PVA Meeting Recap – October 26, 2017

What can we do to get more people to vote?

Scott Krahling, Doña Ana County Clerk, played a short video documenting the Community Conversation – Democracy in Doña Ana that took place on September 16. The main focus was what we can do to get more people to vote. (We generally get about 9% turnout in local elections.) One panel, consisting of people under 34, talked about what brought them out to vote. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Secretary of State, was the guest speaker. She said she would like to see these forums replicated across the state.

When people were asked why they thought people don’t vote, this is what they said:

  • Vote in the national, but not local elections.
  • Unbiased information is not available.
  • They didn’t know there was a local election.
  • Lack of resources to reach voters.
  • Lack of youth outreach

If you want to become more involved in elections, the Election Advisory Council of Doña Ana County meets every third Tuesday of the month at 4 pm at 845 N. Motel Blvd, LC. Everyone is invited to attend.

For more info, email Scott.

Unified Action

Cheryl Frank announced this month’s Unified Action – urge those in your personal influence network to vote for the candidate or candidates you believe are most qualified. Use your email list, Facebook, or whatever means you like to use to get the word out about the election. As always, a reminder email will go out and once you do it, and reply with an “I Did It”.

For more info, email Cheryl.

ProgressNowNM endorsements, campaign manager training, and a Young Professional

Lucas Herndon of ProgressNowNM said they have more email subscribers than any syndicated newspaper in the state, combined. In the upcoming municipal elections, please vote for Gabe Vasquez, Gill Sorg, and Yvonne Flores for city councilors. Progress Now NM’s next training:

Campaign Manager training:
Wednesday, December 10, 12 – 8 pm
Location TBD
To register, send an email.

If you can’t make this date, there will be another in January.

Also, the LC Chamber of Commerce awarded Lucas the Young Professional of the Month. Remember that we have a lot in common with our neighbors.

For more info, email Lucas or visit his Facebook page.

Bring someone with you when you vote

Shannon Reynolds said to bring someone along with you when you vote. “If everyone took 4 people with them to vote for the candidates we want, we’d win,” said Shannon, “and we could make a real difference.”

For more info, email Shannon.

Joel Cano is running for reelection for Magistrate Judge, Division 6

Joel Cano said that the seven magistrate judges running in Doña Ana county have no opponents, so you can sign everyone’s petitions. Joel served over 22 years as a police officer. If you’ve heard good things about him, please share that with others (if you’ve heard bad things, he said, feel free to keep those to yourself!). He is looking for volunteers.

For more info, email Joel.

“Keep the House” Fundraiser

State Representative for District 36, Nathan Small, reminded us, “Southern New Mexico matters! It’s because of Dona Ana County that the House turned back to blue in 2016. That’s why Rep. Gallegos is having an important fundraiser to keep the House. It’s worth the investment, for our Democratic values.” He announced the date and time:

Keep the House fundraiser
Monday, November 20, 5:30 – 7 pm.
4301 Summit Lane, LC

Special confirmed guests: Democratic gubernatorial candidates – Jeff Apodaca, Joe Cervantes, and Michelle Lujan Grisham. RSVP required due to limited space, so call 575-649-6325 or send an email. Tickets are $100 per person or $150 per couple.

For more info, email Nathan.

PFLAG events to put on your calendar!

Ryan Steimetz of PFLAG announced two upcoming events:

  • Rainbow Hub Gathering, where there is a presentation and a potluck. The topic will be Domestic/Dating Violence and the LGBTQ Community

Wednesday, November 8, 6-7:30 pm
Peace Lutheran Church, 1701 Missouri Ave in LC

  • Annual Fundraiser

Thursday, November, 30, 6 pm at Hotel Encanto

There will be:

  • Special sneak peak performance by Singing Out
  • “Telling Our Stories” video with local people sharing their stories
  • Community and scholarship awards
  • Silent auction and raffle.

Tickets are $35 for individuals and $300 for a table of 8.

For more info, send PFLAG an email or call 575-323-9375.

Rosa, who?

Bill McCamley, District 33, State Representative, said the good news is that the proposed changes to the state science curriculum have been defeated; the proposal was to take global warming, evolution, and the age of the earth out of the curriculum. However, the latest proposed change is to delete controversial issues from the history test such as Rosa Parks, Roe v. Wade and more. If it’s not in the test, it’s not in the curriculum. He may ask for our help again to protest the new history changes.

For more info, email Bill.

Ethnic Studies Task Force in Las Cruces Public Schools

Olga Pedroza, City Councilor District 3, said the Las Cruces Public Schools is having an Ethnic Studies Task Force meeting on November 3 (contact Olga for more details). You can read more about the Ethnic Studies program here.

For more info, email Olga.

You can help immigrants in Detention Centers

Jan Thompson talked how immigrants feel ignored and isolated when in detention. Visits from US residents really help. Volunteers have gained great inspiration and personal growth from the experience. Jan works through an organization called CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement) – you can read more about them here. Want to volunteer to visit immigrants in detention? Attend one of Jan’s trainings:

CIVIC Visitation training
Saturday, October 28, 9:30 – 11:15 am
El Paso, TX

Saturday, November 4, 2 – 3:45 pm
UU Church, 2000 S Solano, LC
You must register, so send Jan an email.

Jan’s Resistance calendar is now a Google group, so if you were on her list, please reply to the last email to be automatically converted to the Google group. If you are new, send her an email.

The Academy is not on this list – but you might be

Gabe Vazquez, who is running for City Council, District 3, thanked the following people for helping out with his campaign – outgoing city councilor Olga Pedroza, Connie Chapman, Angelica Rubio, Luis Guerrero, Lucas Herndon, Bill McCamley, Nathan Small, Mary Ann Hendrickson, Steve Fischmann, and Billy & Cynthia Garrett.

For more info, email Gabe, or go to his website.

City Council District 5: Gill Sorg, asks for your vote/support for reelection

Gill Sorg thanked everyone for all the support the PVA has given him. He’s never had this level of support before. He’s finished his canvassing of people who vote regularly, and is now he’s talking to people who have never voted in municipal elections.

Visit Gill’s Facebook page. For more info, email Gill.

What happens at a John Birch Society meeting?

Earl Nissen attended a local John Birch Society meeting. 39 people attended. Their guest speaker was an Emeritus President. In his talk he said: We need to get out of the United Nations. They have 14 building with 16,000 people who aren’t doing anything. The UN charter doesn’t mention God, so it makes the charter unacceptable. The UN can send troops anywhere in the world without permission.

Earl said he will continue going to these meetings. (Thank you, Earl!)

For more info, email Earl.

Civics in the classroom

Yvonne Flores talked about the local League of Women Voters working with Las Cruces Public Schools to get civics in the classroom/curriculum for K-12. Teachers need to talk about how important it is to vote. This is part of how we engage youth in a voting culture, said Yvonne.

For more info, email Yvonne.

Steve Fischmann running for Public Regulation Commission, District 5

Steve Fischmann announced his candidacy for Public Regulation Commissioner, District 5. His work with renewables and El Paso Electric made him want to run for the PRC. His two main goals are having good solid management of the PRC and cheap, clean energy.

For more info, email Steve.

Rate rider for renewables on El Paso Electric bills

Merrie Lee Soules said on October 25, the PRC voted on EPE’s request to further complicate our utility bills by adding a rate rider for renewable energy. The vote was 4 to 1 and our Commissioner, Sandy Jones, supported EPE’s position in spite of opposing positions by the City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, and herself.

For more info, or to learn more about these changes, email Merrie Lee.

David Baake running for Congress – New Mexico, District 2

David Baake is running for Steve Pearce’s congressional seat. He’s now the only Las Cruces candidate. Among other things, he wants to protect the Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks, civil rights, and make sure everyone has access to healthcare.

Stay tuned for some upcoming events you can go to to support his candidacy:

Fundraiser for David Baake
Sunday, November 19
Roberta Gran’s house

Tito Marquez will host another fundraiser later in December.

For more info, email David or go to his website.

Conrad Perea, running for District Court Judge, Division 3

Conrad is running for re-election. He’s a native of Doña Ana county. He served as a police officer for 20 years, and then became a magistrate judge. Now he’s a district court judge for Division 3.

For more info, email Conrad.

El Paso Electric update

Allen Downs is with the El Paso Electric Public Advocacy Group. He explained the Integrated Resource Public Plan Advisory Group is fighting to get EPE to include more energy efficiency, demand management, renewables, and energy storage. The goal is that EPE buy no more fossil fuel generation.

EPE withdrew its application to charge us for 10 MW of solar they bought 3 years ago for Texas. Note that this saves NM ratepayers millions of dollars over the next 27 years.

EPE will not be allowed to buy wind renewable energy credits. EPE will be allowed an adder on our bills to detail the cost of renewable energy. This does not include all the benefits of renewables and will give the impression that renewables are expensive.

Three rule making cases are ongoing – 1) rate case procedures, 2) an attempt to reduce the power of the Integrated Resources Planning process, 3) adoption of regulations requiring utilities to reduce their carbon emissions by 4% per year, over the next 20 years.

For more info, email Allen.

Volunteers needed to walk for Yvonne Flores

MaryAnn Hendrickson announced that volunteers will be canvassing for Yvonne from her house. Get some snacks and then go knock on some doors! MaryAnn said, “District 6 will get real representation and someone who will listen to constituents.”

Walk for Yvonne Flores
Saturday, October 28, 9:30 am
2128 Laredo Ave, LC

To volunteer or for more info, email MaryAnn.

Upcoming events at UU Church to put on your calendar!

Eliza Sánchez announced two upcoming events:

  • The Animal Protection of New Mexico and the Animal Protection Voters are having a meeting to talk about animal issues in southern New Mexico

Saturday, November 11, 3-5 pm
UU Church, 2000 S. Solano, LC

  • The documentary film, Los Misneros, covers the last half century of the struggle for equal rights by Mexican-Americans who worked in the copper mines in southwest Arizona.

Thursday, November 16, 7-9 pm
UU Church, 2000 S. Solano, LC

For more info, email Elisa.

Joy Goldbaum for Municipal Court Judge

Joy Goldbaum talked about the benefits of starting a Homeless Court Program in Las Cruces; Homeless Courts are supported by the American Bar Association. She said we need to:

  • Stop warehousing homeless people in detention centers
  • Close/resolve cases sooner
  • No longer treat people with mental health concerns as criminals
  • Stop criminalizing poverty and homelessness in our community

The election is November 7 and any registered voter in Las Cruces can vote for Municipal Judge.

For more info, visit Joy’s website or look at her Facebook page.

Role of the Public Regulation Commission

Sandy Jones, PRC Commission District 5, said the role of the PRC is to balance consumers and industry’s needs. It’s easy to advocate, but hard to make decisions based on fact. As part of their job, they do rule making on carbon reduction and setting rates. They are working on modernizing the commission.

For more info, email Sandy.

Community of Hope Open House

Nancy Baker said that their fundraiser, Tents to Rent, is going well. She applauds what Joy Goldbaum is doing. She announced:

Community of Hope Open House
Sunday, November 12, 12:30 – 2:30 pm
999 S. Amador

Alma d’Arte is providing the food and there will be tours of Community of Hope and Camp Hope.

For more info, email Nancy.

Vote for progressive city candidates

Sharon Thomas read the following LTE she wrote and said, “Vote for your progressive candidates!”

For nearly a decade now, the city has enjoyed progressive leadership. Successes have been many–curbside recycling, substantial increase in trails and parks, renewable energy (solar on city buildings), a water reclamation plant, minimum wage increase, a renewed downtown that is giving the city back its heart. These successes have resulted in much deserved national recognition, the latest as the #1 best run city in the state and #6 best run city nationally.

We need progressive leadership to be able to maintain this momentum. The city is working on an Arts and Culture designation for the downtown, opening new avenues for funding. Plan4LasCruces, the comprehensive plan, will soon come before the city council. It aims “to continue to make Las Cruces a great place to live, work, and play for persons of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and economic levels.”

The Five Year Strategic Plan is being implemented. It’s about better sidewalks, more transit, a one-stop shop for developers, connecting the university with the downtown, moving toward commuter rail between Las Cruces and El Paso, and greater collaboration with both the Las Cruces Public Schools and NMSU.

We are making a name for ourselves as a progressive community that offers a high quality of life. The city now has it’s own economic development department that can focus on helping our local businesses to grow and prosper. It will also promote our excellent arts and culture community. It can work with local entities, like La Semilla, to help our farmers produce commercial products. We see progress all around us; we are poised for even greater accomplishments.

Help the city continue on this road to success.  Vote for the progressive city council candidates—Council District 3, Gabe Vasquez; District 5, Gill Sorg; District 6, Yvonne Flores, and Joy Goldbaum for municipal court.

For more info, email Sharon.

Kent Wingenroth running for reelection for Magistrate Judge

Kent thanked the PVA for letting the judicial candidates speak. As judges, they are restricted on what they can comment on politically. He’s been in public service for 40 years and wants to return as our Magistrate Judge.

For more info, email Kent.

Nayomi has a Michelle Lujan-Grisham for Governor t-shirt for you

Nayomi Valdez said that Michelle was in Miami working on aid for Puerto Rico, so she couldn’t come to the PVA meeting. If you support Michelle for Governor, please sign her nominating petition. The southern NM campaign is up and running, so they are looking for volunteers. She brought t-shirts, and signs.

For more info, go to Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s website or email Nayomi.

And here is: Peter DeBenedittis, running for Governor

Peter DeBenedittis is the progressive candidate for governor. He supports single payer healthcare, 100% renewable energy, a state bank, and a living minimum wage.

For more info, email Peter or visit his website.

Juan “JR” Stewart running for Doña Ana County Sheriff

JR Stewart has 36 years in law enforcement, 35 with the city of Las Cruces. He was the chief of the Anthony police department for one year. He’s a former marine and is active in the community.

For more info, email JR.

Senator Martin Henrich running for re-election 

Luis Guerrero is a field organizer for the democratic party. He brought petitions for Senator Heinrich to get on the ballot in 2018. He said, “We need to get out and vote for every election.”

For more info, email Luis.

Senator Michael Padilla, District 14, running for Lieutenant Governor

Michael Padilla said he wants to make the Lt. Governor’s office fair and equitable. The state constitution says this job is an ombudsman for the state of NM – he wants to lift up the democratic candidate for governor. He supports early childhood education for every NM child, renewable energy and thinks we should have a state bank.

For more info, email Michael or go to his website.

Important Time for Get-out-the-Vote

Matt Gloudemans announced two events Saturday, October 28:

  • 10 am Sunrise Park, door-knocking for Gill Sorg
  • 9:30 am door-knocking for Yvonne Flores, meeting at MaryAnn Hendrickson’s house

Also, Republicans will be gunning for local seats in the state house and senate, so get ready.

For more info, email Matt.

Billy Garrett is running for Lt. Governor

Billy Garrett, County Commissioner, is running for Lt. Governor. He said he’s running because people are feeling bad about what’s going on in the US and the state. We have serious problems undermining trust in our government. People are just giving up. He wants to take his skills and time and carry that to the state level – because we know how to get things done in Doña Ana County.

Please sign his petition. He’s looking for volunteers and people who know people in other parts of the state.

For more info, email Billy.

Jeff Apodaca is running for Governor

Jeff Apodaca said we need to invest in NM. Our state investment fund is $22.6 billion and all of it is invested out-of-state. He suggested taking 5% and investing it in NM renewables, small business and education. Our children are leaving, and we need to keep them here.

For more info, visit his website or send him an email.

Rocky knows a thing or two about Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Rocky Bacchus commented on the great candidates we have running. County commissioners Billy Garrett and John Vazquez voted for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), but it did not pass. The city lowered its electricity bill by 25% thanks to the sustainability officer looking for ways to be more energy efficient. The Munson Center is a net-zero energy building, meaning that it’s solar panels make enough energy to supply the building’s electrical needs. EPE approved a $16 million project to upgrade a transmission line on the Texas-New Mexico border.

For more info, email Rocky.

Antoinette Reyes is running for County Commission, District 1

Antoinette talked about wanting to improve Doña Ana county, protect the environment, and support sustainable agriculture. She is having a community event that will provide free food, two books per person (pre-K to young adults and adult fiction), and free face painting:

Friday, November 17, 4 – 6:30 pm
Klein Park, 155 N Mesquite, LC
Please bring canned foods or toiletries that will be donated throughout the community.

For more info, go to her website or email Antoinette.

Who’s excited for Election Day?

Connie Chapman is working on both Gabe Vasquez’s and Yvonne Flores’ campaigns. “Come to all the walks – it’s very doable,” she said. Connie is excited for Election Day and asserted: Let’s get all three progressive city councilors elected and Joy for municipal judge!

For more info, email Connie.

Norm Osborne is running for re-election for Magistrate Judge, Division 4

Norm Osborne said being a magistrate judge is a hard job, but he’s happy to do it. Please sign his petition as he has no opponent. He believes that homelessness and poverty are not crimes. DWI should be handled in the treatment courts. (Also, he’s Mr. Joy Goldbaum.)

For more info, email Norm.

Good Article about Global Warming

Alice Anderson recommended an executive summary of a 600 page report about global warming in the November/December 2017 issue of Skeptical Inquirer. The report was written by 13 federal science agencies. The report was leaked to the New York Times in August “because of fears that the Trump administration might suppress it”. It can be found online at www.csicop.org.

For more info, email Alice.

263 Million Children Should be in School, But They’re Not

Rich Renner, with RESULTS, announced a webinar to learn about the global education crisis. This crisis puts us all at jeopardy, because we need to prepare all children for success.

Saturday, November 11, 12 noon

Contact Rich for info on location.

Yvonne Flores, running for City Council, District 6

Yvonne thanked Connie Chapman, Rosemarie Sanchez, and Shannon and Maggie Reynolds, for all their help. She’s received 120 donations – she can’t believe the response to her campaign. She has a platform that focuses on the Strategic Plan for the City, but she also feels education is the real way out of poverty. Please attend one of her campaign walks:

Walk for Yvonne Flores
Saturday, October 28, 9:30 am
Saturday, November 4, 9:30 am
2128 Laredo Ave, LC

To volunteer or for more info, email Yvonne.

Conversations with Democrats: Women’s health and abortion

Merrie Lee Soules announced a Conversations with Democrats:

Women’s Health and Abortion: Labels, Litmus Test, Lives – The Conversation We Should be Having.

Merrie Lee provided the following information:

Our Conversation leader this month will be Julianna Koob, Legislative Advocate for Planned Parenthood of New Mexico and the ACLU-NM. She has fought to advance the rights of women and children for more than 25 years, beginning as a domestic violence shelter crisis advocate and later becoming a legislative advocate fighting for the rights of girls and women to make their own healthcare decisions, to receive equal pay, and to have access to abortion without barriers.

Julianna earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Law degree, but credits survivors of domestic and sexual violence and organizations led by women of color with the bulk of her education on women’s rights and systems change. Julianna is widely known to be an excellent speaker and very qualified to address these subjects.

Saturday, October 28, 2 pm
Holy Family Church on Parker

For more info, email Merrie Lee.

Maggie and George Griffin Leaving Las Cruces

Cheryl Frank announced that Maggie and George Griffin will be moving from Las Cruces soon. They’ve served on the PVA board for a number of years. The board thanked them for all their hard work and dedication. We will miss you, Maggie and George! Keep in touch. 🙂

Help for Puerto Rico

John Peterson has family in Puerto Rico. It took while to get in touch with them, and the devastation is bad. Please do all you can to help the people of Puerto Rico.


Next PVA Meeting

PVA doesn’t meet in November or December. The next PVA meeting is January 25, 2018, 7 pm, Munson Center. See you in 2018!



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