PVA Meeting Recap – January 26, 2017

January 21 March in Las Cruces

Jan Thompson and Cassie Calway, two organizers of the Unified Community Action March in Las Cruces—the March that surprised and cheered everyone with its turnout and spirit—gave their perspectives on the march. They spoke of the feeling that there was so much that could be lost. They said, “I didn’t know what I could do, but I had to do something.” And they were clear that Saturday’s march was just a start, “the first step of a long, long walk.” To learn more and to stay informed, send email to Jan or Cassie. To be notified of upcoming events, send an email to Peter Sloan at SWEC, peter@wildmesquite.org.

PVA’s Legislative Response Team Wants YOU

Don Kurtz appealed to everyone to be part of the Legislative Response Team (LRT). It is a simple, effective way to make your voice heard in the Roundhouse. Legislators pay attention when they hear from their constituents, and what they really want to know is whether you are for or against a piece of legislation—no need for you to write an op ed piece. Members of the LRT will receive an email when a bill is at a critical phase. The email will let you know the issue, which legislator to contact, the telephone and email for that legislator, and whether you are recommending a Yes or No vote on that issue. Everybody wins—good laws are passed, bad laws are defeated, and you did your part.

For more information send email to Don.

Make Ours the Best School Board in the State

Cheryl Frank, prompting us to think of the importance of teachers, asked to think back to our school days and remember our favorite … standardized test. She asked us to support Terrie Dallman, recently retired teacher, for school board, tell our friends to vote, and go to Terrie’s website for voting sites and information about Terrie, her qualifications and her goals.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

NEA Endorses Dallman and Flores for School Board

Bruce Hartman announced that he is the brand new president of the Las Cruces chapter of the National Education Foundation (NEA). After interviewing all school board candidates, the NEA board has enthusiastically endorsed Terrie Dallman (District 2) and Maria Flores District 3).

For more information send email to Bruce.

“I Second That Emotion”

Glenn Landers added his support for NEA’s school board picks. He stressed the importance of electing people who are in touch with what is happening in schools.

For more information send email to Glenn.

Candidate Hopes to Lead All New Mexico Democrats

Richard Ellenberg introduced himself as candidate for chair of the Democratic Party of the entire state of New Mexico. He wants to build strong grassroots organizations starting with the precincts. He said he would work fulltime at the job and wouldn’t use it as a stepping stone to something bigger and better elsewhere.

For more information send email to Richard, call him at 505-699-9158, and visit Keep NM Blue.

Retake Our Democracy Invites You to Join Their Plan for Action

Judy Harmon explained the mission of Retake Our Democracy, a group that evolved from SantaFe4Bernie. They are committed to helping citizens (throughout the Trump era) become engaged, informed, and active. “Facebook posts and online petitions will not get this done. Sustained advocacy and activism will.” The group is reaching out to the rest of the state, including rural areas.

For more information send email to Judy.

Immigration Is Complicated: Learn About It!

Olga Pedroza let us know that reliable sources have reported a local raid targeting undocumented workers. The raid took place at the commercial laundry near of City Hall. Olga made the point that immigration—contrary to popular opinion—is a complex issue and we all need to understand this issue which affects every one of us. She said that forums and information discussion on immigration are being planned for the near future.

For more information send email to Olga and call her at 575-640-2564.

CAFé NM Offers Training for White Allies of Immigrants

Sara Melton had more to say about the aggressive targeting of immigrant families which has begun. She said everyone has a choice to do nothing or to prepare and learn how to organize and protect and “stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters and neighbors.” Everyone is invited to attend either of the CAFé training sessions.

Organizing the Resistance: White Ally Training
Wednesday, February 8, 6 to 8 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church
2000 South Solano
Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m. to noon
First Christian Church
1809 El Paseo Road, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Sara and call her at 631-943-3105.

Vote, No Excuses Accepted

Maggie Reynolds mentioned that her status as an American citizen is documented only by her passport. It gives her pause. She gave a pep talk for the school board election, urging everyone to vote. Whatever your age, whether or not you have children or grandchildren in school, your quality of life depends on the education of our children.

For more information send email to Maggie and call her at 575-288-6226.

Arts Council Should Keep Running the Rio Grande Theatre

Kathleen Albers, executive director the the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) spoke of the role of the arts in our community. She noted that in Washington there is already a resolution to dismantle the National Endowment for the Arts and privatize public radio and television. She said that the DAAC has been in Las Cruces for 41 years. They have managed the Rio Grande Theatre successfully for 11 years, taking it on at a time when there was little faith in downtown revitalization. She urged us to support keeping the DAAC as managers of the Rio Grande Theatre.

For more information send email to Kathleen and call her at 575-635-1973.

