PVA Meeting Recap – September 23, 2010

Organizing for America

Tia Upchurch-Freelove, regional field director with Organizing for America, President Obama’s campaign organization,  described the group’s work for the entire Democratic ticket including local candidates. Speaking of her motivation to do political organizing, she shared a favorite quote from a speech by candidate Obama:

One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.

For more information, send email to Tia or call her at 575-652-7027. You can follow Organizing for American in New Mexico at twitter.com/OFA_NM or visit the Web page at My.BarackObama.com.

August Unified Action—Curbside Recycling Arrives

Noting that the city council approved curbside recycling on September 20, Al McBrayer thanked everyone who wrote letters and attended meetings in support.

City Councilor Olga Pedroza attested that emails do make a difference. When councilors receive over 80 emails on a subject like they did in favor of curbside recycling, it gets their attention.

For more information, send email to Al or call him at 575-541-9667.

September Unified Action—Make a Difference in the November 2 Election

Cheryl Frank announced that the September Unified Action is “the usual” for an election year–make a contribution or time and/or money to a campaign of your choice.

For more information, visit the Unified Action Web page or send email to Cheryl.

Election Fraud Hearing

Trey LaFleur, Board of Elections supervisor, announced that a hearing will take place on Friday, September 24, at the Pan Am Center to investigate accusations of voter fraud in Doña Ana County elections. County Clerk Lynn Ellins will give testimony.

It is now possible to obtain an absentee ballot request on the county Web site. (The ballot must be printed out and mailed in.) All the voting dates and deadlines are here.

For more information, send email to Trey or call him at 575-647-7428.

Voter Protection

Marc Robert spoke of the need for people who will volunteer on Election Day to insure that voting is fair and honest.

For more information, send email to Marc or call him at 575-524-4545.

Reelect Attorney General Gary King

Gary King asked for our support as he runs for reelection. He highlighted the work of his office including consumer protection, securing our border with Mexico, and enforcing human trafficking laws.

For more information, send email to Gary or call him at 512-680-3211.

Ray Powell for Land Commissioner

Ray Powell asked for our support as he runs for another term as land commissioner. (He served from 1993 to 2002 and was prevented from running in 2003 by term limits.) He noted that during his tenure the land office was recognized as one of the best in the country. He is running again to bring state of the art practices to the land office and to restore fairness.

For more information, send email to Ray, call him at 505-507-0697, and visit the campaign Web site.

North Valley Events for Candidates

Cathie Leslie announced two events in support of progressive candidates who would represent the North Valley.

Music by the Mountain
A Fundraiser for Representative Jeff Steinborn
Saturday, October 2, 4 to 7 p.m.
9415 N. Valley Drive
Featuring Jeff on drums!

Meet and Greet Billy Garrett
Saturday, October 9, 3 to 5 p.m.
891 Eagle Wings Road

For more information, send email to Cathie.

Tito Meyer Endorses Judge Arrieta

First, Tito Meyer pointed out that three Doña Ana County judges are likely to retire in the near future and the next governor will be appointing their replacements. Next, he endorsed Judge Mannie Arrieta (appointed by Governor Richardson) whom he described as a “wonderful person, wonderful lawyer, and a terrific judge.”

For more information, send email to Tito.

Humane Treatment for Alamogordo Chimps

An advocate for Alamogrodo Primate Facility chimpanzees explained that the National Institutes of Health plans to move approximately 185 chimps to a research facility in San Antonio where they will be used for medical research. She stated that after decades of research the chimps deserve permanent retirement and urged that we contact the New Mexico congressional delegation and ask that the chimps stay put.

The New York Times has an article (September 1, 2010) and slide show about the chimps here. Representative Nate Cote’s work on behalf of the chimps is outlined here.

For more information, visit Animal Protection of New Mexico.

Councilor Thomas Works for Wilderness

Las Cruces City Councilor Sharon Thomas reported on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks wilderness bill. She made the trip with County Commissioner Scott Krahling and John Muñoz of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce. The three met with Senators Udall and Bingaman and Congressmen Teague and Heinrich. The plan is for  Senator Bingaman to bring an omnibus public lands bill to the Senate for a vote after November 2.

Sharon stressed that this is the best chance of ever getting the Doña Ana wilderness bill passed and urged that when the time comes to write letters and make phone calls we step up.

For more information, send email to Sharon.

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, other candidates included, to attend a fundraiser which will feature live music by Gene & the Starliners as well as brisket plates for a budget-friendly $10.

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.

Andy Segovia for County Assessor

Andy Segovia asked for support in his run for county assessor, emphasizing his years of experience and his record of integrity. He invited everyone to join him in the Whole Enchilada parade on Saturday.

