September 26, 2019

Las Cruces’ First Consolidated Election

County Clerk Amanda Lopez-Askin and Deputy County Clerk Lindsey Bachman spoke about the upcoming consolidated election—what this means is that Las Cruces will sort of fold all of their (off-year) elections onto one ballot (School Board and Soil & Water Conservation District used to be separate elections). They also explained ranked choice voting. Basically, you rank your first, second, third choice, and so on; Amanda said, “No, you don’t have to rank more than one candidate if you don’t want to. In fact, only rank candidates who you can stomach giving your vote to. And, no, you can’t vote for the same candidate 10 times. The software won’t be tricked.” 🙂 An easier way to think of ranked choice voting, according to Amanda, is to think of it as an instant run off.

Same Day Voter Registration/Voting will be available at the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office, Las Cruces City Hall, and Doña Ana Community College Sunland Park during the early voting period.

An inquiring PVAer asked about the security of our ballots and votes. Lindsey explained that many security measures are taken, including printing fresh ballots to voters when they arrive, scanning ballots electronically without internet use, and absentee ballots are hand counted. Machines are checked randomly and regularly, as well.

The Clerks hope you will attend the following event:

Celebrating Democracy
October 8th, 10:00am -2:00 pm
Doña Ana Government Center
There will be food trucks, the candidates will be there, and you can practice Rank Choice Voting on a real machine at this fun event!

Important Dates:
Registration Deadline: October 8th
Federal Absentee: September 21st – October 31st
Absentee: October 8th – November 2nd
Early Voting: October 8th – November 2nd
Election Day: November 5

For more information, visit the county website.

September Unified Action

The Unified Action for September is:

volunteer time for a candidate or campaign-related activity
make a contribution to a candidate of your choice

When you have done the Action, please tell us, “I did it!”

Tackle the Climate Crisis

Gayle Eads worked to bring a successful Climate Crisis Rally to Las Cruces. She spoke about planning more events and invited everyone to an upcoming planning meeting on November 18, at 5:30 pm, at NMSU, titled Next Steps to Tackle Climate Crisis. The goal is to convince NMSU students to take the lead in this effort (with Greta Thunberg as inspiration). She needs your help reaching interested teachers and educators in all schools in Las Cruces. At the planning meeting, they will plan a program that begins in the schools in January with follow up on Earth Day to help bring awareness and change.

Please contact Gayle to help tackle climate crisis!

Speak Up, Las Cruces

KTAL radio host, Peter Goodman, reminded everyone to listen to “Speak Up, Las Cruces!” which airs on Wednesdays from 8:00-10:00 am on 101.5 FM (or you can visit

And, he added that if you tune in, why not make a donation? You can donate to Las Cruces Community Radio at their website. You can also become a member and/or volunteer your time and skills to the show!

Think you missed a great segment that you were interested in? Visit their archives here:

Want to plan your schedule around a specific segment? Check out their schedule here:

The Chosen One Has Spoken

Earl Nissen spoke about the Crisis Triage Center and brought a letter he wrote to those in charge (don’t worry, it was *redacted*). The letter explains the history of the Triage Center (built in 2013) and the various ups and downs that have led to the place being unused. Because we don’t have this center being used for it’s intended purposes, said Earl, it is still very common for people with mentally illnesses to be thrown in jail, instead of treated appropriately. Interestingly, Earl explained that the previous commission took the position that mental health providers were to come from New Mexico only. Some national groups were interested in the Triage Center (in 2017) but the commission turned them down. The Triage Center has never been officially opened. There are funds available to open and run the Triage Center ($2 million from the Telshor Fund, which is generated from the money the City receives for the lease of Memorial Medical Center – it is jointly owned by the City and County) but Earl is very concerned because nothing is being done presently to utilize the building for it’s intended purposes.

For more information, email Earl.

HB33 for LCPS Technology (and more)

Dr. Karen Trujillo (LCPS Interim Superintendent) and Brigitte Zigelhofer (LCPS Community Outreach Liaison) encouraged everyone to vote YES on HB33—the Public-School Builds Act, which will be on the ballot in the upcoming election (early voting starts on October 8). This will renew an existing mill levy to support Las Cruces Public Schools and will NOT increase property taxes. In addition to providing the funds for improved school furniture and band equipment, this money will provide funds for incredibly important technology that students need to thrive in the future.

Click here to get more information.

