PVA Meeting Recap – January 26, 2012

Join the Legislative Response Team To Make a Difference

Jim Moore explained that the Legislative Response Team weighs in on critical issues under consideration during the legislative session in Santa Fe. Team members call or email legislators (usually their own) and make their positions known.

Past issues have included minimum wage, the environment, energy policy, and the SunCal TIDD. Foreclosure procedures and DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) are on the agenda for this session.

Jim stressed the fact that the legislators notice and pay attention when they are hearing from their constituents. If you would like to add your voice to the Legislative Response Team (currently 122 voices strong) send email to Jim.

Unified Action, October Update: Talk to Five Friends

Cheryl Frank, coordinator of the unified action, reported that in October she received “I did it’s” from 68 participants who had spoken to at least 5 friends about the municipal election, so a minimum of 340 voters heard about candidates from a progressive point-of-view. About 10,000 people voted, so the unified action touched about 3.4% of the voters.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

Unified Action, January: Cut Some Red Tape and Save Some Wolves

Jason Burke of the Southwest Environmental Center presented this month’s unified action, which involves an email or phone call to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle urging him to begin the bureaucratic process that would allow Mexican gray wolves to be reintroduced into appropriate habitat in New Mexico.

For more information send email to Jason.

Rep. Martin Heinrich Runs for U.S. Senate

Martin Heinrich asked for support in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring. Martin spoke of his strong progressive record in the House of Representatives. He promised that he will make no apologies for his record and will be a clear contrast to the Republican opponent.

For more information send email to Terri Zuniga or call 505-242-5004 and visit Martin Heinrich for Senate. Also: Heinrich’s Facebook page for pictures of this PVA meeting and his House page for his voting record.

No Cover-up for Detention Center Problems

In an aside, Scott Krahling announced that he is running for reelection to the Doña Ana County Commission, District 5.

Referring to recent news of inmate abuse at the Doña Ana County Detention Center, Scott announced his intention to hold a public meeting to discuss concerns and vowed, “It will never happen again.”

For more information send email to Scott and follow him on Facebook.

Occupy Las Cruces Celebrates 3-Month Anniversary

Martina Myers announced that Occupy Las Cruces has completed three months of peacefully occupying Albert Johnson Park. She invited everyone to a celebration of the occasion and praised the city for their cooperation and assistance.

1st Quarterly OLC Party
Saturday, January 28, 2 to 5 p.m.
Albert Johnson Park, Picacho and Main Streets

For more information send email to Martina or call her at 575-993-4549. Also: follow them on Facebook and read their blog.

Democrats Gear up for the Election Season and Host a Dinner Party

Christy French, chair of the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County, announced that the process to select delegates will begin with an orientation on February 9. The complete schedule is posted here.

Christy invited everyone to the 4th annual Democrats Day dinner.

Doña Ana County Democrats Day Annual Dinner
Friday, February 24
Reception at 6:00 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Ramada Palms de Las Cruces
201 E. University Avenue, Las Cruces
Tickets: $50.00

For more information send email to Christy or call her at 575-524-4444.

A PAC You Might Feel Good About

Ann McCullough announced that the New Mexicans for Democracy PAC is up and running and accepting contributions. The PAC will support progressive candidates running for the New Mexico State legislature.

For more information send email to Ann or call her at 575-524-2601.

Nate Cote for State Representative, District 53

Nate Cote’s declaration that he is running again for State Representative was met with enthusiastic cheers. [Nate was elected to the office in 2006, reelected in 2008, and defeated by Republican Rick Little in 2010.] Nate observed that District 53 has more registered Democrats than Republicans, and he promised a massive Get Out the Vote effort in November. He asked that veterans interested in a national monument project in Doña Ana County contact him.

For more information send email to Nate, call him at 575-202-1872, and visit NateCote.com.

