August 25, 2022

Kudos and thanks

Judith Baca, aka Judge Judy, announced that she won in the primary contest for probate judge and thanked all those who supported her. She’s looking forward to continued engagement in the community.

For more information send email to Judith.

Soon to be Judge Lara

Robert Lara also won in the primary and also doesn’t have an opponent in the general election. “I’ll be a judge in January,” he said and thanked all those who supported him. He’s using the time to focus on community service. He will participate in a series of legal and health clinics sponsored by Salud y Vida Con Amigos. The clinic will provide free legal advice (not representation) answering questions on areas including consumer debt, family law, probate, public benefits, and more. Three clinics are scheduled:

Rincon Community Center
September 1, 4 to 7 p.m.

Sunland Park Library
September 8, 4 to 7 p.m.

Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room
September 9, 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information send email to Robert.

Red light cameras

Bob Libby voiced alarm that red light cameras are being reconsidered by some, and the mayor seems to be a fan. Bob said the cameras are not calibrated correctly. He recommended telling your city councilor and the mayor that reinstating the red light camera would be a big mistake.

For more information send email to Bob.

Impassioned support for NMSU graduate workers 

Hiranya Roychowdhury began by pointing out that the work of graduate students is critical to a university’s success. He said NMSU graduate workers (recently unionized) are not treated fairly, noting that their yearly pay of $18,000 does not include tuition (about $7,000) or health care. He said the administration is not negotiating in good faith and is spending a staggering amount on lawyers to oppose the union. Hiranya asked us to write to Chancellor Arvizu and the Board of Regents in support of the graduate students.

For more information send email to Hiranya.

Village of Doña Ana invites everyone to celebrate

Israel Chavez, founder of the Doña Ana Village Association, invited everyone to attend the village fiesta which will feature live music, vendors, food trucks, community services, voter registrars, and more.

Doña Ana Village Fiesta

Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
135 Joe Gutierrez Street, Doña Ana

For more information send email to Israel.

Nathan Small’s campaign will welcome you with open arms

Peter Martin invited volunteers to Nathan Small’s campaign for NM House District 36. He reminded us that state legislators play a critical role in deciding the future of the state–the quality of healthcare, the environment, education, the whole kit and kaboodle. Peter noted that Nathan’s opponent, Kimberly Skaggs, is the executive director of the Republican Party of New Mexico, has a lot of backing, and spends time with Florida’s Governor deSantis. Whatever you can do–knock on doors, write, call, donate–the campaign welcomes your help.

For more information send email to Peter and call him at 575-650-2464.

Ferrary and Jaramillo campaigns

Pat Aguirre, campaign field organizer nonpareil, invited everyone to Joanne Ferrary’s campaign kickoff and promised it will be big.

NM Rep Joanne Ferrary Campaign Kickoff Event

Sunday, August 28, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Home of Rich and Joanne Ferrary

Pat also invited volunteers to help Tara Jaramillo in her campaign for NM House District 38. Tara is a new candidate and 38 is a new and vast district that stretches from Socorro to Butterfield Park. Tara could use help (calling and door knocking) on the East Mesa.

For more information send email to Pat.

Gun Buyback comes to Las Cruces

Charlotte Lipson announced that New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) will be sponsoring a gun buyback. This is a safe surrender event and no information is retained on the participant turning in the firearms. You can turn in as many firearms as you like as long as they are unloaded and in working condition. Participants will receive payment in the form of gift cards from Albertsons, Amazon, Chevron, Target, and Walmart. The value of the gift card is based on the firearm turned in: $250 for assault-style weapons, $200 for semi-automatic handguns and rifles, $100 for long guns and pistols. 

Gun Buyback
East Mesa Public Safety Complex
550 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd.
Saturday, September 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information send email to Charlotte and call her at 575-527-4083.

A shout-out for Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act

Don Kurtz pointed out that the Inflation Reduction Act is chock full of amazing stuff and every day we learn of something new and great that it includes (greenhouse gasses are defined as pollutants now, SCOTUS). For one example, there is enormous investment in urban forestry that will benefit Las Cruces. Don concluded, “It’s an inspiring time and we don’t want to let it slip by without noticing.”

For more information send email to Don.

Environment, environment, environment

Gill Sorg (of the Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District and Conservation Voters of New Mexico) said that a recent statewide poll showed that water was the number one concern for New Mexicans. In more environmental news, Gill reported that the City of Las Cruces has five electric buses on their way and seven more on order!

Gill asked us to donate to the Conservation Voters of New Mexico Action Fund and to Give Green. They support progressive conservation candidates including Nathan, Joanne, Gabe and more who are well known to PVA.

For more information send email to Gill.

KTAL and CPOC updates

Peter Goodman reported that KTAL, our community radio station, had its fifth birthday party last Sunday. They will be interviewing candidates in the November election and, they hope, some students from NMSU Graduate Workers United. 

In other good news, the city is making progress toward a Citizens’ Police Oversight Committee. When the proposal is ready, public support will be essential to having an effective committee.

For more information send email to Peter.

Getting ready for life after Roe v. Wade

Cassie Calway spoke on behalf of the two clinics currently providing abortion care in Las Cruces. They are in need of volunteers to escort women into and out of the clinic, to provide transportation to and from the El Paso airport, and to provide temporary housing. The two-hour shifts at the clinic will begin at 8 a.m, 10 a.m., and noon. Volunteer training will be held in September. The clinics expect to be targeted by anti-abortion activists including 40 Days for Life (September 28 to November 6).

