PVA Meeting Recap – September 28, 2017

Early Childhood Education – Building Brains

Frank López, who is the Executive Director for Ngage New Mexico is working with a coalition focused on early childhood education (ECE) in Doña Ana County. The coalition consists of parents, students, educators, non-profits and politicians.

New Mexico is ranked 49th for children well-being. 45% of children ages 0-5 live in poverty. By age 3, a baby’s brain is 80% developed and by age 5 it is 90% developed, so ECE is critical. If we don’t build brains by age 5, we are losing an opportunity. The coalition consists of 60 people from 15 organizations. It’s a county wide plan that is a grassroots effort. The goal is for full integration of all these entities. They are conducting a gap analysis of ECE.

This coalition met with people in Albuquerque to impact the entire state as well. He would like to see that 1% of the permanent fund be available for ECE programs. To make that change it would take a constitutional amendment.

The floor was open to questions.

  • Would more branch libraries help?
    • Part of the plan is to develop a mobile children’s museum to travel around the county.
  • The State Investment Council pays millions of dollars in management fees to oversee the state funds. Could that have gone to pay for early childhood education?
    • Yes.
  • How could we engage state legislators to push for ECE?
    • PVA is one group that knows how to do this.
  • What’s the status of home visits?
    • Federal funding is up for re-authorization of home visits. Frank said the challenge is to get families to open up to home visits.

For more info, go to their website, Ngage New Mexico or call 575-521-1957

When it comes to energy issues, elections matter!

Rocky Bacchus thanked Gil Sorg and Olga Pedroza for their city council work. Local elections make a big difference. The city lowered its electricity bill by 20% thanks to the sustainability officer looking for ways to be more energy efficient. The city and county have the ability to be net zero in five years. Donate money to get the right people elected.

For more info, email Rocky.

Fundraiser for Ngage New Mexico 

Michael Radtke from Ngage New Mexico announced, “It’s time to dust off your singing and dancing skills and come to Ngage’s karaoke fundraiser!”

Event:   Celebrity Karaoke

October 27, 2017, 7 – 10 pm

Grapevine Plaza, 3900 W Picacho, Las Cruces, NM

For more info, email Michael. 

Get Out the Vote

Progress Now New Mexico’s Lucas Herndon said that early voting has already started in Albuquerque. Of 11,000 registered voters age 18-20 only 37 have early voted so far. Get your friends and neighbors to vote. Look outside your “box” to come up with ideas to get people to vote.

Also, ask your county commissioners to support the Colonias Infrastructure initiative.

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

El Paso Electric Update

Allen Downs is a member of the El Paso Electric Public Advocacy Group. He told us that Don Kurtz and Merrie Lee Soules presented at the last EPE Integrated Resource Plan meeting. The presentation focused on environmental and economic conditions and encouraged renewables and storage. They also spoke about demand reduction and energy efficiency as resources.

EPE wants a new substation in the Talavera area. This group suggested that EPE look at non-wire alternatives and energy conservation during peak hours so they don’t have to build a new substation.  The next public advisory group meeting is 10/5/17.

To learn about the El Paso Electric Public Advisory Group for the 2018 plan, visit:


At the above website, you will find information on how to attend meetings in person or via Skype as well as previous slide presentations and recordings of meetings. The Kurtz-Soules presentation is also available at this website.

For more info, email Allen.

Giving to Others

Elliot and Luca said they want more people to do their family tradition, which is that on their birthdays they hand out treats and flowers with a note to people that help the city or have no home. They do as many as how old they are turning. They encouraged us to do the same.

Representative Rubio Endorses Gabe Vasquez for City Council, District 3

State Representative Angelica Rubio said that Gabe Vasquez taught her so much because he’s had years of experience in local, state and national politics. Help Gabe by volunteering or donating money. Go to Gabe’s website to learn more about where he stands.

For more info, email Angelica.

Senator Michael Padilla (District 14) Running for Lieutenant Governor

Michael is the Senate Majority Whip and the chair of the science, technology, and telecommunications committee. Two years before he became a senator, he worked on supporting early childhood education. Growing up he lived in nine foster homes, so he has compassion for the children of New Mexico. He wants to put an end to poverty in our state. He said we need to elect a democratic governor to make more changes.

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

Olga Pedroza’s Endorsements for City Council

Olga said, “Las Cruces is in a very good position, but we need to keep the city council strong.” Olga recommends you vote for:

Gabe Vasquez – City District 3

Gil Sorg – City District 5

Yvonne Flores – City District 6

For more info, email Olga.

Gabe Vasquez for City Council, District 3

Gabe Vasquez is a candidate for City Council, District 3. He spoke about the good work being done around the county. For example,

  • There was a small business fair in Anthony
  • Hispanics are getting more involved in the environmental movement
  • NM CAFé is organizing to support the people affected by the DACA changes.
  • Yvonne Flores is running for city council, district 6
  • MaryAnn Hendrickson is working to protect our public lands

He wants to support all these good works by being on the city council. To learn more about Gabe, go to his website or email him.

