February 2019 UNIFIED ACTION
Sign up for the Legislative Response Team, Cont.
Sponsored by the PVA Executive Committee, www.pva-nm.org
The Legislative Response Team weighs in on critical issues under consideration during the legislative session in Santa Fe. Team members call or email legislators and make their positions known.
Past issues have included minimum wage, early childhood education, the environment, energy policy, voting rights, foreclosure procedures, and DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). The legislators notice and pay attention when they are hearing from their constituents. Becoming a part of the Legislative Response Team means that you will receive an email when a bill is at a critical phase. The email will be simple: it will let you know the issue, which legislator to contact, the telephone number and email for that legislator, and whether you are recommending a Yes or No vote on that issue.
WHAT WE ARE ASKING:
Add your voice to the Legislative Response Team by:
sending an email to legislativeactionNM@gmail.com
Featured Presentation: Health Security Act (HB295 — SB279)
As a big picture, it’s known that the US spends way more by far, more than any other country in the world, on healthcare. In fact, America spends twice the average amount of money on healthcare than other countries similar to America and our outcomes are far worse. America was ranked 29th in infant mortality and 26th in life expectancy in 2016 so America is paying the most
and getting worse outcomes and we don’t cover everyone.
In a personal moment, Daveena shared a story about her father’s experience with a heart attack this past Thanksgiving in Silver City. After being resuscitated, he was told that he would have to be flown to Las Cruces to the nearest cardiac center. Daveena said that her dad tried to refuse the helicopter because he didn’t think he’d be able to afford it and he didn’t want his daughters to
have to deal with the medical bill. Fortunately, he did go, and he is still with us today.
However, a lot of people don’t seek out medical care because of their inability to pay. Even with the expansion of Medicaid, 13% of adults under 65 are still uninsured and those with insurance are limited in providers and premiums are high. The Health Security Act bill would allow financial analysis of their plan and would give New Mexico residents comprehensive state-employee level benefits, it would allow people the freedom to choose their providers, it would be run by a citizen’s commission that is publicly accountable and representative geographically and their meetings would be open to the public.
What we’d like you to do: Please give Senator Joseph Cervantes a call at (505) 986-4861 and ask him to support it.
From Ideas to Policy
Sharon Thomas updated everyone on the city’s comprehensive plan. On February 27, Sharon shared that there were three meetings that day and that 20-30 people were in each meeting. It’s been a great opportunity to help turn ideas into city policy.
Sharon also mentioned the Mayor Ken Miyagishima’s State of the City Address that “was just wonderful” happened on February 28th, 2019 where he discussed climate change and gave a key to the city away.
Here’s the video if you’d like to watch it or share it with friends: https://vimeo.com/320876580
Mona is the Word, Mona is the Name
Rosemarie Sanchez personally shared that she supports Mona Trempe for county chair because she’s “well qualified, professional etiquette, respected” and she’s coordinated and communicates effectively towards a common goal.
Rosemarie shared on behalf of Jane Asche, says she fully supports Mona, she listens to everyone, plays fair, true blue, respectful of others and for herself.
HB366 & Prius Raffle
Amanda Munro wanted everyone to urge their representatives to vote “yes” on HB366 or “Roxy’s Law” which would ban traps, poisons, and snares on New Mexico’s public lands. This is a reasonable solution that will protect wildlife, companion animals, and citizens enjoying New Mexico’s public lands from unnecessary and accidental suffering injuries, and deaths – and better align the management of wildlife with modern conservation practices and New Mexico
voters’ humane values – while still allowing certain key tools for ranchers and government agencies to protect public health and livestock. It will also help mitigate the emotional and financial strain of dealing with the loss or injury of an animal because of the jaws of a trap, a snare, or poisons. Amanda encouraged everyone to reach out by March 1st for support.
Check out: https://trapfreenm.org/ for more information.