For more information send email to Andy or call him at 575-640-5675.

Pat Aguirre for Billy Garrett

Pat invited everyone to walk in the Whole Enchilada Parade with Billy and receive a green and gold campaign T-shirt in the bargain. She welcomed all volunteers to join Billy’s hard-working, fun-loving campaign. For more information, send email to Pat

Reelect County Commissioner Karen Perez

Bob Hearn spoke in support of Karen Perez, who is running for reelection to the county commission, district 3. Bob, a self-professed observer of the commission, characterized Karen as a strong, independent, analytical voice.

For more information, send email to Bob or visit Karen on Facebook.

Another Voice for Chimps

Jean Ossorio, a tireless advocate for the New Mexico gray wolf, spoke about the plight of the Alamogordo chimps, urging a stop to their use in invasive research projects. She suggested that we call Representative Teague and ask him to add his voice to Attorney General King’s and Ray Powell’s in defense of the chimps.

For more information, send email to Jean.

Green Chamber Says, “Think Local First”

Gary Camuñez announced that the Green Chamber of Commerce in Las Cruces nears its one-year anniversary with 300 members. They are starting a “Think Local First” campaign to educate the public about the economic, social, and environmental benefits of buying local. The group advocates for socially responsible business. They are starting a membership drive and welcome new members.

For more information, send email to Gary.

Nevarez-Garcia for Magistrate Judge

Olivia Nevarez-Garcia asked for our support as she runs for reelection to the position of magistrate judge. She mentioned that she is the only woman judge in the magistrate system. She has 5 years of experience as a magistrate and 12 years of experience as a probate judge.

For more information, call Olivia at 575-649-6142.

Diane Denish Coming to Southern New Mexico

Annette Torres announced that Diane Denish will be in Doña Ana County on October 3 for a rally at Palacios and October 23 and 24 for events in Las Cruces, Anthony, and Sunland Park. She mentioned that Bill Clinton is coming to New Mexico to campaign for Diane (in Española on October 14) — anyone interested in tickets to his event should let Annette know. An upcoming debate between Denish and Martinez will be televised.

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

Health Security

Mary Feldblum spoke about the Health Security for New Mexicans Act which will be introduced again in the 2011 legislative session. She emphasized the economic advantages of the plan and its broad base of support.

For more information, send email to Mary

Mike Davis for Harry Teague

Mike Davis pointed out three options in the race for U.S. Representative in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.

1. vote for Teague and work with him to support progressive causes
2. vote for Steve Pearce
3. don’t vote

He strongly recommended choice #1.

For more information, send email to Mike or call him at 512-680-3211.

Haven on Earth

LaToya Renee Garcia spoke of a new organization formed to protect the environment. They have already worked in support of curbside recycling and held a Go Green Art and Fashion Show for an audience of 200. They will be collaborating with other environmental groups and have the restoration of Burn Lake as one of their goals. Their Web site announces upcoming events.

For more information, send email to LaToya or call her at 575-621-9879.

Mike Lilley for Judge Robles

Mike Lilley introduced himself as a local attorney with 30 years’ experience and urged us to remember the importance of the judgeships on the ballot. He spoke in support of Judge Robert Robles for the New Mexico Court of Appeals, stating that Judge Robles is in a tough race  against a very well-funded opponent. Not only is Judge Robles an excellent judge, he is the only judge on the Court of Appeals who is from southern New Mexico.

For more information, send email to Mike.

350.org.las cruces

Jade and Stephen Webber announced that Las Cruces has a project well underway for 350.org’s global work party on 10.10.10.  They will be installing solar panels for he Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, where they will also install energy efficient light bulbs, insulation, etc.

Positive Energy Solar Electric Systems of Las Cruces is donating all the labor for installing the solar panels and the Green Las Cruces group is raising $3000 for materials.

For more information, send email to Jade and visit the Green Las Cruces Web site, where you will be able to make a donation and learn more about the project.

Speak out about the Wars

Michael Yargosz made a heartfelt plea that we speak out about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He asked us to write to

Senator Bingaman
Senator Udall
Representative Teague

and let them know that the wars have gone on too long.

For more information, send email to Michael.

Higher Education Bond

President Margie Huerta of Doña Ana Community College spoke in support of Education  Bond  D, which will help improve the infrastructure at colleges and universities throughout the state. Margie explained that DACC is the fastest growing community college in the state and needs more facilities to accommodate the growth. She spoke glowingly of the students, who by-and-large stay in Las Cruces and contribute to the community.

For more information, call Dr. Huerta at 575-405-1274, or visit EducationInNewMexico.com.