Elect Yvonne Flores – City Council, District 6

Sharon Thomas supports Yvonne Flores for city council. The city’s comprehensive plan is coming up and Yvonne would guide the plan in the right direction. Another good reason to vote for Yvonne: she is an attorney, and it’s good to get another attorney’s perspective on issues in addition to the city attorney.

For more info, email Sharon.

NM CAFé Update

Renée Beltran announced that the entire board of NM CAFé resigned, so they have a new board. Renée is one of the new board members. They are still committed to investing money here and the organization. Their core issues remain:

  • Immigration
  • DACA – they’ve been having clinics for those impacted by the proposed changes
  • Have new people helping out

For more info, go to their website, or email Renée.

Gill Sorg, who is running for reelection, takes you down memory lane

Gill talked about how important the Las Cruces comprehensive plan is – Plan4Las Cruces.  “If it’s not approved, developers will once again run the city,” said Gill. Big money from groups like the Southern New Mexico Business Coalition will fund campaigns against Gill, Gabe and Yvonne. Don’t be surprised if you see things that aren’t true, he warned.

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

Fundraiser for the Homeless

Nancy Baker, who works with Mesilla Valley Community of Hope asked us to participate in a unique online fundraiser, which will help with transition housing for the homeless. It costs $6,000 to move someone from living at Camp Hope to an apartment or home, so they are holding this online fundraiser. Here are the details:

Event:   Tents to Rents fundraiser

September 15 – October 31, 2017

Go to tentstorents.org and donate

For more info, email Nancy.

Joy Goldbaum for Municipal Court Judge

Joy Goldbaum is running for Municipal Judge. She said she is running because she has become very passionate about Las Cruces needing a Homeless Court Program, and she wants to make it happen. Remember in municipal judge elections, any registered voter in the city can vote. Contact Joy or Cheryl Frank to help with addressing and stuffing envelopes.

Visit Joy’s website or look at her Facebook page.

Yvonne Flores for City Council, District 6

City Council candidate, Yvonne Flores talked about her background – she’s been very active at city and county meetings. She’s taught K-12 and community college. She is an attorney. She believes it would be good to have an attorney on the city council. She doesn’t believe in extensive testing in our schools and that our science standards should not change. She is concerned about changes to immigration laws and yes, she believes that climate change is real.

To learn more about Yvonne go to her website, or email Yvonne.

Get Out the Vote

The Doña Ana County Clerk, Scott Krahling, reported on the Community Conversation – Democracy in Doña Ana, which took place on September 16. Sixty people attended – many NMSU students and young people came. “This is just the beginning,” said Scott.  He wants to go out into other parts of the county to encourage people to vote. Nine percent voter turnout is not good enough, we need to do more.

For more info, email Scott. 

Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) Annual Fundraiser

Peter Sloan, who works at the Southwest Environmental Center announced that “A Wild Night for Wildlife,” which is SWEC’s annual fundraiser is coming up. Early bird tickets are $50 each. There will be music, food, dancing and a silent auction.

Event:   A Wild Night for Wildlife

October 14, 2017, 6-10 pm

Plaza de Las Cruces

For tickets, go to www.wildmesquite.org.

For more info, email Peter.


Sara Melton, who works with NM CAFé, said President Trump wants DACA resigned. NM CAFé supports a CLEAN DREAM Act with a path to citizenship. Call Congressman Steve Pearce at 202-225-2365 and ask him to sign the discharge petition bringing the Dream Act to the house floor.

No boots, no beds, no wall.

For more info, email Sara.

Jeff Apodaca for Governor

Rafael Reyes said that Jeff Apodaca believes the state’s permanent fund should NOT invest in Wall Street, but here. He believes in year round pre-school, middle school and high school. We need to invest in our local economy. They are starting field work in southern New Mexico and are looking for volunteers.

Event:   Fundraiser for Jeff Apodaca

October 1, 2017, 6-8 pm

RSVP to Rafael at 505-363-5885, and he will give you the location.

For more info, email Rafael.

Tents to Rents Fundraiser

Carrie Hamblen is a Board Member with Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. Carrie told the story about Charlie, who was homeless, but with the help of Camp Hope he’s now in an apartment, has a job and he’s on the board of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. She asked people to please donate to the Tents to Rent fundraiser.

Event:   Tents to Rents fundraiser

September 15 – October 31, 2017

Go to tentstorents.org and donate

For more info, email Carrie.

Justice for All will Support Undocumented Immigrants

Katya Gonzalez, with Justice for All, said they are partnering with NM CAFé to provide support to undocumented immigrants. She mentioned that they are not a faith based organization. They meet every Tuesday, 6:15 – 7:15 pm.

For more info, email Katya.

Linda Álvarez Running for Mayor of Hatch

Linda Álvarez, is running for mayor of Hatch. She was born in Hatch, went back east for her education and worked for the Health & Human Services department in Santa Fe. She wants an honest and open government and to fix the flooding problems. She believes in government transparency and financial accountability.

For more info, email Linda, or visit her website.

