Plain and Simple: Early Childhood Education Is a Good Investment
Marco Nuñez of the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), spoke of the group’s efforts to promote early childhood education. He cited the impacts of early childhood education including the economic payoff that society receives from investing in children from birth-to-five. SWOP is based in Albuquerque but committed to supporting early childhood efforts in southern New Mexico and will hold town hall meetings with legislators and candidates in Las Cruces, Deming, and Anthony. A meeting at NMSU is scheduled for April 27.
For more information send email to Marco and call him at 303-618-4588.
Tweet! The Unified Action
The Unified Action celebrates President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which will regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Send a photo of yourself holding a sign supporting the environment to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, @GinaEPA.
For more information send email to Cheryl Frank.
Getting Out the Vote One Community at a Time
Liz Rodriguez, chair of the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County, announced that they are focused on getting out the vote and are planning gatherings that suit the culture of the communities within the county. A St. Patrick’s Day celebration for District 35 was a case in point. Candidates turned out to meet constituents and a community businesses contributed to the event. In case you’d like to support those generous businesses, here they are:
Lujan Bakery, Bakery on Lohman & Mesquite
Nayomi Valdez, Massage Therapist
Robert Young, Hairdresser in Mesquite Junction at Mesquite & Madrid
Roberta Gran, Gift baskets to order
Francine Berru, Native healer at Executive Center II on Water
Nopalitos, Mexican restaurant at May & Mesquite
Más Art, Art supplies & framing on Main St.
Rosie’s Café, Mexican restaurant in La Esquina at Main & Las Cruces
Zeffiros, Restaurant & artisan bread on Water north of Griggs
Coas Bookstore, Main north of Las Cruces
Patina, Home Decor at Main & Las Cruces
Days Hamburgers, Restaurant at Water & Las Cruces
Downtown Florist, Flower shop at Main & Las Cruces
Mott’s Potts, Handmade pottery at Main & Lucero
Bistro, Restaurant on Main south of Las Cruces
La Nueva Casita, Mexican Restaurant at Organ & Mesquite
Ashley Furniture, on Del Rey north of US 70
For more information send email to Liz and call her at 575-312-5677.
Social Media for Progressive Causes
Lucas Herndon will conduct social media training that will show you how to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to effect positive social change. Let him know if you are interested and he will arrange a training to fit your schedule.
For more information send email to Lucas and follow him Facebook and Twitter.
Look Who’s Turning 46
Gill Sorg invited everyone to a birthday party/fundraiser for Jeff Steinborn, candidate for State Senate, District 36. Tickets are $46 each—one for each birthday.
Birthday Party (Jeff and Dan) Fundraiser (Jeff)
Thursday, April 7, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Home of Ernie Bean and Trynn, 2719 Spitz St.
For more information send email to Gill.
Thumbs up for PVA
Dan Lorimier, Sierra Club activist and lobbyist, said a big thank you for the Unified Action and expressed his pleasure at being part of the PVA gathering.
For more information send email to Dan.
Ray Jaramillo for NM House, District 35
Ray Jaramillo thanked our feature presenter for his work on early childhood education and said he has also been working along those lines. He invited everyone to a fundraiser featuring dinner and a dance with live music by Vince Alten.
Hoedown for the House
Saturday, April 2
Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
For more information send email to Ray and call him at 505-410-0424.
Wayne Hancock for County Commission
Sharon Shoemaker spoke in support of Wayne Hancock, who is running for re-election to the County Commission, District 4. She mentioned his many achievements including his work to improve mental health services for our region. She welcomed volunteers to the campaign and promised that there is a multitude of jobs to be done, not only knocking on doors.
For more information send email to Sharon.
Bus Drivers Labor Dispute
Patrick Nolan of the American Federation of Teachers spoke of the LCPS bus drivers’ labor dispute. He said the bus drivers, who have worked without a raise for 3 years, will be taking a courageous vote and will need support from the whole community as they seek a fair contract.
For more information send email to Patrick and call him at 575-520-8817.
You Can Help Protect the Vote
Lynn Moorer is looking for 160 good people to serve as poll challengers for the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County during the primary and general elections. To be a poll challenger (for the Democratic Party) you need to be a registered Democrat, not related to a candidate, and not a law enforcement type. Training is provided, your help will be greatly appreciated, and you will know the satisfaction of having protected the vote.
For more information send email to Lynn and call her at 575-520-3045.
James Dickens for DA
James Dickens asked for support in his campaign for district attorney. He said he has 16 years’ experience as a state prosecutor and has conducted over 200 trials. As DA he would hire the best people and see that, whenever warranted, cases would be heard by a jury. He invited everyone to a fundraiser.
Saturday, April 2, 2 to 5 p.m.
The Grapevine, 3900 W. Picacho
For more information send email to James and call him at 575-642-7300.
SWEC Saves a River, Raffles a Prius
Kallie Renard, of Southwest Environmental Center, announced that the annual Prius Raffle is underway. Tickets are $100 and only 500 tickets will be sold. The winner will be announced at a gala.
Prius Raffle Winner Gala
Wednesday, April 27, 7 p.m.
SWEC, 275 N. Main Street
SWEC’s La Mancha Wetland Project is going strong, and 75 (seventy-five!) volunteers turned out for a recent weekend work party.
For more information send email to Kallie and call her at 575-522-5552.
Dr. G. for County Commission, District 2
David Garcia, aka Dr. G., asked for support as he runs for re-election to the County Commission, District 2. He spoke with conviction about his desire to continue serving on the commission. He said the commissioners were a good team and they work well together. He’s eager to finish the projects that are underway. He invited everyone to a meet-the-candidates event where he will participate.
