PVA Meeting Recap – January 26, 2006

Current working groups

Alternatives to Hate Radio in the Mesilla Valley

Rus Bradburd reported that Air America Radio, the progressive alternative to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their friends, can be heard on 1650 AM from El Paso during daylight hours.  Tune in and get inspired!  For more information, contact Rus at coachrus@hotmail.com

Building a Data Base of Progressive Activists

Ann Rohovec reported that she is continuing to work with volunteer phoners to keep the PVA volunteer base in good shape.  If you would like to help that effort, by making 5-10 phone calls per month, contact Ann at arohovec@zianet.com

Curbside Recycling in Las Cruces

Brigitte Hines reported that the pilot precinct test program has been extended into 2006 and that the City Council will probably meet in March to make a final decision on going city-wide with curbside recycling.  If you want to help support city-wide curbside recycling in Las Cruces, contact Brigitte at brshines@hotmail.com

Executive Committee

Don Kurtz reported on the Executive Committee, which sets the agenda for the regular PVA meeting and selects the monthly Unified Action.  If you have comments you would like to share with Executive Committee members, their names and contact information are available at http://www.pva-nm.org/wg_exec.htm    He urged any interested people to attend and participate in Executive Committee meetings, including the next one on Tuesday, February 14th, at 5:30 pm at the Mesilla Park Recreation Center.

Local Environmental and Quality of Life Issues

Janet Darrow reported that a Groundwork Trust has been approved for Doña Ana County.  The trust is a joint project of the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection agency, and it will be a mechanism for funding and implementing the Vision for an Open Space and Trail System http://www.zianet.com/openspace/ for the county.  You can learn about the Groundwork program on Wednesday, February 15th, 10 am, at the Branigan Cultural Center.
Janet also introduced her new co-chair Steve Fischmann; for more information on local environmental and quality of life issues, contact either Janet at janetdarrow@comcast.net or Steve at stephen.fischmann@gmail.com

State Issues

Jim Moore reported that, following our PVA forum in November, State Issues Committee members met with three legislators (Mary Helen Garcia, Mary Jane Garcia, and Mary Kay Papen) who had been unable to attend.  All meetings went very well.

He reported that the 2006 PVA Legislative Agenda http://www.pva-nm.org/2006_legislative_agenda.html is faring well so far in the current session of the state legislature, but that we must stay in contact with our legislators to make sure that our key issues become law.  For that reason, the State Issues group has established a Legislative Response Team.  Participants agree to make two or three calls per week while the legislature is in session; in each case the call will be to a legislator’s secretary, and the action email will tell us exactly what to say.  Each action should take less than a minute, and the project will come to an end on February 15th, when the legislature adjourns.  To participate, contact Jim at freebird2020@comcast.net

Framing Issues

Martha Loustaunau reported that the group has been working on framing issues for New Mexico’s Second Congressional District, including a frame of “Where Common Sense meets Common Ground,” and a focus on “Energy, Security, and Privacy.”  To participate in framing activities contact Martha at mloustau@nmsu.edu  or Monica Torres at  mftorres@nmsu.edu;

Elections and Securing the Vote

John Nelson reminded us of the important school bond votes for the Las Cruces and Gadsden districts on February 7th.  Peter Ossorio stressed the importance of our supplying poll workers (poll judges, poll watchers, etc.) in the next election — otherwise many voters will be turned unfairly away.  To be a poll worker in upcoming elections, please contact Peter at ossorios@zianet.com to be put on a mailing list.  Also, you can call the Bureau of Elections at 647-7428 or 647-7582 for times and places for poll worker training.

