA (it’s been almost 4 years), and requesting that it be changed from a Texas only resource to a system resource.  That means that NM will pay about $337,000 a year but the physical system remains the same. This is just an accounting change that does not benefit NM. We don’t need additional power now and won’t until 2021 or 2022. If we did, why would we pay 2013 prices ($55/MWh) when solar is now available for $30 to $40/MWh? The PPA has 27 more years to run – we’ll be stuck with this higher price until 2044.

Allen strongly encouraged you to join the Public Advisory Group, where you can learn about power production and delivery. Register in advance by emailing your name and contact information to NMIRP@epelectric.com or register in person at the meeting:

El Paso Electric Public Advisory Group
Thursday, July 6, 2017, 2 p.m.
Dona Ana County Offices Conference Room
845 N. Motel Blvd, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Allen.

19th Amendment Turns 97

Remember the excitement of the women’s march?  Cassie Calway announced that following the wonderfully successful women’s march and the “Night with Women,” the same group (Las Cruces Unified Community Action) is organizing a celebration of the 97th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. The group welcomes help with planning the event and is still looking for booths from organizations who want to participate.

Celebration of the 19th  Amendment
Saturday, August 26, 5 p.m.
Plaza de Las Cruces

For more information send email to Cassie.

Planned Parenthood Power Training

Rafael Reyes, who is the Planned Parenthood organizer for Southern NM, announced they will be doing an Organizer Training Workshop. Rafael said, “First of all, we will feed you! But aside from that you will learn valuable organizing skills. If you’ve been organizing one day or twenty years, you will definitely learn something from this training.”

Planned Parenthood Organizer Training
Saturday, June 24, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit their Facebook page here.

For more information and/or to sign up for the training send email to Rafael.

There’s a Billboard on Hwy 70 That You Will Want to See

Lucas Herndon announced that the Hispanic Access Foundation, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, and ProgressNow NM have come together on a project called StepUpSteve (#stepupsteve). Their mission is to educate the public and elected officials about conservation and environmental issues. Click here to see their website, and click here to see a one-minute YouTube video advocating for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. They also have a billboard on Hwy 70 telling Representative Steve Pearce to “Step Up” and do a better job at fighting for New Mexican values.

Also, mark your calendar for this year’s Progressive Summit! There will be panel discussions, breakout sessions, and a great time had by all. Don’t miss it.  

ProgressNowNM Progressive Summit
Saturday, July 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Doña Ana Community College, East Mesa Branch

For more information visit the Facebook page, send email to Lucas, and follow him on Twitter at @Lucasherndon.

Lynn Ellins Makes a Campaign Announcement

Lynn is currently the deputy county clerk. He announced that he plans to run for County Commission, District 1 (Billy Garrett is term limited). He said that in addition to being at every county commission meeting for the past eight years, he is also a lawyer, and as we learned from Pamelya Herndon earlier, lawyers are stepping up!

For more information send email to Lynn.

The County Commission Meeting on Tuesday June 27 is Kind of a Big Deal

State Representative Nathan Small thanked the Las Cruces City Council, which unanimously supported the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument by opposing “curtailment or elimination of the monument.” Read more here. As has been widely publicized, President Donald Trump has directed Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 National Monuments. The OMDP monument is on the list.

But, Secretary Zinke said that he will be taking the opinions of the county commissioners into consideration. See the excerpt from the Albuquerque Journal below:

By Michael Coleman / Journal Washington Bureau
Published: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 3:57pm Updated: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 at 10:30pm

In response to questioning from Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., during a hearing on the Interior Department budget on Wednesday, Zinke said if state and community leaders are happy with the current configuration of the New Mexico monuments, he’ll leave them alone. But he also did not rule out changes.

“I do not want to rip a Band-aid off of a monument that is settled,” Zinke said. “I will talk to the governor and the congressional representatives and I will talk to the county commissions …and if it is settled and people are happy with it, I find no reason to recommend any changes.

“There might be a recommended change on a proclamation (designating the monument) if the community feels the proclamation is too stringent,” he added.

Zinke said he plans to visit the state in two weeks at the invitation of Sen. Martin Heinrich, but a Zinke aide told the Journal the visit’s exact dates are not yet set.


If you can’t make it to the meeting, email or call your county commissioner.

The County Commission meeting is:

Tuesday, June 27, 9 a.m.
Doña Ana County Building
845 N. Motel Blvd, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Nathan.

Staff at Steve Pearce’s Office Would Be Delighted to Pass Along Your Message…

John Lazaruk is furious about the Senate Healthcare bill, and he suggests that if you are already calling Senators Heinrich and Udall to tell them you support them, you might as well take the time to call Representative Steve Pearce and tell him you are disappointed that he isn’t voting in the interests of his constituents. The number for Steve Pearce’s Washington office is 202-225-2365. The number for his Las Cruces office is 1-855-473-2723.

For more information send email to John.

Gill Sorg Is Running for Reelection to City Council

The City Council did several noteworthy things this week, announced city councilor Gill Sorg. First (as Nathan Small mentioned earlier), they unanimously voted to support the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Second, they voted (6-1) to support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Read about that here.

