September 23, 2021 – Virtual PVA

Unified Action: Be Involved in the 2021 Municipal Election

Sponsored by the PVA Executive Committee www.pva-nm.org

The Issue:

The November 2021 consolidated election is crucial to determining the kind of community we will be in coming years.  Our personal involvement with local campaigns can make a big difference in the upcoming elections.

What we are asking:

volunteer time for a candidate or campaign-related activity

and/or

make a contribution to a candidate of your choice

And, when you have done it, please tell us “I did it”

(Reviewing this recap is an excellent way to decide how you want to earn your “I did it!”)

El Paso Electric Update

Allen Downs presented his usual excellent update on energy policy related to El Paso Electric, including some very good news: the new Integrated Resource Plan submitted by El Paso Electric contains no new gas plants for New Mexico customers, and instead will look to solar, wind and storage for new energy resources. This is a huge step forward for EPE and a tremendous victory for our climate future. Allen also noted that the new, lower electric rates gained through intervention by the City, County and our citizen intervenors are now in effect, although EPE has appealed that decision to the NM Supreme Court.  

For more information, email Allen at biz@lifeisgood2.com.

Becki Graham, candidate for City Council, District 3

Becki reports that her campaign is going well, and that she has received recent endorsements from the local Firefighters Union, the Sierra Club and Working Families.  She is looking forward to upcoming forums with KRWG, KTAL and Temple Beth El. She reports that she is hearing about two issues especially as she goes door to door: one is unsafe streets, with concerns about speeding vehicles, UTV traffic, and general road conditions; the other is animal welfare, which Becki will be discussing with animal welfare leaders in coming weeks. She’s also encountering what she described as “a lot of loneliness” — something we should be aware of.  

Find out more about Becki and her campaign on her website.

Becky Corran, candidate for Council, District 5

Becky thanks everyone who is supporting her campaign and is happy to report that it is going well. Becky and campaign volunteers have visited hundreds of doors since the campaign began. She will be appearing on the KRWG forum on October 7th, and has received recent endorsements from the local Firefighters Union and Working Families.  She was also named a Progressive Change Champion by the national organization Progressive Change Campaign

Since Becky has multiple opponents and there will be ranked choice voting, she asks that we be sure to make her our first choice for District 5 councilor. She also invites us to join her campaign or find out more by visiting her website.

An endorsement for Josh Switzer (and Gill Sorg) for Soil & Water

Kevin Bixby introduced us to Josh Switzer and endorsed him as a candidate for the Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District board. Kevin pointed out that Josh is a young farmer who sells organic produce at the Farmers Market, and who would bring a different and valuable perspective to the Soil and Water board. A lifelong Las Crucen, Josh is a strong advocate for healthy food and sustainable food systems, and he would be, in Kevin’s words “a breath of fresh air” for the Board, given his youth and local food experience. Kevin also endorsed Gill Sorg for the other position up for election this year.  

For more information, email Kevin at bixbykevin@gmail.com

A quick way to make a difference on global poverty

Rich Renner of RESULTS Las Cruces gave us a quick way to help eliminate global poverty, based on three calls we can make to our two U.S. senators and our congressperson. We need to call the offices of Sen. Martin Heinrich  202-224-5521, Senator Ben Ray Lujan   202-224-6621 and Rep Yvette Herrell 202-225-2365, and ask them to prioritize, in the huge American Family Plan now being considered by Congress, increasing the global COVID vaccine supply, maintaining rental assistance,  and making permanent the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. 

For more information email Rich at rjrenner50@gmail.com

New VISTA positions in Doña Ana County

Kari Bachman spoke on behalf of Doña Ana Communities United, a small community-based organization that is advancing health equity in Doña Ana county. Kari brought the exciting news that their organization has two Americorps VISTA positions available, and she’s looking for our help in finding the right people to fill them! The applicants should be bilingual in English and Spanish, and should themselves be impacted by health inequities. One of the positions will be to coordinate Communities United’s timebank, which allows people from all walks of life to exchange services with one another, building social cohesion. The other will be to coordinate the organization’s social equity mapping initiative. These are 40 hour a week positions that pay $10,000 for a year and include paid child care, plus an educational stipend at the end of the year.  These are positions ideal for young people just starting out or for elders looking to be active on a meaningful project.

