The September meeting opened with a review of the idea behind the PVA Unified Action, which is the one coordinated political action (usually a letter or email sent to an elected official) that participants take each month. It has been highly effective. More about the Unified Action, including how to participate, is on the UA info page.
Nathan Small of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance reported on last month’s Unified Action, in which over 70 UAers contacted elected officials who have supported the Citizens’ Wilderness and National Conservation Area Proposal in the past, to encourage their continued support. The effort to designate wilderness areas in Doña Ana County has continued to pick up momentum. Nathan reported that the Las Cruces Homebuilders’ Association had signed on to the latest version of the Citizens’ Proposal providing a growing consensus for the plan.
Judy Zimmerman of the PVA Executive Committee presented the September Unified Action, in which participants either work for, or make a contribution to, a local municipal campaign as we move toward the November 6 election. To participate, go to the Unified Action for September, and, as always, please use that link to reply “I did it” when you have completed the action.
Greg Richardson came from Albuquerque to promote the Iraq Campaign, a coalition of nonprofit organizations which is working in 12 states to convince members of Congress—not voters—to end the war in Iraq. New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici has become a particular focus of the coalition. For more information on how you can convince Senator Domenici to bring the war to an end, visit the Iraq Campaign Web site or contact Greg, email@example.com.
Peter Ossorio gave an update on Voter Protection efforts in Doña Ana County. The new forms for registering voters have not yet been released but registrars should periodically check with the Bureau of Elections and in the meantime continue to use their existing forms. Election Code problems with voter identification have not been solved, but the issue has been brought to the attention of the Governor. An update on the situation will be given in October. For more information, contact Peter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean Ossorio reported on the Mexican Gray Wolf restoration project in New Mexico, with news about winners of the wolf monitoring trip lottery conduced by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. She announced 3 free lectures on wolves that will be given at the SWEC office at 7 p.m.
For details, contact Jean, email@example.com.
Animal Advocacy Coalition
Bob Hearn of the Animal Advocacy Coalition described a variety of exciting projects of the Animal Advocacy Coalition, including an ongoing youth project involving animal care and the graduation of 8 new reserve animal control officers. The Coalition met on Saturday, September 29, with Bill McCamley as the speaker. They will meet again on Saturday, November 3, at Encantada Park. For more information, contact Bob, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Spay and Neuter
Win Jacobs provided information on the free spay and neuter program in Doña Ana County. For information contact Win, email@example.com.
League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum
The League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum for candidates for Las Cruces Mayor and City Council will be held on Tuesday, October 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 200 N. Church Street. The forum will be televised live on the government access cable TV channel, Comcast cable channel 20.
Quality Growth Alliance
Sherry Thomas reported on activities of the Quality Growth Alliance, with a special emphasis on participation in Vision 2040, a large scale regional comprehensive planning effort involving NMSU, the City of Las Cruces, and Doña Ana County. Vision 2040 will include 37 public input meetings, so the opportunity exists for all of us to play an active role in our community’s future! For more information, contact Sherry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humane Society of New Mexico
Frank Bryce of the Humane Society read an animal protection statement that he would like public officials to endorse. For more information, contact Frank, email@example.com.
Border Women’s Group
Kathleen Erickson read a letter written by the Border Women’s Group, made up of women from several religious congregations from Southern New Mexico, El Paso, and Juarez, protesting the immigration raids conducted recently by the Sheriff’s Department of Otero County, which terrified and disrupted residents of Chaparral, New Mexico. For more information, contact Kathleen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAACP Salute to Veterans
Tim Reed announced a special salute to African American veterans with a gala evening banquet and showcase in honor of those who have served. The banquet will be Saturday, November 17, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and should be purchased before November 3. For ticket information, call 541-9093 or 382-5678.
Recycling in Las Cruces
Bri Hines reported on continuing efforts to bring curbside recycling to Las Cruces. She cited statistics on El Paso’s curbside program, which has been very successful, and talked about Las Cruces’ investment in more drop off sites instead of using an equivalent amount of money for curbside containers for each family. Bri is optimistic that a curbside program will eventually emerge in Las Cruces. For more information, contact Bri, email@example.com.
