PVA Meeting Recap – April 26, 2012

National Monument Proposed for Doña Ana County Treasures

Standing beside a 6-foot poster depicting Geronimo, the Butterfield Trail, and a few more  of Doña Ana County’s many historical, cultural, and environmental treasures, Nathan Small of New Mexico Wilderness Alliance spoke in support of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument proposal.

Nathan summed up the history of the proposal beginning in the 1980’s when the Bureau of Land Management created a wilderness study area that includes the Organs, Potrillos, Robledos, and Las Uvas Mountains. In 2004 a broad-based local coalition built support for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act. Congress chose not to consider the legislation even though it passed unanimously out of committee. Today’s national monument proposal builds on all previous efforts and addresses the concerns of all stakeholders.

The national monument designation differs from wilderness by its focus on history and culture and by the fact that a national monument is created by the President with no Congressional action required.

For more information send email to Nathan Small.

Unified Action for April

The unified action is simple: let Senators Bingaman and Udall, Representative Pearce, and President Obama know how you feel about the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument proposal. Public support will be key in the final decision. All the information you need to participate is here. For inspiration, read Top 5 Treasures to Protect in 2012 identifying Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks at the top of places we need to preserve for future generations.

Oscar Vásquez Butler for NM Senate

Oscar Butler announced that he is running for NM Senate District 36. He stressed that he is not running against anyone (the seat is currently held by Mary Jane Garcia) but for a needed change. He referred to his academic training in public administration and public policy at the University of Southern California and his experience as Doña Ana County Commissioner. He listed sustainable water, wilderness, and improved conditions for the Doña Ana County Detention Center as top priorities.

Meet and Greet the Candidate
Sunday, May 20, 2 to 5 p.m.
ChaChi’s Restaurant
2460 S. Locust Street

For more information send email to Oscar and call him at 575-649-5604.

El Paso Electric Works on Community Outreach

Rico Gonzales of El Paso Electric spoke of the desire for more participation in the organization’s public meetings.

In a continued effort to be involved in the community it serves, El Paso Electric is joining in the Walk for Babies and welcomed others to join them.

March of Dimes Walk for Babies
Saturday, April 28, 8 a.m.
Young Park

For more information send email to Rico and call him at 575-202-3369.

Commissioner Krahling Runs Again, But This Time He’s in District 5

Commissioner Scott Krahling spoke of his commitment to continue his work on the county commission. He noted that the Detention Center had gotten mental and physical health facilities in the last 3 years and that more improvements were needed including a solution for overpopulation of the facility, which houses 980 although it was built for a maximum of 850.

Scott asked that people vote in November in favor of removing the public defender system, currently seriously underfunded and overburdened, from the governor’s control.

For more information send email to Scott, call him at 575-635-1350, and visit Scott on the Web.

Marci Beyer, Candidate for District Court Judge, Gets a Heartfelt Endorsement From Her Husband

Michael Stout spoke in support of Marci Beyer, who is running for District Court, Division II. He stressed her 30 years’ experience with family law, her desire to work in family court, and her commitment to putting families first.

For more information send email to Michael and call him at 575-621-1242.

Louis Luna for Representative, District 32

Louis Luna of Deming asked for support in his race for New Mexico House District 32. He is challenging incumbent Dona Irwin in the primary, also a Democrat of Deming. Louis stated that his priorities as a legislator would be jobs, education, and help for seniors and people with disabilities.

For more information send email to Louis and call him at 575-546-1653.

Iris + Refreshments + Garden = A Party

Wes Wilson invited everyone, candidates included, to an afternoon gathering in his garden, which includes many ribbon-winning irises. With a nod to Ogden Nash, he wowed us with a couplet: “Nothing can inspire us/ Like the beauty of the iris.”

Iris Garden Viewing and Social at the Wilsons
Saturday, April 28, 2 to 5 p.m.
700 Olde Country Road, Las Cruces

For more information send email to Wes and call him at 303-910-7765.

