October 2021 – Virtual PVA

Unified Action

PVA’s traditional pre-election Unified Action is to reach out to your personal influence network–your friends and acquaintances–and tell them about the local election. Let them know who you support and why. Full details about this Unified Action are here.

Becki Graham, candidate for City Council, District 3

Becki Graham, a first-time candidate, expressed thanks for the support she has received, noting that when she knocks on doors she is often greeted by people who have heard about her from a friend or neighbor. “Thank you for providing warm introductions for me,” she said. 

For more information visit the campaign website where you can learn about Becki’s experience, her qualifications, and a little about her life.

El Paso Electric update

Allen Downs said that El Paso Electric has been quiet for a few weeks, so he has no news to report. Allen recommended his PRC weekly update and closed with the slogan made famous by Merrie Lee Soules: “No new fossil fuel generation!”

Women’s health care in Las Cruces

Linda Prine, a physician partner with a nurse practitioner who established Full Circle Health Center, brought us up to date on the center’s services. Since February 2021 they have offered the abortion pill (not the procedure). Currently, since S.B.8 went into effect in Texas, they are seeing large numbers of women from Texas. Linda spoke highly of the center including the fact that they keep prices low so that access to health care is more widely available. She said, “So far we are staying under the radar, have not had any demonstrators, and we hope to keep it that way.”

For more information visit the Full Circle Healthcare website.

Becky Corran, candidate for City Council, District 5

Becky Corran echoed Becki Graham’s sentiment: “Conversations at the doors are so much easier when folks have heard of you.” She thanked everyone for introductions made as well as for ones that may come from the current Unified Action

Becky said that people in her district have a lot of questions about ranked choice voting. She makes sure people know that they don’t have to rank all the candidates. They can rank one or two or more. She also lets people know that the purpose of rank choice voting is to give more power to voters. 

For more information visit Becky’s campaign website.

Remembering Cliff Pelton

Ann Gutierrez acknowledged the death of Cliff Pelton, a long time member of PVA. She described him as “a wonderful, funny man with a very loud voice.” Ann recalled how we relied on Cliff to start our meetings. When we were too busy talking to pay attention, Cliff could call us to order with “Sit down!” at just the right volume and degree of seriousness. Ann said that it was wonderful to see his friendship with Elisa Sanchez develop into love and then to marriage. Ann offered condolences from herself and PVA. To Elisa she said, “I know you miss him a lot and we do too.”

For more information email Ann and read Cliff’s obituary here.

Don Kurtz is in Phoenix but he’s thinking of home

Don guaranteed that people will be grateful to hear from you when you send your recommendations for voting in the November 2 election. (See the Unified Action.)

After noting that PVA is usually concerned with local issues, Don expressed this opinion about a national issue: “If we are able to pass these two infrastructure laws, we should be incredibly grateful, and we should be carrying Joe Biden and the Democratic caucus around the country on our shoulders. We couldn’t imagine any of these things being done–not even during Barack Obama’s presidency.”

Don announced a memorial service for Anita Allen. She was long active in the Democratic Party and in PVA. The service will be held at 1 pm on November 14 at Temple Beth El. The invitation to the service was sent by Anita’s daughter, Georgie Delgado.

For more information email Don.

Two great candidates for the Soil and Water Conservation District

Craig Fenske reminded us that everybody can vote for two Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors. He strongly supports Josh Switzer, a local farmer dedicated to healthy local food, and Gill Sorg, well known to us as a city counselor. Before moving to Las Cruces, Gill was a rancher in Montana and raised feed grains there.

Craig announced that the SWCD is sponsoring eight forums on our watershed. The past two zoom forums are available in the archive, and everyone is invited to participate in the upcoming six forums. Complete information about the forums is here.

For more information email Craig.

Vote for the school bonds

Maria Flores, former school board president and soon to be former school board member, urged support for the school bonds, explaining that they are the only way to maintain the school buildings. Maria said that some people think the schools are awash with money because of COVID relief funds, but she assured us that this is not the case. COVID relief funds are used to keep students, teachers, and staff safe and to help students catch up on missed instruction.

For more information send email to Maria.

Greetings from Kent Wingenroth

Kent stopped by to say hello and to say he hopes everyone is doing well. He doesn’t have to run for magistrate judge until next year, but he’s already thinking about it. He doesn’t enjoy promoting himself, but he’s resigned to it since he likes his job. He has been coming to PVA since his first campaign in 2007, and he expressed his appreciation for the group and the support he has received. 

