John Nelson provided a Vision 2040 update. Round 2 of 5 rounds of citizen input is coming up the week of May 12, where we will see the first ideas and concepts from the planning firm that is coming up with a comprehensive regional plan for our area.
This process will have a major impact on the quality of life in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County. By our active participation, we can insist on a livable, walkable, sustainable city for all or . . . we can let others insist on a plan that will benefit a few.
Lomas de Poleo
Neil Harvey, professor of Latin American and Border Studies at NMSU, gave us an overview of the history and current situation at Lomas de Poleo, a small Mexican settlement which had the misfortune of being in the way of a large bi-national development project being planned for the El Paso/Sunland Park area. The people of this village have been regularly abused in an effort to get them to abandon their homes. For more information, go to an article in the Grass Roots Press or email Neil.
This month’s action is to call Governor Richardson and urge him to speak up against the border fence. Detailed information is available on the PVA UA page. For additional information, email Adam Guss the sponsor of this Unified Action. You can reach him by phone at (575) 522-5552.
Author Bernadette Vadurro of Santa Fe, spoke to us about “America’s Conscience”, a progressive book with a conservative cover—stars, stripes, eagle. The book challenges the reader to become informed and politically savvy and then to take action. The book is available in bookstores and online, at Amazon.com, for example.
Sally Meisenhelder told us of her work in Nogales, Sonora, as a volunteer with No More Deaths. Every day 2,000 undocumented Mexicans are deported at this location. Sally is looking for people to help her prepare a resolution which would prohibit the use of city or county resources to identify a person’s immigration status or to apprehend a person solely to question immigration status. This type of resolution has been adopted by Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Rio Rancho. For more information email Sally.
Recycling . . . Make that curbside recycling
Bri Hines appealed for volunteers to carry on her efforts to bring curbside recycling to Las Cruces. Bri will be joining her husband, Chris, in Belgium, so Las Cruces will be without one of its most knowledgeable supporters of recycling. She will be happy to share information and help interested volunteers get up to speed. For more information, send email to Bri.
Earth Day Celebration, Apodaca Park
Gregg Henry announced an Earth Day program of fun and educational events to be held on Saturday, April 26, 2008. The Mesilla Valley Bicycle Coalition will sponsor a long and a short ride and hold a bike swap. For more information about the coalition, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The NMSU OASIS Club (Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability) will have a variety of activities for adults and children.
Fireworks . . . again
Bill Corbett was present to announce that the County Commission will consider an amendment to the safe fireworks policy. Bill asked for people to contact county commissioners and attend the May 13 meeting where the amendment will be voted upon. For more information, send email to Bill.
Las Cruces Office of the ACLU
Emily Carey announced that the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico now has a Las Cruces office. The staff is small but dedicated and will pay special attention to the issues facing border communities. For more information, call Emily at 527-0664, send her email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ACLU-NM on the Web.
Theresa Westbrock let us in on the fact that if you live in Mesilla, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or New York City you can have chickens in your backyard, but not if you live in Las Cruces. CLUCK is looking to rectify this situation by drafting an ordinance in support of up to five backyard hens (no roosters!). If you would like to join the effort to or to get more information, send email to Theresa.
Len Gambrell spoke on behalf of Michael Hughes, announcing MoveOn’s drive to get out the vote and elect progressives in November. People interested in joining this effort can find information at MoveOn.org.
Progressive Democrats of America, Doña Ana County Branch
Al Kissling announced an organizational meeting for this group. It will be held Tuesday, May 13, 2008, 7 p.m., at the new Democratic Headquarters.
Don Kurtz reflected on the powerful influence local legislators have on the quality of life in our region, and the important role PVAers have played in getting quality legislators elected to office. Even though this will be a presidential year, he urged us to dedicate time and energy to the election of progressive lawmakers at the state and local levels.
Hector Balderas, State Auditor
Hector discussed his commitment to honesty and accountability in government, citing examples of fraud that have been uncovered by his office. Next month his office will be rolling out a community-based program with the goal of involving citizens in the job of keeping government accountable. For more information, email Hector or visit the State Auditor’s Web site.
Early Voting Begins May 6
Mary Gail Gwaltney, New Mexico Democratic National Committeewoman, reminded us that early voting for the New Mexico primary begins May 6 and urged us to vote early. She noted that when we vote early, the candidates can stop worrying about us and can concentrate their resources instead on the undecided.
Democratic Women to Hold National Meeting in Albuquerque
Mary Lujan announced that the National Federation of Democratic Women is holding their annual conference in Albuquerque, May 28 to June 1, 2008. Attend a meeting May 3, 10 a.m., at the Farm and Ranch Museum to get information on attending the meeting. Senators Clinton and Obama have both committed to speaking to this convention. For more information, send email to Mary.
CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE IN 2008
The following candidates or their representatives spoke at the meeting to ask our support.
Kent Wingenroth for Magistrate Judge
Kent asked for our support of his candidacy for Magistrate Judge. For more information, send email to Kent.
Nate Cote for State Representative
Connie Richardson asked for our support of Nate’s candidacy for State Representative in District 43. For more information send email to Connie.
Scott Krahling for County Commission
Scott asked for our support of his candidacy for the District 4 County Commission seat currently held by Kent Evans. For more information call Scott at 640-6205, send him email, or visit his Web site.
Steve Fischmann for State Senate
Steve Fischmann asked for our support of his candidacy for State Senate, District 37, the seat currently held by Lee Rawson. For more information, email Steve.
Bill McCamley for Congress
Members of Bill’s staff were present to ask our support of his candidacy for U.S. Representative. For more information, go to his Web site, call the campaign headquarters at 525-9329, or pay them a visit at 308 Wyatt Drive, Suite 12.
David Gutierrez for County Treasurer.
David asked for our support of his candidacy for County Treasurer. For more information, contact David at (575) 649-9077.
Joni Gutierrez for State Representative
Joni asked for our support as she runs for reelection for State Representative, District 33. For more information, email Joni.
Oscar Vasquez Butler for State Senate
Oscar asked for our support as he runs for State Senate, District 36. For more information, email Oscar.
Lynn Ellins for County Clerk
Lynn asked for our support in his campaign for county Clerk. For more information, email Lynn.
The next PVA meeting will be