Another Voice for Maria

Earl Nissen spoke in support of Maria flores for school board. He reminded us that Maria played a large role in getting student health services that have contributed to the dramatic drop in teen pregnancy in Doña Ana County.

For more information send email to Earl.

Sexual Assault Kits

Greg White expressed concern about the untested sexual assault kits in New Mexico (worst backlog in the nation) and said that new funding is available and new standards are in place. He said the state auditor’s report is excellent and lays out the causes of the backlog as well as the means to remedy the situation and prevent a recurrence.

For more information send email to Greg.

Support the DAAC, and Here’s Why

George Griffin asked us to support the DAAC as managers of the Rio Grande Theatre and urged us to attend the City Council work session on the subject. George emphasized that the Convention and Visitors Bureau is a profit center while the DAAC is a nonprofit organization focused on quality of life in our community.

Rio Grande Theatre Management: DAAC or CVB?
City Council Work Session
Monday, February 13, 1 p.m.
Las Cruces City Hall

For more information send email to George.

I’m Usually Doing Art Stuff, But Jeez

Michael Mendel, board member of the DAAC, explained that he hasn’t been to PVA previously because he is usually “busy doing art stuff.” He urged us to support DAAC and to remember that the mission of the Convention and Visitors Bureau is to bring people to conventions.

For more information send email to Michael.

Invitation to the Federation of Democratic Women of DAC

Jane Asche invited everyone, men included, to join the Federation of Democratic Women of Doña Ana County. They sponsor a lively monthly meeting which in January hosts all three candidates for chair of the statewide Democratic Party. They are committed to helping voters learn about candidates and becoming engaged in the work of the Democratic Party. You can read complete information about the group here: Forum January 28 2017 Announcement.

For more information send email to Jane and call her at 575-649-8154.


Rocky Bacchus asked us to urge our legislators to vote yes when the PACE bill comes up. PACE uses property value to create renewable energy. Rocky called it a “vital economic development tool,” aka a job creator.

For more information send email to Rocky.

Greetings from Rep. Rubio at the Roundhouse

Connie Chapman conveyed greetings from Rep. Angelica Rubio and said Angelica would love to hear from all of us—not just her constituents. She is posting (in Spanish and English) a daily recap of life at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. She has a few ways to be reached: Angelica Rubio.org, Angelica@RubioNM35.com, Angelica.rubio@nmlegis.gov, and 575-616-1090 is her legislative phone number.

For even more information send email to Connie.

Supporting Wildlife

Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) said there are several good environmental bills before this legislative session. The bill to outlaw coyote killing contests has a chance of passing this year. (Rep. Bill Gomez needs convincing.) Visit SWEC’s Take Action page to learn everything you need to know about the legislation SWEC supports along with information you need to contact the key legislators.

Kevin observed that there were more people in the room than Mexican gray wolves in the wild. A pro-wolf event is planned for February 8 in Santa Fe. Details will be on the SWEC website.

For more information send email to Kevin.

Building a Voting Culture for DAC

County Clerk Scott Krahling reiterated his wholehearted commitment to building a voting culture in Doña Ana County. To that end, he asked us to support H.B. 174, the Local Elections Act. The act allows “small” elections to be consolidated and held in odd-numbered Novembers.

For more information send email to Scott.


Shannon added support for consolidating elections arguing that running many small elections is “unbelievably expensive.” He reminded men that they are welcome to join the Federation of Democratic Women (he is a member). Shannon’s final point was urging people to vote early (until February 3) for school board members.

For more information send email to Shannon and call him at 575-650-7388.

Observations: PVA, Maria Flores, H.B. 174, and the DAAC

Peter Goodman began by surveying all the new faces in the room. “This organization will grow on you,” he promised. He gave his support to Maria Flores, to H.B. 174, and to the DAAC. Regarding one issue in the Rio Grande Theatre debate, Peter said that instituting performance standards is a dangerous idea, nothing but “a backwards way of saying, ‘We’re going to evaluate you to death over time.’”

For more information send email to Peter, call him at 575-521-0424, and read Peter’s blog, Views from Soledad Canyon.

Support for Maria Flores from a Friend

Rosemarie Sanchez spoke in support of her friend, Maria Flores, for school board. She told the story of Maria and the little boy who came to school so he could eat.

For more information send email to Rosemarie.

Fired Up!

Lucas Herndon said “Wow! Three overwhelming crowds in three weeks,” referring to the Progressive Action Summit, the Las Cruces Women’s March, and the evening’s PVA Meeting. He reminded us of the importance of the digital world and asked us to send him anything relevant to progressives that we see online, perhaps a city councilor writing about slapping women.

For more information send email to Lucas.

