PVA Meeting Recap – September 24, 2015

Doing Something About a Better Doña Ana County

Frank Lopez spoke of the work being done by Ngage New Mexico and their education initiative called Success Partnership. A diverse group of county leaders is coming up with plans for a “shared community agenda” that places education and child wellbeing at the foundation of a vibrant community. The work is funded by the Kellogg Foundation, the Daniels Fund, and the McCune Foundation.

For more information check out the websites, sign up for the newsletter, and find them on Facebook.

September Unified Action

Cheryl Frank explained the traditional September Unified Action: Get involved in the election! Volunteer for a candidate, make a donation, register voters–there are endless ways to be involved. Unified Action details, elections dates, and voting places are on the September Unified Action page.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

Two Anti-abortion Groups and How They Mesh

Lucas Herndon of ProgressNowNM said the organization keeps track of anti-abortion campaigns and their activities. Currently in Las Cruces two groups are active and coordinating with each other: Sidewalk Advocates for Life and 40 Days for LifeSidewalk Advocates intercept women on their way to appointments at a health center and try to dissuade them; 40 Days for Life is clergy driven. The 40 Days for Life campaign coincides with our local election.

For more information send email to Lucas and call him at 575-496-6645.

NAACP Will Hold Candidate Forum

Terri McBrayer invited everyone to a candidate forum sponsored by the Las Cruces chapter of the NAACP. She said a forum is a great way to find out what the candidates are really thinking about and how they behave under the pressure of a live audience.

NAACP Candidate Forum
Tuesday, October 6, 6 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
700 N. Downtown Mall

For more information send email to Terri and call her at 831-435-9747.

Vote! It Makes a Difference!

Ardyth Norem of the League of Women Voters spoke of the group’s extensive resources for voters and voter registration. She spoke of the way that elections, especially local elections, affect the quality of life.

Ardyth invited everyone to a candidate forum on October 21. [Candidates will have had a chance to practice on October 6 at the NAACP forum.]

Municipal Election Candidate Forum
Wednesday, October 21, 6 to 8 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
700 N. Downtown Mall

For more information send email to Ardyth and call her at 575-522-0780.

Who’s Who of Elected Officials in DAC

Rosemarie Sanchez touted the wealth of voter information provided by the League. She recommended Who’s Who: A directory of Elected Officials which has every elected official that a resident of Doña Ana County needs to know about and how to reach them.

For more information send email to Rosemarie and call her at 575-650-3545.

Philip VanVeen for City Council, District 2

Philip introduced himself as a candidate for City Council, District 2. He mentioned his desire to “get our City Council back to being people friendly” and his willingness to talk with people about the issues facing Las Cruces.

For more information send email to Philip and call him at 575-23-1477.

“Radical Progressive Democrats Must Go,” Says Facebook

John Peterson described a Facebook page devoted to getting rid of the “social Progressives and their radical agenda.” John said the page endorses candidates for City Council.  You can learn all about Democrats to take back Doña Ana County the next time you’re surfing the web.

For more information send email to John.

Alan Webber Speaking at Democratic Forum

Yvonne Flores invited everyone to a talk by Alan Webber, former candidate for governor and a businessman with an impressive track record.

What Should Democrats Be Doing for New Mexico Now?
Saturday, September 26, 2 p.m.
Pho A Dong Restaurant

Yvonne recommended “Don’t Think of an Elephant, Know Your Values and Frame the Debate” by George Lakoff. She offered to buy a copy for anyone who needed one! [A new edition is about to be published.]

For more information send email to Yvonne.

Mayor Defies Political Rules and Changes His Mind

Olga Pedroza spoke in support of Mayor Miyagashima’s reelection. She noted that, in the midst of the impassioned minimum wage debate, he did an extraordinary thing (for a politician, at any rate). “He changed his mind!” Olga said. She continued by saying that he didn’t try to hide the fact that he changed his mind; he was open and honest with his reasons and his thinking about the minimum wage.

For more information send email to Olga.

Teen Health and Suicide Prevention


Earl Nissen thanked Bob Diven for his editorial cartoon celebrating the county’s remarkable decline in teen pregnancy rates.

He reminded us that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and he spoke of the mental health services provided by our school-based health centers. Last year the Las Cruces High School Center saw 495 students for mental health issues (that’s 45% of their student population). County-wide, 46% of all visits to school-based centers are for mental health issues. [Suicide is the third most common cause of death for teenagers.] On Sunday, September 27, at noon, KRWG-TV will air a program on teen pregnancy prevention. Earl is one of the people interviewed. You can watch it now on Youtube or New Mexico PBS. [Earl is interviewed around 14 minutes.]

For more information send email to Earl and call him at 575-496-3405.

Jack Eakman for City Council, District 4

Jack Eakman asked, most convincingly, for volunteers for his campaign. He said they had a job for everyone, whatever your talent. He reiterated his promise to work for a city where everyone matters, where businesses prosper and employees receive a fair wage.

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

If, and Only If, We All Do Our Share

Pat Aguirre welcomed volunteers to Jack Eakman’s campaign and said that great things happen when everyone does their share. She invited everyone to a fundraiser for Jack.

