PVA Meeting Recap – August 26, 2010

Sustainability for Las Cruces

Tom Schuster, Las Cruces’s first sustainability officer, gave an overview of the Sustainability Action Plan, which is available online here. The plan addresses clean energy, water conservation, recycling, pollution prevention, land use and transportation, and local food.

Two open houses will be held to obtain public comments on the draft of the sustainability plan:

Wednesday, September 1, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, September 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
City Hall, Second Floor Conference Room (Room 2007A)

If you are unable to attend, written comments can be submitted.

Tom will submit the sustainability plan to the city council on Monday, September 13, at 1 p.m.

For more information send email to Tom.

Unified Action Update

Vicki Simon reported that although the June Unified Action did not get immediate results,  Health Security for New Mexicans continues to work toward removing the 2017 deadline from the Affordable Care Act and stays in touch with groups in other states that also have alternative plans they hope to implement well before 2017.

For more information send email to Vicki or call her at 575-522-4813.

August Unified Action—Recycling, The Last Mile

Terri and Al McBrayer presented the August Unified Action, which asks participants to attend a public input meeting on recycling and write the mayor and city councilors. Detailed information on the action is here.

Representative Steinborn, District 37

Jeff Steinborn asked for our support as he runs for reelection to his third term in the state legislature. His seat is one of the top five targeted by the Republicans for takeover in November. Jeff mentioned that his opponent [Dr. Terry McMillan] is well-funded and interested in policies such as rolling back regulation for the oil and gas industry.

For more information send email to Jeff or call him at 575-635-5615.

Volunteers for Steinborn

Ann McCullough invited volunteers to participate in Jeff’s campaign. Canvassers, callers, and all volunteers are welcome. The campaign headquarters are at 250. S. Downtown Mall, aka “the Old Popular store” (next to Zeffiro’s pizzeria).

For more information send email to Ann or call her at 575-541-0106.

Labor is Here to Get Out the Vote

Gracie Calamaco, with Labor 2010, announced that labor unions in New Mexico will be working together to get out the vote for the November election. They have a part-time position open for a campaign worker and welcome applicants. The hours are 4 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The job pays $325 a week, starts immediately, and ends November 2.

For more information send email to Gracie, call her at 505-362-0872, or visit the Labor 2010 office at 138 North Main Street.

Bill McCamley for PRC, District 5

Bill McCamley said that he has put 12,000 miles on his car since May traveling in District 5 of the Public Regulation Commission. He reminded us that the PRC has an impact on our daily lives, making decisions about energy (clean or not), water (clean or not), and health care insurance (fair or not).

For more information send email to Bill, call him at 575-496-5731, or visit his Web page.

Las Cruces Academy

Lou Ellen Kay, director of the Las Cruces Academy, reported that the academy, a private school for gifted and academically advanced children, is thriving. They will soon outgrow their present facility and are looking for a new, permanent site.

For more information send email to Lou Ellen, call her at 575-521-9384, or visit the Academy’s Web page.

Environmental Heroes—Save the Date

Jean Ossorio invited everyone to attend a fundraiser sponsored by the Conservation Voters of New Mexico. All the proceeds will benefit Doña Ana County candidates. Featured guests will be Representatives Nate Cote and Jeff Steinborn, both outstanding advocates for the environment.

CVNS Reception
Thursday, September 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
2719 Spitz Street, Las Cruces, Home of Paula Trynn and Ernie Bean

For more information send email to Jean or call her at 575-644-7389.

The Silence of the Southern NM Newspapers

Maury Castro voiced concerns about the quality of news coverage in southern New Mexico. As an example he cited a story that was carried by the Albuquerque Journal but not by the Las Cruces Sun-News or any of its associated papers. The story reported that medical care is being withheld from undocumented individuals in Columbus, NM.

For more information send email to Maury or call him at 575-541-6099.

Peter Ossorio Supports Judge Mannie Arrieta

Peter Ossorio spoke of the perception that many voters seem unmotivated by candidates at the top of the ticket this year. He countered that there are many “local candidates of integrity and character who are worth getting out for” and referred to Judge Mannie Arrieta as a prime example. He noted Arrieta’s commitment to the community, returning to Las Cruces to work and raise his family after attending law school at the University of Michigan.

For more information send email to Peter or call him at 575-647-1362.

Antidote for the Silent Newspapers

Ken Murray reminded us that Google alerts will let you know whenever a topic of interest is reported in the news. The service is easy to use and circumvents the problem of relying on a single-owner newspaper conglomerate.

