PVA Meeting Recap – October 26, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Movement—An Ordinary Citizen’s POV

Claudia Piper spoke eloquently about the Occupy Wall Street Movement and its status in Las Cruces. She outlined some of the urgent, untenable problems facing our nation. She spoke of her experience with past movements for change including the anti-Vietnam War movement, and she emphasized the massive commitment and the persistence that is needed to bring about meaningful change. You can read Claudia’s remarks here.

Unified Action Update

Cheryl Frank reported that over 60 people sent and “I did it,” indicating that they had contributed time or money or both to a local candidate’s campaign. Details of the September Unified Action are here.

Unified Action Now

Don Kurtz spoke of the power of talking to friends about local elections, noting that people choose local candidates like they choose a doctor or a plumber—by the recommendation of someone they trust. He recalled that our mayor was elected by a margin of 70 votes, and a school board member won by a margin of 2 votes. Moral: talk to you friends and recommend your favorite candidates.

For more information send email to Don. For a discussion of moral action and the codes we live by, read “The Limits of Empathy,” a recent article by David Brooks.

Come, Listen, and Decide About Evelyn Madrid Erhard

Councilor Gil Sorg, invited everyone to meet Evelyn Madrid, candidate for Congress, District 2, at an event hosted by Ernest and María Flores.

Meet Evelyn Madrid Erhard
Saturday, October 29, 4 to 6 p.m.
4210 Senna Drive, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Gill or call him at 575-541-0577.

Who Wants to Win a Painting by Rosemary McLoughlin?

Ella Nelson asked for signatures for Evelyn Madrid Erhard’s nomination petition. She said the campaign is off to a strong start and welcomed volunteers to join the effort. The campaign is selling raffle tickets for an oil painting by talented and beloved local artist Rosemary McLoughlin.

For more information send email to Ella or call her at 575-524-0663.

Health Security for NM Still Alive and Kicking

Maury Castro announced that Health Security for New Mexicans is working hard to obtain a waiver so that Health Security’s money-saving plan can begin to operate before the current 2017 date specified by the Affordable Care Act. Oregon is also pushing for a waiver.

For more information send email to Maury.

168 Citizens Support Mayor Miyagishima for a Good Reason

Wayne Hancock brought the following story from his neighborhood.

I am one of the 168 who signed a petition and fought against a cell tower being placed in our neighborhood. After four Planning and Zoning Commission hearings and being brushed off each time by the public staff and the Commission, we had our final appearance before the City Council on September 8.Thankfully, the Council and the Mayor Miyagishima did their homework and asked thoughtful, pointed questions of the public staff, the city attorney, the applicants, and the concerned public.

The Mayor and the Council realized the applicants had not proven their case. Not enough information was provided as required by the governing ordinances.

Wayne expressed appreciation to the Mayor and the Council and concluded by saying, “There will be 168 of us working hard and voting.”

For more information send email to Wayne or call him at 575-522-9096.

CROP Hunger Walk Will Help in Las Cruces and Around the Globe

Aletta Wilson announced that the Church World Service is sponsoring a walk (1.5 miles) to raise money to fight the worldwide problem of hunger. Twenty-five percent of all the money raised will stay in Las Cruces for use by Casa de Peregrinos and Roadrunner Food Bank.

CROP Hunger Walk
Sunday, November 20, 2:30 p.m.
International Mall at NMSU

Visit the Web site for information about the problem of hunger, the history of the walk, events that will take place on November 20 all over the world, and answers to FAQ’s including, “Why is it called CROP?”

For more information send email to Aletta or call her at 575-526-5058.

Candidate Forum at Temple Beth El

Susan Fitzgerald invited everyone to attend a candidate forum sponsored by Temple Beth El (and promised the best cookies).

Candidate Forum
Sunday, October 30, 3 p.m.
Temple Beth El

For more information send email to Susan or call her at 575-647-1808.

Senator Fischmann Will Work on Jobs in Next Session

Senator Steve Fischmann announced that in the upcoming legislative session he will have three priorities with regard to creating jobs:

> stop unnecessary foreclosures
> finance energy- and money-saving retrofits in government buildings
> create tax reform that brings relief for small businesses

For more information send email to Steve.

The Mayor Needs Just Two Hours of Your Precious Time

Pat Aguirre, field organizer for Mayor Ken Miyagishima, announced that the campaign will have two big walks on the two weekends remaining before election day. She asked each supporter to spend just two hours knocking on doors for the Mayor.

Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30
Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6
3:30 p.m.

For more information, including meeting places for the walks, send email to Pat or call her at 575-532-5127.

CAFé to Hold Community Summit on Coping in Hard Times

Arcenia Lampkins invited everyone to attend the Faith and Families Summit, sponsored by CAFé. Community members will tell of their struggles in hard economic times. Bishop Ramirez will speak.

Faith and Families Summit on Community
Thursday, November 3, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral

For more information call Arcenia at 575-520-1624 and read the Sun-News article.

Jim Oliver Speaks in Support of Greg Smith for City Council

Jim Oliver spoke in support of Greg Smith and conveyed Greg’s thanks for the support, help, and interest his campaign has received.

For more information send email to Jim or call him at 575-532-9567.

Occupy Las Cruces to Have 24-hour Presence at the Branigan Library Park

Anndrea Davis announced that Occupy Las Cruces will have a 24-hour presence at the Branigan Library Park. On Saturday, October 29, they will meet on the Downtown Mall and have a teach-in on peaceful resistance and then march to the park. Everyone is welcome.