Tech-Savvy Luke Blecha Has a Great Web Design Offer for Progressive Candidates

Luke Blecha of Lotus Technology announced that his firm is offering progressive candidates a great deal on Web page design. He company is new and committed to excellence.

For more information send email to Luke and call him at 575-932-9070.

Voter Protection Wants a Few Good Volunteers

Peter Ossorio introduced Rae Fortunato as the new head of voter protection for the Democratic Party of Doña Ana County. Training sessions will orient voter protection workers and volunteers to recent voting changes, rules for early voting, and the brand new voting convenience centers.

Voter Protection Training
Wednesday and Thursday, May 16 and 17
Sessions begin at 5 and 6:30 p.m.
Pickett Law Firm
500 North Church Street

For more information send email to Peter and call him at 575-644-8436.

7 Contested Primary Races–Should Be an Interesting Forum

Christy French announced a forum for Democratic candidates in the June 5 primary. Seven primary races are contested and several incumbents have resigned. The Q and A will focus on candidates in contested races.

Democratic Party of Doña Ana County Candidate Forum
Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Good Samaritan Auditorium
3025 Terrace Drive

For more information send email to Christy and call her at 575-644-8450.
On the Web: Democratic Party of Doña Ana County

Councilor Miguel Silva on Utilities and Premier Park

City Councilor Miguel Silva urged citizens to let their city councilors know their views on water and electric service.

He spoke of the city’s efforts to purchase Las Cruces Country Club for the purpose of creating a city park. At issue now is what is a fair appraisal price for the property.

For more information send email to Miguel.

Great Conversations

Randy Harris announced a week of events sponsored by Great Conversations, an organization devoted to passionate, civil, respectful discussion of important issues.

Use of Force by Border Patrol Agents
Wednesday, May 2, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
GreenWorks Community Enterprise Center
125 Main Street

Human Rights on the US-Mexico Border
(with faculty and students from the Department of Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez)
Friday, May 4, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Corbett Center, Colfax Room on the 2nd floor

Reviving Our Democracy
Saturday, May 5, 6 to 8 p.m.
GreenWorks Community Enterprise Center
125 Main Street

For more information send email to Randy and call him at 575-640-1999.
On the Web: The Great Conversation: Las Cruces

Steve Fischmann Endorses Doreen Gallegos for NM House District 52

Steve Fischmann endorsed the candidacy of Doreen Gallegos and issued an invitation to a fundraiser for her campaign.

Doreen Gallegos Fundraiser
Thursday, May 3, 6 to 8 p.m.
Home of Sandy Katayanaga and Steve Fischmann

For more information send email to Steve.

Beverly Singleman Needs Signatures to Get on the Ballot

Beverly Singleman explained that she was appointed to the position of Magistrate Judge in the Third Judicial District Court and now needs 1,400 signatures in order to have her name placed on the ballot so that she can continue in her position.

For more information send email to Beverly.

Nate Cote Is Running and He Needs Volunteers, Especially Volunteers With Pickup Trucks

Cheryl Frank announced that Nate Cote’s campaign to win back House District 53 is off to a great start. Nate is not opposed in the primary, but he is working hard to get out the vote for the primary and reintroduce himself to voters in the district, which was made even larger and more rural by the 2011 redistricting. Thus the need for pickup trucks to navigate rough roads.

For more information send email to Cheryl and call her at 575-650-7607.
On the Web: natecote.com/

Doreen Gallegos for House District 52

Doreen Gallegos, director of Mesilla Valley CASA and a first time candidate, spoke of her desire to serve the community and represent those who most need a voice. She noted that the district she hopes to represent has a diverse population and covers a huge territory (Anthony to A Mountain). She listed her priorities basic services for the southern county, education, jobs, and access to health care for all.

For more information send email to Doreen and call her at 575-647-6325.

Larry Martinez for Senate District 35

Larry Martinez of Lordsburg asked for support in his campaign for Senate District 35, the seat currently held by John Arthur Smith. He spoke of his long involvement in the community of Lordsburg and his commitment to education, including pre-K education, services for the elderly, and protection of the environment and water.

For more information send email to Larry and call him at 575-574-7713.

