Visitation of Immigrant Detainees: A Good Deed
Jan Thompson introduced PVA to the work she does with the group CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement). She explained—with the help of a short film—that immigrant detainees are kept in for-profit detention centers, often with no visitors for months, sometimes years at a time. CIVIC volunteers travel to visit the detainees to offer comfort and a listening ear. They give the detainees reassurance that they are not alone.
Most of the detainees are asylum seekers; they have been separated from their families; they came to the U.S. hoping for a better life and now feel completely vulnerable and isolated. The detainee in the film stated the visits from a CIVIC volunteer “kept me from losing my mind.”
CIVIC is non-political and volunteers get training before they visit. The detention centers are in El Paso, Chaparral, and Sierra Blanca.
Last month we asked you to tweet a picture of yourself to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and let her know that Las Cruces supports regulating existing sources of methane pollution. As it turns out people who attend PVA are not too fond of the Twitter platform, since we only got 11 “I did its” for this unified action and more than a few people said they would have done this if it weren’t for the “twitter thing.” Lucas Herndon is going to help us all out with this … see below!
Never fear. This month, we are back to our old favorite. We are asking you to:
*volunteer time for a candidate or campaign-related activity
*make a contribution to a candidate of your choice
For more information send email to Cheryl Frank.
Stop Settling for Less
Invoking the DirecTV commercial entitled “The Settlers,” Joanne Ferrary, who is running for House District 37, said constituents need to stop settling for less. “We can take this seat!” she said, enthusiastically. She asked for help making her campaign great, and in order to do that people should help early and often! You can check out Joanne’s website here.
For more information send email to Joanne.
Do You Live in a Town?
Donning neon orange, Ken Murrary suggested we all check out the website Everytown.org, which explains the following:
Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives… Everytown starts with you, and it starts in your town.
By the way, Ken was wearing orange because it is the color of the Everytown movement.
Here is a comedy sketch (yes, about guns) that mentions Everytown.org at the end. Comedian Amy Schumer has explained that she had to start speaking out about this when two young women were killed in a movie theater last year; the movie theater was showing “Trainwreck,” in which Schumer stars.
For more information send email to Ken.
New Election Advisory Council Seeks Volunteers
Dolores Connor announced that an exciting new non-partisan committee has been formed to boost voter turnout. They have developed a strategic plan and have already managed to get free bus service on Election Day. They would like more input from the community; they meet the third Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m. at the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office. Use our nifty PVA calendar to incorporate these meetings right into your personal calendar!
For more information send email to Scott Krahling.
Tweeting Isn’t Just for Birds
Learn to tweet and do other social media stuff with @LucasHerndon! #ProgressNowNM.
Remember when you swore email was ridiculous and you would always hand-write letters? Remember when you said you didn’t need one of those phones that you could watch a movie on? Well, now that you check your email at least three times a day and you have a smart phone with unlimited text messaging, you know you want to learn how to tweet! Lucas Herndon will teach you how! It’s fun to follow your favorite news sources, authors, pundits, politicians, and even animals!
As Lucas said, “Come learn how to use social media more effectively for political action!”
Social Media Training
May 19, 4 p.m.
Community Action Agency
3880 Foothills Road, Las Cruces
For more information send email to Lucas.
Campaign Manager Hard at Work
Sharon Shoemaker reminded us of the many reasons she is working to get County Commissioner Wayne Hancock (District 4) re-elected. “Wayne brings professionalism to the county,” she said, “and he is one of the big reasons we have glass recycling and at least some bus service in the rural communities.” She said Wayne also fights continuously for mental health services in the region. However, Sharon also mentioned, there is a targeted campaign to oust Wayne from the Commission. If you like the progress he brings, she urges you to volunteer and fight to keep him.
Click here to visit the campaign website.
For more information send email to Sharon.
School Board President Checks in with Good News
Las Cruces School Board President Maria Flores reported that the School Board has been exonerated by the NMPED for allegations made earlier this year by Secretary of Education Skandera. That’s right, exonerated! Spread the word. Maria also suggested that if you know any teachers, thank them for all they do. (The National Parent Teacher Association has designated the first full week in May as “Teacher Appreciation Week.”)
For more information send email to Maria.
Here’s When and How to Help Campaign for Joanne Ferrary and Wayne Hancock
Pat Aguirre, who is the field coordinator for Joanne Ferrary and Wayne Hancock’s campaigns, said you can help these two candidates get elected by canvassing and donating. Joanne Ferrary, who is running for NM House District 37, does not have a primary, so until June 7, Pat is primarily putting focus on Wayne Hancock’s campaign. Wayne is running to be re-elected to the Doña Ana County Commission, District 4. The campaign is walking precincts seven days a week to get the message out.
