PVA Meeting Recap – September 27, 2018

Border Servant Corps

The U.S./Mexico border is a unique place where cultures meet, collide, and mesh. Linda Braxton spoke to us about the Border Servant Corps, which is an organization that engages in “Border Immersion” tours; relationships and first-hand educational experiences about border issues are prioritized and are incredibly helpful far and wide. They host 4-5 tours a month which are 3-5 days in length and people are completely immersed in the borderlands. People who go on these tours will visit holding centers, immigration courtrooms, judges, immigration lawyers, and sometimes Ciudad Juarez. It’s important for people who aren’t local to really understand what it’s like along the border.

One of the biggest things the Border Servant Corps does is refugee hospitality. It’s their mission is to promote and demonstrate justice, kindness, and humility through the intentional exploration of community, simplicity, social justice, and spirituality. The Annunciation house in El Paso is the primary hospitality center in this region. They have three buildings in El Paso and help unite families that are being releasing by ICE. Since April of 2018, Annunciation House Border Corps and Peace Lutheran Church of Las Cruces have served as a temporary hospitality center to refugee families that have been released from ICE.

If you would like to be a volunteer, you can contact Peace Lutheran or Annunciation House; you can help make food or help provide transportation (background check required). They also accept donations for food, water, and other necessities.

For more information you can visit:

Peace Lutheran Church Las Cruces

Annunciation House

BSC Amazon Wishlist

Unified Action

The September 2018 Unified Action is to:

Be Involved in the 2018 General Election

The Issue

The upcoming midterm election is crucial to determining the kind of state and country we will live in for at least the next 2 years. Our personal involvement with political campaigns can make a big difference in national, state, and local elections.

What we are asking

volunteer time for a candidate or campaign-related activity


make a contribution to a candidate of your choice

Superdelegates: now a thing of the past

Kathy Wooten is the Chair of the Adelante Progressive Caucus for CD2. She was excited to announce that the Democratic National Convention has issued a rule change regarding the controversial use of “superdelegates” to pick a presidential nominee. “Now your votes will choose the nominee!” Kathy stated, both arms raised in victory. She added that the Adelante Progressive Caucus was heavily invested in this rule change. You can read more about the issue here.

The Adelante Progressive Caucus is having elections for chair as well as other positions. They will be organizing a canvass for Xochitl Torres Small in Roswell, NM on October 13.

For more information, visit the Adelante Progressive Caucus’ Facebook page or website.

Working hard for candidates up and down the ballot

Regional Field Director of New Mexico For All, Nayomi Valdez, shared that they have been working hard for Democrats up and down the ballot. She reminded us that this election will be won with small margins, so if you want Democrats to win, go knock on doors, make calls, and continue to work hard. “Voter contact is the key to winning!” Nayomi said.

Nayomi also said she wants you to feel free to stop by the coordinated campaign headquarters any day: 230 S. Water Street, Las Cruces, NM 88001.

For more information, contact Nayomi.

You had me at, “Here’s a free t-shirt.”

Doña Ana County Sheriff candidate Kim Stewart wanted to show off their new campaign t-shirts, which proclaim, “Vote for Kim Stewart Sheriff Doña Ana County.” Contact the campaign Facebook page to get yours. She also let everyone know that they would be at the Southern New Mexico State Fair and asked for volunteers to help them out (you will get in free!). There are a lot of events coming up, where Kim will be talking about community policing, so be sure to get to one or two.

For more information, visit the campaign website or Facebook page.

Q. Does it matter? A. YES!

Maria Flores talked about the get-out-the-vote initiative: door-hangers that will be distributed precinct by precinct. These door-hangers say: “Yes, it matters. Vote Democrat all the way down the ballot”. Take a look here. These will be distributed all over the county, and will be going to voters who may need that extra nudge. You can contact Maria, Terry Miller, or Don Kurtz to volunteer to help pass out the door-hangers in your precinct.

For more information, contact Maria.

Support public radio

Dinah Jentgen hopes everyone will participate in pledge week for KRWG-FM this week and beyond. She reminded us that the current administration wants to zero out budgets for public media. “Do you want everyone to depend on Fox News and Sinclair for news?” Dinah asked. Public media now depends on everyone. Here’s how to donate.

For more information, contact Dinah.

Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?

Elisa Sánchez announced that a one-woman show written and performed by Irma Herrera titled, “Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?” will be up at the Black Box Theatre on Sunday, October 7. The central question of the show is: Can a person with a “foreign” name be a REAL American?