Gill hopes you will support him in his campaign for reelection, by donating, volunteering, getting out and voting, and by telling your friends about the November Municipal Election. You can find Gill on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information send email to Gill.

Sierra Club Is Getting to Work for the OMDP Monument

Glenn Landers, representing the Sierra Club, has a question for you: Can you devote an hour or two to protect our National Monument? They have come up with a great way for you to help: Sierra Club is providing thousands of informational door hangers for distribution throughout Las Cruces. If you can take 75-100 of these door hangers, it would make a big difference. You spend a couple of hours putting door hangers in a neighborhood, and voila, you’ve done something good!

Supporters of OMDP have until July 10 to submit comments to the Department of Interior saying “Keep your hands off our Monument.”

Can’t make it the weekend of June 24-25, but willing to help later? Walk lists and hangers will be available until all have been distributed. Call Glenn to arrange to get yours for whenever you are free to walk.

And, if you can’t walk, be sure to submit comments on line at sc.org/NMmonuments  before July 10.

Distribute Sierra Club door hangers
June 24 and June 25, 8:30 a.m.
Southwest Environmental Center

For more information call 575-525-0491 or send email to Glenn.

Are you busy on June 26 and/or July 13? No? Oh, good. Here are some things to do.

Kevin Bixby encouraged you to attend the City Council work session on June 26 and speak up in support of the city’s sustainability plan. Read more about our city’s plan here.

Also, on July 13, Kevin will be sworn in as a supervisor for the Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District along with Craig Fenske. He hopes some of you will come to the swearing in!

Las Cruces City Council Work Session
Monday, June 26, 1 p.m.
City Hall, Las Cruces

Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Swearing In
Thursday, July 13, 9 a.m.
NRCS Service Center
760 Stern Drive, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Kevin.

A Very Quick Word from City Councilor Olga Pedroza

Olga just wanted to say that the June 19 City Council meeting was great. She wants you to continue coming and speaking up. That is all.

For more information send email to Olga.

Have you heard? There’s an important County Commission meeting on June 27!

State Senator Jeff Steinborn said we need to show up to the County Commission meeting and make it clear that we, the people, want every single inch of our Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument kept as is. Remember that the public comment period goes until July 10. You can comment here.

Commissioner Rawson is bringing the resolution to “review the monument,” so please attend the County Commission Meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 27, and let the commissioners know you oppose the Rawson resolution and support a resolution asking the Interior Department to leave the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Monument as is.

If you cannot make it to the meeting, send them an email. 

District 1
Office: (575) 525-5808
E-mail: bgarrett@donaanacounty.org

District 2
Office: (575) 525-5804
E-mail: rgonzalez@donaanacounty.org

District 3
Office: (575) 525-5807
E-mail: brawson@donaanacounty.org

District 4
Office: (575) 525-5810
E-mail: isolis@donaanacounty.org

District 5
Office: (575) 525-5809
E-mail: jvasquez@donaanacounty.org

For more information send email to Jeff.

A Very Quick Word from Dael Goodman

Dael said that often a lot of people come to a city council meeting or a county commission meeting for one specific issue (does this sound familiar?). Then, as soon as that issue has been discussed the entire group gets up and exits the room. She understands that your time is important, but quite often other really important things are discussed at the meetings, and those things are related to the issue the big group was there for. Dael suggested that you stay at the meetings for longer, if you can. You may be pleasantly surprised.

For more information send email to Dael.

Conversations with Democrats Are Not to be Missed!

Merrie Lee announced two very exciting upcoming Conversations with Democrats. June’s “conversation” will be led by DREAMer Cindy Nava, who was born in Mexico and moved to New Mexico at age 6. She will talk about her life as a DREAMer, and how even though she has lived in a constant state of fear, she has managed to succeed. She has a degree in political science from UNM. She is working on a MA in Educational Leadership and Policy. She hopes to run for elected office one day.  

Merrie Lee says the July conversation may just be the “best of the year!” It will be led by Dr. James Lenhart. He has written a book called, “Conversations for Paco: Why America Needs Healthcare for All.” The Federation of Democratic Women of Dona Ana County encourages you to buy and read this book ($4.99 on Amazon), and write a review. Don’t miss the Conversation with Dr. Lenhart on July 22.

Conversations with Democrats—Being a DREAMer in the Age of Trump
Saturday, June 24, 2 p.m.
Holy Family Church, 202 Parker Road

Conversations with Democrats—Why America Needs Healthcare for All
Saturday, July 22, 2 p.m.
Arrowhead Park Early College High School
3600 Arrowhead Drive

For more information send email to Merrie Lee.

Two Questions and Two Answers

Sandy Katayanagi had some questions for anyone in the room knowledgeable about the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument issue (ahem – talking to Jeff and Nathan in the back of the room, there).

  1. If we already contacted the Secretary of the Interior (say, through this website), can we do it again?
    Answer—Yes. Please do. The more pro-monument comments, the better.
  2. When will Secretary Zinke be here and what can we do when he gets here?
    Answer—It is unknown the exact date of his visit to the Las Cruces area. When Senator Heinrich invited him last week, Sec. Zinke’s response was, “See you in a couple of weeks.” Jeff said, “When he comes, we will make sure people know.”