Witches and Witch Hunts: A Global History

Alice Anderson recommended the book “Witches and Witch Hunts: A Global History,” by Wolfgang Behringer, which covers the history from 380 BCE to present, but with a concentration on 1400 – 1800. Being declared a witch was a way to get women who were disrupting the norm.

For more info, email Alice.

Justice for All, Supporting Undocumented Immigrants

Margee McIlvoy explained that “Justice for All believes in inclusiveness, support and activism. We need to decriminalize the narrative of undocumented immigrants. Deportation tears apart families and it sends people back to countries they fled. The myths that they are criminals and that they take jobs away from Americans needs to be debunked. We need to support those needing support. We’re hoping some PVA members will want to join our group.”

For more info, email Margee.

Volunteers wanted to knock on doors for Yvonne Flores

Connie Chapman is working with Yvonne Flores’ campaign for City Council and is looking for volunteers to canvas for Yvonne. Every Saturday Yvonne is hosting a 9:30 am Coffee and Conversation, and then at 10:00 am, people will start their walk.

For more info, email Yvonne’s campaign.

A Wild Night for Wildlife

Daél Goodman announced that SWEC is celebrating 25 years of working to save wildlife and wild places. Come to their annual fundraiser – A Wild Night for Wildlife. There will be music, food, dancing, local wines and brews and a silent auction.

Event:   A Wild Night for Wildlife

October 14, 2017, 6-10 pm

Plaza de Las Cruces

For tickets, go to www.wildmesquite.org.

For more info, email Dael.

Southern New Mexico New Progressives

Antionette Reyes announced that the Southern New Mexico New Progressives will have their monthly meeting on October 14, at 2pm. They will have a guest speaker talking about cybersecurity. Learn about the risks and how to protect yourself. Also, learn how cybersecurity affects the border region.

Event:   SNMNP Monthly meeting

October 14, 2017, 2 pm

Branigan Library, Roadrunner Room

 For more info, email Antionette.

Unitarian Universalist Church Film Series

Elisa Sánchez announced that the Unitarian Universalist Church (2000 Solano Avenue) will be showing the following films in October and November:

  • The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
    • Thursday, October 12 at 7 pm
    • Tuesday, October 17 at 2pm
  • Redemption: The No Kill Revolution
    • Thursday, October 19 at 7 pm
  • Los Mineros
    • Thursday, November 16 at 7 pm

For more info, email Elisa.

Voting in Doña Ana County

Ashley Beyer works with the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office. She announced some important dates for the upcoming Municipal Election:

Early voting will be:

  • 10/11 – Absentee ballot by mail starts
  • 10/18 – Early voting in person starts

She also invites people to come and learn about making our primaries open.

Event:   New Mexico Open Primaries meeting

10/19, 7 pm

SWEC offices, 275 North Downtown Mall, Las Cruces

KTAL-LP Open House

Peter Goodman invited people to the KTAL-LP open house. He also wants feedback about how the station is doing so far.

Event:   KTAL-LP Open House

Sunday, 10/1/17, 3-7pm

121 Wyatt, Suite 9, Las Cruces

Consider Booking Your Next Event at the Ramada Palms Hotel

Douglas Beckham, who works at Ramada Palms, wanted to let everyone know that if people are looking for space for meetings, please consider the Ramada Palms.

For more info, call him at 575-449-8989.

Property Taxes Update

Paul Ponce, who works at the Doña Ana County Assessor’s Office, announced that the time to protest your property tax bill is coming an end. Their department extended the deadline due to a personnel shortage. Tax bills will be delivered to the county treasurer by 10/1, so you should get them soon.

He also thanked everyone for coming to his County Assessor campaign fundraiser.

For more info, email Paul.

Important Time for Fundraising

Political Consultant Matt Gloudemans said it’s an important time for raising money. Please give what you can to support Gill Sorg, Yvonne Flores and David Baake.

Upcoming Fundraisers for Yvonne Flores

Rosemarie Sanchez is enthusiastically supporting Yvonne Flores for City Council. Rosemarie invites you to come and meet Yvonne Flores and get to know her at one of the following fundraisers:

Events: 10/1, 2-4 pm – Erika Graf-Webster’s home, 580 Canyon Road, Las Cruces

10/5, 6:30-8:30 pm – Maria and Ernie Flores’ home, 4210 Senna, Las Cruces, (RSVP to Maria at maflores54@gmail.com

10/7, 4 pm – Caroline Barr’s home, 1972 Calle de Fuerte, Las Cruces

For more info, email Rosemarie.

Looking for Recommendations for a Young Women’s Leadership Council

Rafael Reyes announced that the Federated Women of Dona Ana County are starting a Young Women’s Leadership Council. They are looking for recommendations for this council. If you have any suggestions, let Rafael know, by sending him an email.

Stonegarden Grant

Yvonne Flores said the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s department wants to continue their Stonegarden contract. This contract is a Homeland Security grant used to fund local and state police officers to work shifts along the border. This grant funds the largest police group – most in the southern border. She said, “Let the county commission know it’s not working.”

For more info, email Yvonne.

Next PVA Meeting

The next PVA meeting is October 26, 2017, 7 pm, Munson Center.

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