She also announced the Prius Prime raffle event that will be at SWEC. “The Prime gets about 25 miles on just the electric battery before recharging–perfect for commuting! After that it can run as a regular hybrid. Want to drive to California? No problem. At an EPA-rated 54 mpg/133 MPGe, the 2019 Prius Prime is the most efficient car in its class.” You can buy tickets on website (link below), there are only 500 tickets which are priced at $110. The drawing will be held on Earth Day in the downtown plaza in Las Cruces, NM on Saturday, April 20, 2019. You
do not need to be present to win and you can also visit them in person at 275 N. Main Street, Las Cruces, M-F, 9 am to 6 pm, or call at 575-522-5552 if you don’t want to purchase tickets online or if you have any questions!
The Oil Conservation Division Powers and Duties Bill (SB186)
Lucas Herndon, from ProgressNow New Mexico, wanted to ask everyone to call or email Senate Judiciary (Cervantes specifically) committee by March 1st to urge them to support SB186, the Oil Conservation Division Powers and Duties bill. Last year there were 1,700+ infractions and none of the infraction fees were collected. This bill would restore powers for citizens to call them out.
Energy at the Crossroads
Greg White briefly shared that Indivisible was formed in direct response against Trump’s beliefs and actions and wants to foster a positive environment of direction in support of causes they support and against causes they don’t.
He announced that there was an event called “Energy at the Crossroads” on March 12 at 5:00PM in the Road Runner Room in the Branigan Library. There was a great guest speaker named Mariel Nanasi who talked about El Paso Electric’s standards
Fay Yuruit talked about a city specific bill regarding renewable energy. This bill was passed through the student senate and ensures that NMSU will to commit to using 100% renewable energy by 2050 which in comparison currently only uses 1% renewable energy. She also spoke on behalf of the Energy Transition Act (SB489) which voted on Saturday March 2nd. She said this would be a great bill because it would expand the renewable energy portfolio by 2045 and would incentivize more renewable energy jobs. PNM would close which means 450
people would lose jobs and she encouraged everyone to call their senators and said she was open to have a dialogue with anyone who wanted to talk about it.
Need a Good Book?
Alice Anderson had some book recommendations for everyone off the new book shelf at the Branigan Library,
Brothers of Deceit by Rashid Khalidi (964.063) which is a history of the U.S.
and Israel relations from Ronald Regan to present (2013).
The second book she recommended was The Death of Truth by Michiko Katkutani (306.2097), Katkutani is a former book editor for the New York Times.
Adventures in Santa Fe
Ed Frank gave a Santa Fe Education update. He met with representative, Chair of the House Education Committee, Andres Romero. Ed joked that he was extremely young (Ed thought it was cute that Romero’s mom substitutes for him when he’s doing his job in Santa Fe) but he was also very excited to see a young educator in that really important decision. Linda Trujillo is the vice-chair, who was a one-time president of the Santa Fe School Board and one-time president of the State School Board Association and Ed said it’s important and crucial to have people who understand education. Bill Soules who is chair of the senate education committee and Ed feels that we are all in good shape and represented well.
Then on Friday, Karen Trujillo, state education secretary, spoke to them and told everyone about her background and education, answered questions endlessly with honest answers, and funny enough most of the Republicans faces told Ed “Hey, this is what competence looks like”.
100% Renewable Energy in Las Cruces in <5 Years & Reduce Prices by 20%
Rocky Bacchus spoke on behalf of HB210 Community Solar Bill. He said we could be using
100% renewable energy within the next five years and save 20% on electric bills. He’s asking
everyone to take action because it has a lot of utility opposition because it’s a good bill. Please
email your representatives to vote “yes” on it. He also voiced his concerns about SB49 as he has
spoken to 20 senators and they are all against it.
District 37 Directors
Jan Hertzsch is running for District Director of District 37 and Cheryl Frank is running Deputy
District Director. It’ll be on March 30 at 8:30 AM at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Be
organized, communicate, talk to people! They want to make a small team to come up with ideas.