According to Irma Herrera’s website, she’s very “interested in connecting with social justice activists in Las Cruces as I’d like to invite some to participate in talkbacks after each of the two shows.” So please stop by, listen, and engage with her!

Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name? A One-Woman Show
Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Black Box Theatre: 430 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, NM
(575) 523-1223

For more information, contact Elisa.

News from SWEC

Executive Director of the Southwest Environmental Center, Kevin Bixby, assured us that SWEC continues to oppose the building of a border wall. “If they are building, we will continue to show up and oppose it.” You can read about that here.

On a happier note, let’s talk about great parties! Kevin invited everyone to A Wild Night for Wildlife, SWEC’s annual fundraiser. Early bird tickets start at $50 a person; $60 on October 13. “Come enjoy some delicious local food,” said Kevin, “and have fun with people who care about the environment!”

A Wild Night for Wildlife
October 13 from 6:00-10:00 P.M. at the Las Cruces Plaza.

For more information, contact Kevin.

From cradle to career

Representative Joanne Ferrary shared some updates about things that are going on at interim committees (she is on 6 interim committees!). Information has been disclosed about the Martinez/Yazzie v New Mexico case to satisfy the ruling that the state was not providing New Mexico students with sufficient education as required by the state constitution. Joanne said she supports early childhood education programs so children from 1-3 can develop social and critical thinking skills to better prepare them for Pre-K and elementary school.

Joanne also sits on the Health & Human Services Interim Committee and reported back to us that New Mexico legislators are looking into ensuring people with pre-existing conditions are protected and perhaps a Medicaid-buy-in to make health insurance more affordable.

For more information, visit Joanne’s campaign website.

Whoooo’s your favorite local radio personality?

Peter Goodman wanted to add an exclamation point to what the previous speakers have said about getting out and voting! He emphasized that Democrats win in polls among “all registered voters” but not always among “likely voters”.

Peter also reiterated the importance of going to see “Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?” (Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.) and announced that Irma Herrera would be on his radio show on Wednesday, October 3.

He also wanted to remind everyone how important local radio his. For example, you might want to check out his show on KTAL 101.5 FM. He shared how he watched the Kavanaugh hearings earlier that day on NPR and even though you could watch them on many news outlets, Fox News wasn’t even covering it! In other words, public media is important and needs your support!

For more information, contact Peter.

Comments needed on El Paso Electric’s IRP

Allen Downs provided us with some important updates from the El Paso Electric Public Advisory Group. “On September 17, El Paso Electric filed its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan, the IRP. [Allen] and other members of the Public Advisory Group, believe that the IRP is deficient, primarily because it didn’t identify the most cost-effective resources. The next step is public comment and El Paso Electric is required to respond to public comments in writing. This is the most critical part of the whole procedure. If no one were to comment about the many serious problems with the IRP, it might be accepted as being complaint with the rules. We need your help. We need you to email your comments to the PRC. El Paso Electric has not evaluated demand reduction and storage options on a comparable basis with new generation, did not fully consider requirements of the renewable energy act. And El Paso Electric violated the requirements of the stipulation from the last IRP case… If you would be willing to help us out by emailing your comments to the PRC, please go to this link: LifeIsGood2.com/EPE/Help.PDF. Write your own comments, or simply voice your agreement with the comments that Don Kurtz, Merrie Lee, me [Allen], Rocky Bacchus, and Phil Simpson have submitted. Please email your comments before Friday the 5th of October.”

Here’s that important link again: LifeIsGood2.com/EPE/Help.PDF for more information on the format and how to submit your comment.

For more information, contact Allen.

Your new Doña Ana County Clerk is ready for Nov. 6!

Amanda Askin is the new Doña Ana County Clerk. She said she was surprised and honored to be chosen among the great pool of candidates. She wanted to thank the chief deputy clerk, Lindsay Bachman, for handling the hard work with grace. She wants to make sure November 6th is great for everyone and thanks everyone for their hard work!  

Piece of trivia: Amanda’s passion is rescuing animals. She has fostered and adopted out over 70 animals. “It was something my husband had to get used to!”

For more information, contact Amanda.

Pat reveals her magical field organizing strategy  

Pat Aguirre shared that there are four components to running a good campaign for a worthy candidate (“aside from the candidate being willing to walk thousands of doors”) – you need to canvass, call, mail, and raise money. Pat is working on Rep. Joanne Ferrary’s reelection campaign and they are looking for volunteers to help to assemble and mail out Joanne’s mailers. Let Pat know if you would like to help.

For more information, contact Pat.

