PVA Meeting Recap – May 26, 2016

Unified Action

The May Unified Action: Talk to Five Friends about the Primary Election

Don Kurtz spoke about one of PVA’s cornerstone unified actions: the “talk to five friends about the election” unified action. This unified action, said Don, is made for the Progressive Voter Alliance. It’s what we’re all about. We’re asking you to talk to people about the candidates you feel are most qualified. “Each of us has a circle of influence,” noted Don, and people are actually grateful for your opinions (especially concerning down-ballot races). While most of us skip over mass-generated emails, don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, and barely glance at political mailers, we will take a call from a friend. We will open a text or email from a friend. That is why this type of personal contact is so important. We know that races can be won or lost by 2 or 8 or 11 votes. So talk to your friends and family! Give them a written list with your recommendations. Take them to vote. It will make a difference.

Here’s a link with all the voting information, including actual sample ballots.

For more information send email to Cheryl Frank.

El Paso Electric Rate Case Update

Allen Downs gave a progress report on the El Paso Electric rate case. The hearing examiner recommended that most rate classes receive a decrease. However, she recommended that the residential class receive a $7.7 million dollar increase and also recommended that the Commission deny Customer Choice (a rate designed to reduce the need for more power plants). The final decision is due June 10. Allen thanked the City and County for intervening on behalf of citizens and local businesses.

Allen also voiced his support for candidates Wayne Hancock (running for re-election to County Commission) and Merrie Lee Soules (running for US Congress). “Wayne Hancock was instrumental in advocating and implementing intervention by the County. He deserves our support,” said Allen. “Merrie Lee was an individual intervener in the rate case. She has an excellent grasp of the issues and devoted numerous hours. She will need our help to win.”

Allen hopes you will get out there and support Wayne and Merrie Lee.

For more information send email to Allen.

Volunteer for Wayne Hancock’s and Joanne Ferrary’s Campaigns

“This race is really important! Please help us out!” said Pat Aguirre, speaking about Wayne Hancock’s re-election campaign for County Commissioner, District 4. Click here to visit his campaign website. Let Pat know if you can canvass or help in any way to get-out-the-vote for Wayne.

Also, join the Joanne Ferrary campaign as they gather with others to vote on Memorial Day. (Yes, there will be refreshments!)

Come Vote with Joanne
Monday, May 30, 2016, 10:00 a.m.
DAC Government Center
845 N. Motel Blvd

For more information or to volunteer call 575-532-5127 or send email to Pat.

The Five-Friends-Plus-Plan

Jerry Nachison wants to improve voter turnout from the 19% it was in 2014. He is advocating for candidates such as Angelica Rubio, Wayne Hancock, and Jeff Steinborn. Jerry says he talks to people in the grocery store about voting. In fact, he talks to everyone he meets about how important this election is. The low turnout rate is shameful, said Jerry, so “get talking to people!”

For more information send email to Jerry.

County Commissioner Wayne Hancock Brought Some Facts and an Introduction

Wayne Hancock has a good idea: people should know the facts before they generate their opinions. Here are some fact: from FY13 to FY17, the sheriff’s budget has increased 31%. This year, the sheriff’s budget was more than $13 million with $4 million for support staff. $3.5 million has gone unspent.

Wayne introduced David Armijo, the executive director of the South Central Regional Transit District.

For more information send email to Wayne.

And Heeere’s … David Armijo, Executive Director of SCRTD

Let’s start with a basic question. Do we need a transit system in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County (the second biggest city in the state)? David answered unequivocally, “Absolutely. With the growth in the area, we need the busses, and they are doing well!”

You can watch a YouTube video about SCRTD (it’s a KRWG piece) by clicking here.

Click here to visit the SCRTD website and get bus information and routes.

For more information send email to David.

Pablo Martinez for House District 35

Paul “Pablo” Martinez reiterated why he is running for State Representative and what he has always stood for. “I haven’t changed my positions. Since the beginning of my career, I have stood for the same things,” said Pablo. He listed among the things he has consistently supported: collective bargaining, unions, and the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks Monument. He is against private prisons. He said he has always been a strong Democrat and hopes to have your support in the upcoming primary election. Click here to visit his campaign website.

For more information send email to Pablo.