Casa de Peregrinos

Joyce Campbell-Layman announced that Casa de Peregrinos is in desperate need of contributions of food or money. The emergency food program feeds over 16,000 residents annually and of that number, half are school age children.

For more information, send email to Joyce or call her at 575-521-5957.

Judge Mannie Arrieta

Judge Arrieta shared stories from the campaign trail and reminded us of his experience and commitment.

For more information, send email to Judge Arrieta, call him at 575-527-1116, and visit KeepJudgeArrieta.com.

Prehistoric Trackways

Alice Anderson alerted us to the fact that the Bureau of Land Management is developing guidelines for the use of the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument. Public comments will be accepted until October 15. Information about the plan is here.

For more information, send email to Alice or call her at 575-523-5179.

Invitation to Volunteer for Denish

Terri McBrayer welcomed volunteers to the Denish campaign and invited everyone to attend a tardeada for Diane:

Sunday, October 3, 4 to 8 p.m.
Palacio’s,1600 Avenida de Mesilla
Music by Animo Band

For more information, send email to Terri or call her at 575-541-9667.

Mine Mill Local 890

Lorenzo Flores announced the efforts of Juntos en La Union to achieve historic status for Mine Mill Local 890 Union Hall, located in Bayard, New Mexico. Local 890 was at the heart of a strike in 1950 to gain equality in wages and benefits for Mexican American workers. Their struggle was documented in the movie, Salt of the Earth, which will be shown on October 17, the sixtieth anniversary of the strike. Lorenzo was accompanied by his father, Art Flores, one of the original organizers.

For more information, send email to Larry or call him at 575-523-7045. Visit Juntos en La Union on the Web.

Voter Protection

Marci Beyer will be holding training sessions for voter protection volunteers. She stressed that we really do need volunteers to prevent shenanigans on Election Day and insure that everyone who is qualified to vote gets to vote.

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

Rally to Restore Sanity 10-30-10

Rorie Measure began by asking if she was the only person in the room who watched the Daily Show with John Stewart. She asked fellow viewers to help her plan a satellite “sanity” event in Las Cruces.

For more information, send email to Rorie or call her at 575-522-4804.

Diven Celebrates 30 Years as a Professional Artist

Bob Diven announced that he is celebrating 30 years as a professional artist and used the occasion to put in a plug for his The Church of Bob Web site and blog. He posts a sermon, a review, and a cartoon each week, often exploring the intersection of religion with science and reason.

For more information, send email to Bob or call him at 575-642-7445. Visit the Church or Bob here and Bob’s professional artist Web site here.

Juan Stewart for Sheriff

Juan Stewart asked for our support as he runs for sheriff. He attended local schools, served in the Marine Corps, completed his education with help from the G.I. bill, and has 31 years’ experience in law enforcement.

For more information, call Juan at 575-644-0650.

Southwest Environmental Center

After assuring us that volunteers were welcome to work on the SWEC rummage sale (Saturday, September 25), Jason asked everyone to save Saturday, October 23, for the annual fundraiser extravaganza—On the River, for the River. There will be great food, dancing, a silent auction, and wonderful company.

On the River, For the River
Saturday, October 23, 5 to 10:30 p.m.

Ticket information and other details are on the Web. For more information, send email to Jason or call him at 575-915-2766.

Billy Garrett for County Commission

Billy Garrett spoke about the urgent needs in Doña Ana County and the serious challenges that lie ahead. He spoke of issues with flooding and health care, impassable roads in Vado, people living in trailers about to fall over, and over 48,000 people in the county who live below the poverty level.

For more information, send email to Billy, call him at 575-915-5755, and visit the campaign Web site.

Reelect Nate Cote—He Gets Things Done

Cheryl Frank removed her Unified Action coordinator’s hat, donned her campaign manager’s hat, and spoke out in support of Nate Cote as he runs for reelection. She noted the demographic challenges of Nate’s district (many registered Republicans) and spoke about Nate’s proven track record as someone who gets things done.

For more information, send email to Cheryl, call her at 575-650-7607, and visit the campaign Web site.

Mary Lujan

Mary Lujan announced that she will be at the Whole Enchilada Fiesta and the Southwest New Mexico State Fair and will be happy to distribute campaign literature and bumper stickers.

For more information, send email to Mary.

Four Lines For Reason

Matt Meyers submitted the following quatrain:

Body/Mind Politic

We are not just a body politic
With common physical needs,
We are also a collective mind
Seeking rationality.

For more information send email to Matt or call him at 575-523-1375.

Our next meeting will be
October 28, 2010, 7 p.m.
Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite

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