Let’s Do Solar Right

Jean Ossorio voiced serious concerns about the Obama administration’s policy regarding the use of public lands for solar energy. She warned against the use of public lands in the West for giant energy projects, stressing the potential for destruction of fragile desert ecosystems and animal habitats. She recommended to Solar Done Right as an organization with good information about solar energy plans that would not destroy the environment.

For more information send email to Jean or call her at 575-644-7389.

Historic Homes Tour

Mesilla Valley Preservation Inc. will host a tour of the Armijo home and six more notable homes, all standing when statehood was declared in 1912. Tickets are $15, available at any house, and you can visit the houses in any order you please.

Casas de Antaño
Saturday, February 11, 1 to 5 p.m.
Ticket information

For more information send email to Wenda.

Genetically Engineered Sweet Corn, Anyone?

Tricia Snyder introduced herself as the new Southern New Mexico representative for Food and Water Watch, an international nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that our food and water supply is safe and sustainable.

She spoke against Walmart’s plan to plant genetically engineered sweet corn this April and sell it in their stores this summer. Monsanto is the seed supplier. Tricia brought a petition protesting the Walmart decision and asked for signatures. The petition can also be signed online.

For more information send email to Tricia or call her at 915-920-6178.

Dr. G for County Commission, District 2

David Garcia, most often known as Dr. G., asked for support in his candidacy for County Commission, District 2. He spoke of his deep roots in southern Doña Ana County and his belief in the power of people working together.

For more information send email to Dr. G or call him at 915-497-4293.

New Convenient Voting for Doña Ana County

Peter Ossorio praised Scott Krahling for his unselfish vote in favor of the redistricting plan that redistricted him out of office and thanked Scott for his commitment to fixing the Detention Center problems. “Let’s sort it out, make it transparent, and make sure it never happens again,” he said.

In his second minute, Peter gave a thumbs up to the voter protection work of the Democratic party and spoke enthusiastically about the voter convenience centers that will allow voters to cast a ballot in any one of 39 locations in the next election.

For more information send email to Peter.

CVNM Keeps an Eagle Eye on Lawmakers

Sandy Buffet, executive director of Conservation Voters New Mexico, called our attention to the decision of Representative Andy Nuñez, independent of Hatch, to introduce a memorial that would outlaw federal wilderness near the border with Mexico.

Sandy also noted that HB23/SB70 has a bad plan for dealing with uranium credits.

For more information send email to Sandy and follow CVNM on Facebook and Twitter.

Voter Protection Needs You

Marci Beyer, who heads up voter protection for Doña Ana Democrats, is looking for people who would like to be paid poll workers as well as for volunteers to be poll watchers.

For more information send email to Marci or call her at 575-621-1242.

Victor Lopez for NM Court of Appeals

Victor Lopez asked for support in his campaign for NM Court of Appeals. He pointed to 28 years of legal experience and service as a workers’ compensation judge since 2007.

For more information send email to Victor, call him at 505-453-5347, and visit the campaign Web site.

Nopalito’s Galería Plans Platicas for the Centennial

City Councilor Miguel Silva announced that Nopalito’s Galería will hold a series of platicas highlighting the families that shaped the history of the Mesilla Valley.

Platicas Centennial with Clarence Fielder
Sunday, February 12, 3 p.m.
Nopalito’s Galería, 302 S. Mesquite St.

For more information about the series of conversations send email to Miguel or call him at 575-571-0193.

Mary Rosner for Judge

Mary Rosner announced her candidacy for judge in the Third Judicial District Court. She is running for the seat now held by Jacinto Palomino, who was appointed to his position by Gov. Martinez. She cited her decades of experience as a lawyer and owner of her own law firm, her high ethical standards, and her work ethic.

For more information send email to Mary or call her at 575-524-4399.

Monica Zamora for NM Court of Appeals

Monica Zamora asked for support in her campaign for New Mexico Court of Appeals. She noted her years of experience in civil law (18) and as a juvenile law judge (6). She is running for the seat left vacant by the resignation of Judge Robles.