He wants his entire team of precinct leaders to use their ideas as a base and come up with better
ideas and a plan. They want candidates to be able to contact them for people to accompany them
in the precincts. When they have a meeting, they want to tell everyone what was decided. He
wants this to be an enjoyable time. He wants and encourages everyone to show up on Thursday,
March 21, at 5:30 PM at Onate high school. Running for precinct leadership and membership on
PVA Respects the Progressive Community
Don Kurtz explained why not all progressive bills are being sent out through the Legislative
Response Team asking for support, he said that PVA will try not to divide the progressive
community with the alerts sent from the Legislative Response Team. When there is a significant
difference of opinion among progressives on a bill before the legislatures, that PVA will not send
out an alert for either side.
Compassion and Choices
Dean Lively clarified with everyone that he himself does not have a terminal illness (that he
knows of) and didn’t mean to leave that impression on people last time if he did. He is asking
everyone to contact their representatives to urge support for HB90, the Elizabeth Whitefield End
of Life Options Act; it is on the speakers table. The companion bill, SB153 is in Senate Judiciary
Committee and please contact Joseph Cervantes at firstname.lastname@example.org
He also asks that everyone checkout website for more information:
Mona Trempe is running for Chair of DPDAC and is encouraging everyone to vote for her in the
upcoming DPDAC elections. 2020 is coming and she feels we need to elect and reelect
progressive democrats up and down the ballot. She wants to build an organized party structure,
enhancing community agents so democrats know what’s going on, working as a team within the
party and with other organizations throughout the county to maximize resources and voices
within the community. She’s a former teacher, researcher, and an administrator therefore she has
extensive knowledge, organizational skills, and management and works effectively with diverse
groups. She feels she can bring calm, reasoned, effective leadership to the party. Make your
voice heard by going to the upcoming district meetings on Thursday, March 21 st , doors open at
5:30 P.M. and you must be in line by 6:00 P.M. Where? Go to www.donaanademocrats.com to
find the location of each district meeting. What to do: Run for precinct officer or member of the
County Central Committee (CCC).
And then go to the County Central Committee meeting on Saturday March 30 th , doors open at
8:45 A.M. and the meeting starts at 9:30 A.M. at the Las Cruces Convention Center. What to do:
Use your CCC member vote to choose the District Directors, County Chair, County Vice-Chairs,
and State Central Committee members that will lead the Party through the 2019-2020 elections.
You will also be voting on the new party rules.
If you’re unsure of your district and precinct, you can look up your voter registration online at:
Pat Aguirre was the third person of the night to advocate for Mona Trempe, she says she is the
person we deserve for the head of the democratic party of Dona Ana County. She’s educated,
responsible, involved, a good team player, and has a pleasant demeanor. Pat shared that
throughout Joanne Ferrary’s campaign, Mona often took initiative and self-taught herself the
skills to accomplish tasks and brought greatness into Joanne’s campaign and she is someone who
says what needs to be said. She encourages everyone to vote for her in the upcoming DPDAC
New Facility for Casa de Peregrinos
Eric Walkinshaw shared that since he moved here in 2014 from Washington, he met Lori Miller
and Leonard Gambriel and they convinced him to volunteer at Casa de Perregrinos food bank.
The original facility that was developed was built to distribute 5,000 pounds of donations and in
2018, they distributed 3.5 million pounds and served 30,000 clients. They are partnering with the
city of Las Cruces in the statewide capital improvement program for a new facility. He wants
everyone to contact your state senators and house representatives to help supports Casa de
Peregrinos in support of capital improvement and program for new facility.
Energy Transition Act (SB489)
Erin Pang asked everyone to help support the Energy Transition Act (SB489). This also allows
the option to scrutinize the bill and will allow PNM to close early and lower interest rates for lost
costs with higher interest, allocates to San Juan Coal organization. She announced that it would
be heard in the Senate Corporations Committee on Saturday March 2. Senator Papen is on the
committee and her number is: (505) 986-4733.
Luis Guerrero announced that there would be a meet and greet with Mona Trempe on March 3rd ,
at Salud. He said it is important to elect someone who will work with everyone in 2020 and that
she is the best choice for Party Chair.
He also shared that everything happening in Santa Fe is exciting and the discussions are good.
Water in the Southwest
Antoinette Reyes announced that there would be an event on March 9 th called Water in the
Southwest at SWEC. Guests were able to discuss local water issues and were provided with an
overview of the current Rio Grande litigation (NM v TX v CO) water case as well as discussing
local water issues.