For more information email Kent.

Joseph Maestas, candidate for State Auditor in 2022

Joseph Maestas introduced himself and spoke of his extensive public service, including 30 years with the federal government as a regulator primarily concerned with transportation and water resources. He has been mayor of Española and a Santa Fe city councilor. He mentioned that he has been endorsed by several public officials including Steve Fischman, chair of the Public Regulation Commission and well known to PVA.

For more information you can email Joseph, call him at 505-929-0955, and visit his campaign website.

Pamela Cort, candidate for School Board, District 2

Pamela explained that early in October she suffered a small fall with major consequences: broken bones in both of her feet. She thanked all those who pitched to help her campaign and knock on doors when she couldn’t. She stressed the importance of getting out the vote.

For more information, visit Pamela’s campaign website.

Raul Torres, candidate for State Attorney General in 2022

Raul Torres, currently Albuquerque’s attorney general, said that the office had handled 100,000 criminal cases in just under five years. They are currently bringing a lawsuit, the first of its kind in this country, against an organized militia group. They are publishing the names of police officers with integrity and misconduct issues in their files. Raul will be in Las Cruces on November 16 and 17 and would welcome the chance to meet with representatives of PVA.

For more information visit the campaign website and his social media account on Facebook.

Laura Montoya, candidate for State Treasurer in 2022

Laura was in Las Cruces talking to NMSU freshmen about critical thinking and visiting with registered voters who haven’t been voting with the hope of encouraging them to begin voting. She was here last week to talk with community leaders and members about the state bank and other ways to remedy income inequality.

For more information visit Laura’s campaign website.

Bob Wofford, candidate for School Board, District 3

Bob invited everyone to come to Branigan Library on Saturday to canvass, and if you’re on crutches or just not inclined to canvass, he said they have lists of friendly people that you can text from the comfort of the library.

Bob closed by saying, “This has been a very supportive group, and I thank you all for everything that you’ve done.

For more information visit Bob’s campaign website.

Yvonne Flores, candidate for City Council, District 6

Yvonne lamented the partisan rancor she has encountered in this nonpartisan election. She said she has been knocking on doors for candidates since she was 11 and John Kennedy was running for president. This is the first rancorous campaign she’s encountered. Nevertheless, she urged us to vote and get our friends and neighbors out to vote and expressed her support for all the local candidates who spoke this evening.

For more information visit Yvonne’s campaign website.

Amy Simpson announced one final volunteer work day for School Board candidates

Those wishing to help with the Wofford and Cort campaigns for school board are invited to meet on Saturday, October 30, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Branigan Library Roadrunner Room. You can canvass–or not. There will be a variety of jobs. Amy cautioned that snacks are not allowed, but drinks with lids are ok. And something you can do from home: take a picture of yourself with a candidate’s walk card and text it out to friends. [How cool would that be?]

For more information email Amy.

Important elections all across the country need YOU

Maribeth Hulsey recommended the following websites that will allow you to help get out the vote in critical races across the country. Mobilize has volunteer opportunities for every taste. Joan’s Democracy Cafe has phone banking opportunities and they help beginners learn the ropes. There are also opportunities to email and text.

For more information call Maribeth at 575-288-5953 or send email.

Redistricting plans are in the works

County Commissioner Shannon Reynolds announced that redistricting is now taking place at the state level and also at the county level. He emphasized that the new districts will be in effect for the next ten years. Doña Ana County currently has three plans under consideration, and they will be voted on by November 23. Copies will be published before the vote in the Sun-News and on the Doña Ana County website. Shannon said he is happy to share information (maps and data) with anyone interested.

For more information email Shannon.

Trouble at the Crisis Triage Center

Earl Nissen called our attention to trouble at the Doña Ana Crisis Triage Center. The center is managed by RI International. Although their policy is that no one is ever turned away, they recently turned a man away because they didn’t have a nurse on duty. (Sheriff Kim Stewart was not happy.) KVIA has the story and video here. Peter Goodman has an article about the situation in the Sun News.

For more information email Earl.

Switzer and Sorg for Soil and Water

Kurt Anderson endorsed Josh Switzer and Gill Sorg for the Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Board. He said that Josh, a local organic farmer, will bring young blood and farming experience to the group. Gill brings his experience as city councilor, and former rancher. Kurt characterized the other two candidates as “not having much experience with agriculture.”

For more information email Kurt

PVA takes a break in November & December
PVA happens again:

Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 7pm
In-person or via Zoom, we will let you know!

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