For more information send email to Monica or call her at 505-903-0938 and visit the campaign Web site.

A Neighborhood Summit and a Candidate for District 4

Wayne Hancock invited everyone to Las Cruces’s first annual neighborhood summit. It is designed for those who already have neighborhood organizations as well as for those who want to learn how to start an organization.

First Annual Neighborhood Summit
Saturday, February 11, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm.
Las Cruces City Hall

Wayne also announced that he is a candidate for County Commission, District 4.

For more information send email to Wayne or call him at 575-520-4560.

Graciela Lopez: “Vote for My Dad”

Graciela Lopez, daughter of Victor Lopez, spoke in support of her father’s bid for New Mexico Court of Appeals. She focused on his decision to go with public financing, which means he can accept contributions of no more than $5 per donor.

For more information send email to Graciela or call her at 505-440-0301.

Model UN Team Wins Awards, Needs Money for Trip to NYC

Kathryn Sanchez announced a fundraiser for NMSU’s Model United Nations Team, which will represent Lebanon at a Model UN Conference in New York in April.

4th Annual “Night at the UN”
Thursday, February 23, 6 p.m.
Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

For more information send email to Kathryn or call her at 505-240-0570.

Call On Me Now

Don Kurtz asked us to take a look at a couple of 30-second videos he and Nick Voges have developed. The videos urge President Obama to ask more of us in rebuilding the country. The ads are professionally produced and feature local actors–please take a look at callonmenow.com. And if you like the videos, please share them with your friends via links on the site.

For more information, send email to Don.

Obama for America Holds Volunteer Training

Scott Tillman, OFA director for our region, announced a training session for everyone who wants to learn all the newest tools in the Obama campaign toolbox.

Grassroots 101
Saturday, January 28, 9 a.m.
Doña Ana Room in Corbett Center at NMSU

For more information send email to Scott or call him at 505-385-5384.

American Federation of Teachers Lobbies for Fairness

Patrick Nolan of the American Federation of Teachers said that the organization was focused on two issues in this legislative session. The first is a complex amendment that affects school funding for all of New Mexico. The second is finding a better solution than the black-or-white, one-size-fits-all policy of retaining every third grader who fails the reading assessment.

Put Students First Rally
Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m.
The Roundhouse, Santa Fe

For more information send email to Patrick or call him at 575-520-8817.

Councilor Small Endorses Heinrich for U.S. Senate and More

City Councilor Nathan Small began with a heartfelt thank you to Wayne Hancock for his service to the community. Next he voiced his dismay over Representative Andy Nunez’s wilderness “kill bill,” which ignores the consensus of the community regarding the importance of wilderness. Third, Nathan endorsed Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate, noting that he started his political career at the local level on the Albuquerque City Council and that he has a strong record as a supporter of sustainable energy and sound environmental policy.

For more information send email to Nathan or call him at 575-496-9540.

Heinrich Has a Great Voting Record . . . Check it Out

Theresa Westbrock recommended going to Congressman Heinrich’s U.S. Representative Web site, where you can see his voting record for the past three years—years when Democrats had a lot of hard votes to take. You’ll see the record of a lawmaker willing to vote his values, “a candidate for Senate that we can trust,” Theresa concluded.

For more information send email to Theresa.

NM Drivers License

Lucia Veronica Carmona noted that Rep. Andy Nuñez, independent from Hatch, has introduced Gov. Martinez’s plan to repeal New Mexico’s driver’s license law, which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a license. Lucia Veronica asserted that this is not an immigration issue, but a safety and economic issue. She asked that we let our legislators know our thoughts on this issue.

For more information send email to Lucia Veronica or call her at 575-571-2177.

Dollar Coins—They Make Sense

Allen Downs declared the virtues of the one-dollar coin, explaining that is costs 12 cents to make and lasts for 30 years, compared to the dollar bill which costs 4 cents to make and has a lifespan of only 3 years. He asked that we contact Congressman Pearce and ask him to support HR2977, The COINS Act (Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings Act. The full text of the bill is here.