- Please help on Joanne Ferrary’s campaign!
- Please help on Wayne Hancock’s campaign NOW!
For more information or to volunteer call 575-532-5127 or send email to Pat.
Learn this Acronym
Last month’s featured presentation was about early childhood education (ECE) and Marco Nuñez, from SWOP Action, was back to fill us in on ongoing efforts to promote ECE in NM. Early childhood education town halls are happening throughout Las Cruces, and Marco encourages people to ask candidates where they stand on this important issue. After all, he reminded us, the research is in—the development throughout these early years is critical and can make all the difference in a child’s education and future. Marco encourages people to attend these town halls and ask the candidates where they stand on early childhood education. Finally, will you take a pledge as an ECE voter? Check out this website to see when and where more town halls are happening.
Early Education Town Hall
May 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
Women’s Intercultural Center, Anthony, NM
For more information send email to Marco.
Ray Jaramillo for House District 35
Ray Jaramillo, who is running for HD35, was happy to say where he stands on ECE (did you learn the acronym?). “I live it,” said Ray, who is an early childhood educator, and an appointed member of the NM Early Learning Advisory Council. Ray said he’s been running into very nice people on the campaign trail. He’s been knocking on a lot of doors, and even when he comes across people who are supporting his opponents, they are pleasant to talk to and he’s enjoying all the encounters with his fellow community members. Most of all, he says, he’s proud to be a Democrat. He asks for your vote and help on his campaign. They will be having a big canvass on May 21 and he said, “We will be having brunch-fast burritos, handing out turf, and hitting the doors!”
May 21, 10 a.m.
For more information send email to Ray.
Common Cause Works towards a Public Financing System for Municipal Elections
Craig Fenske, who works with Common Cause NM, spoke about the proposal for public financing our municipal elections. What is being proposed for Las Cruces is a small donor campaign financing system in which candidates who choose to participate agree to raise only small contributions from individuals. Those contributions are in turn matched by public dollars. Currently the proposal suggests that the only contributions that will be matched with public dollars are those from registered voters within the jurisdiction of the candidate. (Email Craig for the full proposal and bullet points on how public financing improves democracy.)
Craig and Common Cause NM hopes you will attend the next City Council work session, where the proposal will be discussed:
CLC Council Work Session
June 27, 1 p.m.
For more information send email to Craig.
Shannon Reynolds for Doña Ana County Treasurer
Shannon said he wants to bring a few things back to the office of the Treasurer: trust, honesty, experience, integrity, and respect. He rattled off a multitude of valuable experience, which you can read here on his campaign website. If elected, he said he would have an open door policy. He believes in engaging with the community, investing in business (ask him about microloans), feeding the hungry, and much more. He asks for your vote and your support.
For more information send email to Shannon.
Emerge New Mexico Continues to Do Important Work
State Representative Doreen Gallegos will be re-elected in November 2016! She doesn’t have any opponents in either the primary or the general, so her seat is safe. Therefore, she is helping other Democrats in their elections and has a mission to “Take Back the House.” Furthermore, she is supporting the Emerge training program, which trains women to run for higher office.
Finally, she encouraged people to attend (or donate here if you can’t attend) the fundraiser at DNC Committeewoman Joni Gutierrez’s home:
Fundraiser for a Democratic Majority in the New Mexico State House
Tuesday, May 3 2016, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
At the home of Joni Gutierrez
2350 Calle De Parian, Las Cruces, NM 88005
Host $500 Supporter $250 Guest $100 Grassroots $25
RSVP to Isabel Slator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 575.613.5336.
For more information send email to Doreen.
Oscar Vasquez Butler for Senate District 36
Oscar said yes, he is an ECE supporter (remember your new acronym?). There are twelve colonias in District 36, it is 70% Hispanic, the drop-out rates are too high, the cradle-to-prison rates are too high, the infrastructure needs to be updated, 33% of the inmates are mentally challenged, and with all this and more in mind, it is a no-brainer that New Mexico needs to invest in our children now. Oscar asks for your support on his campaign and your vote during early voting and on Election Day. Click here for his campaign website.
For more information send email to Oscar.
Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Night
Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Interim President Troy Tudor extended an invitation to the Chamber’s Meet the Candidates Night. Participants will be introduced individually and given a few minutes to address the audience on their platform as it relates to economic growth, job creation, and business. Afterwards people can chat with the candidates; voter registration will be available.
Meet the Candidates Night
May 26, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces
For more information send email to Troy.