Shannon Reynolds is looking for volunteer poll watchers. He also mentioned that there are only
allowed to be 750 people per precinct allowed and when we do the census, we will have to
redistrict precincts and we will go from probably 120 precincts to 180 precincts by 2020 or
maybe more, 40-60 precincts are over that 750 limit.
The county is also cleaning up the voter roll, so if you or someone you know hasn’t voted in four
years, their name might be dropped. Be sure to contact the clerk’s office to verify that you’re still
registered to vote and that everything is correct if you’re concerned.
On commission, Shannon was able to pass one of his resolutions through to get the PRC to look
into EPE. The second resolution they passed was the Health Security Act and they’re also trying
to partner with the state to work with EPE to make sure that they’re not taking too much of our
There are so many opportunities for everyone to make a difference in chairs, or vice chairs,
because not enough positions are filled. Shannon encourages everyone to check their precincts
and think about jumping in – it’s the only way to win 2020!
Kim Stewart, the sheriff, said that your tax dollars are being used wisely. On January 2nd , she made her third highest ranking
officer in charge of public liaisons Tom Henning. There is so much to keep track of in the county
and she had to create a human funnel, Tom brings all of the information in so she can get the
She also shared information about an AARP Grant – Community Challenge 2019. This “quick
action” grant helps make communities livable for people of all ages. “Grants can range from
several hundred dollars for smaller short-term activities to several thousand for larger projects!”
The deadline for applications is April 17 th , 2019 and is eligible for 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and
501(c)(6) non-profits, government entities, and other types of organizations, considered on a
case-by-case basis. Want more information? Head over to www.aarp.org/communitychallenge
Kim was also very pleased to say that she supports SB8 and that she is the only sheriff out of
four in the state that supports reasonable, common sense background checks.
Rich Renner spoke about the real National Emergency, the Humanitarian Emergency, happening
at our border. The ongoing Immigrant Hospitality Efforts that continue every day in various
centers in Las Cruces and El Paso need help. Specifically, the Annunciation House needs
volunteers and monetary donations to serve immigrants released from detention (21,000-22,000
individuals a year) to assist them in traveling to their families in the USA. Democracy is not a
spectator sport, and Rich is hoping you give some money or your time to help advocate for these
Thoughtful Advocacy and Support
Reba Renner also shared that there are many opportunities to volunteer with immigrants in Las
Cruces. There are 5 organizations in Las Cruces (The Annunciation House Peace Lutheran
Church, El Calvario Methodist Church, Oaktree, and San Albino) and they receive about 200 or
more of those roughly 3,600 people a week. These organizations need help with getting people
off the bus, cots, preparing food, sorting clothing, give them clean clothes and hopefully
showers, and helping arrange travel, etc. You can donate your time, energy, money, or even
thoughtfully donate some of your stuff! It’s a gigantic and frantic process that lacks proper
Suggestions for donations:
Clothing small-medium sizes (apt for the season), Warm knit tops, Jeans or sweats Most needed item, Knit hats, Gloves, Winter coats, Shoes (preferably athletic), Women’s bras, Leggings,
(Underwear and socks are usually purchased with donated funds).
Small stuffed animals, single item such as a car or doll, storybook in Spanish, Picture vocabulary
book in English, (toy sets with multiple pieces aren’t suitable for travel nor are toys that make
Rusty Pearce and Joann Vullo for Chair and Vice Chair
Gina Montoya Ortega shared that the Democratic Party in Dona Ana county wants transparency
and honesty in the party and feels that Rusty Pearce and Joann Vullo would unite the party.
Rusty Pearce is running for DP DAC Chair and Joann Vullo is running for DP DAC Vice Chair,
Gina encourages everyone to show up to the Las Cruces Convention Center on March 30 th (starts
at 9:00 AM) to vote for them!