Kari would love to talk with you about anyone you might suggest; please text her at 575-496-4330.

Bob Wofford, candidate for Las Cruces School Board, District 3

Bob was a teacher at Las Cruces High School for 34 years, retiring in 2017, but he has re-entered the fray as he seeks election to the school board in the position Maria Flores is leaving. At Las Cruces High Bob sponsored Amnesty International for 30 years and the Gay-Straight Alliance for 10 years. If elected, Bob would be the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in the board’s history.

Bob is running because he cares about students, who are the focus of his campaign.  He wants to put behind us the culture wars and other distractions in favor of putting students first in all our decision-making. He also urges us to vote for Pamela Cort for LCPS District 2. As a side note, Keven Bixby wrote in the Chat during Bob’s 2 minutes that his daughter had Bob as a teacher and that she loved him and endorses him enthusiastically! Maria Flores weighed in on Chat as well, wholeheartedly endorsing Bob, as well as Pam Cort in District 2.  

You can volunteer for Bob here, and find out more about him and his campaign on his website or from Facebook.  

Norma Torres Roberts, a candidate for Probate Judge in 2022

RoseMarie Sanchez spoke in support of Norma Torres Roberts for the position of Doña Ana County Probate Judge in the 2022 general election.  She is a native Las Crucen who has served as Court Assistant in the Probate Court and feels she is ready to serve as Probate Judge herself.  

For more information, email Rosemarie at rmelon@nmsu.edu.

Door to door for City Councilor Yvonne Flores

Ali Scotten, field director for the campaign of District 6 City Councilor Yvonne Flores reports that the campaign is going well, with good support for Yvonne as they move through the neighborhoods. Ali noted that there is a paid canvassing position available for Yvonne’s campaign, paying $15 an hour; to apply for that position or to join Yvonne’s team for some enjoyable volunteer canvassing, email Ali at scottena@gmail.com.

Laura Montoya, candidate for state treasurer in 2022

Laura Montoya swept in virtually from the north to remind us that she is running for state treasurer in 2022. Laura has 23 years of government experience, including service as an Assistant State Treasurer and most recently 8 years as treasurer of Sandoval County, where she termed out in December. She is now aiming to be the first female state treasurer in NM history.

Besides protection of the state’s money through collecting it, investing it and distributing it, for which she is fully prepared, Laura wants to utilize the funds we have to invest in things important to the people of New Mexico: in our children, in teaching financial literacy, in fighting against payday lenders, and in building fairness and equity.  If you would like to find out more about Laura or donate to her campaign, visit her website.  You can also call her at 505-718-9894.

The Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity wants our input

Jennifer Kreie from the Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity (AFLEP) is well-known for its strong advocacy for a State Bank, but Jennifer Kreie came to PVA to ask for our participation in its efforts to engage Doña Ana County residents in a discussion about what we love about our community and how we can make it healthier, safer and more prosperous. To that end, AFLEP facilitators will be here to meet with interested people at 6 pm on Tuesday, October 19 in the Roadrunner Room of Branigan Library. 


For more information, email Jennifer at jenniferkreie@gmail.com or call her at 575-571-0300.

KTAL begins 2021 candidate forums

Peter Goodman announced that KTAL radio, 101.5 FM, will begin its 2021 candidate forums soon, to be presented on the Speak Out Las Cruces program from 8 am – 10 am every Wednesday morning. The schedule is:

Wednesday, October 6          
9 am: City Council District 3 Bev Courtney and Becki Graham          
9:30 am:  City Council District 6 Yvonne Flores and William Beerman     

Wednesday, October 13          
9 am: City Council District 5  David Telford, Normand Robert Paquette, Ronnie Sisneros, Becky Corran          
9:30 am:  Soil and Water Conservation District: Jose Makk, Joseph Skaggs, Gill Sorg, Joshua Switzer     

Wednesday, October 20          
9 am:  School Board District 2: Pamela Cort, Henry Young          
9:30 am: School Board District 3: Bob Wofford, Eloy Macha

Gabe Vasquez announces candidacy for Congressional District 2

Las Cruces City Councilor Gabe Vasquez announced that he will be a candidate for Congressional District 2 in the 2022 general election. As a first generation American, Gabe has been proud of his public service, and noted that “Too many of our families lack the support and investment they deserve, and to live dignified and meaningful lives. Every New Mexican deserves the right to make an honest living, to have access to high quality health care and to stay in the community they love. That’s not happening today.”