Vi Tells Us Who She Will Be Voting For & Why

Vi Cauthon said she (and husband Ron) will be voting to re-elect Mayor Ken Miyagishima. She listed some of his accomplishments, which include keeping the city in good financial shape, putting solar on City buildings and LED lights all over the city, and caring for the homeless. “With Ken’s leadership, Las Cruces was named the 6th best run city in the nation! There is simply no reason to vote for anyone else!” said Vi.

For more information, email Vi.

Who is Rosemarie’s Mayoral Pick?

Rosemarie Sanchez said that what she likes about Mayor Ken Miyagishima is that he is a humanitarian. “The City is thriving,” she said. “He likes to have conversations, and he definitely wants to hear from you at the fundraiser I’m organizing!”

Ken Miyagishima for Mayor Fundraiser
October 13 from 3:00-5:00 pm
3931 Tiger Woods, Las Cruces

For more information, email Rosemarie.

New Mexico Public Bank?

Elaine Sullivan shared that she wants to improve the state’s economic health via the introduction of a state public bank. What is a Public Bank, you ask? A public bank is an independent, chartered bank owned by the people through their representative government. It’s operated as a for-profit bank on our behalf by professional bankers, where state revenues, taxes, and fees are deposited. It is able to make loans to state or local governments and offer lower interest rates and fees than commercial lenders, and is able to increase money available to small businesses and entrepreneur borrowers by partnering with community banks for larger loans and loan guarantees. Public banks are accountable to the people through an independent public board, and are subject to state and federal banking regulations. You can get even more details here.

For more information or to get involved, email Elaine.

Story Time with Cheryl

It’s another snow-related story from Cheryl Frank! She explained that it was sometime in the 80s, and there was a huge snowstorm in Philadelphia. She and her dad (who was a teacher) had snow-days, and as such, it was time to shovel the sidewalk. Now you need to understand that it is very common for Philadelphians to shovel the snow to the exact, precise boundary of their property line—it would be a complete horror if they were to shovel even a millimeter of the neighbor’s snow (for that, they would demand sainthood)! So, Cheryl was completely shocked to look out the window and see her dad making his way down the entire block. Then, he crossed the street and did the other side. What kind of twilight zone was Cheryl existing in here? When he arrived back inside, Cheryl had to inquire, “Dad, why would you shovel the whole street??!!” “Well, I was already out there, some of our neighbor’s are old, so why not?” he answered casually.

Fast forward to 2019… Cheryl’s dad, Ed Frank, is running for re-election to the Las Cruces School Board, District 5. She said, “Good things are happening at Las Cruces Public Schools. We need people with good character as well as those who have experience in education on our school board. We need people who would willingly shovel their neighbor’s sidewalk and not expect any credit.”

For more information, email Cheryl or visit

Carrie Hamblen and Camp Hope

Carrie Hamblen is running for NM Senate, District 38, and announced a campaign fundraiser:

Carrie Hamblen for NM Senate 38 Fundraiser
October 2, 6-8 pm
Amaro Winery

Carrie is the President of the Community of Hope Board. She spoke about Camp Hope and Tents to Rents. She explained the following: 35 people live at Camp Hope, hoping to move into their own home or apartment. Camp Hope, or “Tent City,” is located directly behind the offices of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH). One of the biggest challenges Camp Hope faces is that it does not qualify for any state, federal, or foundation funding.  Necessary items like food and toilet paper are provided via community donations from the generous residents of Las Cruces. In response to the lack of funding options, the Tents to Rents (T2R) fundraiser was created in 2016 with the goal to move people who are homeless and living in tents at Camp Hope into their own apartment or house. By the way, 91 cents of every dollar goes to community services and helps everyone at Camp Hope.

For more information, visit the Community of Hope website.

Click here to visit Carrie’s campaign website.

Rep. Rudy Martinez Puts a Lot of Miles on His Car

Representative Rudy Martinez said a lot of good things are happening at legislative interim meetings. He thanked everyone for doing the good work they do, working hard towards the upcoming session. He continues to focus most of his attention on education, senior care, and veteran services. He said he has a long term plan for getting transportation for veterans through the department of aging. He welcomes your help with his campaign.

For more information, email Rudy.