For more information send email to Sandy.

County Commissioner Billy Garrett Will Have an Alternative Resolution at the June 27 Meeting

Billy announced that at the June 27 County Commission there will be a PACE presentation and an El Paso Electric update. Commissioner Rawson will also present a resolution that supports a review of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Billy told us, “The resolution is likely to call for the Secretary of the Interior to clarify the status of private lands located within monument boundaries. This is not necessary nor is it consistent with the intent of President Trump’s executive order. The commission should vote down Commissioner Rawson’s resolution.”

Billy will be proposing an alternative resolution that “affirms County support for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and that strongly opposes any reduction of the monument or its areas of protection.”

Billy encourages you to come to the meeting and support the monument; if you can’t make it he said you should call all the commissioners and say you support the OMDP and oppose any reduction in area or protection.

Billy Garrett, bgarrett@donaanacounty.org, 575-915-5755
Ramon Gonzalez, rgonzalez@donaanacounty.org. 575-635-5212
Ben Rawson, brawson@donaanacounty.org, 575-649-4153
Isabella Solis, isolis@donaanacounty.or, 575-635-2479
John Vasquez, jvasquez@donaanacounty.org, 575-635-5146

For more information send email to Billy.

Peter DeBenedittis Is a Progressive Democratic Candidate for Governor

Peter’s slogan is “People First.” He said the good news he doesn’t owe millions of dollars in favors. He will proudly run as a progressive and not back away from that platform, if elected. You can check out his website, where he goes through his position on the issues, from such things as supporting single payer health care, statewide early childhood education, a living wage, renewable energy, and a publicly owned state bank.

For more information send email to Peter.

Joanne Ferrary and Rudy Martinez Check In from the Road

Matt Gloudemans brought news from State Representative Joanne Ferrary, who has been attending Interim Committee Meetings around the state. You can see which Interim Committees she sits on by clicking here. She’s been especially excited to be working on early childhood education initiatives. State Representative Rudy Martinez is the co-chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and he also says hello. You can check out Rudy’s legislative activities by clicking here.

Finally, Matt said, “Please volunteer for Gill Sorg’s reelection campaign!” You can email Matt or check out Gill’s campaign Facebook page.

For more information send email to Matt.

Joy Goldbaum Launches Her Campaign for Municipal Judge and You’re Invited

Joy is running for Municipal Judge (she will be on the ballot with the city council candidates in the November 2017 Municipal election) and announced that she is officially kicking off her campaign with a fun get-together on Tuesday, June 27. There will be good people, some tasty refreshments, and Joy said, “I’ll talk for more than two minutes about my campaign and why I’m running for this position.”

Visit Joy’s website here, or click here to visit her Facebook page.

Joy Goldbaum Campaign Kick-Off
Tuesday, June 27, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
1744 S. Triviz Drive, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Joy.

Remember Nuns on the Bus?

State Representative Bill McCamley was wondering how many people at PVA remember when Nuns on the Bus came to Las Cruces? (Me, me! I do!) The Nuns’ mission says, “As Catholic Sisters, we are missioned to stand with people in need and to be witnesses for economic justice.” Bill brought them up because Trumpcare will have a disastrous effect on the states. “It is simply a tax cut for the wealthy, and it shifts the burden to the states—this is obviously not good for the state of New Mexico. This means major cuts to schools, less money for police, public safety, roads, and so on,” said Bill.

The Nuns on the Bus care about economic justice and they support humane policies. Bill said the Nuns on the Bus are a good example of what “pro-life” really means and he suggested that anyone who supports a cruel policy like Trumpcare—one that is so dangerous and detrimental to people—cannot call themselves “pro-life.” Perhaps they should try riding the bus?

For more information send email to Bill.

Senator Heinrich Has a Few Choice Words about the Senate Healthcare Bill

Dara Parker, who works in Senator Heinrich’s Las Cruces office, told us that her boss put out a statement about the Senate Healthcare Bill. “Here are a few words he used to describe the bill: trainwreck, appalling, reckless, and disaster.” In the statement he describes the devastating consequences Trumpcare will have on New Mexico; he opposes the bill and will fight it every step of the way.

Dara also encourages people to comment on the OMDP monument review prior to the July 10 deadline.

For more information send email to Dara.

Can You Write a Letter on Behalf of Global Education?

Rich Renner is the local representative for Results, an organization focused on ending poverty. He spoke about the 260 million children who are out of school globally. Click here to read about the Results Global Partnership for Education.

Rich asked that you write a letter to Senators Udall and Heinrich and Rep. Pearce calling for “the Trump Administration to make a robust pledge to the Global Partnership for Education to help the most vulnerable countries provide education for the 260 million children not in school.”

Letters will be delivered in July to Washington D.C.

Send your letters to:

Rich Renner
1900 Palm Canyon Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88011

For more information send email to Rich.

PVA doesn’t meet in July
We Meet Again:
Thursday, August 24, 7 p.m.
Munson Center

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