Your Most Up-to-Date News Is Found on Social Media

Live tweeting and hashtags? It’s time to learn about these things because, as Lucas Herndon points out, social media platforms will provide the most current news you will find. ProgressNowNM just had a successful social media training and there will be more in the future. Lucas said while the national news was showing the worst of the recent protests outside the Donald Trump rally in Albuquerque, ProgressNowNM was covering the peaceful protests on their Facebook page. Here are the stats:

  • 1,500 shares
  • 81,571 people reached
  • 6,324 people currently talking about it
  • 52% people reading on mobile devises
  • 61,000 reads on May 25

For more information send email to Lucas.

Apparently, Game & Fish Is Feuding with Fish & Wildlife

Southwest Environmental Center Field Organizer, Kallie Renard, told us about how two Mexican gray wolf pups were released in New Mexico. The good news is they were accepted into the pack. The bad news is that (1) two pups are not enough to avert the genetic crisis of the subspecies (SWEC is requesting five family packs to be released to begin genetic rescue in earnest), and (2) NM Game & Fish Department is trying to block more releases by taking the US Fish & Wildlife Service to court. You can read all the details here.

If you support the Mexican gray wolf, SWEC asks you to sign their petition that will be sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service. The petition states that you support releasing more Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico. Click here to sign.

Finally, Kallie announced the following benefit/fundraiser for SWEC.

Dana Lyons
June 16, 7:00 p.m.
Southwest Environmental Center
275 N. Main Street

Internationally known singer/songwriter from Bellingham, WA. Heralded as an ‘environmental troubadour’, Dana Lyons, carries on the legacy of artist/activists such as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.  Best known for his hit comedy song “Cows With Guns” Dana’s concerts are a mix of comedy and ballads and are great for the whole family.

Refreshments will be served by High Desert Brewery, and there will be a $5 to $10 sliding scale cover charge.

For more information send email to Kallie.

Chief Deputy County Clerk Scott Krahling Is Happy about Voter Turnout

Scott brings some great information and fun numbers for us: how many people voted during early voting in 2012 (the last presidential election year)? We’ll give you a second to take a good guess. It was 3,200. Scott also informs us that we have already surpassed that, and early voting doesn’t end until June 4! As of the evening of our PVA meeting, 4,057 had voted. Impressive!

Also, for the first time, the polls will be open on Memorial Day so that people can vote on their day off. (This is only at the Doña Ana County Government Center from 8 to 5, not at the alternate locations.) Scott hopes voters will take advantage of this opportunity.

Scott is proud to say that the clerk’s office went to all the high schools last month and talked to the students (as well as teachers/parents) about the importance of registering to vote and the power of voting. They registered 317 people.

Scott is running for County Clerk. You can find him on Facebook. And here is his website.

On Election Day (June 7) you can check for lines at this website.

For more information send email to Scott.

Angelica Rubio Has Some Numbers for You (spoiler: 37 is one of those numbers)

Guess who is turning 37 on Memorial Day? In honor of her birthday, Angelica, who is running for State Representative for District 35, is asking volunteers to give some time to knock on 37 doors, or make 37 calls to committed voters, or donate $37. She wanted to thank her volunteers for all their hard work so far. The campaign has knocked on 1,500 doors, sent out 8,000 pieces of mail, made 300 buttons, put up 100 yard signs, held 12 house parties, and heard countless stories from people in the district. “I have heard their stories of pain and I want to go to work for them,” said Angelica.

You can follow and converse with Angelica on Facebook, visit her campaign website, or volunteer by contacting her campaign manager, Connie Chapman, at 575-496-5124.

For more information send email to Angelica.

Co-worker Vouches for District Attorney D’Antonio

Patrick Hayes is the Public Information Officer for the Third Judicial District Attorney’s office. He wanted to let us know that he’s supporting District Attorney Mark D’Antonio’s re-election campaign because he sees Mark’s work first hand and knows that he has good intentions. Patrick especially appreciates that the district attorney is a good office manager and that he has an open door policy. Patrick hopes you will support Mark D’Antonio when you go to vote in the primary election.

For more information send email to Patrick.