For more information send email to Ken.

Judge Mannie Arrieta

Judge Arrieta asked for our support in the November election. He spoke of his 27 years’ experience in civil law and pointed out that his opponent [Richard Wellborn] had only 5 years’ experience with civil law, all of which occurred several years ago.

Judge Arrieta mentioned his penchant for spending Sunday afternoons studying mortgage agreements and credit contracts.

For more information send email to Judge Arrieta.

Pat Aguirre for Billy Garrett

Pat Aguirre invited all volunteers to help with Billy Garrett’s campaign for County Commission, District 1. All volunteers are welcome, whether they can give 4 hours or 40.

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

Representative Cervantes Supports State Auditor Balderas

Representative Joseph Cervantes spoke in strong support of Hector Balderas, who is running for reelection to the position of state auditor. He cited his work with Mr. Balderas on the Judiciary Committee and described him as someone who has made courageous stands against corruption.

For more information send email to Joseph, call him at 575-526-5600.

Hector Balderas for Auditor

Hector Balderas asked for our support as he runs for reelection to the office of state auditor. He said the job requires telling the truth and sharing the truth with the public. He spoke of his commitment to reforming the system to improve protections for the taxpayer.

For more information visit the Balderas campaign Web site.

Wolf Traps

Paul Heiberg of the Southwest Environmental Center brandished the type of wolf trap that is allowed in Mexican gray wolf recovery areas, where 39 wolves are attempting to make a comeback. A meeting in Albuquerque on Saturday, September 28, is planned to raise awareness of the threat posed by the traps. Letters to the state game commissioners would also be appropriate.

For more information send email to Paul or call him at 575-522-5552, or visit SWEC on the Web

Magistrate Judge Olivia Garcia

Judge Garcia asked for support as she runs for reelection. She noted that she is a lifelong resident of Doña Ana County, has 12 years experience as a probate judge and 5 years as a magistrate. Her current priorities include keeping the Anthony satellite court open and the creation of a mediation court.

For more information send email to Judge Garcia or call her at 575-649-6142.

Working America

Donna Hill of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) announced that Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, will be helping to get out the vote in Doña Ana County. Their support will greatly increase the number of voters who will be contacted in Doña Ana County. Volunteers are welcome. Working America is now hiring paid canvassers and callers.

For more information send email to Donna or call her at 575-640-2105.

Party for Representative Steinborn—Save the Date

Cathie Leslie invited everyone to a fundraiser for Jeff Steinborn and invited volunteers to join in the planning.

Steinborn Fundraiser
Saturday, October 2, 4 to 7 p.m.
Place to be announced

For more information send email to Cathie.

Joel Cano for Magistrate Judge, Division 6

Joel Cano asked for our support as he runs for magistrate judge in a countywide race. He invited everyone to attend a fundraiser which will feature live music by Gene & the Starliners.

Cano Fundraiser
Sunday, October 17, 2 to 4 p.m.
Beverly Hills Hall (corner of Griggs and Hermosa)

For more information send email to Joel or visit his campaign Web site.

Representative Nate Cote, District 53

Nate Cote asked for our support as he runs for his third term in the New Mexico legislature. He pointed to his commitment to ethics reform, veterans’ affairs, the environment, and voter rights. With regard to voter rights, he made it possible for overseas service members and citizens to vote electronically and also vote for down-ballot candidates.

For more information send email to Nate, call him at 575-202-1872, or visit him on the Web, where he has posted some excellent video clips that explain his history, discuss his values, and introduce his dogs.

Replacement for Judge Guillory

Chuck Davis announced a meeting to consider a replacement for Judge Guillory, who has resigned from his position as magistrate judge.
Democratic Party of Doña Ana County, Central Committee

Thursday, September 2, 6 p.m.
250 S. Downtown Mall

For more information send email to Chuck or call him at 575-525-8528.

Councilor Nathan Small, District 4

Nathan issued an invitation to all to attend a celebration in honor of the ninetieth birthday of J. Paul Taylor to be held Saturday, August 28, beginning at 6:30 p.m., on the plaza in the Town of Mesilla.

Nathan also announced that Representative Harry Teague is sponsoring a transportation summit for the Las Cruces/El Paso region. The meeting will examine current transportation needs and issues including commuter rail between Las Cruces and El Paso. The agenda is here.