Door-to-Door adventures with Shannon Reynolds

Shannon Reynolds, who is running for County Commission, shared his experiences going door-to-door to registered Republicans or Decline-to-State voters. Now, that may sound funny or scary to some people but for Shannon Reynolds it’s exciting! He even managed to get four signs for his opponent removed from people’s yards! Shannon hopes you’re enjoying all of this as much as he is. He finished off by saying that if he has $2 by the time November 7th rolls around, he hopes you will celebrate with him!

For more information, contact Shannon or visit his campaign website.

Probate Judge reelection

Judge Diana Bustamante wanted to retract her statement from last month about not having an opponent in the election; while her previous opponent dropped out of the race, there is now a new Republican candidate who registered right before the deadline. She thanked everyone for their support and she hopes to count on your vote on November 6th.

For more information, contact Diana.

Working together

Ali Scotten, the field director for Rep. Nathan Small’s reelection campaign, wanted to thank everyone for their support and helping get the word out. Ali continued, “In order to help Nathan, we also need to get good candidates in office to support him. We need to reelect Joanne Ferrary and elect Willie Madrid. Ali explained that Willie Madrid is running in a tight race in House District 53 (he lost in 2016 by only 100 votes). Therefore, he announced that they would be door knocking for Willie on September 30 to help get Willie elected. Please let Ali know if you can help.

For more information, contact Ali or visit Nathan Small’s campaign website.

Get out the vote event

Allsyn Apodaca on behalf of herself and her husband want to invite everyone to a get-out-and-vote event, where voters can meet the candidates. The event is highlighting Micaela Lara Cadena, Xochitl Torres Small, Kim Stewart, Steve Fischmann, and Lynn Ellins. Everyone is welcome, but they want to focus on those voters who are not sure they will vote or are unsure of who to vote for. Allsyn hopes you will attend to “help push these candidates over the edge!”

GOTV Event
at the home of Allsyn and Don Apodaca
3044 Snow Road, Mesilla, NM
October 7, 2018 from 5:30-7:30

For more information, contact Allsyn.

Voter registration and early voting

Sam Bradley reminded everyone that the last day to register is also the first day of early voting on October 9th. There will be an event called Education and Democracy Voter Registration Event for about 350 NMSU students who will be bused out to the county government center from 12:00-2:00 P.M.

There will be a crowd funded initiative to get a non-partisan remote for Hot 103, (the #1 radio station in town) over the lunch hour to encourage early voting.

He also encourages everyone to vote for Shannon Reynolds (“for the sake of my blood pressure,” joked Sam).

For more information, contact Sam.

Sandy gives reasons to vote for hubby, Steve Fischmann

Sandy Katayanagi is asking you to support Steve Fischmann! “I hope you vote for him because he’s my husband, but there are some other really good reasons to vote for Steve for PRC.” First, Sandy explained, because most of New Mexico is fairly rural, the broadband is less than ideal – that’s something the PRC can help with expanding and regulating. Also, she said, Steve is a voice that promotes renewable energy and he wants to make sure the PRC can get good deals with the most effective costs on our utilities. Sandy concluded by saying, simply, “Steve is the consumer’s choice.” 

For more information, contact Sandy or visit Steve’s campaign website.

Feed the body & soul

Casa de Peregrinos board member, Eric Walkinshaw, announced a benefit concert with Nosotros, local musicians, and food trucks. The event is called Feed the Body & Soul, and benefits Casa de Peregrinos and the Dona Ana Arts Council. September 30, 6 pm – 8:30 pm; on the patio at Dona Ana Arts Council – 1740 Calle de Mercado, Mesilla, NM

From Casa de Peregrinos’ website: Casa de Peregrinos (CdP), a food pantry in Las Cruces, New Mexico, serves not only Las Cruces but also much of Doña Ana County. Here, tough times tend to strike both often and hard. Right now, for example, nearly one-quarter of our residents live below poverty level. In rural colonias they’re actually living far below, with family incomes averaging $5,000 per year.

Visit the website for volunteer opportunities and donation information.

For more information, contact Eric.

Lead, vote, and be a positive example

Karen Trujillo, candidate for County Commission District 5, spoke about a candidate forum she recently participated in. At the forum, she asserted that we need to really value our students and push bilingual studies; another candidate responded by griping, “I don’t know why they’re teaching science in kindergarten, all they need is the basics.” In light of candidates with these views, Karen said that it is critical that we get out and vote because we need to assure that we are moving forward.

