PVA Meeting Recap – October 22, 2015

Unified Action: Talk to Five Friends about the Election

Cheryl Frank took us back to a time before we paid attention to local elections, a time when we didn’t know what district we lived in or where to vote. The October Unified Action is about helping those people who are clueless about the election—like some (most? all?) of us once were.

Don Kurtz spoke about this month’s Unified Action in which we each contact five friends and urge them to vote for the candidate or candidates we believe are most qualified to lead Las Cruces at this time.

Ideally these are people who may not have made a decision or who otherwise might not vote, and for whom your recommendation will make a difference.

This Action goes to the very heart of what the Progressive Voter Alliance is––an alliance of individuals who make and act on their own decisions about their actions in the public arena. Each of us decides for ourselves who we believe the best candidates are, and we take individual responsibility for contacting others to advocate for them. By acting as individuals within a larger framework of shared values, we can, if we do the Action, have a profound influence on who will be guiding our city in coming years.

See the Unified Action details here.


Mary Lujan, our esteemed and ruthlessly fair enforcer of the 2-minute rule, said she will deliver any cash you can spare to Casa de Peregrinos to help them provide meals for the holidays.

For more information send email to Mary and find her on Facebook.

Welcome to a Campaign You Can Believe In

Angelica Rubio invited volunteers to help with Kasandra Gandara’s hard-working, fun-loving campaign. They will be canvassing and getting out the vote. Your help will make a difference.

For more information send email to Angelica and follow her on Twitter @anrubio.

Thank You from the Mayor

Ken Miyagashima thanked everyone––not just those who have helped with campaigns––for being involved in the community, caring about the issues, and dong the work. He said he likes his job as mayor and want to keep working to move the city in a good direction.

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

Pro-Choice Demonstration

Jan Thompson announced a demonstration in support of a woman’s right to choose. She noted that the anti-choice demonstrators are present all day every day.

Pro-choice Demonstration
Saturday, October 24, 3 to 5 p.m.
Lohman in front of Club Fitness and Whole Woman’s Health

For more information send email to Jan.

Guess Who’s Running

Jeff Steinborn announced that he will leave his position in the New Mexico House (District 35) to run for State Senate, District 36. Republican Lee Cotter currently holds that seat.

For more information send email to Jeff.

Good News from the School Board

School Board President Maria Flores brought the good news that a student advisory committee is in place and working well. The students elected their leaders and got to work with no time wasted. A student representative now sits with the board members during public meetings.

For more information send email to Maria.

Candidates Forum with a Difference

Win Jacobs invited everyone to yet another candidate forum, but this one will be different, she promised––the questions will be new and thought provoking and afterwards there will be refreshments.

Candidate Forum
Monday, October 26, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Temple Beth El

For more information send email to Win.

What’s NM Game Commission up To?

Kevin Bixby announced another opportunity to show support for Mexican wolves at a public hearing held by the NM Game Commission. The commission is opposed to wolf recovery (aka, in favor of extinction).

NM Game Commission Meeting
Thursday, November 19
Pearson Auditorium
New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell

For more information send email to Kevin.

Support for Jack Eakman

Nathan Small spoke in support of city council candidate, Jack Eakman, saying Jack has the values, the experience and the energy to be a great councilor. Nathan noted that Jack’s opponents have spoken out against the minimum wage hike and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Nathan said that someone is funding a lot of negative and deceitful advertising in District 4. [Ed: Funding issues have been addressed the week of October 26 by Heath Haussamen and NM In Depth.]

For more information send email to Nathan.

Taking Back the House

Rudy Martinez reiterated his intent to take back his former seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives. He intends to regain the District 39 seat, now held by Republican John Zimmerman, and “put a stop to the ridiculous bills” generated by the Republican-controlled House. He offered to meet with anyone in his vast district, anytime and any place.

For more information send email to Rudy and call him at 575-534-7546.

Don’t Forget about El Paso Electric

Rocky Bacchus thanked the mayor for the city’s efforts on the El Paso Electric rae case. He said that most of what EPE wants right now would not happen. However, they have their hearts set on building more plants ($1.1 billion dollars’ worth) in the near future. To prevent this, consumers are going to have to continue to let the Public Regulation Commissiobn and the Attorney General Balderas know that we need consumer choice in electricity.

For more information send email to Rocky.

Support for Mayor Miyagashima

Violet Cauthon asked us to think of the attributes of a successful mayor:

ŸConducts orderly meetings in a fair and respectful manner
ŸAllows citizen concerns to be heard
ŸUnderstands the complex organization that is city government
ŸSupports planning and keeps it nonpartisan

“That’s our mayor,” Vi said and urged us to reelect him.

For more information send email to Violet and call her at 575-393-0571.

Purple Prose

Steve Fischmann shared an email he received from a person who is convinced that progressives “hate their children and those who are producers.” Producers of what, he doesn’t say. The writer is worried that “promoting higher minimum wage, excessive regulations, trying to get employers to pay for health care, maternal or paternal leave, etc. etc. would all fly in the face of our Founding Father’s [sic] view of our society ….”