Maggie Reynolds Endorses Her Husband Shannon Reynolds for Treasurer
Maggie Reynolds, wife of candidate for County Treasurer said, “Shannon is everything he said he is—trustworthy and honest.” She added, “What bothers him most is hungry children. It really is true that he lays awake at night worrying about what we can do for them.”
Maggie hopes you will vote for her husband, as she believes he will do a great job for our county. You can read more about Shannon here.
For more information send email to Maggie.
Students Received Services Because of Ben Archer Health Center
Earl Nissen commended the Ben Archer Health Center for providing services to students in the Las Cruces School District when the previous provider suddenly dropped the contract. The school-based health centers have been a very important part of reducing New Mexico’s high teen pregnancy rate. Since Ben Archer stepped in, 862 girls came in to the school-based health center for contraception. Earl pointed out that it is quite possible that those 862 girls can have an education because those health centers were there to provide services. You can read more about this issue here.
For more information send email to Earl.
Hillary Sets Up in Las Cruces
In the 2016 presidential primary, New Mexico votes actually matter! And, the Hillary Clinton campaign has come to Southern NM. The new HFA organizer, Amanda Braun, said they will be starting to phone bank soon and she will have more information to come so stay tuned. She said any and all help to get Hillary elected will be appreciated. To get texts from the campaign, click here.
For more information send email to Amanda.
Protecting the Vote
Director of Voter Protection for the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County, Lynn Moorer, is steadily signing up people to be poll watchers and challengers for the primary and general elections. She needs lots of volunteers and Spanish speakers are especially helpful. There are two trainings scheduled in May. Volunteer to protect the vote!
For more information call 575-520-3045 or send email to Lynn.
Campaign Manager Connie Chapman Has Picked Up a Few New Skills
Connie is enjoying her role as campaign manager for Angelica Rubio, who is running for House District 35. Among other things, she has learned how to:
- Make buttons
- Install yard signs
She asked for help with Angelica’s campaign: canvassing and getting out the vote.
For more information send email to Connie.
Jessica Martinez Endorses Her Dad, Pablo Martinez, for HD35
Campaign manager/daughter, Jessica Martinez spoke eloquently about her father’s campaign for House District 35. Jessica said Paul “Pablo” Martinez has been a civil rights leader for over 30 years, leader/organizer with LULAC, is proud to be an outspoken supporter of the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks Monument, and believes in supporting people and the environment. He also believes in supporting the Democratic candidate in District 35, no matter who wins the primary. You can read more about Jessica’s dad and his campaign here.
For more information send email to Jessica.
Avenue Art Set for Another Great Year!
We are lucky to have some great artists organizing the annual downtown art fun-fest known as Avenue Art. One of those great artists is our friend Bob Diven, who explained that this event has a wonderful and welcoming environment; the artists are given all their supplies as well as breakfast and lunch for free. Read about the history of the event here. Bob invited people to get involved next year by going to the Avenue Art Facebook page.
For more information send email to Bob.
Taking Back House District 39
Ann McCullough spoke about the importance of electing Rudy Martinez to HD39, which he used to represent. The district is now represented by Republican John Zimmerman. Ann emphatically stated that we need Rudy back in the House—he stands up for the people of Southern New Mexico! You can help get him elected, she said, “with old fashioned walking, calling, and maybe a little money, too.” You can learn more about Rudy here and here.
For more information send email to Ann.
Angelica Rubio Earns Several Endorsements
Leslie Belt announced that Angelica Rubio, who is running for House District 35, had a great month. She was honored to be endorsed by AFSCME, AFT, and CVNM! You can follow her on Facebook here. The campaign will be doing lots more “door-to-door democracy” events and asks for your help. Their next canvassing event is:
Dudes for Rubes
Saturday, May 7, 9:30 a.m.
For more information call 575-616-1151 or send email to Leslie.
Fundraiser for Reproductive Justice Coalition
Jan Thompson has a great way for you to spend the evening of May 3 (perfectly timed if you are coming from another fundraiser in Mesilla!).
The Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and West Fund (which provides financial assistance to women who can’t afford abortion services) will be showing the award-winning, full-length film, “Trapped.” Tickets are $10 ($5 for students).
Tuesday, May 3, 7 p.m.
First Christian Church, 1809 El Paseo Road
For more information send email to Jan.
Less Is More to This Candidate for State Representative
Nathan Small, who is running for State Representative in District 36, reported that he raised less money than his opponent in the last campaign finance period, but he had more donors. He is proud of that fact—his donors are giving smaller amounts and he wants to keep it that way. For that reason, if you can give him a donation of $5, he would appreciate it! He would like to continue to raise small amounts from a lot of supporters. He also, of course, asks for your vote. You can visit his campaign website here.