To volunteer or to receive more information send email to Cassie.

A GOTV campaign with a record of success

Terry Miller asked for volunteers to work on a Get Out the Vote project that will target Democrats who don’t usually vote in midterm elections. It’s based on the fact that when Democrats in Doña Ana County vote, Democratic candidates win. This GOTV project has the backing of the Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign and supports all the Democratic candidates on the ballot in Doña Ana County. A similar project in 2018 was hugely successful.

Three different door hangers will be distributed throughout the county on three weekends: October 6 and 7, October 20 and 21, and October 27 and 28. Volunteers will work with a partner (one to drive and one to place the door hanger) and the job can be finished in a morning or afternoon. It’s doable!

For more information send email to Terry and call her at 575-635-2637.

Representative Small is working hard

Representative Small, just back from Santa Fe, alluded to that feeling you get when you’ve been away and you come back home and see the valley and the Organ Mountains rising up in the east and maybe the sun is setting, and you think of all the progress and all the people who are working together. Nathan spoke of the legislature’s recent accomplishments including significant teacher raises, early childhood funding, expansion of health care, and more. He spoke of the current New Mexico Republican Party, the extremist positions they espouse, and their targeting of progressive Democrats. “This will be our toughest election. We have to keep doing what we’re doing and even more. Thank you for stepping up,” he said.

For more information send email to Nathan. Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanLCNM and visit the campaign website.

Municipal Court has a problem that could use your attention

Judge Joy Goldbaum, presiding judge of Las Cruces Municipal Court, asked residents of the city to contact their city counselor and the mayor and request that they rescind resolution 23-017. Judge Goldbaum said the resolution was hasty and resulted in the appointment of a judge who is not a currently licensed attorney and is otherwise unqualified to do the job. Ask that the selection of a second judge for Municipal Court be a transparent process that follows established procedures.

For more information send email to Joy and call her at 575-520-1817.

Yes you can get to Las Cruces from there

Sharon Thomas brought news about the South Central Regional Transit District. They just received two big federal grants (2.5 and 3 million dollars) for electric buses, charging stations, training, and facilities. Ridership is increasing and expected to reach 90,000 this year. We should thank David Armijo, the executive director, for doing a fine job.

For more information send email to Sharon and call her at 575-644-2517.

Shannon Reynolds seeks second term on Doña Ana County Commission

Connie Chapman reminded us that it’s been 4 years since Shannon Reynolds defeated Ben Rawson to win his first term as county commissioner. Connie said he has another serious opponent in this election, and he will need a lot of help. She pointed out that the district has been redrawn to include Chaparral. “Nobody down there has ever seen his name on a ballot,” she said. 

For more information and to volunteer, send email to Connie.

Meet Representative Willie Madrid

Jennifer Kreie invited people in the redrawn District 53 to come and meet their state representative, Willie Madrid. She noted that the redrawn districts are causing a lot of confusion.

Meet State Representative Willie Madrid
Sunset Grill at Sonoma Ranch Golf Course
Saturday, August 27, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more information send email to Jennifer and call her at 575-571-0300.

So tired of being in last place

Elisa Sanchez made a plea for education that deals with the fact that we are a “majority minority state” and raises us out of last place. She said we keep putting more money into the system without improving the system and without acknowledging that “the people who make up the majority of this state are invisible in the curriculum.”

For more information send email to Elisa.

Shannon Reynolds for County Commission

Shannon Reynolds asked for support in his bid for a second term. He mentioned a couple of challenges: a serious opponent and a seriously redrawn district. He sees this as a time of opportunity for the county and he is keen to be involved, to provide oversight and direction.

For more information send email to Shannon.

Casa de Peregrinos: Fasting, Building, Expanding

Eric Walkinshaw announced that Casa De Pergrinos’s Fourth Annual Hunger Strike will begin Thursday, September 22. If you are able to donate soon, your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation. There are three easy ways to donate:

If you participate in the hunger strike and share your experience on social media, you will be joining the staff and board of CdP in their effort to bring attention to food insecurity in Doña Ana County.

For more information send email to Eric.

Round Two

PVA Rules: After everyone who wishes to speak has had a chance to speak once, everyone who wishes to speak a second time may do so.

Gill Sorg made two points. First, this election is important and you don’t want to wake up on the morning after the election and say “I should have done more.” Second, there is a fix for red light cameras: roundabouts. And Carmel, Indiana, is showing the way.

Peter Goodman announced that his novel, The Moonlit Path, will be published next month. The novel is set in California in the early 1900s and tells the story of a young woman who is an artist, a gardener, and a member of the Progressive Party. Voting is involved.

Pat Aguirre explained that Joanne Ferrary’s campaign is doing something new: coordinating with Gabe Vasquez’s campaign. So, for example, if you’re walking for Joanne, you’re walking for Gabe as well and you’ll have info about both candidates.

Hiranya Roychowdhury explained that NMSU would like to get Carnegie’s R1 rating (Doctoral/Very High Research Activity), but “Without graduate students nothing gets done. No research gets done!”

Israel Chavez said that UNM grad students unionized when he was a student there and it was a good thing. He added that NMSU is “still trying to build that golf course on Tortugas Mountain.” [Yikes!]

And with that we called it a night.

PVA meets again September 22, 2022