Roadrunner Revue: KTAL Fundraiser

Linda Hall announced the following:

Las Cruces radio station KTAL-FP 101.5 FM will present “The Roadrunner Revue” benefit musical review at the Rio Grande Theatre on Sunday, November 17, from 5-9pm. The show, with emcee Richard Culthrup, will feature KTAL radio hosts and performers, including music by CW Ayon, Gene Keller, Teresa Tudury, Doug Adamz, Chris Sanders, and The Cosmic Troubadours. All proceeds benefit the operation of the station. KTAL Radio is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Rio Grande Theatre is located at 211 Main Street in Las Cruces. Tickets for “The Roadrunner Review” are on sale for $25 and are available online at The musical event will also feature a social hour, silent auction items, and cash bar.

You can find out more and buy tickets here.

How to Get Into the NM State Fair for Free

Debra Hathaway announced that the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County will have a booth at the NM State Fair (September 25-29). The booth will have a “Bean Poll,” asking participants to vote for their favorite presidential candidates. Working at the booth for a few hours gets you into the fair for free. Check out the DPDAC website to find out the results of the poll.

For more information, email Debra.

Councilor Kasandra Gandara Asks For Your Vote

Kasandra is running for re-election for City Council, District 1. We could write about what she said, but you might as well just watch it below… (yeah, she somehow managed to record this video without being reprimanded by the PVA proctors… we reward this because 1) flattery will get you everywhere, and 2) it’s 3:30am and we want to get you the recap asap!)

For more information, visit Kasandra’s Facebook Page or campaign website.

Lucas Wants you to Memorize These Three Names – It’s For a Very Good Reason

The ballot in the upcoming local election will have three positions for the Doña Ana Soil & Water Conservation District. Lucas Herndon emphasized that this board is really important! You will get to vote for all three supervisor position and Lucas hopes you will vote for: Fernando Clemente, Chris Cardenas, and Kurt Anderson. He said you will be very impressed with them!

For more information about the DASWCD election, check out this website or the twitter and Facebook pages @DACSoilAndWaterConservationDistrict.

Fernando Clemente is running for Doña Ana Soil & Water – Position 2

Fernando Clemente thanked everyone for their support and he already “feels like a winner in life” because of it. As a small business owner, water biologist, water life manager for public and private lands in New Mexico, Fernando said he feels qualified for the DASWCD position. He is excited to create real change for the state of New Mexico, as well as the people and wildlife who live here.

For more information, visit the campaign website.

Chris Cardenas is running for Doña Ana Soil & Water – Position 5

Chris Cardenas is running for position five in the upcoming Soil and Water election. Telling us a little about himself, he explained that he is a local attorney who feels that preservation of nature has been ignored due to the heavy use of gerrymandering; by electing him, he said he can make real change. He is interested in greenhouses, wetland conservation, and changing the quality of soil to prevent erosion. He feels we need to innovate and modernize policy to address old problems, and also stated that we need to encourage community building through education. He announced his kickoff event:

Chris Cardenas for DASWCD Campaign Kickoff Party
October 11, 6:00-9:00 pm
602 N. Alameda (at the Cardenas Law Firm)

For more information, visit the campaign website.

Two Things: Municipal Judge Race & New Mexico Pride

Shannon Reynolds said he is throwing his support behind Judge Joy Goldbaum—he really feels that she is the best choice for Presiding Municipal Judge.

Shannon announced the Southern New Mexico Pride 2019 Celebration, where he will have a booth and will be a judge for the parade.

Southern NM Pride
October 5, 5:00-10:00 PM
Las Cruces Downtown Plaza

For more information, visit the Pride Facebook Page.

Support for Antoinette Reyes for City Council, District 4

Joseph Yaroch encouraged everyone to visit for announcements of upcoming campaign events (such as a Veteran’s Meet and Greet). He is supporting Antoinette Reyes for City Council because in the three years he has known her, he has found her to be the most studious and diligent person he knows. “She does her homework,” said Joseph, “and she will use her knowledge and expertise for the betterment of District 4.”

For more information, visit the campaign website or FaceBook Page.

Indivisible Las Cruces: Two Great Events to Put on Your Calendar

Greg White announced the following events, hosted by Indivisible LC:

Discussion on Local Law Enforcement
Tuesday, October 8, 5-7pm
Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room

Las Cruces Mayoral Forum
sponsored by Southern NM New Progressives and Indivisible LC
Saturday, October 12, 2-4pm
Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room

For more information, visit the Indivisible Facebook Page.