Imprudent Investment, Imprudent Bill
Allen Downs commented on the SB489 and said PNM can’t close the powerplant – They’re
abandoning their share. Farmington wants to keep it open, so the bill won’t close the plant. PNM
is abandoning their share and it was an imprudent investment and gives them all of their stranded
assets costs through the legislature when typically, this would go through the PRC and they
would probably say that they made the decision and now there are stranded assets and that it’s
fair for the rate payers to pay for it but it’s also fair the shareholders to pay part of it. This bill
takes 100% of the stranded assets and securitizes it at a long interest rate but it may not be
cheaper for PNM’s consumers than securing than perhaps half of it (out of the PRC). Therefore,
the bill would not necessarily save money.
“Socialist? Hell Yeah!”
Joann Vullo is running for vice chair of the Democratic party, she wants to help district directors
and chairs of the executive committee and to unify the democrats in Dona Ana County – She
feels that we have more in common than our foes would like us to think. If we are called liberals
or progressives, we are called democrats first. The newest label is socialist, and she says, “Hell
yeah!” She believes that it is the government’s responsibility to provide for the people. She’s
hoping that the democrats of Dona Ana will support her as vice chair and Rusty Pearce as chair
at Las Cruces High School on March 30 th at 9:00 AM.
Joanne Ferrary Update
Pat Aguirre shared on behalf of representative Joanne Ferrary, she shared that in the upcoming
week they would get the Decriminalizing bill through the senate, raise the minimum wage to $12
in subcommittee. The tip wage credit was reinstated but to 30% of the minimum wage. Joanne
was able to chair the House health and Human Services committee that week and learned how
scheduling and preparation takes place to get bills and sponsors ready for committee
Kat Sanchez for District Director for District 35
Luis Gurerro on behalf of Kat Sanchez, who is working really hard in Santa Fe working on
legislation for a non-profit she works for that will impact New Mexico’s families, wanted to
announce her candidacy for District Director for District 35. She’s passionate about Las Cruces,
her advocacy work and committed to working our community to the next level. Kat asks that
everyone supports her on March 21 st at 5:30 at Alma de Arte so Southern New Mexico can have
a louder voice for issues that get neglected statewide, so voters and representatives have more
than a transactional relationship with one another because voters are real people with real issues
that need to be heard, and lastly if they are the party of the people we need their involvement at
the grassroots level. She also said she never wants to feel the way she did in November 2016.
Reproductive Healthcare Access & Decriminalization of Abortion
Fay Yuruit spoke about HB51 which is the abortion decriminalization bill which would protect
personal decisions and make it safe, legal, and accessible. HB89 would make contraception more
accessible and allow people who don’t live near pharmacies the opportunity to get a six-month
supply of contraception and would also allow insurance to pay for condoms.
Kellie Dinsmore is Ready to Serve
Kellie Dinsmore is running for Deputy District Director for District 35 with Kat Sanchez. She
was born and raised in District 35 in the same house her grandparents purchased in the 1930’s,
she’s been heavily involved in the democratic party since 2014 when she managed a campaign
that they lost so she decided that instead of working for candidates that she wanted to help with
the grassroots efforts. She’s helped with several events and movements that have made our
county and state better. She’s ready to make sure our state stays blue by working hard to get
folks informed and energized in participating in elections locally and nationally and she wants to
get her certification to get people registered to vote so she can help get everyone in the county
registered. She encourages everyone to vote on March 21st at 5:30 at Alma de Arte and offer
Joann Vullo and Cathy Wooten announced an event called the GND Coalition which took place
on March 1 st at Corner Bakery where Timothy Curtin, former union organizer, from Albuquerque
discussed community solar. She also said the SB489 has too many problems and even Cervantes
says so and that “it’s not what it seems, read the fine print.”
New Mexico Pride
Rocky Bacchus told everyone that we should be proud of our legislators. In the discussions
everyone had a lot of strong opinions with good intentions, but we should be proud of how
they’re discussing issues and being respectful of each other. Good discussions get things done
and realize that none of them are being paid so be sure to thank them and tell them you
appreciate their efforts!
Greg White encourages everyone to speak to Steve Fischmann about SB489 – he’s done his
research and we should all give him the courtesy to ask him questions about it!