January 2020

Elevate Las Cruces
Planning enthusiast Sharon (Sherry) Thomas spoke about the Las Cruces Comprehensive Plan. She explained that in 1999 Las Cruces had a plan but no implementation of the plan. Elevate Las Cruces, the city’s new comprehensive plan, instead looks at implementation and has a vision for the next 20-30 years. The plan is organized by themes (not silos), and focuses on an inclusive community and a vibrant quality of life. Go to this website to get all the documents and watch some informative videos.
There will be a Public Meeting: Tuesday February 18, at 6:00 p.m., at City Hall.

For more information, contact Sherry.

Advocating for a Real Trial for Donald Trump
Jerome Walker and his wife emailed Republican senators and asked them to act decisively, call witnesses, and ask for relevant documents regarding the impeachment trial. He encouraged them to treat this trial as well as the President like they would any citizen. He asked that they please demonstrate their leadership and reasonableness and thanked them for their time.
He is asking everyone to encourage a fair process.

For more information, contact Jerome.

Try Googling “Who Funds the NM Dept of Game and Fish?”
Kevin Bixby asked that you support SB33 (sponsored by Bill Soules), which would “appropriate $200,000 to the department [of Game and Fish] for a study of potential new funding sources for the conservation of historically neglected species, including ‘nongame, threatened and endangered, and species of greatest conservation need.’ The bill is a first step towards making sure that all of New Mexico’s wildlife is valued and protected. If you live in New Mexico, please contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to support SB33.” (https://www.wildmesquite.org/node/1341).
By the way, the Department of Game and Fish generally opposes providing this kind of wildlife protection. They are funded exclusively by licenses purchased by hunters, trappers, and anglers.

For more information, contact Kevin.

Kathy Wooten Endorses Pia Gallegos for DNC Committeewoman
Kathy Wooten introduced a dear friend of hers: Pia Gallegos. Pia is running for Democratic Committee Woman (DNC). Kathy sees her as a leader, without being “bossy,” and she gets results. She’s a civil attorney who has been and will continue to be committed to the people of the state.

For more information, go to this website.

Pia Gallegos is Running for Democratic Party of New Mexico Committeewoman
Adelante Progressive Caucus co-founder Pia Gallegos introduced herself and explained the following: The DPNM has four representatives to the Democratic National Committee (DNC): the Chair (Marg Elliston), the Vice-Chair (Marcus Porter), and a Committeeman and Committeewoman. The State Central Committee (about 470 members) will elect the Committeeman and Committeewoman at the SCC meeting and Pre-primary convention on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Buffalo Thunder Hotel in Santa Fe.

Pia said she is running on a platform of accountability. “The SCC represents you, and I would represent the SCC.” She will listen to the SCC and work hard, she asserted, and hopes to have your support.

For more information, go to this website.

The Power of One
Linda Hall spoke about advocating for solar power. She said this is a great passion for her and she was upset to learn that the new animal shelter would not have solar panels. After speaking with the mayor, she learned that she helped change their minds! She asked people to attend the public GO Bond planning meeting and support solar in the plans: Thursday, January 30, 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.  

For more information, go to this website.

Say, Pat, What’s that Clipboard for?
Pat Aguirre announced that Joanne Ferrary’s campaign is up and running – Joanne is running for reelection for State Representative, District 37. They are currently collecting signatures to get Joanne on the ballot, and they are looking for door knockers to help out. Please contact Pat if you are interested in helping out now through the end of February.

For more information or to help, contact Pat.

Robot Cashiers?
Charlotte Lipson shared that she opposes robots being cashiers at the big box stores. She feels that eliminating live cashiers is bad for Las Cruces and encouraged people to speak to management at stores that have self-checkout. She is also encouraging everyone to shop local at stores such as Toucan and the Mountain View Co-Op.

For more information, contact Charlotte.

Federation of Democratic Women of Doña Ana County are Movin’ and Groovin’
Rosemarie Sanchez likes to describe FDWDAC as “women (and men!) who get things done.” She said she is excited to work with anyone who wants to get out the vote for the Democrats. She announced new board members, Cheryl Frank (president) and Jan Hertzsch (Treasurer-Secretary). She also announced the Conversations with Democrats event, happening January 25, and the topic would be healthcare/ the New Mexico Health Security Campaign. There will be no Conversation in February as FDWDAC encourages Democrats to go to the DPDAC County Convention. You can read more about Conversations with Democratshere.

For more information, contact Rosemarie.

Jennifer Endorses Debra Hathaway for County Commissioner
Jennifer Kreie announced a meet and greet for Debra Hathaway, candidate for county commission, District 4 (it was on January 26). Click here to visit Debra’s campaign website.

For more information, contact Jennifer.

PRC and EPE Update
Allen Downs spoke about the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) and El Paso Electric. He shared the PRC was hacked and the database of all of the filings in every PRC case going back more than 20 years in now off-line. As a result, the PRC has had to cancel its last two weekly meetings. It’s his understanding that they are to install a new database system but there is no timeline for this.

There are three new EPE cases he mentioned. In the first case, EPE is asking for approval of twenty year purchased power agreements for 200MW of solar and 100MW of battery storage. In another case, they are asking for approval to construct, own, and operate a 228MW gas-fired combustion turbine which will be partly obsolete in 25 years when 100% carbon free generation is mandated in New Mexico.

The City, Merrie Lee Soules, Phil Simpson, and possibly others, will be fighting this. As Merrie Lee always says: No more fossil fuel generation!