Gabe called out current CD2 Representative Yvette Herrel for her efforts to divide the people of Southern New Mexico, and for supporting the far right insurrectionist movement. He noted that her first vote in Congress was to decertify the 2020 election.


Gabe asks us to join him in his quest to flip CD2 from red to blue, and for our help, support, donations and fighting spirit to win back this congressional district.  For more information or to offer your support visit Gabe’s website.

Josh Switzer, candidate for Soil and Water Conservation District

Josh Switzer joined us to talk about his candidacy for the board of the Soil and Water Conservation District. Josh is an organic farmer who has sold produce at the Farmers Market for the last 8 years.  As an avid outdoorsman and lifelong member of this community, he would like to represent both that community and the land we all depend on.  Candidates will run at large, so all of us will find Josh’s name on our ballots; for more information you can talk to him any Saturday at his booth at the Farmers Market.

Our friends are counting on us

Don Kurtz said that many people share our progressive values, but they may not even know a local election is coming up, let alone who to vote for. That’s why he urges us to create a list of friends and family who would appreciate receiving this information, and for us to send them a message giving information about the election and making recommendations as to the best candidates.

Don has been preparing his own email with links to maps of the districts, information on where to vote, a link for requesting an absentee ballot, and links to candidate websites.  If you would like him to send you that email message, so you can customize it based on your own preferences, please email him at donkurtz7@gmail.com.

Yvonne Flores, seeking re-election to City Council District 6

Current District 6 City Councilor Yvonne Flores asked us for our support as she seeks re-election.  In going through her campaign materials Yvonne found herself remembering with fondness and appreciation the many people who walked doors for her in the past.  That help is key to her gaining re-election this year as well.  

Yvonne pointed to her leadership on a number of issues, including her helping draft the resolution on end of life options, support for the Alliance for Local Economic Prosperity, and getting support for District 6 neighborhoods desperately in need of capital improvements.  

To find out more or to volunteer for Yvonne, please visit her website.

Watersheds and elections

Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Chair Craig Fenske announced a series of forums that have just begun on our Rio Grande Watershed District — if you missed the first one, you can watch a video of it and get information about the Master Watershed Conservation Program here.  Craig also personally endorsed Josh Switzer and Gill Sorg for election to the Soil and Water Conservation District board; it is a district-wide vote, so both will be on the ballot for almost all residents of Doña Ana County.  

For more information, email Craig at dcraig.fenske@gmail.com

Strong support for Pamela Cort and Bob Wofford for LCPS board

At a time when service on our local school boards is so difficult, Amy Simpson expressed her gratitude that two excellent candidates have emerged: Pamela Cort in District 2 and Bob Wofford in District 3.

You can volunteer to help Pam and Bob here, and also visit Pam’s website and Facebook page, and Bob’s website and Facebook page.  For more information and inspiration, email Amy.

Honoring Karen Trujillo, Wings and Wheels and TIDD redux?

Las Cruces City Councilor Yvonne Flores invited us to the re-naming of the Las Cruces Public Schools administration building in honor of former superintendent Karen Trujillo on Saturday, September 25 at 8:30 am.

Yvonne also announced the annual Wings and Wheels Festival on Saturday, September 25 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Las Cruces airport, which has experienced great progress in recent years.

Yvonne also chairs the city Economic Development Policy Review and Finance Policy Review Committees, and she wanted to give us a heads up that a Tax Increment Development District (TIDD) that was proposed for the old Country Club area may be re-emerging.  She expressed concern about the possibility of a private TIDD like the one proposed there in an earlier iteration, as opposed to a public TIDD like was used downtown.  Yvonne believes that a public TIDD, where the City maintains control of the TIDD board, is a much better instrument for investment of public funds.  

For more information, email Yvonne at yvonnevavoom@aol.com.

PVA happens again:
Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 7pm
In-person or via Zoom, we will let you know!