For more information send email to Nathan.
Have you Read this Book Yet?
City Councilor Olga Pedroza had several points:
- She recommended the book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer.
- Stay tuned for discussions about changes in the City Charter (or attend City Council meetings, if you can)—this may even be brought to the voters next year.
- Mark your calendars for an immigration forum on September 15—more to come on this soon.
For more information send email to Olga.
Bill Standridge for County Commission, District 5
Bill Standridge, who is running for County Commission, District 5, was born and raised in Doña Ana County. He believes the key to being a County Commissioner is “communication, communication, communication.” He added that he will focus on government transparency, budget management, business development, and public safety. And yes, he supports ECE! He asks for your support in the June 7 election.
For more information send email to Bill.
Rudy Martinez Has a Question for You
Rudy Martinez, who is running for House District 39, wants to know something: Do you want to continue living in the worst run state in the country? If no, he says, we must elect Democrats back into the House. (The seat that Rudy is running for is currently filled by Republican John Zimmerman.)
To answer Marco Nuñez’s question, he does support ECE. Rudy stated he also supports teachers and their students, well-funded public safety, a good mental health care system, and he will continue to fight for underserved communities. Rudy has been endorsed by NEA-NM, AFSCME, and OLÉ. You can read more about Rudy and/or contribute to his campaign here.
For more information send email to Rudy.
Do You Know Who the Dirtiest Man on TV Is?
Rocky Bacchus (who knows a lot about the El Paso Electric Rate Case, in case you ever need to know anything about that) spoke about a jobs initiative that a man named Mike Rowe is launching. Mike Rowe is known as the “dirtiest man on TV” because he has traveled around the country trying unbelievably “dirty jobs.” Rocky suggests that you check out this website, and thinks that Las Cruces should try to bring Mike Rowe here to talk to our high school students (or at least try to incorporate some of the ideas into the curriculum).
For more information send email to Rocky.
Tell Us How You Really Feel, Steve
There have been some tensions brewing between Sheriff Kiki Vigil and some other folks in the County. There is even a petition out there called “I take back my vote for Kiki Vigil.” Steve Fischmann noted his particular outrage towards the Sheriff’s treatment of the County Commissioners and said it’s imperative that we get out and support Wayne Hancock’s re-election efforts. “The Sheriff has an agenda,” Steve said. “Wayne is being attacked, and as always, is reacting with courage.” You can support Wayne by contacting his field organizer, Pat Aguirre.
For more information send email to Steve.
Bill Standridge’s Treasurer Speaks Up
Tim Zagorski is the treasurer for his friend Bill Standridge’s campaign; Bill is running for County Commission, District 5, and Bill is a Democrat. Tim said, “I’m a Republican, but that doesn’t matter. Bill is a good guy. He has a great background for this position. That is why I’m supporting him.” Tim said he also appreciates Bill’s public safety background—he is retired Las Cruces police, as well as being a veteran. He hopes you will support Bill Standridge for County Commission in the upcoming election (he is also more than happy to take any contributions to Bill’s campaign!)
For more information send email to Bill Standridge.
County Commissioner Wayne Hancock Has News from the County
Wayne Hancock has been busy! He’s been working hard on his re-election campaign and if you want to help, he would really appreciate it. Wayne’s goal is to keep the Commission on its progressive track—if you agree with this, contact Pat Aguirre and let her know you can contribute a few hours.
Wayne said he toured the Detention Center and discovered they have a very odd policy of throwing away any can of food that is dented. He is looking into changing this so that the dented cans will be donated to the Community of Hope or another location needing food.
Finally, the SCRTD received over $500,000 in grant money! Wayne said, “This transit system is making a real difference in the lives of many, many people in the South Valley.”
For more information send email to Wayne.
County Commissioner Billy Garrett Is Fired Up! Are You?
“This is not a regular election,” said Billy Garrett. “There is a concerted effort to remove Wayne Hancock and David Garcia from the Commission.” Billy reminded us of how last year many people worked hard to stop the recall attempt on several City Councilors; now County Commissioners are being attacked and active citizens need to step up and fight these attacks on our public servants. Wayne and David are up for re-election and Billy asked that you work hard on their campaigns. They are both working hard on behalf of their constituents—bringing experience, commitment, responsive constituent services, critical infrastructure, transportation, community centers, strategic goals, and much more to table.
To volunteer or donate to either or both campaigns, here is their information:
- David Garcia, running for District 2: email or call 915-497-4293
- Wayne Hancock, running for District 4: email or call 575-520-4560
For more information send email to Billy.