PVA Meeting Recap – May 24, 2012

Voting Convenience Centers Bring Electronic Age to Doña Ana County Elections

County Clerk Lynn Ellins explained benefits of the change from 129 voting places around the county to 39 Voting Convenience Centers. By reducing the number of polling places, the county will save $135,000 in payments to poll workers. The difficulties with provisional ballots will be all but eliminated, tedious record keeping will be done by computer, and results will be available earlier, possibly by midnight on election day.

For more information send email to Lynn or call him at 575-523-0090.

Unified Action Update—Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

Councilor Small, wearing his New Mexico Wilderness Alliance hat, reported that the national monument proposal is making headway including unanimous support from the Doña Ana County Commission. There is a lot of work still to be done and vocal supporters of the proposal will be critical to its success.

For more information send email to Nathan or call him at 575-496-9540.

Unified Action for May—Talk to 5 Friends About the Election

Cheryl Frank, coordinator for the unified action, introduced the traditional election-month action by reminding the assemblage that not everyone is obsessed with politics. Many people will not know where or when to vote or , most importantly, who to vote for and why. You can help.

For more information send email to Cheryl.

Lynn Ellins for County Clerk

Lynn Ellins announced that he is running for reelection and welcomed volunteers and contributions to his campaign. His opponent in the general election is Republican Dolores Connor.

For more information send email to Lynn or call him at 575-523-0090.

Mary Kay Papen for NM Senate District 38

Senator Papen asked for support in her reelection campaign. She has been working hard on the campaign even though she has no primary opponent. She has been walking her district, especially new precincts that were added in the recent redistricting.

For more information send email to Mary Kay or call her at 575-649-7853, and visit marykaypapen.com.

Free “Thank Democrats” Bumper Stickers While They Last

Don Kurtz said he had a “Got Medicare? Thank Democrats” bumper sticker on his car and it disappeared while his car was parked at the El Paso Airport. As a response he ordered 100 replacement stickers and is handing them out for free.

If you’d like a sticker, send email to Don or call him at 575-521-2832.

Remember Who Created the Deficit

Wayne Hancock, candidate for county commission, has been walking his district and talking to a lot of citizens. He has met some who have forgotten who created the deficit. “Remind them,” he urged.

For more information send email to Wayne.

Political Asylum for Mexican Journalists

Maury Castro announced an event calling attention to the plight of Emilio Gutierrez and other journalists like him, who are seeking political asylum in the U.S.

The Truth Up-Front, Mexican Journalism: Silence or Death
A forum sponsored by the Alliance for Political Asylum Seekers
Friday, June 16, 2012
Time and place to be announced

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

J. Paul Taylor Book Signing and Reflections on the Plaza

Larry Gioannini announced that Ana Pacheco will be a signing copies of her biography of J. Paul Taylor. The book is published by the Museum of New Mexico Press.

Book Signing and Reflections
J. Paul Taylor, The Man from Mesilla by Ana Pacheco, Museum of New Mexico Press
Saturday, June 2, 2 p.m.
Mesilla Plaza

For more information send email to Friends of the Taylor Family Monument or call 575-915-5756.

Read With a Child This Summer, You’ll Love It

Jan Reed of The Children’s Reading Foundation announced that they are looking for volunteers to listen to children read this summer. Volunteers would spend one-half hour one or more days a week listening to a beginning reader during the month of June. Several elementary schools are participating including the highly praised Central and Mesilla Park.

For more information send email to Jan or call her at 575-373-0197.

Maria Flores for NM House Candidate Doreen Gallegos

School Board Member Maria Flores extended congratulations to the 1500 seniors who graduated this spring from Las Cruces Public Schools. She noted that LCPS’s fourth high school looks like it will open on time and have a great football team.

Speaking as someone who has known Doreen and her family for 25 years, Maria gave Doreen a heartfelt endorsement. She described her as a loyal, trustworthy, hard working person who also has great people skills. “We need her youth and experience. She’s a wonderful, wonderful candidate,” Maria said with obvious conviction.

For more information send email to Maria.

Doreen Gallegos for NM House District 52

Doreen Gallegos spoke of her 20 years’ experience as a social worker and 10 years as the administrator at the children’s advocacy organization, Mesilla Valley CASA. She is spending a lot of time knocking on doors in her district, which extends from A Mountain to Anthony, and talking with citizens about their concerns. She began her social work career in Anthony and is pleased to be back on familiar territory.

For more information send email to Doreen or call her at 575-649-6325 and visit her Web site.

Joanne Ferrary for NM House District 37

Joanne Ferrary spoke of her long commitment to traffic safety issues, first as a volunteer and later as a professional working on DUI prevention with the New Mexico Traffic Safety Bureau and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She began her work on traffic safety when New Mexico had the worst record in the country for drunk driving accidents and saw that record improve during her tenure. (New Mexico is now ranked 32nd by MADD.) Joanne also cited her commitment to education, women’s rights, and the environment.