The third case is for approval of an agreement to build and operate for benefit of NMSU, he believes it is 3MW and 1MW of battery storage. All costs are to be passed on to NMSU- which would not affect our rates.

EPE plans to add more solar and their first battery storage, but still want to continue building fossil fuel generation. Allen gave thanks to the City Councilors as they continue to fight on behalf of the residents of Las Cruces. He also acknowledged Rocky Bacchus, and thanked him for his steady work on behalf of the people and the earth!

For more information, contact Allen.

Support for Xochitl Torres Small
Andy Gutierrez reminded everyone that 2020 is upon us. Republicans running against Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small’s are looking to strike hard. He asked for help gathering signatures and invited everyone to stop by campaign headquarters (on Griggs, near the plaza) to see how you can help.

For more information, or to help, contact Andy.

A Vision for a Las Cruces Refugee House
Dulce Rivera spent two years in a detention center before coming to live with Jan Thompson, her sponsor. She wants to create a LGBTQ Refugee House in Las Cruces so that people in detention can have a place to go. You can read all about this, and make a donation, if you are inclined, by visiting Dulce’s Gofundme page.  

For more information, contact Dulce.

Justices Run to Keep Seats on New Mexico Supreme Court
Kathe (Aletta Wilson’s daughter) asked everyone to sign the petition for her friends running for NM Supreme Court. David Thomson and Shannon Bacon were appointed by Gov. Lujan Grisham, and they are now running for election (to be retained). Justice Thomson’s campaign website is here. Justice Bacon’s website is here. Learn more about Thomson and Bacon by clicking here.

For more information or to sign their petitions, contact Aletta.

That’s it – I’m Becoming a Consultant
Earl Nissen shared an update regarding the Triage Center which has been empty for the last seven years. He said a consultant has been hired to summarize what previous consultants have said. He shared that Verizon is interested in the property. Earl would like to see this facility used for its intended purpose: jail diversion and community services.

He asked people to stay informed and voice your opinions.

For more information, contact Earl.

Dona Ana Democrats are Having Important Meetings
DPDAC Chair, Mona Trempe, encouraged Democrats to attend the upcoming meetings and get involved in the formation of the Democratic Primary Ballot. Here’s her letter:
Dear Democrats of Doña Ana County:
Please join us in the start of the 2020 election process by participating in the Pre-primary Precinct Meetings this month in each District. What are these meetings all about?
Why? – The Pre-Primary District/Precinct meetings are part of the process for selecting the candidates who will be on the Democratic primary ballot in June. This applies to US Congressional Representative and US Senator, State Supreme Court Justices and Judges on the Court of Appeals.
 When? – There will be meetings of ALL precincts organized by district on the nights of January 29 and January 30.
What? – Three elections will be held at each district/precinct meeting:

  1. From among the voters in each precinct, delegates will be elected to the County Pre-primary Convention.
  2. From among the delegates elected in each precinct, a person will be elected to be a member of the County Credentials and Rules Committee (CCRC)
  3. From among the members of the CCRC, a person will be elected to be the district representative to the CCRC 

Where? The locations for each meeting are given in the notice [on the website]. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Voters must be in line by 6:00 p.m. to be sure to be able to participate in the precinct meeting elections.
Not sure of your District and/or Precinct? You can check your voter registration at www.nmvote.org

For more information, visit the county party website or contact Mona.

Carrie Hamblen Running for State Senate, District 38
Carrie spoke about the importance of community. She has spent the last 27 years in Las Cruces, heavily involved in the community, from her time as a radio personality to being CEO/President of the Green Chamber of Commerce to her involvement with PFLAG, Southern New Mexico Pride, and the Community of Hope. You can learn more about her here.   

If you live in District 38 (currently represented by Sen. Mary Kay Papen), she hopes you will sign her nominating petition. She said she needs help and support to win the primary.

For more information, visit her campaign website.

A Special Thanks from Rocky
Rocky Bacchus wanted to thank all the volunteers who have been involved with the PRC/ El Paso Electric Rate Case and he said that sometimes there isn’t enough “thanks” to go around; however, there were four people in particular he wanted to recognize for their efforts: Allen Downs, Merrie Lee Soules, Phil Simpson, and Don Kurtz. These four people helped save consumers millions of dollars and they are all very smart and very wise people, he said. Btw, he mentioned: electric rates have gone down – people are now paying less now than they were four years ago!

For more information, contact Rocky.

Become a Voter Registration Agent
YOU can register new voters! Karena and Stewart Oberman can help you become a voter registration agent. They continue to work to get more people registered to vote, and have been involved on the election advisory council. “Let’s get people registered!” Karena cheered.

For more information, contact Karena.

Debra Hathaway, Running for County Commission
Democrat Debra Hathaway is running for County Commission, District 4, currently represented by Republican Isabella Solis. She spoke about how after serving as a civilian in the Army overseas, she and her husband eagerly decided to make Las Cruces their forever home. “I saw one sunset and I was sure. Las Cruces would be my forever home.” She hopes to earn your support and vote.

For more information, visit her campaign website.

Sam Bradley, Running for County Commission
Democrat Sam Bradley announced his campaign for County Commission, District 4, currently represented by Republican Isabella Solis. He believes in bold ideas, and reaching out to constituents even when it’s not election season. He has knocked on thousands of doors in the county and wants to step up now and make a difference as an elected official. You can listen to his ideas about economic development, and civic engagement (and coffee) here.

For more information, visit his campaign website.

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