Other Organizations/Candidates/Announcements

Committee to Defeat Pearce

The Committee to Defeat Pearce is currently researching issues related to Steve Pearce’s Congressional record.  For information, contact John Lazaruk at jlazaruk1@aol.com

Mesilla Forum

Vicki Simons announced that the League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Forum for Candidates in the Mesilla Municipal Elections.  The forum will be Thursday, February 9th at 7 pm in the new Mesilla Town Hall.  For information, contact Vicki at vsimons@zianet.com

Minimum Wage

Cathilia Flores reported that we are reaching a critical point in achieving legislation guaranteeing a $7.50 minimum wage for New Mexico workers.  Many important points are yet to be decided, including indexing the wage to the cost of living.

To help make a living wage a reality, Cathilia is coordinating an all-expense paid trip to Santa Fe to lobby our legislators on Tuesday, January 31st.  A chartered bus will load up in Las Cruces at 5:30 pm on Monday, January 30th, and return to Las Cruces Tuesday evening.  Transportation, meals and lodging, will be provided, as will training for the lobbying visits.  To participate, call Cathilia at 635-0996.

Democracy Seminars

Anthony Avallone is offering a series of seminars on the true meaning of Democracy. The seminars are free; for more information, contact Anthony at edithavallone@zianet.com

Bumper Sticker

Peter Ossorio showed a bumper sticker that he designed, reading “Only God Should Listen Without a Warrant.”  He asked for a show of hands of those who would pay $2 for one of the bumper stickers (with the proceeds, beyond expenses, going to the PVA), and said that he will have them available for us at the next PVA meeting.

Patriot Act

Peter Gregware discussed very disturbing aspects of the Patriot Act, which is up for renewal on February 3rd. For more information on the Patriot Act, go to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee http://bordc.com/. To join others in opposing its most dangerous provisions, contact Peter at pgregwar@nmsu.edu

Health Care Initiatives in Santa Fe

Vicki Simons expressed misgivings about the current legislative proposal to create a task force on health care options; an alternative bill establishing a comprehensive study of health care plans, including a single payer plan, would be preferable. For more information, contact Vicki at vsimons@zianet.com

Democratic Party Pre-Primary Convention

Gayle Radom explained the process for participation in the Democratic Party Pre-PrimaryConvention process, in which candidates for state office seek a favorable position on the Primary ballot.  Precinct Meetings, the first level of the process, will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd, 6:30 pm.  Locations of those meetings will be included in the February PVA Meeting announcement.  For more information, call Gayle at 532-1780

Candidates

All candidates for public office, of any party affiliation, are welcome at PVA meetings.  Candidates themselves received four minutes to address the group, and their representatives received 2 minutes.  Candidates who would like to post information about their campaigns on the PVA website can send that information to John Nelson at nelson505@earthlink.net

Candidates and candidate representatives who appeared included:

Phil Zakahi spoke on behalf of Al Kissling, candidate for Congress in the Second Congressional District.  For more information, contact Phil at zakahi@gmail.com

Shirley Baca, Public Regulatory Commissioner, District 5.  For more information, contact Diane Door diane_mg@yahoo.com

Nate Cote, candidate for State Representative, District 53.  For more information, contact Nate at ncote@zianet.com

Miriam Diemer spoke on behalf of US Senator Jeff Bingaman.  For more information contact Miriam at miriam.diemer@gmail.com

Jim Steitz spoke on behalf of Jim Baca, candidate for State Land Commissioner.  For more information, contact Jim Steitz at jimsteitz@mac.com

Micaela Cadena spoke on behalf of Mesilla Mayor Michael Cadena and former Mesilla Trustee Nora Barraza, who, along with Jesus Cara form a slate of candidates called Los Mesilleros in the March 7th Mesilla elections.  Mr. Cadena and Ms. Barraza also spoke on their own behalf.  For more information, contact Micaela at micaela.cadena@trincoll.edu

Karen Perez, candidate for Doña Ana County Commission, District 3.  For more information, contact Karen at kgp@direcway.com

Maria Rodriguez, candidate for Doña Ana County Magistrate Judge.  For more information, contact Maria at rodz4life@zianet.com

Jeff Steinborn, candidate for State Representative, District 37.  For more information, contact Jeff at polidub@aol.com

Unified Action:

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