Pat Aguirre for Doreen Gallegos

Pat Aguirre spoke in support of Doreen Gallegos and noted that she has an opponent in the June 5 primary. She welcomed volunteers to lend a hand.

For more information send email to Pat and call her at 575-532-5127.

Mary Rosner for District Court Judge

Mary Rosner asked for support in her campaign for District Court Judge, Division III. She explained that there are 7 judicial seats in Doña Ana County, an area larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. There are currently 3 open seats and a Democrat is running in each contest.

For more information send email to Mary and call her at 575-524-4399.

Our Troubled Border

Brian Erickson of ACLU’s Regional Center for Border Rights spoke of the growing concern about the use of excessive force by Customs and Border Protection officials. In the past 3 years there have been 8 known deaths at the hands of CBP officials and no transparent investigations and no one held accountable.

Brian urged the following steps:

>Watch PBS’s Need to Know segment entitled Crossing the Line
>Learn more about the issue from the Southern Border Communities Coalition
>Sign an online petition asking for transparent investigations and accountability for CBP officials
>Join in the Great Conversation (above) on May 2

For more information send email to Brian and call him at 575-527-0664.

Rep. Heinrich Needs You to Call and Canvass

Karalyn Baca spoke in support of Martin Heinrich’s campaign for U.S. Senate and mentioned that Heinrich is receiving numerous endorsements. She warned that Heather Wilson, a Republican candidate for the Senate seat, has raised three-quarters of a million dollars. She reminded the group that the candidates can’t do it alone; they need help to call and walk and knock on doors.

Phone Bank for Heinrich
Friday, April 27, 2 p.m. until early evening

Canvass for Heinrich
Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m.
Apodaca Park

For more information send email to Karalyn and call her at 505-369-6447.
On the Web: MartinHeinrich.com

Tara Carey for Larry Martinez

Tara Carey spoke in support of Larry Martinez’s campaign for NM Senate District 35. She welcomed volunteers to the campaign and echoed the sentiment that the candidates can’t do it alone.

For more information send email to Tara and call her at 603-978-7598.

MoveOn Protests at Bank of America

ViAnn Beadle described the work of MoveOn.org in Doña Ana County. The group focuses on nonviolent actions and works in collaboration with like-minded organizations such as Occupy Las Cruces and CAFé. They have 135 members, many of whom want to work on campaigns.

ViAnn invited those concerned with the practices of too-big-to-fail banks to join in a peaceful demonstration.

The 99% Spring Bank Protest
Bank of America Protest
Wednesday, May 9, 4:30 p.m.
691 S. Telshor Blvd.

For more information send email to ViAnn and call her at 575-521-1430.

Judge Jacinto Palomino

District Court Judge Palomino spoke of his path from high school to the Marine Corps to night school to Hastings Law School. He has 13 years experience as deputy district attorney under Governor Susana Martinez and was appointed by her to his judgeship.

For more information send email to Jacinto and call him at 575-496-0954.

Wayne Hancock for County Commission District 4

Wayne Hancock announced his candidacy for County Commission District 4, which encompasses High Range and the East Mesa. He brings experience as a business owner in the telecommunications industry. He promised to work hard and bring “fresh air and creativity” to the commission.

For more information send email to Wayne and call him at 575-520-4560.

National Monument Makes Sense to Local Businesses

Mark Westbrock reported that the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument proposal. He explained that the monument would be good for the Green Chamber’s triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. He stressed that the national monument would benefit the economy by bringing jobs and tourists to the region.

For more information send email to Mark.

Treat Yourself and the Kids to a Great Story

Theresa Westbrock, NMSU librarian, announced special events featuring Joe Hayes, the Southwest’s award winning story teller and writer.

Storyteller Joe Hayes tells “The Day it Snowed Tortillas” (for children, free books included)
Saturday, April 28, 10:30 a.m.
Branigan Library

Storyteller Joe Hayes shares storytelling tips (for grownups)
Saturday, April 28, 2 p.m.
Branson Library, NMSU

For more information send email to Theresa.