Terrie Dallman, School Board Candidate

Terrie Dallman introduced herself and asked support in her bid for school board. She spoke of her years of experience as a bilingual teacher and her desire to work hard for “kids and community.” She outlined four priorities: budget transparency, teacher evaluations, testing, and class size.

For more information send email to Terrie and call her at 575-524-2740.

A Book, Obama on the Environment, and a Fireworks Alert

Alice Anderson succinctly brought three pieces of information to our attention:

  • The County Commission may repeal the safe-and-sound fireworks ordinance. Bad idea. Check here for the agendas of the upcoming meetings.
  • Barack Obama’s article on climate change appears in the January 13 edition of Science. It is titled “The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy.” You can read it online!
  • Parrots of the Wild: A Natural History by Toft and Wright (598.71 TOF) is available on the new books shelf at Branigan Library. It will open your eyes to the genius of the ecosystem.

For more information send email to Alice and call her at 575-523-5179.

“We’re In” Is Our Local Chapter of the Indivisible Movement

Tony Martinez announced the formation of We’re In, a local Indivisible movement. Their focus is voicing concerns to our members of Congress, keeping in mind that the most important thing to them is getting reelected. The group is committed to standing firmly against Trump’s agenda, and they have already made several visits to Rep. Pearce’s local office.

We’re In Weekly Meetings
Every Tuesday at Noon
January 31 and February 7 at Branigan Library
Locations of the following meetings to be announced.

For more information send email to Tony.

Who Does a Teacher of the Year Support for School Board?

Cheryl Carreon mentioned her 27 years of teaching experience but failed to mention that she is the 2017 Teacher of the Year. She reminded us that public schools are “an American principle” and urged us to vote in the school board election. She said that the school board has made positive changes under Maria Flores’s leadership—the kind of changes that are felt in classrooms all over the district.

For more information send email to Cheryl and call her at 575-644-8567.

Maria Flores for School Board

Maria reminded us that when she first ran for school board 8 years ago, she won by 2 votes. She did better (400 votes) 4 years ago. She said she was “humbly grateful for the support in this room.” She is pleased to be running for a third term and proud of the smooth transition to new leadership for the district.

For more information send email to Maria.


Nayomi Valdez let us know that the grassroots group OLÉ is working to keep a progressive legislature in New Mexico. You can join and support their work for $10 a month.

For more information call Nayomi at 505-410-0424.

EPE Update by Indefatigable Clean Energy Advocate

Allen Downs, our unfailing source for the lowdown on El Paso Electric, announced mostly bad news. EPE will probably not buy any additional renewable energy for the next 15 (!) years. They are dragging their heels where peak reduction is concerned. Most important is the 2015 Integrated Resource Plan, ongoing for more than a year and a half. Allen, Merrie Lee Soules, and Steve Fischmann are pushing for more renewables and for peak reduction. It’s an uphill push.

For more information send email to Allen.


Rich Renner described the work of RESULTS, a national advocacy group that has worked effectively for 35 years. They focus on alleviating hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the globe.

For more information send email to Rich.

Let the Legislative Response Team Help You with That

Ann Gutierrez reminded all of those who are asking for support of specific legislation (PACE, the Local Elections Act, ending coyote killing contests, etc.) to use PVA’s Legislative Response Team to help rally support. They’re good at it!

For more information send email to Ann.

Candidate for Municipal Judge

Joy Goldblum announced that she is running for Las Cruces municipal judge this fall. She mentioned her 26 years of experience as an attorney and allowed as how she never makes the mistake of thinking she’s the smartest person in the room.

For more information send email to Joy and call her at 575-527-8620.

Year-round Voter Outreach

Matt Gloudemans announced that 2018 will be here before we know it, and he will be working on year-round campaigning for progressive legislators. He gave a big shout out to Pat Aguirre who worked tirelessly to make sure that Joanne Ferrari and Rudy Martinez made it to the New Mexico House.

For more information send email to Matt.

Your Assessor’s Office Is Actually There to Serve You

Paul Ponce said the County Assessor’s Office is working feverishly on “valuation data verification” and will be sending out property tax information in April. He reminded us that in New Mexico everyone is on the honor system to report business personal property and livestock.

For more information send email to Paul.

Scientists March on Washington in March

Carol McCall said she was in Washington for the Women’s March and pointed out that there is currently a Campaign of 10 Actions for the first 100 Days organized by planners of that event. More great news is that a Scientists March on Washington will take place in March.

For more information send email to Carol.

The Unified Code Is Alive and Well

Billy Garrett reported that the Unified Development Code, which passed by a split vote in December, goes into effect the week of January 30. Billy is optimistic that it provides a good framework for responsible development that will benefit everyone. He said that broad public support made the adoption of the UDC possible.

For more information send email to Billy.

PVA Meets Again
Thursday, February 23, 7 p.m.
Munson Center

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