The Dollar Coin Alliance has a wealth of information including a constantly-updated amount of money that would be saved by switching to the dollar coin. The March 2011 assessment of the COINS Act from the Government Accounting Office is here.

For more information send email to Allen or call him at 575-915-6969.

Share Your Garden Seeds at Mountain View Market

Gary Camuñez invited everyone to attend a seed sharing event. The gathering is open to everyone interested in growing food, whether or not they have seeds to share. A potluck lunch, also optional, is part of the afternoon.

Saturday, February 4, Noon to 3 p.m.
Community Room at Mountain View Market

Gary recommend The Smart Growth Manual, which he characterized as a great resource tool for responsible growth with practical ideas for helping cities get away from a car-centric environment.

For more information send email to Gary or call him at 561-702-3772.

Support Political Asylum for Journalist Emilio Gutierrez

Maury Castro spoke out for journalist Emilio Gutierrez Soto and his son. He explained that Emilio fled Mexico when his life was threatened and has been in the U.S. for three and one-half years without a response to his plea for asylum. Maury urged that we write letters asking that Emilio’s case be expedited.

For more information send email to Maury or call him at 575-547-6099.

Vocal Supporters Needed for Occupy Las Cruces

Glenn Landers reported that the Occupy Las Cruces movement has many vocal opponents asking for the city to evict the occupiers. He asked that supporters become vocal as well by writing to city officials, calling Sound Off! in the Sun-News, and writing letters to the editor.

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

Letters for Emilio

Charlotte Lipton seconded Mary’s support of Emilio Gutierrez Soto. She asked attendees to sign a letter to immigration to expedite Emilio’s case so that he and his son are not constantly under the threat of deportation. She brought copies of a suitable letter ready for signatures.

For more information send email to Charlotte or call her at 575-527-4083.

All Families Matter

Jim Moore called attention to the formation of a new group, All Families Matter, whose purpose is to share experiences and start conversations about how gay and lesbian families should be treated.

The group has a Web site and you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter. For more information send email to Jim.

The Cote Campaign Will Be Fun Once Again

Cheryl Frank, field representative for Nate Cote, recapped his extraordinarily productive work as State Representative from 2006 to 2010. A short list of the issues addressed includes racial profiling, animal shelters, help for victims of domestic violence, creation of jobs in Santa Teresa, food for the hungry, help for military students transferring from school to school, and a suitable marker for the southern terminus of the Continental Divide Trail.

Cheryl welcomed volunteers to the campaign and promised that if you walk for Nate, in the beautiful and rugged District 53, you will get to see lots of horses, sheep, and goats.

For more information send email to Cheryl or call her at 575-650-7607.

Story Corps Wants Your Story

Xochitl Torres Small announced that Story Corps will be in Mesilla for three weeks as part of the New Mexico Centennial.

Story Corps
February 9 to March 4
Historic Mesilla Plaza
2166 Calle de Pariah

You can listen to Story Corps stories here and learn how to conduct a great interview with a person whose story matters to you.

For more information send email to Xochitl or call her at 575-496-5782.

Elect or Appoint PRC Commissioners? It’s Unanimous

Lloyd Covens asked for a show of hands on the question of whether Public Regulation Commissioners should continue to be elected or should be appointed by the governor. The vote was unanimous in favor of elections.

For more information send email to Lloyd or call him at 575-312-8331.

Evelyn for U.S. Representative—A Clear Choice

Ann McCullough invited volunteers to join the campaign of Evelyn Madrid Erhard for U.S. Representative, District 2. She noted that Evelyn’s values are in clear contrast to the incumbent, who is seeking another term.

For more information send email to Ann or call her at 575-524-2601.

PVA Meets Again
Thursday, February 23, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center
975 S. Mesquite



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