Shelly Nichols-Shaw, Running for City Council, District 1

Shelly Nichols-Shaw introduced herself and announced she is running for City Council, District 1. She said that as a retired teacher, small business owner, and Mayfield High and NMSU graduate, she feels she can continue to help, serve, and educate others. She said she’s an active participant in our community – including involvement with Doña Ana Communities United, United Prevention Coalition of Doña Ana, Early Childhood Coalition, Partners in Policy Making, and more. Shelly said she will use her voice to help address public health, safety, disabilities, and other concerns in our community and surrounding area. She invited everyone to her Meet and Greet:

Shelly Nichols-Shaw Meet & Greet
Friday, September 27, 6-8pm
Lions Club, Las Cruces

For more information, visit the campaign Facebook Page.

Welcome Home, Sharon Shoemaker!

Santa Fe stole Sharon Shoemaker from us a few years ago, but she was back for a couple of days to promote the Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity, which is a statewide educational nonprofit. The Alliance promotes investment and management of public funds for local benefit. New Mexico’s revenue is now largely invested outside of the state, Sharon reminded us, which means we are missing out on opportunities to support the needs and concerns of New Mexico communities. A public bank is a financial instrument that enables a thriving State of New Mexico through expanded economic development and infrastructure enhancements.

Sharon has been crossing the state to gather more information on gaps associated with lack of capital. We know small businesses often have trouble getting started and/or can’t get small loans. A public bank can invest in local economic and community development, such as roads, buildings, parks, water and air safety, broadband. The Alliance needs contacts all over the state and Sharon hopes you would like to get involved.

For more information, visit the AFLEP website.

Your Friendly Neighbor, Ed Frank

Ed Frank (aforementioned snow shoveling expert) is a candidate for School Board, District 5, and he asked for your vote to reelect him. He said he doesn’t believe the LCPS achievements he’s helped with are his, so much as the achievements of the entire school board, and he would love to continue serving. Please let him know if you want to help with his campaign.

For more information visit the campaign website or email Ed.

Big Win for Hunger Strike

Casa de Peregrinos Board President, Eric Walkinshaw, spoke about a 24-hour Hunger Strike that he participated in as a fundraiser for the food pantry. The results were astounding—in 24 hours, they raised $14,000 and someone donated an additional $10,000. Therefore, Eric mused, “We raised an average of $1,000 per hour!” He thanked everyone from PVA for their support, and especially Charlotte Lipson for passing the message along to her substantial email list.

For more information, visit the Casa de Peregrino’s website.

“PACE. It’s a Good Thing.”

Rocky Bacchus announced an upcoming PACE vote on October 22nd at 9:00 am at the Doña Ana County Building. He is asking everyone to come and help support PACE which will be voted on by the County Commission. As a reminder, PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy. PACE programs offer financing for energy efficiency; PACE loans are usually long-term, require no money down, and have relaxed eligibility criteria. Big banks don’t support PACE, because of a greed issue, said Rocky, but he thinks our community could be 80% solar in the near future (because solar is 50% of the cost of electric). He hopes the County Commission will give clean energy a fair chance, saying simply, “PACE is a good thing.”

For more information, email Rocky.

Our Environment Needs Us

Yvonne Flores had two announcements:

Reception for Maggie Toulouse Oliver, US Senate Candidate
September 27, from 6:00-8:00pm
at the home of Dr. Roberto Lozano

Climate Change Series
October 2, 6:00-8:00 pm
Farm and Ranch Museum

Yvonne said that climate change legislation at the federal level is not going to pass, so we need locally elected officials to move, which is why she is encouraging everyone to vote for Maggie Toulouse Oliver for senate.

For more information, email Yvonne.

Kurt Anderson is running for Doña Ana Soil & Water – Position 1

Kurt Anderson announced that he is a candidate for Doña Ana Soil and Water Commission, Supervisor 1, and he is asking for your vote! He’s a retired Astronomy professor and “student of climate change.” He said we are dealing with drought and rising temperatures, and he has ideas on how Doña Ana Soil and Water can make positive changes in our community. He feels DASWCD needs to be more proactive in watershed protection and conservation. He is asking you to support himself as well as Chris Cardenas and Fernando Clemente.

For more information, visit the campaign website.

Update from Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small

Linda Cisneros from Representative Xochitl Torres Small’s office spoke on behalf of the representative, explaining Xochitl’s position on the Trump impeachment inquiry. She says that she wants to see a thoughtful and deliberate investigation, and that the people deserve the truth. You can see Rep. Torres-Small’s entire statement here.