For more information send email to Joanne or call her at 575-649-1231.

What to Do When Partisan Tempers Flare

Ken Murray recounted witnessing a shopper become enraged, apparently over the sight of a fellow shopper’s “Obama 2012” campaign button. The enraged person resorted to kicking the shopping cart of the person sporting the button. Speaking from his legal training, Ken noted that the action constituted assault and a complaint should have been filed. Be watchful, he advised, for this kind of abuse, and report it if you see it.

For more information send email to Ken or call him at 575-382-9249.

Getting Out the Vote with CAFé

Sarah Nolan welcomed volunteers to join in a nonpartisan get out the vote project that will target unlikely and inactive voters.

Get Out the Vote Training
Monday to Friday, May 28 to June 1, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
First Christian Church, 1809 El Paseo

For more information send email to Sarah Nolan, call her at 575-520-1624, and visit OrganizeNM.org.

Cathie Leslie for NM House Candidate Jeff Steinborn

Cathie Leslie spoke in support of Jeff Steinborn, and pointed to his hard work on the prevention of a sewer plant that was proposed for a beautiful stretch of land along the Rio Grande as just one example of many.

For more information send email to Cathie.

Liz Rodriguez-Johnson for District Judge Candidate Marci Beyer

Liz Rodriguez-Johnson read a statement by Marci Beyer, who was unable to attend. She stressed Marci’s years of experience in civil and criminal law, her trial skills, her research and writing, and her commitment to alternative dispute resolution.

For more information send email to Liz or call her at 575-312-5677.

How to Nail the Two-Minute Talk

Finally, after almost eight years of the two-minute time limit, we get a lesson in how to make those two minutes effective. Wes Wilson laid out the basics and demonstrated with a talk called “Respect Your Audience.” Two forms of respect were highlighted: 1) relating your presentation to your audience’s interests, and 2) respecting the time constraints that have been set.

For more information send email to Wes.

Beverly Singleman for Magistrate Judge

Beverly Singleman, recently appointed to the position of magistrate judge, asked for help getting signatures so that her name can be placed on the November ballot, and she can continue in a position she likes and wants to keep. The deadline for signatures is June 26.

For more information send email to Beverly or call her at 575-571-1455 (cell) or 575-522-1563.

Lobos at a Crossroads, Talk and Slides by Jean Ossorio

Jean invited everyone to a talk and slideshow on the Mexican Gray Wolf.
Lobos at a Crossroads, Talk and Slideshow
Sunday, May 27, 10:30 a.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church Library, 2000 S. Solano

Jean added a plug for Jeff Steinborn, praising his work on behalf of the Mexican gray wolves and veterans’ issues.

For more information send email to Jean.

Peter Ossorio for U.S. Senate Candidate Martin Heinrich and Voter Protection

Peter began with a warning that voter suppressionists are trying to curtail early voting as one of the ways they hope to reduce voter turnout. With regard to early voting, Peter advised, “Use it or lose it.”

Peter began his endorsement of Heinrich by observing that it is difficult to choose between competing candidates when both are good. He noted Heinrich’s strong record on education, the environment, and private lands.

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

Scott Krahling for County Commission District 5

Commissioner Krahling spoke of the needs that exist in the county and also of the many good things that are going on including the development of an improved code of conduct and strategic planning. He spoke eloquently of his belief that the county has a great team and good things are happening and he would love to continue to be a part of that effort.

For more information send email to Scott and visit his Web site.

Public Transportation Is Going to Get Better in Southern New Mexico

City Councilor Sharon Thomas gave a shout out for the city and the South Central Regional Transit District. Both are moving forward with plans to substantially improve public transportation in southern New Mexico.

For more information send email to Sharon or call her at 575-521-9314.

It’s Time to Raft the River, But First Build Your Raft

Jason Burke, accompanied by Lexi, announced that the Southwest Environmental Center is once again hosting a big party on the Rio Grande complete with a river rafting, food, music, and more. The annual event is meant to connect people with the river and remind them that “a river is a good thing to have.” Volunteers are welcome to help with a wide range of tasks.

Raft the Rio
Saturday, June 9, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
La Llorana Park

For more information send email to Jason Burke, call him at 575-522-5552, and visit the Web site, wildmesquite.org.

Celebrate the New Mexico Centennial with Music

Dinah Jentgen announced a special musical celebration of the New Mexico Centennial. The Mesilla Valley Chorale will be joined by singers from Albuquerque in a program of all New Mexico music and composers.

Centennial Chorale Celebration
Saturday, June 16, 3 p.m.
Rio Grande Theatre
Tickets are $10

For more information send email to Dinah Jentgen, call her at 575-522-9071, and visit the Web site, riograndetheatre.com.

Elizabeth Warren’s Two-Minute Talk

Judy Zimmerman thanked Wes Wilson for his tutorial on the two-minute talk and recommended Elizabeth Warren’s two-minute talk posted on You Tube. She spends one minute on how the deficit was created and one minute on how government makes success possible, even for those who believe they got rich on their own.