Darren Kugler for District Court Judge

Darren Kugler asked for support in his bid for judge of District Court, Division III. He stressed the need for stability in the judgeship, noting that 7 different judges have filled the position in the past three-and-a-half years that he has served in domestic court.

For more information send email to Darren and call him at 575-525-8491.

Avenue Art Plus Community Theater Auditions

Bob Diven promised that chalk artists would be hard at work on the street Saturday morning. Judging will take place Saturday afternoon, and art will be on display through Sunday.

Avenue Art
Saturday, April 28, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Main Street Downtown

To celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, the Las Cruces Community Theater is staging Man of La Mancha. Everyone is welcome to audition.

Man of La Mancha Auditions
Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, 7 p.m.
313 N. Main Street

For more information send email to Bob or call him at 575-542-7445 and visit Downtown Las Cruces on the Web.

Last Chance to See Exhibit of Progressives’ Artwork

Jim Moore issued an invitation to the last weekend of an exhibit of his work at the Mountain Gallery and Studios.

Exhibit featuring work by Jim Moore, Dean Lively, and Rosario Jeremias
April 6 to April 28
Mountain Gallery and Studios, Upstairs
138 W. Mountain Avenue

For more information send email to Jim and call him at 575-522-6089.
On the Web:

Glen Landers Endorses Rep. Antonio Lujan

Glen Landers spoke in support of Rep. Antonio Lujan, saying that if he could design a progressive politician, he would most likely end up with a person like Antonio. He described Antonio as a politician who has stood for the working class, the protection of agricultural workers, the rights of union organizers at NMSU, protection of the environment, and promotion of renewable energy.

Glen invited volunteers to Antonio’s campaign and offered to deliver yard signs to supporters.

For more information send email to Glen and call him at 575-525-0491

Rep. Joseph Cervantes Enjoys the Challenge of Santa Fe

Rep. Cervantes, District 52, now running for Senate District 31, described himself as someone who enjoys the struggle of getting things done in Santa Fe. He noted that most recently his efforts have resulted in an open and transparent budget process and the possibility of eligibility requirements for those who run for the Public Regulation Commission.

Joseph announced several recent endorsements including one by Conservation Voters New Mexico.

For more information send email to Joseph.

Endorsement for Judge Zamora, Candidate for Court of Appeals

Jacky Le conquered a case of stage fright to speak in support of Judge Monica Zamora for New Mexico Court of Appeals. Jacky stressed that Judge Zamora is compassionate and fair and went on to list her qualifications including years of experience in civil law (18) and as a juvenile law judge (6).

For more information send email to Jacky, call her at 575-636-0617, and visit the campaign Web site.

I Second That Emotion

Peter Ossorio spoke in support of Judge Zamora, noting that she is the kind of judge who would make a trip from Albuquerque to Las Cruces, pro bono, to speak to university students.

For more information send email to Peter.

Pat Aguirre for Wayne Hancock

Pat Aguirre welcomed volunteers to the Wayne Hancock’s campaign for county commission. She noted that Wayne has an opponent (David Luther Bonner)
in the June 5 primary.

For more information send email to Pat and call her at 575-532-5127.

Commissioner Garrett on Public Input: “Participate Please or Else”

County Commissioner Billy Garrett announced that the county now has a 7-point strategic plan that will go into effect in FY2013-2014. The county now needs a new mission statement and the commissioners are asking for community input in crafting the new statement. Suggestions from the public will be taken in May, comments on 3 finalist mission statements will be taken in June, and a citizen panel will announce the final mission statement by July 10.

Here is the current mission statement:

Doña Ana County’s elected officials, management team and employees are collectively committed first to public safety and then to sustaining a governmental culture that consistently serves our communities with pride to enhance the economic, environmental and social quality of life in Doña Ana County subject to available human, natural and economic resources.

For more information send email to Billy and visit the county’s Web page for details.

Heinrich Not Afraid To Lead on the Environment

Commissioner Small pointed out that U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich wasted no time in publishing an article stating his support of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument proposal. You can read the article here.

For more information send email to Nathan.


PVA Meets Again
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite



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