Las Cruces/El Paso Region Transportation Summit
Thursday, September 9, 8 a.m.
Las Cruces City Hall

To attend, register online by Friday, September 3. The meeting is free.

Finally, he announced the Wilderness 2010 Festival, which supporters of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act to protect wilderness in Doña Ana County will want to attend. Nathan referred to the “last window of opportunity” to pass the bill.

Wilderness 2010 Festival
Sunday, September 19, 1 p.m.
Young Park

For more information send email to Nathan or call him at 575-496-9840.

Protecting Otero Mesa

Jason Burke announced an economic forum which will highlight ways that public lands, such as Otero Mesa, if protected, will generate income for Otero County. Senator Steve Fischmann will be the keynote speaker.
Protected Land, Protected Economy: A forum on jobs, clean water and the West

Saturday, September 18, 6 to 9 p.m.
NMSU Tays Center, Alamogordo

He also announced the SWEC Rummage Sale is September 25, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations will be cheerfully accepted if delivered to SWEC or picked up if you call Jason at  575-915-2766 or 575-522-5552

For more information send email to Jason.

Probate Judge Alice Salcido for Reelection

Alice Salcido asked for our support as she runs for reelection to the office of probate judge. She mentioned her five years of experience, the 1600 marriages she has conducted, and a major ongoing project of scanning records dating back to the 1800’s with the goal of making all records available on the county Web site.

For more information send email to Judge Salcido or call her at 575-523-0701.

Senator Fischmann for Diane Denish

Steve Fischmann spoke in support of Diane Denish in her bid for governor. He described her as someone legislators know they can work with. He praised her grasp of the budget crisis and the coexisting need for the state to provide citizens with core services.

For more information send email to Steve.

Diane Denish for Governor

Annette Torres, of the Denish campaign, announced that the campaign would be working alongside local Democrats. They will target registered Democrats who do not regularly vote.

For more information send email to Annette or call her at 575-405-9256 or 575-805-9408.

Chamber of Commerce Vision

Martha Loustaunau read an excerpt from a recent Sun-News interview with Jim Berry, president and CEO of the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. The article is here.

Martha thought  we should know that Berry feels that Las Cruces faces a challenge from “a progressive element” that has “swept into office a mindset that hopefully won’t endure.”

For more information send email to Martha.

Al Galves Is Taking Applications

Al Galves is looking to hire a publicist to promote his speaking engagements. He speaks and conducts workshops on topics of mental health and reducing stress. Details are available on his Web site.

For more information send email to Al or call him at 575-522-8371.

2nd Congressional District’s Coordinated Campaign

John Davis, field director for the Second Congressional District, [and a veteran of the 2008 campaign in New Mexico] announced that his office is hiring canvassers and phone callers ($9/hour). Interested parties can call Jake White at 575-556-4965.

For more information send email to John or call him at 575-201-3070. His office is at 139 N. Downtown Mall–go to Zeffiro’s and look for the signs.

Organizing for America

Tia Upchurch-Freelove reintroduced herself to PVA and invited volunteers to join Organizing for America, which grew out of the Obama presidential campaign, in contacting voters to remind them of the importance of voting in 2010 and supporting local candidates. They are scheduled to walk on Saturday, August 28, in County Commission District 1, where Billy Garrett is the Democratic candidate.

For more information send email to Tia, call her at 575-652-7027. Visit OFA on the Web and follow them on Twitter.

Billy Garrett for County Commission, District 1

Billy Garret read a personal reflection on the campaign ahead. He began with this: “Over the next two months all of us are going to be caught up in the turmoil of election politics. There will be moments of elation and moments of frustration.” For the moments of frustration, he counseled remembering the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta—I have a dream and Si, se puede.

For more information send email to Billy, call him at 575-524-5908, or visit the campaign Web site.

Voter Protection

Marci Beyer stressed that voter protection is not just for third world countries—we need it here at home. Marci will be scheduling training sessions for a host of jobs that need to be done, starting with early voting and continuing to the counting of the last absentee ballot.

For more information send email to Marci or call her at 575-621-1242.

Representative Joseph Cervantes, District 52

Joseph asked for our support as he runs for reelection. . He said he voted for tax increases in the last session to prevent cuts to essential services, even though the vote may well be used against him by his opponent [Sandra Stipe]. He noted his commitment to fixing the problems in government with measures such as the Whistleblower Protection Act.

For more information send email to Joseph.

Our next meeting will be
September 23, 2010, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite


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