Her answer to being asked “How are you going to fix all these issues?” is that we can only lead by example, we can bring positive energy to the county like herself, Kim Stewart, Shannon Reynolds, and Amanda Askin. She feels they can be an example for all constituents.

For more information, contact Karen.

The mighty walk

MaryAnn Hendrickson shared that there will be an event they are calling “The Mighty Walk” for Rep. Joanne Ferrary (HD 37) on October 6th from 9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M. and it will start at Veteran’s Park (breakfast provided, of course! 😊). MaryAnn stressed, “It will be the last weekend prior to early voting so it’s important to get out and talk to/snuggle voters and show our strength!”

For more information, or to volunteer, contact MaryAnn.

CPR saves lives

Sharon Thomas spoke about her son’s sudden cardiac arrest and how his friend saved his life with CPR. Her son sent her the link from the Gazette Times and it had the 911 audio clip where they walked her son’s friend through CPR and when the ambulance finally got there, they defibrillated several times to get his heart going. There are roughly 325,000 deaths a year from cardiac arrest, 10.6% survive and only 8.3% survive with good neurologic function. Sharon’s son is alive and his neurological function is good! Sharon and her husband Dick want to encourage people to learn CPR. You can take this class for free on October 9th ($45 if you want the American Heart Association Certificate).

Free CPR Class
October 9, 9am-12pm
205 West Boutz, Las Cruces

For more information, contact Sharon.

Door-hangers for a blue victory

Don Kurtz spoke about how the door-hangers that will be distributed throughout the county will make a big difference. The goal is to nudge Democrats to the polls, especially those who vote in the Presidential elections but don’t show up for midterms. He has a list of 6,000 of these voters and needs your help to get the door-hangers to the doors. He stressed that it only takes a couple of hours and you can do it with a friend! Reach out to Don or Terry Miller and they will contact you with the details. Don ended by saying, “This will be the thing that can push Democrats over the top!”

For more information, contact Don.

Senator Steinborn has a new shirt in his wardrobe

Donning one of Kim Stewart’s campaign t-shirts, Sen. Jeff Steinborn wanted to encourage people to support Kim Stewart, Shannon Reynolds, and Karen Trujillo. He said, “The people here at this PVA meeting are the ones that help make change! And we all know that these ‘small’ elections are the most important!”

He also informed everyone about a fundraiser on September 28, to help protect the Gila River, which is the last free flowing river in New Mexico.

Gila River Fundraiser
September 28 from 5:30-7:30 at the home of Kiki and Wayne Suggs.

For more information, contact Jeff.

Decriminalizing marijuana

Antoinette Reyes informed everyone about an event happening on October 20 from 2:00-4:00 P.M, sponsored by the Southern New Mexico New Progressives. The topic is decriminalizing marijuana and the presenters will cover the history and current state of medical cannabis and hemp in New Mexico. Marijuana decriminalization efforts at the state vs local level will also be discussed.

Medical Cannabis, Hemp, And Marijuana Decriminalization
Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 2 PM – 4 PM
Southwest Environmental Center
275 N Main St, Las Cruces

For more information, contact SNMNP.

Nathan reiterates his support for Willie Madrid

Rep. Nathan Small wanted to publicly support the candidates at the county level. He also spoke about Willie Madrid who is the District 53 Democratic candidate (Chaparral/ East Mesa/parts of Alamogordo). He said District 53 deserves a good representative; Willie is a baseball coach, he’s a teacher, and he’s somebody who is working super hard for his community. Nathan reminded everyone that volunteers would be meeting at Milagro Coffee September 30 to walk for Willie. He also praised his wife Xochitl’s great work on her campaign for congress.

For more information, contact Nathan or visit his campaign website. (Check out the home page with George Griffin and other friends pictured!)

Welcome Crystal!

Pat Aguirre wanted to introduce someone who “came out of the blue” in her life and who reached out and volunteered to help with the mailers for Joanne Ferrary. Pat said, “I got a call from someone who wanted to help with the campaign. What a great call to get. Her name is Crystal.” Crystal just moved here from Washington D.C. to be closer to her family. She is a holistic practitioner and is eager to get to know everyone.

Thanks, Pat!

Be the change

Maria Flores added to her earlier statement, saying, “Today has been a difficult day [regarding the Kavanagh hearings]. If what we saw and heard from the hearings doesn’t move us enough to get out and vote and change things locally, nothing will.” She encourages people to pick up the pace and do a little extra. “We stop the behavior that’s happening in Washington by fixing it at the local levels.”

Thank you, Maria!

The next PVA meeting will be:

October 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Munson Senior Center

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