PVA Meeting Recap – September 22, 2005

Current Working Groups

Building a Data Base of Progressive Activists

Ann Rohovec reported on results of the phone campaign to reach former volunteers from the Kerry campaign, to ask them if they would like to be a part of the PVA network. As a result of over 1000 phone calls made by dedicated PVA members, 400 new people were added to our network. Ann introduced the phoning night captains who made this possible, and each of the captains recognized their own night’s callers. Contact her at arohovec@zianet.comBuilding Alliances

Ann Gutierrez led a very moving and informative panel of hispanics/chicanos/ Mexican-Americans in which we learned about how to be better allies across cultural lines. Special thanks to panel participants Maury Castro, Ella Nelson, Art Terrazas, and Monica Torres.

Curbside Recycling in Las Cruces

Brigitte Hines discussed the status of the current curbside recycling pilot project, conducted in the High Range area by the City of Las Cruces. Approximately 40% of the residents in that region are participating in the program on a regular basis.Since it is imperative that this pilot project be a success, in order for curbside recycling to be expanded to the rest of the city, there will be a Neighborhood Walk for Curbside Recycling, on Saturday, October 1st. Walkers will meet at the Bountiful Baking Company on East Lohman (in the shopping center just east of Albertsons) at 2:30 pm, and will walk the pilot project neighborhood, answering questions and encouraging residents to participate. For more information contact Brigitte at brshines@hotmail.com

Executive Committee

Don Kurtz announced that the PVA Executive Committee’s Annual Report, which describes the PVA and its activities, is available. Comments can be communicated to Executive Committee members, whose names, phone numbers, and emails are available at Executive Committee Working Group page.

Pro-Life/Pro-Choice: Bridging the Gap

This group, made up of both pro-life and pro-choice advocates, continues to meet. Most recently, the group has decided to look for larger areas of agreement (concern about the use of war as an instrument of foreign policy, the growing gap between rich and poor, etc.) rather than focus on our areas of disagreement in the area of abortion and reproductive freedom. Contact Susana at ssalaman@nmsu.edu for more information.

State Action Committee

Planning continues for the PVA Legislative Roundtable on Thursday, November 10th, 7-9 pm at the Munson Senior Center. This Roundtable, which will take the place of the regular November PVA meeting, will bring together PVAers and area legislators for a preview of the January legislative session.At the October PVA meeting a “progressive agenda” will be presented by the State Issues Committee, and it will then be sent to local legislators prior to the Nov. 10th Roundtable, so that they will know the issues that particularly concern us. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to identify legislative issues which can be added to this agenda, and send them to Beth Bardwell at bethbardwell@zianet.com by October 20th.

New Working Groups

Framing Issues

Monica Torres reported on activities of the Framing the Issue group, which is basing its work on George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant. The group is actively involved in three areas: 1) identifying political issues that need thoughtful framing, 2) learning to reframe issues that Republicans have managed to frame to their advantage, and 3) identifying our own values, as progressives, so that we can effectively frame political issues in those terms. The group is encouraging participation in this on-going discussion by all PVA members; for information, contact Monica Torres atmftorres@nmsu.edu

Other Organizations

Ally for Equality

Grant Taylor described the work of Ally for Equality, a Las Cruces-based effort to mobilize heterosexual men and women in support of equal rights for gays and lesbians. Tee shirts with the Ally message were available at the meeting, and can also be purchased from Grant, by contacting him at grant_a_taylor@yahoo.com

Amnesty International

Charlotte Williams of Amnesty International circulated a petition calling for investigation of conditions — including the use of torture — in US facilities holding detainees from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.There will also be a March to Denounce American Involvement in Torture on Wednesday, September 28, from 3-5 pm from the Downtown Mall to the Federal County House. For more information contact Charlotte Williams at 541-1768 or lascpro@aol.com

Committee to Beat Pearce

Charlie Scholz discussed the status of current efforts to unseat Representative Pearce in the 2006 election. To participate in the group’s activities, contact Charlie at cscholz@zianet.com for details.

Green Party of Southern New Mexico

Rupert Clark reported on the terrifying consequences of new nuclear warhead technologies, especially the “bunker buster” currently being pushed by the Bush administration. For information on this and other Green activities, in a variety of important areas, contact Rupert at ruporch@netscape.net

Oasis

Connie Falk described the activities of OASIS, a local program to bring organic farming alternatives to farmers in the Mesilla Valley. The Mesilla Valley has all the climatic and environmental factors necessary for successful organic farming, and OASIS offers opportunities for both personal involvement in organic farming and for supporting alternatives to chemical-based agriculture. For more information, contact Connie at cfalk@nmsu.edu

Southwest Environmental Center

Kevin Bixby announced the SWEC’s annual fundraising dinner On the River, For the River on Friday, September 30, from 6-10 pm on the Downtown Mall. This is the only public fundraiser that is held for SWEC each year, and it supports their wide range of vitally important environmental activities.This year’s gala features fajitas from Andeles Restaurant, music by three bands–Los Tres Guapos (nuevo flamenco), the Deming Fusilliers (Americana), and the New River Blues Band, High Desert beer, Blue Teal wine, door prizes, and a silent auction with a whole bunch of great items. Tickets are $30 in advance, and $35 at the door. Tickets are available at SWEC, Lilley Law Offices, Bobolink and Enchanted Gardens Native Plant Nursery, or by calling 522-5552.

Announcements

Petition to Put Plan to Open Downtown Mall on Ballot

Jean Apgar solicited signatures for a petition to put the decision as to whether to open Main Street through the Downtown Mall on the ballot as a public referendum. She emphasized that a signature didn’t indicate support or opposition to the plan itself, but rather an insistence that the public should decide. For more information contact Jean at 523-1988 or jeanlcnm@aol.com

Health Care Forum

Helen Zagona announced a public forum that will be recorded and later broadcast by KRWG-TV on Whatever Happened to Health Care Reform?Sponsored by PBS and the League of Women Voters, the forum will be on Monday, October 24, 2005, from 7:30- 9 pm, at KRWG-TV Studios, Milton Hall, on the NMSU Campus. Call Marjorie Burr at 522-2528 if you would like to participate.

Democracy Now

Carol Verplough encouraged everyone, when they renew their pledges to KRWG-FM, to ask that Democracy Now be added to the program lineup.

Municipal Election Forum

Candidates for City Council Districts 3,5,6 and Municipal Judge will be present at a Municipal Election Forum on Thursday, October 20, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at the Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite St. The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Las Cruces

Unified Action

Last month, over 50 PVAers reported participating in the global warming action.This month’s action, presented by David Lyons of the Las Cruces Community Roundtable, involves a proposed increase in the state minimum wage. To participate, please go to http://wpdev.melissacorine.com/?page_id=292

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