CPIA Meet the Candidates, sponsored by Empowerment Congress
Monday, April 18, 6 p.m.
Betty McKnight Center
For more information send email to David and call him at 915-497-4293.
Angelica Rubio for NM House, District 35
Angelica Rubio reminded us that there is a three-way primary race for NM House District 35, and there are important differences among the candidates. She pointed out that she is not a single-issue candidate and is the only candidate who is a community organizer. She spoke of her success as the leader of the complex project of raising the minimum wage in Las Cruces. Finally, she would bring a woman’s perspective to the job. She invited volunteers to join her campaign and get to know the people of District 35.
El Paso Electric: The Beat Goes On
Allen Downs said it’s not too late to let the Public Regulation Commission know how you feel about EPE rates in general and customer choice rates in particular. He thanked everyone who has thus far written the PRC and attended their meetings. He noted that the following crackerjack individuals were among those who have made the trip to Santa Fe to speak at the PRC’s weekly meetings: Ella Nelson, John Nelson, Ann Gutierrez, Don Kurtz, and Steve Fischmann.
For more information send email to Allen.
Jerry Nachison Speaks Out for Planned Parenthood
Jerry notified us that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is present and growing in Doña Ana County. They are partnering with the NMSU Alliance for Reproductive Justice.
For more information send email to Jerry and call him at 575-649-9098.
Dickie Apodaca for County Commission, District 5
Dickie Apodaca asked for support in his run for County Commission, District 5. He said he is a civil engineer with 38 years experience and retired from the County one year ago. Economic growth is a priority for him; he wants to create jobs so our kids will not have to leave to find decent employment.
For more information send email to Dickie.
Sharon Thomas Endorses Hancock and Garcia for County Commission
Sharon Thomas, former city councilor and mayor pro tem, spoke in earnest support of Wayne Hancock and David Garcia for County Commission. She spoke of their effective work thus far including work on improving regional transit (essential for economic growth) and their commitment to [Sharon’s number one priority] comprehensive planning. “Support both of them!” she said.
For more information send email to Sharon.
You’ve Got to Read This Book
Peter Goodman spoke fervently about “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer. Don’t just read about “Dark Money” in the New York Review of Books, but actually read the book, the whole book. “It’s worse than we think,” Peter said. [See Peter’s blog for piece about money and the sheriff and the detention center.]
For more information call Peter at 575-521-0424.
County Looking for Some Good Citizens
County Commissioner Billy Garrett announced that the county is seeking applicants for the Mesilla Valley Housing Authority and the County Planning and Zoning Commission. Go to the DAC website for more information about the positions.
Billy invited everyone to attend a “Border Area Conversation” hosted by Camino Real Consortium. You can learn more about the projects, plans, and initiatives of the Borderplex Alliance here.
For more information send email to Billy and call him at 575-915-5755.
Downtown Needs the Community Theater
Greg Walland urged us to support the Las Cruces Community Theater and help them stay in their building on Main Street. The theater is brings people downtown, and a thriving downtown is good for the city.
For more information send email to Greg and call him at 575-522-3892.
Avenue Art Returns for Year 4
Bob Diven announced the fourth annual street painting festival.
Saturday, April 30, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
South Block of Main Street Downtown
The artist-friendly festival supplies food and materials for the artists and awards generous cash prizes to artists of all ages. Great photos of past events are here.
For $150 you or your organization can sponsor a team of artists and have your logo prominently and tastefully displayed. The sponsor application form is here.
She’s Merrie Lee Soules and She’s Running for Congress
Merrie Lee focused on the dismal, sluggish economy in southern New Mexico. She said that we’re lagging behind the rest of the country in recovering from the recession and our congressman isn’t helping. Merrie Lee referred to her training (degree in engineering, MBA from Harvard Business School) and her experience (managing huge projects for General Motors) and said she knows what it takes to get the economy growing.
Scott Krahling for County Clerk
Scott asked for support as he runs for county clerk.
He said the clerk’s office is training voter registration agents. He mentioned that some people are receiving suspicious phone calls that insinuate they are coming from the county clerk’s office—they’re not! If you receive such a call, let the clerk’s office know.
For more information send email to Scott, call him at 575-640-6205, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Ida Garcia Endorses Dr. G. for County Commission
Ida Garcia said her husband, David, has started a lot of good projects in his first term on the county commission, and he has the energy and the desire to finish them. She said he doesn’t ignore his constituents (aka he will answer your emails and return your calls) and is committed to finding solutions to problems and answers to questions.
For more information send email to Ida and call her at 505-459-0594.
End The Rape Kit Backlog
Gerard Dolan called attention to the backlog of untested Sexual Assault Exam Kits in Doña Ana County—82 with LCPD and 15 with DASO. The Senate passed a measure in the last session that allows for a five-year period of resolution. “Not good enough!” Gerard said. Local pressure is needed to resolve the backlog.
For more information send email to Gerard.
Update from the Assessor’s Office
Paul Ponce announced that the assessor’s office is doing a major upgrade of their software and website, so be forewarned there may be glitches, and call the office if you need help. You have from April 1 to April 30 to review and appeal your property taxes.
Paul announced two public information meetings.
Assessor’s Office Public Information Meeting
Thursday, April 14, 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Doña Ana County Government Center
For more information send email to Paul.
Where’s My Vote?
Mark Wood attended a pre-primary meeting of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. It was apparent that Bernie supporters far outnumbered Hillary supporters. With no explanation given, the straw vote was cancelled, causing Mark to feel concerned, to say the least, about the lack of voting integrity within DPNM.
For more information send email to Mark and call him at 575-525-0835.
PVA Meets Again
Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m.