November 2020 – Virtual PVA

Listen to KTAL Community Radio

KTAL LP Community Radio Program Manager, Linda Hall, tells us, “With the election finally over, we all needed a diversion and so KTAL Community Radio aired a real treat – a special production of War Of The Worlds, one of the most famous radio broadcasts in history. First aired by Orson Welles in 1938, War Of The Worlds nearly created a panic when listeners thought it was a real invasion of Martians in New Jersey. This new version was produced for the 50th anniversary and adapted from the original by Firesign Theater veteran and renowned radio drama producer David Ossman, with stars Jason Robards and Steve Allen. I sincerely hope you tuned in, the broadcast was wonderful and I personally hope we will rebroadcast this wonderful production again.” KTAL is found at 101.5 FM on your radio or you can stream it here.

For more information, contact Linda.

Get ready for transformation!

Doña Ana Communities United asks: Are you seeking the skills to effectively communicate with others who hold differing views? If so, look no further than their virtual Transformative Leadership Workshop Series! This is a completely free workshop facilitated virtually via Zoom by timebank member Carl Ewing. The series is based on the book Transformative Leadership: Developing the Hidden Dimension by Anello, Hernandez, and Khadem. 

The purpose of this workshop series is to help DACU members and DACU itself be the change we wish to see in the world. The aim is not to learn information, but to change the way we engage, utilizing non hierarchical group consultation in the search for truth as we work together to make the world more equitable.

For more information, contact Carl or call (575) 635-3787.

Equity in education

Elisa Sanchez reminds us of the following: New Mexico is a multicultural “minority majority” state, but the educational system in NM continues to ignore the history, culture, music, and cuisine of the majority of most of its students. She asks, “Will you be an advocate for a multicultural system that honors and recognizes all people in the state? Will you be an advocate for casting an equity lens on everything that affects the educational system of this state? In a globalized environment nurturing the natural multilingual/multicultural reality of this state would shoot us upward and forward to prosperity. Will you be an activist or a bystander? See”

For more information, contact Elisa Sanchez

Joanne Ferrary re-elected to NM House of Representatives

In spite of being hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, like not being able to canvass doors, Joanne won her race! Team Ferrary called thousands of voters. Along with her direct mailers the campaign used letters of support to the newspapers to inform the voting populace of the importance of Joanne being re-elected. Pat Aguirre says she and Joanne are very appreciative of the volunteers who gave up hours every week since August 3rd to call voters. Also, they are thankful for the wonderful people who addressed, stuffed, stamped and sealed all outgoing letters to voters. None of these tasks were small and they were all instrumental in Joanne’s success. Pat emphasized what a pleasure and honor it has been to work with Team Ferrary, which has now won three in a row. As always, Joanne will continue to place her focus on the needs of the community and State of New Mexico.  

For more information, contact Pat.

A need for Democratic Party Precinct officers

The Secretary of State’s office is required to subdivide existing precincts when the number of voters per precinct is above a certain number. That subdivision was performed in 2020 resulting in approximately 50 new precincts in Doña Ana County. Jan Hertzsch reports that the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County is now recruiting new precinct officers to fill the positions of Precinct Chair, Precinct Vice Chair, and Precinct Secretary. Precinct Chairs can expect a commitment of, on average, one hour per week or 52 hours per year. The job description of a Precinct Chair consists of the following duties. 

  • Chairs official and informal precinct meetings;
  • Attends Party District Meetings;
  • Is automatically a member of the County Central Committee;
  • Distributes Party information and communications;
  • Develops the Get Out the Vote Plan (GOTV) for the precinct;
  • Recruits interested precinct Democrats as volunteers to assist in precinct GOTV plan;
  • Coordinates with the Party District Director.

If you think you might be interested in serving as a Precinct officer, please contact Jan at 703-229-2160 or 

Deep appreciation for Congresswoman Xochitl Torres-Small

Don Kurtz remembers how thrilled we were when Xochitl won the CD 2 seat two years ago, only the second Democrat in forty years to hold that seat.  This year, in a presidential year, a conservative district and a thoroughly nationalized election, over 65,000 additional voters showed up in CD 2, most of them eager to vote for Donald Trump. Xochitl ran ahead of Biden/Harris but not by enough to win re-election.

We all talk about how deeply the country is divided, but Xochitl really tried to heal those divisions, struggling to find common ground with her detractors, sponsoring important legislation for the district, and providing the best service possible for all her constituents.  She won an election in 2018 that nobody thought she could and has served us with courage, grace and distinction.  She deserves our deep gratitude and continuing affection.

For more information, contact Don

Provide a turkey dinner for Doña Ana County families

Casa de Peregrinos Board President, Eric Walkinshaw, said, “As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday there are way too many Doña Ana families that are hard pressed to put enough food at all on their tables. In partnership with few local businesses as well as others, we are projecting to hand out 2,500 turkeys as well as complementing with stuffing, canned corn, and green beans. 

If any in our PVA family are interested, please go to the website and scroll down to the donate button to help us to purchase more turkeys and complements. Thanks so much in advance for your donations.

