PVA Meeting Recap – February 28, 2008

Unified Action

Last month’s Unified Action, which involved supporting legislation to fix language in the New Mexico voter identification law that threatened to disenfranchise thousands of voters, was a big success—thanks in part to our calls and lobbying. That bill was passed by both houses of the legislature and signed into law by the governor last week!

This month’s Unified Action involves calling Governor Richardson to ask him to intervene in the terrible abuses being perpetrated against the people of Lomas del Poleo, a small village just south of the Mexican border, which has the misfortune of being in the middle of the huge new binational development planned for the Sunland Park area. To participate, go to the Unified Action link for February, and, as always, please let us know “I did it!” by replying to this recap email, or by using the link provided.

For more information about the situation in Lomas del Poleo, visit http://www.columban.org/content/view/76/54/.

Vision 2040

Bob Hearn of the Quality Growth Alliance urged us to participate in the public participation part of the Vision 2040 process, which will help determine what Doña Ana County will look like in the future. Many of us worked hard to elect city and county officials committed to good growth policy, and this is our chance to help shape what that policy will be.

The first round of public meetings will take place this week, March 3 to 6. The schedule of meetings is as follows:

Monday, March 3 6 to 8 p.m. Hatch High School
Monday, March 3 6 to 8 p.m. Doña Ana Community College, Gadsen Center, Anthony
Tuesday, March 4 6 to 8 p.m. Oñate High School, Las Cruces
Tuesday, March 4 6 to 8 p.m. Chaparral Middle School
Wednesday, March 5 noon to 3 p.m. Doña Ana County Government Complex, Las Cruces
Thursday, March 6 6 to 8 p.m. Del Cerro Community Center, Vado
Thursday, March 6 6 to 8 p.m. Farm and Ranch Museum, Las Cruces

The Quality Growth Alliance has prepared a summary of quality growth considerations which may be helpful in stimulating your own thinking about the kind of city and county you want to live in. For more information, send email to Terry Miller.


Barbara Arispe and other members of the union representing classified workers at NMSU reported on the University’s decision not to honor its obligation, as negotiated by contract, to give classified workers a 5% raise this year. This year’s increase was part of a 3 year plan to bring up the salaries of NMSU’s lowest-paid workers so that they were at least somewhat closer to norms at other universities.

AFSCME is collecting signatures on a petition to the NMSU Board of Regents, reminding them of their contracted obligations, and calling on them to give the promised 5% raise. If you would like to sign the petition or get a petition to pass among your own friends or associates, send email to Barbara.

Candidates for Magistrate Court

Kent Wingenroth spoke to the group, asking for our support for his candidacy for Magistrate Court, District 5, in the June Democratic primary. For more information, send email to Kent.

Maria Rodriguez spoke to the group, asking for our support for her candidacy for Magistrate Court, District 5, in the June Democratic primary. For more information, send email to Maria.

School for the Gifted in Las Cruces

Louellen Kay spoke rapid progress in the plan to create a school for gifted students in Las Cruces. Interested people, including possible teachers and donors for scholarships, can send email to Louellen.

Local Solutions Conference this Saturday

Gary Camuñez reported on the 2008 Local Solutions Conference: a Sustainable Lifestyle Event, which will be held at the Court Youth Center, on Saturday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a wide variety of demonstrations and presentations emphasizing relocalizing our economy. For a complete conference schedule, go to localsolutionslc.org  If you would like more information or to help out at the event itself, send email to Andrea.

Municipal Court

Local Municipal Court judge Jim Locatelli discussed the roles of the various courts in Doña Ana County. Jim is always available to discuss the courts and how they function with interested parties. For more information, send email to Jim.

Lomas del Poleo

This month’s Unified Action involves asking Governor Richardson to help resolve the situation at the village of Lomas del Poleo, just south of the Mexican Border near Sunland Park. Mike Hughes informed us that there is a group that is monitoring Lomas del Poleo developments on an on-going basis. The group’s next meeting is on Monday, March 3, at 5 p.m. at the Nason House on the NMSU campus (on University across the street from Kinko’s). For more information, send email Neil Harvey.

City Council Envisioning the Future

District 6 Councilor Sharon Thomas spoke of the importance of our participating in the Vision 2040 process (see above) as an important tool in planning our future. She also said that she was heartened by the excitement expressed by both staff and local residents at the opportunity to introduce conservation and resource-saving technologies into our public and private lives. To contact Sharon, email her at sthomas@las-cruces.org.

Thanks from Nathan Small

District 4 Councilor Nathan Small expressed his thanks for the support he received from everyone in the November City Council race. He is enjoying being a Councilor and excited by prospects for our future. For more information, send email to Nathan.

The next PVA meeting will be
March 27, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite
See you there!

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