Eric Rodriguez for County Treasurer

Eric attended PVA for the first time to tell us about his campaign for Doña Ana County Treasurer. He said he was unable to attend previously because he’s been going to school to get his MBA and had class on Thursday evenings. Eric says he will bring integrity, experience, and understanding to the office of treasurer. He said a lot of people are asking him who he will be appointing as his chief deputy treasurer, and his answer is that “it will be a new office and we will be moving forward.” You can read more about Eric here.

For more information send email to Eric.

Rita Triviz Wants to Go to Philadelphia

Being a delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention is on Rita Triviz’s bucket list. You can help make the wish of this lifelong Democrat come true by going to your precinct meeting on June 2 (get yourself elected to go to the County and CD2 Convention) and then vote for Rita at the CD2 convention on June 18. Here are the details:

  • June 2, at 6pm: Precinct meetings – find your location here
  • June 11, at 9am: County Convention – Alma D’Arte
  • June 18: CD2 Convention – Onate High School

For more information send email to Rita.

Got Science?

Alice Anderson told us about an article in the May 20, 2016, issue of Science, which reports that the Cape Grim Observatory in Tasmania has measured atmospheric carbon dioxide at over 400 parts per million for the first time. What can we do? Alice had four suggestions: don’t eat meat, don’t drive a car, don’t have more than three children, and finally, vote for Merrie Lee Soules for Congress.

For more information send email to Alice.

What’s up with Private Prisons?

Community Organizer Sara Melton said CAFé is taking on the issue of the private prison system. The organizers at CAFé are concerned because Emerald Companies, which specializes in prison privatization, contributed to Doña Ana County Sheriff Kiki Vigil’s campaign. “What does that money mean for Doña Ana County?” asked Sara. CAFé would like to know the sheriff’s opinion of private prisons, but the sheriff refuses to communicate with them. Sara said if you have a moment, please call the sheriff (575-525-1911) and ask him to return CAFé’s calls.

To hear more about this issue, attend the following meeting:

NM CAFe Informational Meeting
Private Prisons and Doña Ana County
Saturday, June 18, 2 to 4 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church, 2000 S. Solano Dr.

For more information send email to Sara.

Congressman Pearce’s Voting Record Tells Us a Lot

Merrie Lee Soules is running for Congress against incumbent Congressman Steve Pearce. One thing she wanted to use her two minutes to talk about was the congressman’s votes against commonsense regulations. “Regulations serve the purpose of making sure we play by the rules,” explained Merrie Lee, “I support responsible regulations that keep the playing field level and protect hard working Americans.”

For example, Congressman Pearce recently voted against something called the Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advisors. President Obama explained it like this: “It’s a very simple principle: You want to give financial advice, you’ve got to put your client’s interests first.” Our current congressman voted against that. Merrie Lee pointed out that this vote in itself tells us a lot about Congressman Pearce.

She hopes you will help elect her to Congress in November. Click here to visit Merrie Lee’s Facebook page.

For more information send email to Merrie Lee.

DA Mark D’Antonio Thanks Two People and Endorses Another

Mark D’Antonio, who is running for re-election for district attorney, wanted to thank Peter Goodman for his recent column. “I want to thank Peter for telling the truth,” said Mark. He also thanked Wayne Hancock for his ongoing work for the citizens in the County. Finally, he endorsed Merrie Lee Soules for Congress and hopes people will volunteer to help her get elected. He appreciates the support he has received in his campaign for re-election. Click here to visit his Facebook page.

For more information send email to Mark.

Public Financing of Municipal Elections

Craig Fenske works with Common Cause NM. They are exploring ways to bring a public financing system to Las Cruces municipal elections. This would be a small donor campaign financing system in which candidates who choose to participate agree to raise only small contributions from individuals for their campaign. Those contributions are in turn matched by public dollars. One of the unique elements of this proposal is that the only contributions that will be matched with public dollars are those from registered voters within the jurisdiction of the candidate. The next time the City Council will be discussing this is July 11, and Craig hopes you will attend this meeting (as well as reach out to your City Councilor to say you support the public financing system). Email Craig for more details about why public financing improves democracy.

For more information send email to Craig.

Roberta Is Giving Her All for Jeff Steinborn’s Campaign—Can You Help?

