Health Care Update from Senator Bingaman’s Office
Melanie Goodman of Senator Bingaman’s office presented a wealth of information about the senator’s work for health care reform legislation. She gave an overview of the legislative process as well as the substantive issues and assured us of Senator Bingaman’s continued strong support of a public option. A question and answer session raised a broad spectrum of issues and underscored the complexity of the reform effort. For more information, send email to Melanie or call her at 575-523-6561.
Unified Action for August—Support Health Care Reform
Carter Bundy, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) political and legislative director for New Mexico, outlined the union’s support of health care reform. He invited us to complete postcards that the union will deliver en mass to senators and representatives.
The August Unified Action page contains information for contacting Senator Bingaman with your message about health care reform. If you filled out a postcard for the AFSCME campaign at the PVA meeting, please send and “I did it!” message to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unified Action Update for June
The Unified Action for June was to send an email message to the Las Cruces City Council asking for a good franchise agreement with El Paso Electric. Specifically, there should not be a 15 year extension of the contract and clean, renewable energy should be encouraged. Cheryl Frank, the Unified Action point person, reported that she received “I did it!” responses from 97 participants. Bob Hearn assured the group that input from 97 citizens had an effect on the franchise discussions. The franchise agreement was tabled for further study. El Paso Electric got the message that Las Cruces is interested in fair utility rates and clean energy.
Bringing ‘Democracy Now!’ to KRWG-FM
Ann Gutierrez asked for signatures on a petition letting KRWG-FM know that we want them to carry Amy Goodman’s independent news program, ‘Democracy Now!’ For more information or to join in supporting this cause, send email to Ann.
Gill Sorg, Candidate for City Council, District 5
Gill Sorg announced that he will be a candidate for District 5 City Councilor, the seat now held by Gil Jones. He cited his commitment to commonsense growth and the revitalization of existing neighborhoods as well as preserving the quality of our water, our working farms, and our wildlife habitats. For more information or to help with the campaign, send email to Gill or call him at 575-541-0571.
Straw Poll on Health Care Options
Ken Murray organized a straw poll to find out how members feel about health care options. Three questions were posed:
1. If you were all-powerful, would you create a single payer system?
2. If single payer is impossible, would you support a public option?
3. If singer payer and public option are both impossible, would you support a co-op option?
The results were as follows:
|1. Single Payer||90||0||2|
|2. Public Option||90||0||2|
|3. Co-op Option||8||23||61|
If you have questions, send email to Ken.
Doña Ana County Identifies Problems
Scott Krahling, County Commissioner for District 4, explained the county’s internal auditing process, which was set up to identify and address problems within the county government. He explained that the process is transparent—identified problems become public knowledge. He assured us that the recent problems in the Health and Social Services Department are being addressed and the issues will be resolved. You can read a detailed analysis of this issue on Scott’s web site. For more information, send email to Scott or call him at 575-635-1359.
NM Green Chamber of Commerce
Mark Westbrock announced the recent formation of the NM Green Chamber of Commerce, which will be a voice for small businesses that care about creating local living economies. He invited all business owners to join and let us know that we can look forward to the Green Chamber having a positive impact in our community. For more information, send email to Mark.
Olga Pedroza, Candidate for City Council, District 3
Olga Pedroza announced her candidacy for City Council, District 3, the seat currently held by Dolores Archuleta. Olga told us of her experience as a teacher and an attorney, her work with New Mexico Legal Aid, and her commitment to transparency in government and to a sustainable economy. If you have questions or would like to help with the campaign, send email to Olga or call her at 575-640-2564.
Sharon Thomas, Candidate for City Council, District 6
Sharon Thomas’s statement of intent to run for reelection for City Council, District 6, was read by Bob Hearn. Sharon’s statement included a long list of the issues she has worked on in her brief term as a city councilor. She stressed her commitment to comprehensive planning, citizen involvement in planning and decisions, and more transparency in city government. For more information or to help with the campaign, send email to Sharon or call her at 575- 541-2066
Lomas del Poleo Update
April Willeford announced that September 28 is the date for the last big court date and residents and supporters are busy raising money to meet the expenses of the hearing. April brought a petition which will be sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and she reminded us that handwritten letters to Secretary Clinton are also wanted. She brought items for sale that have been made by Lomas del Poleo residents to raise money for legal expenses. For more information, send email to April or call her at 575-496-7774.
Jean Ossorio announced a film and panel discussion on the subject of wolves to be held Friday, August 28, 7-9 p.m. at the Rio Grande Theatre. For information you can send email to Jean or call her at 575-644-7389. Visit the wolf Web site to keep fully informed about our most endangered mammal.
Volunteering for Gill Sorg’s Campaign
Pat Aguirre introduced herself as the volunteer coordinator for Gill Sorg’s campaign for city council. Pat welcomed prospective volunteers to sign up or to call her at 575-532-5127 or 805-208-0193.
Reenergize America Conference in Las Cruces
Gary Camuñez announced the Reenergize America conference taking place at NMSU August 31 through September 1. In case you weren’t able to attend the conference, video recordings of most sessions are available here. Energy Secretary Chu’s noteworthy presentation is available here.
Renee Murray announced a national rally to support a public option as part of health care reform. The event is Wednesday, September 2, 7:15 p.m. at Veterans Park on Roadrunner. Bring a candle or flashlight. For more information, send email to Renee.
Obama Cruces Connection Invites You to a Picnic
Lloyd Covens invited everyone to a potluck picnic sponsored by the Obama Cruces Connection. The picnic will take place at Preciado Park (next to O’Donnell Hall at NMSU) on Saturday, September 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. A volleyball tournament is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Please bring a food donation for El Caldito Food Bank. For more information, send email to Lloyd or call him at 575-824-7571.
News from the Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC)
Paul Heiberger introduced himself as the newly hired field organizer and outreach coordinator with SWEC. He invited everyone to attend “On the River, For the River, SWEC’s thirteenth annual gala fundraiser for the protection and restoration of the Rio Grande. The event will be held September 26, 5 to 10:30 p.m., at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park.
Volunteering for Olga Pedroza’s Campaign
Laura Licona introduced herself as the volunteer organizer for Olga Pedroza’a city council campaign. Laura invited interested people to send her email or call her at 575-640-7113.
Alice Anderson talked about ways of addressing the feral cat situation. For more information, call send email to Alice or call her at 575-523-5179.
Volunteering for Sharon Thomas’s Reelection Campaign
Terry Miller announced that she will be the volunteer coordinator for Sharon Thomas’s reelection campaign. People interested in working on the campaign can send email to Terry or call her at 575-635-2637.
Tough Economic Times
Wes Wilson discussed the fact that many construction workers are out of work in this economy. If you are in need of repairs or remodeling work it might be a win-win situation for you and an unemployed or underemployed worker. If you are interested in creating a network of qualified workers looking for work, send email to Wes.
Tea Party at Young Park
Greg Sowards talked about the importance of respecting members of the intelligence community and why it might be good to have access to a gun in the case of personal attack. He also invited everyone to attend a Tea Party event at Young Park to be held Tuesday, September 1, at 5:30 p.m. For more information send email to Greg.
Our next meeting will be
Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite