PVA Meeting Recap – October 27, 2016

Alan Webber Shares His Vision for New Mexico

Alan Webber, founder of One New Mexico, spelled out an optimistic and positive vision for New Mexico. He pointed out that we have amazing possibilities here: we are in a position to become the most sustainable state (think renewable energy, think agriculture); we have beautiful lands, and we can show the rest of the country how diversity works. Alan said we have to start by investing in the fundamentals: education including early childhood education, high-speed internet and dependable cell phone service for the entire state, and decent air service. Then we can begin to grow the economies that are suited to our strengths. These include renewable energy, smart water management, farming and ranching, tourism, and making the most of our border with Mexico.

For more information send email to Alan, call him at 505-819-1616, follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and visit OneNewMexico.com.

Unified Action: Talk to Five Friends

Cheryl Frank introduced PVA’s traditional pre-election Unified Action: talk to five friends about the election, tell them which candidates you believe in, make sure they have a plan to get the polls. Details are here.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

Shannon Reynolds Thinks Ahead to the Bridge Building Phase

Shannon reported that 40% of registered voters in Doña Ana County have already voted. He is thinking ahead to the day after Election Day, when we will have the challenge of some serious bridge building.

For more information send email to Shannon.

EPE’s Faithful and Fearless Watchdog Reports

Allen Downs brought us up to date on the three El Paso Electric cases of current concern. EPE is dragging its heels on renewable energy sources and peak use reduction. They also have a plan to de-incentivize the use of solar panels by homeowners. Word to the wise: Get your solar panels before the end of 2016. Allen thanked the City and County for joining in these cases and fighting to minimize pollution and keep energy costs down.

For more information send email to Allen.

Post-Election, Pro-Life Demonstration

Jan Thompson announced a demonstration for reproductive rights. The event may also celebrate the election of a pro-choice president.

Demonstration for Reproductive Rights
Saturday, November 12, 2 to 4 p.m.
Lohman Avenue in front of Club Fitness and Whole Woman’s Health

Jan pointed out that Joanne Ferrary is a pro-choice candidate who also serves on the board of Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice.

For more information send email to Jan.

Jill Johnson for County Treasurer

Jill Johnson outlined her experience and her goals for the treasurer’s office. She mentioned 25 years as an internal auditor for Caterpillar International. She would like to make the treasurer’s office more efficient—allowing payment with debit and credit cards for example. She would invest with local banks to support the local economy.

For more information send email to Jill and call her at 575-635-2490.

Your County Needs You

Billy Garrett spoke of the importance of the Unified Development Code (UDC) and the importance of broad public support for its passage. In part, he said:

Over the past four-and-one-half years, people from throughout our region have been coming together to talk about the future of Doña Ana County. This effort has been known as the Viva Doña Ana initiative.

A number of important planning documents and strategies have been completed. They describe in broad terms the kind of future we want to see and how we might get there. The final document is now ready for consideration by the County Commission. It is called the Uniform Development Code. It will provide a fair, rational approach to responsible development. Over the past year-and-a-half, more than 50 public meetings have been held on this document alone. The County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission has unanimously endorsed the UDC and forwarded it to the County Commission for consideration. This past Tuesday, organized opposition resulted in a number of UDC issues being sent back to the P&Z Commission for review and comment.

Billy went on to express his belief that the intent is to permanently sabotage the UDC. He said this could be prevented only if there is active public support for responsible development at several upcoming meetings. Tentative meetings are listed below.

In closing Billy said, “The UDC is the best opportunity we will ever have to protect our landscape, strengthen our communities, protect agriculture, and encourage strong business growth.” Billy asked people to contact him with any questions they have about the UDC and implored people to attend the upcoming meetings.

County Planning and Zoning Commission
Thursday, November 3, 1 p.m.
County Government Center

Board of County Commissioners
Wednesday, November 9, 9 a.m.
County Government Center

Public Hearing on UDC
Tuesday, November 13, 9 a.m.

For more information send email to Billy and call him at 575-915-5755.

Your Community Needs You

Peter Goodman mentioned five practical, effective, do-able, enjoyable ways to build our community.

  • Go to the Farmers’ Market. Enjoy the diversity of the venders and the shoppers. Buy produce and support local agriculture.
  • Support Mountain View Market, our local co-op. Shop for healthy food and try the café.
  • Visit Camp Hope and see what they need.
  • Go to local theater productions and appreciate the talent.
  • K-TAL, our local radio station, will soon be a reality. They can use all kinds of donations as well as your ideas for local programs.

For more information send email to Peter and call him at 575-521-0424.

Angelica Rubio Sends a Big Thank You from the Nation’s Capital

Connie Chapman explained that Angelica had to be in Washington, D.C., for her other job but sends sincerest thanks for all the help she has received on her campaign for New Mexico House District 35.

For more information send email to Connie.

PFLAG Holds 21st Annual Diversity Celebration and Fundraiser

Sue Brown invited everyone to the 21st annual PFLAG celebration. Las Cruces PFLAG provides support to the LGBTQ community and their families, education about issues facing the LGBTQ community, and advocacy to ensure equal rights.

Tickets are $30, available at Spirit Winds, and include dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, scholarships, and awards.

PFLAG Diversity Celebration Fundraiser
Saturday, November 19, 6 p.m.
Hotel Encanto

For more information send email to Sue.

We’ve Got Some Amazing Artists Right Here in Doña Ana County

Bob Diven reported that he is in the midst of filming a documentary about the “cool art scene” here, but he has received unexpected feedback from the artists: the creative class is squeezed in this economy. Bob said we need to build the creative economy in Las Cruces, create more venues, and be sure that the arts student at the university don’t have to leave town to find a place to work.

For more information send email to Bob and follow him on Facebook.

It All Started at Chope’s

State Senator Joe Cervantes shared with dismay the fact that New Mexico’s bond rating has been lowered as a result of the governor’s budget decisions. He spoke of the need to keep the Senate Democratic majority and reclaim the House.

He told a great story of Jeff Steinborn’s decision to give up a safe House seat and run for a difficult Senate seat. It happened at Chope’s, of course, and involved Cervantes and others promising Jeff their full support if he would take the risk. Jeff took the risk and they have kept their promise. “Jeff is in an ugly race. Support him!” Joe urged.

For more information send email to Joe and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Casa de Peregrinos Needs Food for the Holidays and Every Day

Mary Lujan shared the news that Las Cruces and El Paso have the most generous people in the United States—she read it on Facebook ;)—and proceeded to ask for donations for Casa de Peregrinos to support their holiday meals. This is the seventh year that PVA attendees have contributed generously.

For more information send email to Mary and follow her on Facebook.

Reports from the Campaign Trail, South Valley Edition

State Representative Doreen Gallegos underscored the importance of getting out the vote. She is in the enviable position of running unopposed but is working hard for other candidates. She told of two experiences that recently lifted her spirits: a visit to a tiny library in Anthony filled with children reading and a meeting with Republican women in the South Valley for a spot of tea.

For more information send email to Doreen.

Game On!

Lucas Herndon invited everyone to the 4th Annual Celebrity Karaoke Fundraiser for Ngage New Mexico’s education initiative in Doña Ana County. Lucas promised nothing short of a winning performance.

Celebrity Karaoke Fundraiser
Friday, October 28, 6 p.m.
Grapevine Plaza, 3900 West Picacho Avenue

For more information send email to Lucas and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

If You Care About Sane Planning, Stand Up for the UDC

Sharon Thomas, a woman with planning in her DNA, underscored the importance of supporting the Unified Development Code. She explained that the opposition is well organized and lawyered up. She said this is a familiar pattern—wait until the last minute and torpedo all the work of a long and painstaking process. She spoke of the people who attended the 50 meetings for citizen input—they came with concerns and faith in the process, and they came without lawyers or Home Owners’ Organizations.

Sharon asked everyone to attend the upcoming meetings. You can call her for more information and for talking points. The tentative meeting schedule is as follows:

County Planning and Zoning Commission
Thursday, November 3, 1 p.m.
County Government Center

Board of County Commissioners
Wednesday, November 9, 9 a.m.
County Government Center

Public Hearing on UDC
Tuesday, November 13, 9 a.m.

For more information send email to Sharon and call her at 575-644-2517.

Vote for Planet Earth—It’s Urgent

Pete Sloan of SWEC pointed to the findings of World Wildlife’s Living Planet Report. The report shows the enormous scale of the trouble the planet is in as well as what we can do about it. “Climate change is the issue of our time. Vote accordingly,” Peter urged.

For more information send email to Peter.

When They Go Low, We Go Knock on Doors

Xochitl Torres Small invited volunteers to join the grass roots campaign of her husband, Nathan Small, candidate for House District 36. Xochitl mentioned that Nathan’s opponent has launched a smear campaign, but she wasn’t really worried because, she explained, “We rule the field.” (“Win with positivity” and “Fight the negative arsenal” are also campaign slogans.)

For more information send email to Xochitl.

City Clerk Candidate Believes Everyone’s Vote Is Important

Scott Krahling (currently chief deputy county clerk) reported that 19,317 early voters have cast their ballots. Thus far, Democrats outnumber Republicans 56% to 52%, but Scott warned, “Don’t get complacent!”

Scott asked for support in his race for county clerk. He said he believes in fair elections for everyone. “I want to get this county voting!” he vowed.

For more information send email to Scott and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Really Ugly Campaigning Comes to Doña Ana County

Jeff Steinborn declared this is be the “ugliest, scorcher campaign” he’s experienced. He asked for volunteers to support his campaign with time and/or money.

For more information call Jeff at 575-635-5615.

Put me in, Coach—I’m ready to play!

Referring to down-ballot campaigns, Don said, emphatically, “Yes. They matter.” He welcomed volunteers to work on a plan to reach low-frequency voters in Joanne Ferrary’s district.

Don talked about the joys and satisfactions of working for candidates you believe in, the ones who will make a positive difference. Borrowing a baseball metaphor, he talked about how much he loves being on the playing field with those candidates when the game is on the line. His advice? “Get in the game. You’re gonna love it!”

For more information send email to Don.

And Now for the Attack Ads

Joanne Ferrary, candidate for NM House District 37, announced that the attack ads are starting to appear and her campaign needs donations to counteract them.

For more information send email to Joanne and follow her on Facebook.

Hillary Yard Signs Are Finally Available, aka NM Is Not a Battleground State

Joni Gutierrez brought yard signs (no bumper stickers) from the Hillary for President office. Joni reminded us that the top of the ticket lifts every candidate.

For more information send email to Joni.

RESULTS Works to Defeat Hunger and Poverty

Rich Tenner welcomed people to learn more about RESULTS, a nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to ending poverty in our country and around the world. An upcoming webinar will introduce RESULTS and their plan for working with the next administration to end poverty. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, at 6 p.m.

For more information send email to Rich.

It’s All About the Field

Nathan Small thanked everyone for supporting his campaign for NM House District 36. He reported on the life-changing experience of knocking on doors and talking with voters. He told us about a mom, living north of Hatch, where there is no broadband internet. Her daughter will start school next fall and she doesn’t know how she will manage without internet access.

“Don’t sit this one out,” Nathan said, “It’s too important.”

For more information send email to Nathan.

Rudy Martinez for NM House District

Rudy Martinez urged everyone to get out the vote by talking to your family, your friends, and your neighbors. He said that the Democratic candidates will protect the rights of the most vulnerable and will promote a living wage for every working person.

For more information send email to Rudy and call him at 575-534-7546.

Guess Who Has More Money than We Could Ever Dream Of?

Matt Gloudemans spoke of the need for working and giving every last day before the election. He said that Steve Pearce’s PAC has more money than we could ever dream of but, luckily, we have the people and the values and the effort.

He invited everyone to a “meet and greet” for local candidates.

Meet and Greet
Saturday, October 29, 2 to 4 p.m.
Salud! Restaurant in Mesilla

For more information send email to Matthew.

President Obama Endorses the Best

Rich Ferrary was more than pleased to announce that President Obama will be endorsing select candidates for state office, and his wife, Joanne Ferrary, will be among those so honored. Joanne is a candidate for NM House District 37.

For more information send email to Rich.

Merrie Lee Soules Sees a Path to Victory

Merrie Lee, candidate for U.S. Representative, felt good about her second debate with Steve Pearce, the incumbent. She said that early voting is setting records and she sees a path to victory. “Don’t lose faith,” she said, “work.”

For more information send email to Merrie Lee and call her at 575-405-0229.

PVA’s Special Post-Election Meeting
Thursday, November 10, 7 p.m.
Munson Center

PVA’s Next Regular Meeting
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 7 p.m.
Munson Center

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