City Council Takes a Serious Look at Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
Nathan Small, City Councilor for District 4, reported on the City Council’s first ever work session devoted to energy efficiency and sustainability. Participants included city staff members, and representatives of the Albuquerque Energy Council, El Paso Electric, and the Solar Research Institute of NMSU.
A new position for Sustainability Coordinator has been approved by Terrence Moore, Las Cruces city manager. Nathan stated that city council members welcome our thoughts on sustainability as they work to define the new job and the vision.
In related news, the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA) has agreed to recruit alternative energy companies to locate in this area.
Adam Guss reported on the April Unified Action, which involved calling Governor Richardson and asking him to speak out against the border fence until proper studies are completed. The Governor received over 120 phone calls from concerned citizens but has yet to make a public commitment regarding the fence. For more information email Adam Guss or call him at 575-522-5552
The Unified Action this month focuses on the primary election. The action is to promote participation by advocating for the candidates you support, taking a voter to the polls, taking a voter to early voting, etc. For details go to the Unified Action page.
Wild Wednesdays at SWEC
Bob Hearn attended the first Wild Wednesday sponsored by SWEC and informed us that there was great art, great food, and great conversation. SWEC plans to continue the event. For more information, email Bob.
Tom Udall’s Las Cruces Office Grand Opening
Xochitl Torres, field organizer for Udall’s U.S. Senate campaign, announced that Tom Udall will be in Las Cruces for an open house at his local office. The event is scheduled for May 31, 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the old Popular building on the downtown mall. For more in information you can send email to Xochitl firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 575-496-5782.
Progressive Democrats of America
Al Kissling announced that the group will hold meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at the new Democratic Headquarters in the old Popular building on the downtown mall. The next meeting will be held June 10. The meeting will focus on education policy, and three panelists will discuss No Child Left Behind and its status in Doña Ana County. For more information send email to Al.
Equality New Mexico (EQNM)
Chris Salas spoke about the work of Equality NM and Equality PAC. The organization will be working to support strong candidates who support domestic partnership rights. For more information email Chris, visit the EQNM Web site, or call Chris at 505-980-5986.
Wes Wilson announced that MoveOn is interested in opening an office in this area. He invited interested people to help him in this endeavor. He felt that MoveOn and PVA would be complementary—not competitive—groups since PVA focuses primarily on state and local issues while MoveOn has a national focus. For more information, send email to Wes or call him at 303-910-7765.
Obama Voter Registration Project
Joe Durheim and Bobby Huffman were present from Obama for America. They invited volunteers to work with them on Vote for Change, a national voter registration and mobilization drive that was launched May 10 and will reach all 50 states. For more information or to volunteer, call Bobby at 843-359-4142.
Peter Ossorio asked for a show of hands of those present who had voted early and was gratified to find that more than half the people present raised a hand. He explained that early voting sites have been expanded for the coming election in a real effort to make voting more feasible for everyone. The last day for early voting is May 31. Information about voting can be obtained from the Doña Ana County Bureau of Elections Web site.
Poll watchers will be needed to assure that the general election will be fair. For more information and/or to become a poll worker, email Peter.
Safe and Sane Fireworks
Bill Corbett reported that Doña Ana County will be adhering to safe and sane firework guidelines. The Mesilla Board of Trustees will be the next entity to make a fireworks decision, and Bill will be asking for citizen input for that event. Bill noted that El Paso County has banned aerial fireworks this year because of the drought. For more information, email Bill.
PVA Annual June Party Reminder
Don Kurtz reminded us of the PVA June tradition—after a short meeting at the Munson Center, we adjourn to a local establishment (to be announced) for beverages and good progressive fun and conversation.
Las Cruces City Councilor Sherry Thomas spoke of her commitment to sustainable planning. She is involved in an ongoing project that will consolidate maps and plans for this region. For more information, email Sherry.
Quality Growth Alliance
Bob Hearn spoke about the current work of the GQA. They continue to study and scrutinize TIDDS (Tax Increment Development Districts) in New Mexico and build their growing expertise on this topic. They will testify soon before the Taxation and Revenue Stabilization Committee. In addition the group is focusing on promoting sustainable growth for our region. They are considering energy, water, farmland, open space—the whole enchilada. For more information, email Bob.
Chris Brown spoke on behalf of bicycles and urged us to write to our city council members and request bicycle lanes for our city.
Gay Pride Celebration June 21
Dan Tapper of PFLAG announced the annual Gay Pride celebration to be held June 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pioneer Women’s Park.
The following candidates and/or their representatives were present to ask for our support in the primary election. The candidates are listed in the order they spoke along with the contact information that we were able to obtain.
Lynn Ellins, County Clerk
Kent Wingenroth, Magistrate Judge
Bill McCamley, US Representative, NM District 2
Vince Romero, County Commission, District 5
Maria Rodriguez, Magistrate Judge
Oscar Vasquez Butler, State Senate, District 36
The next PVA meeting will be