Sarah Herman reported on a petition being circulated calling on the city to initiate curbside recycling. For more information, contact Sarah, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatives to Violence Workshop
Vickie Aldrich announced that the Alternatives to Violence Project will offer an experiential workshop in conflict resolution, personal growth, and responses to violence. The workshop only costs $15 and will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Doña Ana Community College. For more information, contact Vickie, email@example.com. The deadline for registration is October 10.
On the River, For the River
Gregg Henry announced the annual gala fundraiser for the Southwest Environmental Center, held on the evening of Saturday, September 29. It was a great event, but for those of you who missed it, you still have a chance to buy a raffle ticket for a brand new Prius for $100—only 350 tickets will be sold. SWEC is the backbone of the environmental community in Las Cruces, so if you want to help this great organization and win a Prius at the same time, contact Gregg, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling Senator Domenici to account
Charlotte Williams pointed out three main areas in which Senator Pete Domenici has failed the cause of peace: his support for the Bunker Buster nuclear-tipped missile, his support for production of Cluster Bombs, and his support for 3 new nuclear bomb plants in the United States. For more information, contact Charlotte, email@example.com.
Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Gregg Henry announced a workshop on the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste sponsored by the New Mexico Council of Churches and Faithful Security. The workshop will be in Albuquerque on October 6. For more information, contact Gregg, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conservation Voters of New Mexico
Leanne Leith came from Albuquerque to tell us about the good work of the Conservation Voters of New Mexico in electing and holding accountable political leaders in New Mexico. She also announced that the Conservation Voters are endorsing Ken Miyagishima for Las Cruces mayor and Nathan Small for the city council in District 4. For more information, contact Leanne, email@example.com.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Wenda Trevathan reported on the activities of a group called Great Old Broads for Wilderness, which sponsors local Broad Bands and an annual Broad Walk. This year women from throughout the west will come to Las Cruces, to work on behalf of wilderness in Doña Ana County from October 11 to15. The group has a broad definition of “broad”—men, too, are welcome to participate. The whole thing will kick off with a potluck at Wenda’s on October 10. For information, contact Wenda, firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico Democratic Party Organizing Summit
Christy French announced an important organizer and organization training for the state Democratic Party, which was held on Saturday, September 29, in Alamogordo. She also announced that local District Judge Rob Robles is in the running to be named a justice for the New Mexico Supreme Court, which would make him the first Supreme Court justice from southern New Mexico in 35 years. She urged us to write letters to Governor Richardson supporting Judge Robles. For more information about either issue, contact Christy, email@example.com.
Alan Solomon reported that he has been in communication with NMSU president Michael Martin, and that all seems to be well with continuing university sponsorship of the local NPR and PBS affiliates. For more information, contact Alan, SOLOMONpix@aol.com.
Charlie Harster reported on what’s been going on with our good friends at AFSCME, who continue to enjoy their new contract at NMSU. A special focus in coming months will be voter registration of AFSCME members and work with local legislators on issues of interest to NMSU workers. For more information, contact Charlie, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criminal Justice Task Force
Al Kissling reported on the Criminal Justice Task Force, which is focusing on intelligent solutions to the “incarceration binge” our society has been involved in over recent years. The next meeting of the task force will be on Tuesday, October 9, at 5:30 p.m. at Al’s house. For more information, email Al, email@example.com.
Health Security New Mexico
Cathilia Flores reported that it is important to contact key legislators on committees who may consider health reform in the upcoming legislative session, expressing our support for the Health Security for New Mexicans universal coverage option. Of special importance are the following local legislators:
Hazardous waste passing through Las Cruces
Tamie Smith expressed concern about hazardous cargo being carried through Las Cruces without proper labeling of the trucks. For more information, contact Tamie, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill McCamley for Congress
Bill McCamley reported that he has raised almost $200,000 in contributions for his campaign for Congress, which has played a role in raising interest in the race by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington. If you want to help on his campaign, contact Bill, email@example.com
Las Cruces Mayoral and City Council Candidates
Several candidates or their spokespeople spoke at the meeting, seeking volunteer and other support for their campaigns.
The next PVA meeting will be