For more information send email to Judy.

Getting Out the Vote Project Needs English Speakers, ¡De Veras!

Xochitl Torres Small announced that she will be walking in the nonpartisan effort to get out the vote, which is being sponsored by CAFé. She invited others to join her and noted that English speakers are especially needed. She urged people walking for candidates to make getting out the vote a goal.

For more information send email to Xochitl.

2012 Immigration Policy Conference

Tia Upchurch-Freelove announced an immigration policy conference that is free and open to the public.

Immigration Policy and Human Rights: Perspectives from Border Communities
Sunday to Friday, June 17 to 22
Corbett Center, NMSU

A keynote speech will be given by award winning journalist and author Maria Hinojosa entitled, “Stories from the Frontlines: Detention, Depuration, and the New America” on Monday, June 18 at 7.00 pm.

Tia will be speaking on Monday, June 18, at 9:15 a.m. on The Evolving Terrain of Detainment, Detention, and Deportation of Unaccompanied Migrant Children.” She mentioned how comforting it would be to see familiar faces in the audience.

This summary is from the conference Web site:

The lack of immigration reform at the national level has been accompanied by increasing enforcement measures which directly impact communities in the US-Mexico border region. This conference focuses on the social impacts of border enforcement and discusses the challenges facing community organizations as they seek to promote dialogue and alternative approaches based on respect for human rights. Panels will include scholars and community leaders from the US and Mexico with first-hand knowledge of the current legal and social challenges facing immigrants, border communities and policy makers. Comparative and historical contexts will also be discussed in order to understand similarities and differences regarding the discourses and practices surrounding immigration policy in Mexico and the United States. The conference will be followed by three community events with the goals of fostering broader dialogue and new networks for creating and disseminating new knowledge.

For more information send email to Tia Upchurch-Freelove, call her at 575-405-1448, and visit the Web site, immigration.nmsu.edu to register.

Jeff Steinborn for NM House District 38

Jeff Steinborn asked for support in his campaign for NM House District 38. He spoke of his belief that politics is about standing up and fighting and pointed to his record of standing up and fighting for wilderness, veterans, and the environment. Volunteers and donations to the campaign will be appreciated.

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

Cathilia Flores for Rep. Antonio Lujan

Cathilia spoke in support of Rep. Antonio Lujan who is running for reelection to NM House District 38. She spoke of him as a man of courage and integrity who has a long record of standing up for human rights. She mentioned that he was the first (and for a long time the only) politician to stand up for union organizers at NMSU. He has the endorsement of AFSCME, the Sierra Club, and New Mexico Conservation Voters.

For more information send email to Cathilia, call her at 575-635-0996, and visit the campaign Web site.

Darren Kugler for District Judge

Darren Kugler asked for support in his bid for New Mexico District Court, Division III. He referred to the case of Stephen Slevin, the man who was arrested for driving while intoxicated and placed in solitary confinement at the Doña Ana County Jail for two years without trial. A federal jury awarded Mr. Slevin $22 million (reportedly one of the largest prisoner civil rights settlements in U.S. history). Darren pointed out that two current district judges, appointed by Governor Martinez, worked in the district attorney’s office during the two years that Mr. Slevin was detained without trial. Darren suggested that the taxpayers are owed an answer to the question, “How did this happen?”

Darren observed that a current judicial candidate is advocating for a “get tough on drunk drivers” policy and emphasized that a judge’s duty is not to advocate for a certain law enforcement policy, but rather to conduct fair and impartial hearings.

For more information call Darren at 575-525-8391.

OLÉ: Organizers in the Land of Enchantment

Mary Lee Ortega described OLÉ as a nonprofit group working for social justice in all of New Mexico, i.e., not just the northern half. The group has recently put up prominent billboards calling attention to the tax breaks given to big oil companies. They are also working for quality early childhood education.

For more information send email to Mary Lee, call her at 505-301-5188, and visit OLÉ on the Web.

Water As a Human Right, Forums for the Desert in June

Veronica Carmona announced community forums that will focus on the topic of water as a human right.

Community Forums on Human Rights: Water as a Human Right
Thursday, June 14, in Anthony
Wednesday, June 27, at the Doña Ana County Government Building

For more information send email to Veronica Carmona and call her at 575-571-2177.

Mary Rosner for District Judge

Mary Rosner asked for support in her campaign for judge. She spoke of the need for new approaches to solving the serious backlog of cases.

For more information send email to Mary or call her at 527-524-4399.

Richard Longo for County Commission Candidate Alex Cotoia

Richard Longo spoke in support of Alex Cotoia, who is running for County Commission, District 2, the southernmost district. He said they have knocked on a thousand doors and would welcome volunteers to help out with their grassroots campaign.

For more information send email to Richard or call him at 575-556-4390.


PVA Meets Again
Thursday, June 28, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center
975 S. Mesquite


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