Roberta Gran is working hard on the Jeff Steinborn for New Mexico Senate campaign. (Click here to visit the campaign website.) She is the volunteer coordinator and the events coordinator. She has yard signs if you’d like one, but what she really needs is volunteers for June 4, 5, 6, and 7. “We need your time and energy for the big push,” said Roberta. You can go to the campaign headquarters, located at 136 S. Water Street. She hopes to see you there.

For more information send email to Roberta.

Text for Bernie

Elaine Struthers, who is supporting Bernie Sanders for president, wanted to let people know about a way of connecting with voters called “Text for Bernie.” She said it’s self-directed online and you can campaign at home and reach hundreds of people by texting.

Also, click here to visit the Las Cruces for Bernie Facebook page.

For more information send email to Elaine.

Meet Daniel—He Works for Bernie

Daniel Contrares is new in town. He is the political director for New Mexico’s Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. “If you are on the fence, I hope you will consider Bernie,” said Daniel. You may see him around because Daniel truly believes in making direct contacts with voters. So, be sure to say hello.

For more information send email to Daniel.

While We’re Talking about Bernie …

“Bernie is the real deal. He’s honest and straight-forward,” said Claudia Piper. She listed numerous reasons why she likes Bernie Sanders over the other candidates, including his stances on climate change, Wall Street reform, single-payer health care, care for veterans, and war as a last resort. She added that a Trump presidency would be a “living nightmare.” The Las Cruces for Bernie group announced the following event:

Bernie Sanders Rally & March
Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m.
Meet at Gomez Park & Garden on University

For more information send email to Claudia.

Now Is the Time to GOTV for Wayne Hancock and David Garcia

County Commissioner Billy Garrett implored you to reach out to people you know all over the county and tell them to vote for the re-election of Wayne Hancock and Dr. David Garcia. “This is serious,” said Billy. He said this effort to oust good commissioners from the commission is similar to last year’s attempted recall of good city councilors, and it can be stopped if you are willing to work to get the word out about these hard working men.

You can read Peter Goodman’s column, entitled, “Why we Need Wayne Hancock and Dr. David Garcia,” by clicking here. [If you didn’t already like Wayne, you will like him after the napkins…]

For more information send email to Billy.

Peter Goodman Has a Prediction and a Question

When you are talking to your friends about the upcoming primary, Peter said to warn them that three or four days before the election they will see and hear a litany of negative information about the candidates. This will be in the form of negative mail, ads, press, and so on. Just let them know to expect it.

Secondly, Peter is glad to hear that candidate for treasurer, Eric Rodriguez, is furthering his education. However, he is not a fan of Eric’s current boss, David Gutierrez. (You can read about that here.) So, he wants Eric to answer the question: If elected, will he sign a notarized statement that he will not appoint David Gutierrez?

For more information read Peter’s blog.

Guess Who Is Casting Her Vote for Paul “Pablo” Martinez?

Pablo Martinez’s daughter and campaign manager, Jessica Martinez, is proud to be a progressive, a Democrat, and a community organizer. She said she’s been working on community issues and in public service, alongside her dad, since she was three years old. “We have always been about organizing and helping people,” Jessica said and added, “and Dad, I’m proud of you!”

You can read more about Jessica’s dad and his campaign here.

For more information send email to Jessica.

Taking Back the NM House

Doreen Gallegos does not have an opponent in the primary or the general election and she is thankful! But she’s on a mission to help other Democrats win their elections so the New Mexico House can take back the majority. She said the last session was very difficult, with the Republicans putting in bad bill after bad bill. She hopes you will get out and help Democrats get elected in the primary and the general. She also said she supports sending Rita Triviz to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia!

For more information send email to Doreen.

A Final Word from Gill

Gill Sorg invoked the comedian Lewis Black, who said, “Basically I wake up in the morning and I think everything’s going to be great. I’m really kind of optimistic, and I look forward to a new day. I pick up ‘The New York Times,’ and I look at the front page and realize that once again I’m wrong.” Gill said he’s optimistic about the upcoming elections, but the worst-case scenario is Trump winning. He hopes people will get behind the Democratic candidate to prevent such a thing from happening.

For more information send email to Gill.

PVA Meets Again
Thursday, June 23, 7 p.m.
Munson Center
(followed by the annual PVA Party at St. Clair Bistro!)

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