For more information, visit Xochitl’s Facebook Page.

Neomi Martinez-Parra, Running for NM Senate

Neomi Martinez-Parra announced her campaign for Senate, District 35 (this seat is currently held by Sen. John Arthur Smith). She said that she’s a special education teacher and she has taken a leave to run her campaign. As things have changed politically, she has chosen to step up and run for office instead of simply complaining. Her main focus is on healthcare, K-12 education, early childhood education (which has been linked to lower dropout rates), and immigration. She asked for your vote and support, concluding, “Progress helps everyone. New Mexicans deserve better.” (p.s. Luis Guerrero is her campaign manager.)

For more information, visit Neomi’s campaign website.

How New Mexicans are Addressing Climate Change

Rene Romo agreed with Yvonne (above), and reiterated his support for the Climate Change Series, sponsored by NMSU.

He said the series is an opportunity to hear from representatives of the Governors Climate Change Task Force. They will also discuss Albuquerque’s plans to reduce GHG emissions and promote renewable energy development. The series offers a chance to ask questions about how important organizations and institutions are addressing climate change in the absence of leadership by the Trump administration.

For more information, visit the Climate Change Series website.

Luis Hopes you Will Vote for Joy for Presiding Judge

Luis Guerrero hopes you share his love for canvassing; if you do, he is asking people to volunteer to help get Judge Joy Goldbaum elected as presiding municipal judge. He announced a Meet and Greet at the home of the very fun Lisa Willman (who is also Joy’s treasurer).

Judge Joy Goldbaum for Presiding Judge Meet & Greet
October 1, 6-7:30
Home of Lisa Willman

For more information, visit Joy’s campaign website.

One Final Plea for Soil & Water Candidates

Craig Fenske knows what it’s like to run for Doña Ana Soil & Water Conservation District, as he ran (and won big) just a couple years ago. He is endorsing Kurt Anderson, Fernando Clemente, and Chris Cardenas. He reminded everyone that Doña Ana county voters south of Radium Springs may vote on all three supervisor positions.

For more information, visit this campaign website.

Building a Great City

Field organizer extraordinaire, Pat Aguirre, announced:

Fundraiser for Mayor Ken Miyagishima’s reelection campaign
Sunday, October 13 from 3:00-5:00 pm.
At the home of Rosemarie & Fidel Sanchez

Pat hopes you will join her and support Ken with a suggested donation of $40, but any and all contributions are accepted gratefully. According to Pat, you won’t regret getting to know Ken!

For more information, email Pat.

Judge Joy Asks You to Vote Joy for Judge

Judge Joy Goldbaum asked for support in her campaign for Municipal Court presiding judge, with early voting coming up soon! It is her goal to provide more support and treatment options (instead of jail) for nonviolent misdemeanor defendants. She feels that the court can do much more to help those suffering with mental illness, and that treatment rather than incarnation for nonviolent crimes will bring positive change for the City of Las Cruces.

For more information about Joy or the benefit of treatment courts, visit Joy’s campaign website.

One Good Thing About North Dakota

Concurring with Elaine and Sharon, Gill Sorg said he supports the formation of a New Mexico Public State Bank. He mentioned North Dakota’s State Bank and how it has run for 100 years and survived and thrived during some of the worst financial crises in America. In 2017, the Bank of North Dakota recorded its 14th consecutive year of record profits with $145 million in net earnings. The Bank of North Dakota has helped the citizens there maintain a low unemployment rate, supplemented state government budget revenue, enabled a robust network of community banks in the state and high credit availability even during economic crises.  

For more information visit this website.

Anna Age Eight Summit

Sen. Bill Soules had three announcements. First, the Anna Age Eight Summit will take place on December 3, at the Convention Center. “ACES are preventable,” said Bill, “and we are working toward a future when adverse childhood experiences are a thing of the past.” For more information, visit the Anna Age Eight Institute website.

Second, there will be a Mayoral Candidate Forum at Oñate, which was planned and will be run by the district’s high school students. The forum is Wednesday, October 2, 6:00-8:00pm.

Finally, September 26 is Kasandra Gandara’s birthday, and Bill was happy to lead the “Happy Birthday” song.

For more information, email Bill.

PVA Meets Again:
Thursday, October 24, 2019
Munson Senior Center