For more information, contact Eric

Judge Lisa Schultz retained as district judge

Judge Lisa Schultz thanks everyone who supported her successful retention as a district judge in the recent election. She is especially appreciative to all of us who supported her campaign and spread the word about her to our friends and families. She will continue her deep commitment to Justice, Equality, Transparency, and a strong American Democracy. She says that this, her life work, has been made possible, in no small measure, by the votes and kind words of support that she has received from so many of us, and that she will be forever grateful.

The District Attorney’s office is moving forward!

Gerald Byers thanks PVA members for supporting his successful candidacy for Doña Ana County District Attorney.  (Great news stories on Gerald’s background and plans for the DA’s office appeared in the Las Cruces Sun-News and the Las Cruces Bulletin.)  Gerald also let us know that he has been appointed to the newly formed state Civil Rights Commission, which is working on the question of establishing a cause of action under the state constitution for violation of civil rights guaranteed in that document — public input is welcomed at the Commission’s website.  

For more information, email Gerald.

Some hard lessons learned from New Mexico’s CD-2 election

Bob Libby couldn’t agree more with this article written by Paul Gibson (of Retake our Democracy). He is disappointed that the DPNM didn’t run an unabashedly progressive campaign in CD-2 and he says that voters would have perhaps been drawn to a campaign that focused on Trump’s failures and the Democratic Party’s continuous advocacy for its constituents.

For more information, contact Bob.

Property tax effect of bonds passage

Mark Cobb has some follow-up thoughts about the bonds on the recent ballot. He says, “Regarding what it will cost the average home-owner in additional property tax, the Doña Ana County Clerk and Assessor’s office has to date not responded to my request. But the largest bond for $150 million will not affect property tax as it will be funded by general obligation bonds investors normally purchase. In the event the estimate for the senior citizen facility and library bonds is not published before next month’s meeting, I will update the issue with the amounts when I hear from either of those two county departments. It is my understanding that those two bonds will affect property taxes.”

For more information, email Mark.

Here is an update on El Paso Electric (EPE) and the Public Regulation Commission (PRC):

Allen Downs provided us with the following information: The Constitutional amendment to convert the PRC from five elected Commissioners to three appointed Commissioners has passed. Commissioners are currently elected for staggered 4 year terms, but the constitutional amendment ends the terms of all elected Commissioners at the end of 2022.

The legislature will, by law, set professional qualifications for appointed Commissioners and create a new Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee which will recommend candidates to the Governor. The Governor will, with consent of the Senate, appoint Commissioners to staggered 6 year terms. For the first three Commissioners appointed for terms starting in January 2023, one will be appointed for two years, one for four years, and one for a full six year term. Commissioners will be limited to two consecutive six year terms but may serve again after one full term has intervened. No more than two Commissioners can be of the same political party.

We are still awaiting PRC decisions concerning EPE’s request to buy a new 228MW gas fired generator to serve Texas and New Mexico, and to enter into Purchased Power Agreements (PPAs) for a 50 Megawatt and a 20 Megawatt solar facility to serve New Mexico.

EPE is in the process of developing a 2021 Integrated Resource Plan which will present a resource portfolio to “…safely, reliably and cost-effectively meet the energy needs of EPE’s customers for the next twenty years.” This plan will be especially important because it must show how, by the end of the twenty year planning period in 2040, EPE will meet the requirement to produce 80% of the energy sold in New Mexico from renewable resources.

EPE’s rate case is ongoing. Testimony has been filed by EPE and by interveners and rebuttal testimony has been filed by EPE. The hearing starts on Monday, 30 November. Please join me in Merrie Lee’s battle cry – NO NEW FOSSIL FUEL GENERATION! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

For more information, email Allen.

State Representative Doreen Gallegos expresses her thanks

Specifically, she said, “Just a quick note to say thank you! The people at PVA have always been supportive to me and my campaign. This campaign session has been like no other. There is so much work to do and I will continue to work on behalf of my constituents, my district and the families of New Mexico. Please stay healthy and safe and reach out to me if I can be of any assistance.”

For more information, email Doreen

A very hard working campaign coordinator says thanks

Connie Chapman expressed her thanks for the volunteers; she worked on three campaigns (all won their races!). 

  • Representative Angelica Rubio, House District 35
  • Senator Bill Soules District 37
  • Senator Elect Carrie Hamblen District 38

Connie said, “As the saying goes, it takes a village. Volunteers addressed envelopes, made calls, or gave monetary donations. Some did all three. Thank you for your generosity and for saying yes when asked.”

For more information, email Connie.

Another hard working field organizer says thanks!

Ann McCullough, Field Organizer for Rep. Rudy Martinez’s 2020 race in Doña Ana County said, “Thank you everyone who worked for and donated to Rep. Rudy Martinez’s campaign. I’m sure that Rudy will have opportunities with New Mexico that we don’t even know about yet!”

For more information, email Ann.