November 5 is Move Your Money Day and the group advocates moving money out of the nation’s biggest Wall Street banks and into local banks and credit unions.

For more information send email to Anndrea, visit the Web page, and find Occupy Las Cruces on Facebook.

Walk with Commissioner Garrett to Support Youth Gardens

After clarifying that new county districts are in effect now (see the county Web site for details), Commission Billy Garrett invited people to walk with him in an event sponsored by the Colonias Development Council to raise money for local youth gardens.

Race for GOLD (Green Organic Local Development)
Saturday, October 29, 7:30 a.m.
La Llorona Park on the Rio Grande

For more information send email to Billy and visit Colonias Development Council on the Web.

Ann McCullough Speaks in Support of Charlie Scholz for City Council

Ann McCullough conveyed Charlie’s thanks to his supporters and invited volunteers to walk with Charlie. “It’s easy,” she said, “You carry the clipboard and Charlie does all the talking.” She said that people are pleased to find a politician at the door.

For more information call Ann at 575-524-2601 and visit Charlie’s Web site.

Grant County PVA Holds First Meeting

Spontaneous applause erupted as soon as Theresa Westbrock announced that she had gone to Silver City to attend the first meeting of PVA Grant County. The meeting was lively and well attended and covered a host of topics ranging from concerns about city government, to hunger, to scholarships, to community radio and much more. The meeting recap is here.

Here’s a link to the PVA Grant County meeting audio: http://gmcr.org/?p=79
Here’s a link to the PVA Grant County web site: http://pvagc.org/

For more information send email to Theresa.

You Can Help Councilor Small Get Out the Vote in District 4

Xochitl Torres Small thanked volunteers on behalf of Councilor Small. She said the race was going well but the opponent is also working hard. She asked for volunteers who can work on election day to be sure that Nathan’s supporters get out to vote.

For more information send email to Nathan, call him at 575-496-9540, and visit his Web site.

Beware of Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic Comments

Scott Hancock introduced himself as someone new to the community who thought PVA would be a good place to meet people. He referred to recent anti-Israel comments attributed to the Occupy Las Cruces movement and observed that Israel, while not a perfect ally is nevertheless a good ally.

J. Paul Taylor Speaks in Support of Greg Smith for City Council

Former State Representative J. Paul Taylor vouched for Greg Smith’s character and his professional achievements. “I know Greg Smith very well. I know his commitment to the city,” said Mr. Taylor, explaining that his endorsement was “from the heart.”

For more information call Paul at 575-526-8949.

Martha Stevens for Occupy Las Cruces

Martha urged everyone to attend the general assembly meetings which are held on Wednesdays and Sundays, at 6 p.m. “Come, look, and listen,” she said.

Occupy Las Cruces General Assembly Meetings
Wednesdays and Sundays, 6 p.m.
Branigan Library Park

Martha also asked people to call the White House and ask that the School of the Americas be closed. The number to use is 202-456-1414. You can learn more about the movement to close the School of the Americas at SOA Watch.

For more information send email to Martha.

Meet the New Organizer for Health Security NM in Our Region

Ike Treviño introduced himself, assured us that Health Security for New Mexicans has a good plan that will save money and provide health insurance for all, and he invited supporters to join with him in working for the plan.

For more information send email to Ike or call him at 512-921-1941.

November is WAM

November is Wolf Awareness Month and the Southwest Environmental Center is planning a slew of activities. Check out their Web site for all the details and follow them on Facebook. One of the many events is a free film documenting the difficult but necessary challenge of getting along with predators.

Lords of Nature
Friday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.
SWEC

For more information send email to Jason or call him at 575-915-2766.

What Everyone Should Know About Getting Friends to Vote

Cheryl Frank, a pragmatic realist, spoke about local elections. She suggested that most would-be voters may be a lot like many of her friends: they have no idea who their city councilor is, couldn’t name the mayor, don’t know where to vote, etc. They feel ignorant and embarrassed and so they don’t vote.

“These people need you,” Cheryl said, “to hand them a little piece of paper on which you have written the names of your favorite candidates. They need you to take them to vote early. Otherwise, you will have to find their precinct and take them to their polling place on election day.”

For more information send email to Cheryl.

Cliff Pelton Gets Out the Vote and So Should You

Cliff Pelton, the 37th person to cast an early in-person ballot in the current election, spoke persuasively about the importance of voting and urged everyone to participate in the Unified Action.

For more information send email to Cliff.

Occupy Las Cruces Praises LCPD

Frank Green welcomed everyone to participate in Occupy Las Cruces. “It’s a learning process,” he declared and thanked the Las Cruces Police Department for their support and cooperation.

For more information send email to Frank and visit the Occupy Las Cruces Web site.

Support the Your Neighbors

Jane Asche reissued the invitation to attend the Faith and Families Summit and stressed the importance of being present to listen to those who will be telling of their struggles in hard economic times.

Faith and Families Summit on Community
Thursday, November 3, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral

For more information send email to Jane.

Occupy Las Cruces Welcomes Everyone

Jason Burke reiterated the “everyone is welcome” policy of Occupy Las Cruces and agreed that the Las Cruces Police Department has been outstanding and thoroughly professional in their work with the Occupy Las Cruces group. “Don’t be afraid to come. There won’t be any tear gas,” he promised. He said the group needs help—dollars or goods—with the supplies they need for the 24-7 presence at Branigan Library Park.

For more information send email to Jason or call him at 575-915-2766.

Our next meeting will be a special post-election meeting Thursday, November 10, 7 p.m. Our next regular meeting will be Thursday, January 26, 2012, 7 p.m., Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite.

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