Jack Eakman Fundraiser
Tuesday, September 29, 6 p.m.
Habañero’s Restaurant
600 E. Amador

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

District 4 Candidates

Charlotte Lipson spoke in support of Jack Eakman for City Council, District 4, and said his experience and his values were right for the job. She pointed out that two other candidates, Richard Hall and Gilbert Vasquez, are running for the District 4 seat. She suggested a look at Richard Hall’s Facebook page and the Sun-News article outlining candidate qualifications.

For more information send email to Charlotte.

Can You Resist “A Wild Night for Wildlife”?

Kevin Bixby invited everyone to Southwest Environmental Center’s annual fundraiser on Mainstreet Downtown. The event features the best of local food and wine and live music and dancing under the stars. SWEC will honor champions of the environment, Bill McCamley and Jeff Steinborn among them. Kevin mentioned a few of SWECS’s ongoing concerns–La Mancha Wetland, Chuck Bowden Wetland, Otera Mesa, Mexican wolves, and back-by-noon outings, to name a few.

For more information send email to Kevin and call him at 575-522-5552.

Progressive Calendar

Judy Zimmerman, writer of the recap and custodian of PVA-nm.org, mentioned that all the events announced at the Thursday meeting will always be posted to the website calendar on Friday. The recap takes a while longer to post. The website includes all the Unified Actions and a handy form for joining the PVA mailing list.

For more information send email to Judy.

AdobeHenge Marches Onward and Upward

Bob Diven reported that AdobeHenge is working its way through the bureaucratic labyrinth. It seems that the project will succeed, and we will have a “celestial gateway” to the Organ Mountains complete with minimum-impact hiking trails. Bob thanked Senator Heinrich and his office for essential help. He asked us to like AdobeHenge on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

[P.S. Be sure to read the Sun-News front page article on Sunday, September 27 and never miss Bob’s Sunday editorial cartoon.]

For more information send email to Bob.

Ask a Candidate About Religion and Government

Violet Anne Cauthon alerted us to a few questions that candidates need to answer about the role of religion in American public life. For example, “How will you protect the right of your constituents, regardless of their faith or beliefs?” and “Is it appropriate for a candidate to assert personal religious beliefs on the campaign trail?” The Interfaith Alliance has prepared the questions along with more resources to help you be smart about the use of religion on the campaign trail.

For more information send email to Violet and call her at 575-373-0571.

Locals for Bernie, Bernie for President

Jerry Nachison invited everyone to a planning meeting for people who support Bernie Sanders for president. Everyone is welcome to attend; it’s a local group and all donations are used for local activities. Jerry mentioned that the group marched in Mesilla’s Diez y Seis de Septiembre Fiesta, and a lot of spectators joined them as they moved along the parade route.

Bernie Public Meeting
Saturday, October 10, noon
Branigan Library

For more information send email to Jerry and call him at 575-649-9098.

Health Security for New Mexicans Is Still Kicking

Aletta Wilson spoke on behalf of Health Security for New Mexicans. The plan would provide great health care insurance and save the state a huge amount of money. What’s not to like? Mary Feldblum, the director, will be coming to Las Cruces to share information. The meetings will take place, but not in early October as announced.

For more information send email to Aletta and call her at 575-640-5672.

Want to Meet a Transformational Candidate?

Don Kurtz invited everyone to attend a fundraiser for Jack Eakman, whom he characterized as a transformational candidate. Don emphasized that the fundraising is secondary to getting together and showing support for the candidate. It’s the polar opposite of bowling alone.

Fundraiser for Jack Eakman, City Council District 4
Tuesday, September 29, 6 p.m.
Habañero’s Restaurant
600 E. Amador

For more information send email to Don.

Sierra Club Endorses Mayor Miyagashima

Glenn Landers announced that the Sierra Club has endorsed Ken Miyagashima for mayor. He cited Ken’s consistent support of the environment, including Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, improving our parks and trails, and adhering to principles of sustainable development.

For more information send email to Glenn and call him at 575-525-0491.

Fundraiser for District 1 Candidate Kasandra Gandara

Rosemarie Sanchez invited everyone to a fundraiser for Kasandra Gandara. She praised Kasandra’s experience and temperament and said, “She has a good head on her shoulders.” The fundraiser will be at Rosemarie’s home, and she promised good food and beverages and a good time.

Fundraiser for Kasandra Gandara, City Council District 1
Thursday, October 8, 6 to 8 p.m.
For directions send email to Rosemarie or call her at 575-650-3545

It’s a Big City and the Mayor Needs Help Covering It

Pat Aguirre welcomed volunteers to Mayor Ken Miyagashima’s reelection campaign. She said that Ken wants to have a sign on every street in the city. “Have you seen the size of the city?” she asked. She brought plenty of yard signs and urged everyone to take one home and display it. Pat said canvassing is going well, and the canvassers are getting a lot of positive feedback.

For more information send email to Pat.

PVA Meets Again
Thursday, October 22, 7 p.m.
Munson Center


Print Friendly, PDF & Email