Ann Gutierrez has a message for PVA, aaannd here it is…

“As I said at our victory meeting 2 years ago, hello PVA! I have missed not seeing all of you over the last 7 or 8 months but I knew that we were all doing our best to get Joe Biden elected president and that we did do. Hooray!! Our first female vice president, and a woman of color at that! We won most races but lost some important ones. Well, there’s always a next time.  We’re in this for the long haul. For now we can support the important political work being done in Georgia by a number of groups. Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action is one of my favorites.”

For more information, email Ann.

Justice David K Thomson thanks PVA

“On behalf of myself and the other judicial candidates, I want to thank the PVA community for their support and efforts to elect a qualified and independent judiciary. I look forward to the opportunity to thank you in person and until then please be safe.”

For more information, visit the Justice’s website.

Senate Elect Carrie Hamblen extends her gratitude

Carrie said, “As we all continue to be concerned about the transition of the current occupant in the White House to President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris, I wanted to share with you the confidence and peace of mind I have as we continue conversations about the upcoming New Mexico Legislature. I am humbled and most grateful for the support from so many of you with PVA in my campaign that led to our success on November 3. The phone calls, letters, sharing of social media posts, and talking with your circle of family members and friends resulted in not only my being elected to represent District 38 but also for so many of my colleagues to either get elected for the first time or to be re-elected. We are all grateful for your commitment to democracy, fairness, and true representation for our constituents.  I thank each and every one of you.

I would like to take a moment to extend a special thanks to my Campaign Manager, Connie Chapman. Her insight, intuitiveness, patience, and strategy were instrumental in both our primary and general election wins. Plus, I have gained a dear friend in the process. Also, I’d like to thank my wife Char, who has been an incredible cheerleader from the start, encouraging me when I began this discussion over 5 years ago. Rosemarie Sanchez is the BEST phone volunteer ever, constantly calling, completing phone lists, and asking for more. Plus, she knows a good beer or wine to recommend. I am grateful for Angel Pena, who served as my treasurer and kept Connie and I up to date on the donations in the bank, reached out to folks for insight and strategy, and connected me with people that were interested in supporting our efforts. 

I know there are many others that I haven’t mentioned but please know, I appreciate each and every one of you. For your efforts, your commitment, and your passion. Our community is better off because of all of you.”

For more information, email Carrie.

Election 2020

The Democratic Party of Doña Ana County would like to thank the army of volunteers who made phone calls, sent text messages, addressed and stuffed envelopes, distributed yard signs, and did so many other things through the Coordinated Campaign and individual candidate campaigns. Also, many thanks to all those who served as election officials, poll challengers, and poll watchers. And, of course, thanks to everyone who VOTED! Campaigning and carrying out an election in the time of covid-19 was incredibly challenging, but we found ways to connect with voters, to get out the vote, and to staff the election while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

DPDAC would also like to thank all the Democratic candidates who have worked so incredibly hard. The blue tsunami that we hoped for did not materialize, but the voice of Doña Ana County Democrats remains strong for now in the New Mexico legislative and County offices.

Now that the election is over, we move toward continuing the work for a “New Mexico for All”; improving education and access to healthcare, creating jobs, and strengthening our economy.

For more information, contact Mona.

A message from Rep. Rudy Martinez

“Dear friends, by now you have certainly learned that I did not win re-election to NM House District 39 Representative. I am very sorry that this is the case, and want to express what an honor and privilege it has been for me to represent you for most of the past decade. I’d like to think that together we were able to bring noticeable improvements to many communities in southern NM, and I especially value the friendships I have made as a result of my time as a legislator. Finally, I want to thank the many people who helped me on this campaign and those of the past.”

For more information, email campaign manager, Rick.

Karen Whitlock sends her thanks

Karen Whitlock wants to thank everyone for their hard work and support as she sought election as state representative in District 38. Things didn’t go the way we wanted them to, but everyone worked hard and she deeply appreciates our efforts. Karen believes that in the end integrity and accountability in Government matters, that people are basically good, and that being compassionate and loving and taking care of our neighbors — all of them — is worth it. She still believes and will fight for people over profits, love over hate, and for the environment. She urges us to keep working and fighting for what we believe in!

For more information, email campaign manager, Rick.

Yes, you could and did do good!!

Karena and Stew Oberman said, “We did it! Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we made the difference. Whether a donation, postcard, text, phone call, polling place worker, tell a friend, etc., our combined effort brought about the greatest vote tally in US history. If you despair that we didn’t have a Blue Tsunami to take the senate and hold on to more representatives in the house (Xochitl’s loss was heartbreaking!!), we pass on a link to show that laws already on the books give a president great discretionary power for constructive change—without abusing executive authority. 

We will continue, of course, to support both Democratic candidates in Georgia as well as offer the following suggestion: In the spirit of bipartisanship, might Joe appoint Senators John Kennedy of Louisiana, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, or Jerry Moran of Kansas to his cabinet?  Each of these Senators also happens to be in a state with a Democratic governor who would then appoint a replacement until the next election in each state!  Just a thought. Thanks again for your contribution to this great victory. 

Here are a few photos that help express the joy!”

For more information, contact Stew or Karena.

PVA happens again

(The recap will arrive in your inbox)

Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7pm

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