Steve concluded by saying, “We are going to feel terrible if we don’t get out the vote in our city election.”

For more information send email to Steve.

Canvassing: The Places You’ll Go, The People You’ll Meet!

Kasandra Gandara asked for support in her bid for City Council District 1. She said she has been a social worker for 25 years (15 years as an administrator), and she loves being out in the field, so canvassing agrees with her. Kasandra referred in passing to the negative ads that are appearing in District 1 (“That’s not a very nice picture of me,” she joked.) She told us the stories of three people she has connected with while canvassing. One woman in her nineties observed, “I care about the vulnerable, just like you.”

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

Volunteer for a Great Cause

Roberta Gran announced that Ngage is sponsoring an event for parents and needs volunteers for a variety of enjoyable tasks. Check out the flyer of the event for full details. Free books, games, lunch, keynote speaker, and workshops are included in the fee of $20.

Parent Success Conference
Saturday, November 14, 8:30 am.m to 2 p.m.
Las Cruces Convention Center

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

Learn to Collect Some Oral History

Jon Hunner announced a free workshop that will teach you how to interview family, friends, and elders in your community. The workshop is free and is part of Branigan Cultural Center’s project: 500 Years of Hispanic History. Make a reservation with Beth Stone if you want to attend.

Oral History Workshop
Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m.
Branigan Cultural Center

For more information send email to Jon and call him at 575-571-7777.

Democrats for Veterans

John Vasquez spoke of his work to let veterans know that the Democratic Party stands with them. Veterans’ councils are now established in many New Mexico counties including Chavez, Lea, Eddy, Grant, and Sierra.

For more information send email to John and follow him on Facebook.

A Voter’s Guide You Can Use

Rosemarie Sanchez brought an armload of the Voter’s Guide meticulously prepared by the Doña Ana County League of Women Voters. “Take some with you when you talk to five friends,” she suggested.

For more information send email to Rosemarie.

Let’s Elect Jack Eakman

Jack Eakman, candidate for City Council District 4, began by thanking Nathan Small, current holder of the office, for all he has don for the district and the city. Jack said he wants to put his experience and his vision to work for the city and he is working for that goal with all his energy and determination—even more energy and determination that he knew he had.

For more information send email to Jack.

Fundraiser With Celebrity Karaoke? Irresistible.

Lucas Herndon invited everyone to the annual Ngage New Mexico fundraiser which features karaoke and local celebrities. It’s a tradition.

Ngage Fundraiser
Friday, October 30, 6 p.m.
Grapevine Plaza

For more information send email to Lucas, follow him on Facebook and Twitter @lucasherndon.

Kudos for the County Clerk & Co.

Scott Krahling, chief deputy county clerk, spoke of Lynn Ellins excellent leadership of the clerk’s office including dealing openly and swiftly with the recent catastrophe. Scott urged us to read the report on safety of personal information. You can read it on the clerk’s website.

For more information send email to Scott.

Cranky Sound Off Questions Answered Here

Bob Diven answered a rash of AdobeHenge questions that recenty sprang up on Sound Off. For example: the solar and celestial features will be specific to Las Cruces; the Organ Mountains will not be obscured; AdobeHenge will not loom over the city; the project will occupy a 110-foot circle of desert that would otherwise become housing.

For more information send email to Bob. AdobeHenge is on Facebook and Twitter: @AdobeHengeLC

Transit and Canvassing and Dinner

Sharon Thomas reported that five new buses will arrive this week. Three excellent candidates have applied for the position of esecutive director of transit. Sharon then invited volunteers to join her in canvassing for Kasandra Gandara. Afterwards they will have dinner and beverages.

For more information send email to Sharon and call her at 575-644-2517.

Keep on Supporting Customer Choice Electricity Rate

Allen Downs noted that the city and county have expert interveners in the El Paso Electric rate case. More good news is that there will not be a separate rate class for solar energy users. Allen emphasized the need to keep pressuring El Paso Electric to do the smart thing and cope with peak use by instituting customer choice.

For more information send email to Allen.

Support for Councilor Smith

Greg Walland spoke in support of Greg Smith for District 2, saying that he cares about the city, gets what makes Las Cruces special, and does a good job for the district and the city.

For more information send email to Greg.

Councilor Smith Makes His Case

Greg Smith asked for support in his reelection campaign for City Council District 2. He said he has a vision for the city and he believes in working to reach consensus.

For more information send email to Greg.

More Support for Councilor Smith

City Councilor Olga Pedroza spoke in support of Greg Smith. She said we need him on the city council. He does good work, she said, and she doesn’t want to see him leave.

For more information send email to Olga.

Another Voice for Councilor Smith

Judy Zimmerman added her voice in support of Greg for District 2. She is a fan of his weekly coffee meetings (Spirit Winds and Milagro), his email newsletters, and the fact that he actually answers email from constituents. She doesn’t always agree with his decisions, but she has found him to be careful and thorough in the way he makes them.

For more information send email to Judy.

We take a break in November and December
PVA Meets Again
Thursday, January 28, 1916
7 p.m., Munson Center

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