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First Friday Luncheon and Other Announcements

Hello Sandoval County Democrats:

I just got back from two weeks of vacation in Mexico. Of course the people I encountered there were warm and embracing. But while there I also read up on some interesting facts on Mexico:

1) It has the fifteenth largest economy in the world.

2) The GDP per capita currently stands at about $10,000, placing it firmly in the “upper middle income” countries. Adjusted for purchasing power, the GDP per capita is about 60% higher, at roughly $16,000.

3) Mexico became the first Latin American country to enter the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1994. The current president of the OECD is a Mexican, Jose Angel Gurria.

4) The largest number source of undocumented immigrants in Mexico is the United States.

This isn’t to minimize the issues the country is facing. It’s merely to highlight that this neighbor of ours is more than a source of narco wars, impoverished immigrants and bad news. It’s a nation on the move in the world!

I also want to say THANK YOU to all the hosts and sponsors at our successful fundraiser on September 15. Together we raised a shade under $17,000. This will allow us to open a coordinated campaign office (maybe two depending on the budget) and provide support to our local political candidates. I also want to say THANK YOU to all those who took action on September 16 during Donald Trump’s visit and got out of the house. Together we showed that this person has no chance of putting New Mexico in the red column in 2020.

Here are some announcements:

1) There are elections this year. Early voting will take place from October 19 to November 2 and election day is Tuesday, November 5 (please see https://www.sandovalcountynm.gov/elected-officials/county-clerk/bureau-of-elections/ for further details). There will be ballot items on the following organizations and topics:

  • Public Schools
  • Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Bernalillo Public Schools
  • Cuba Public Schools
  • Jemez Public Schools
  • Rio Rancho Public Schools
  • Other Sandoval County Public Schools
  • Central New Mexico Community Colleges
  • Public Improvement Districts
  • Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority
  • Soil & Water Conservation Districts
  • Tax Increment Development Districts
  • Water & Sanitation Districts

Specifically, in the Rio Rancho School District elections Democrats Ramon Montano (District 2) and Ryan Parra (District 4) have Republican opponents. In the CNM Governing Board election, committed Democrat Virgin Trujillo in District 6 is facing opposition. In Albuquerque School Board District 2, which includes Corrales, incumbent Republican Peggy Aragon will be facing off against Democrat challenger Lauretta Harris. Have more information? Please get in touch with me via email: sandovalcodems@gmail.com

2) We will be having a 3rd Congressional District candidate forum at our next First Friday lunch on November 1st at 11:30 am at the Range Café. Each of the candidates will have 4 to 5 minutes to make their pitch, which will then be followed by Q&A. So far, we have confirmed that candidates Laura Montoya, Valerie Plame, Mark Serna, Joseph Sanchez, John Blair, and Kyle Tisdale will be in attendance.

3) Our Second Saturday lunch will take place on Saturday, November 9 at 11:30 am at M’Tucci’s Moderno in Rio Rancho. There will be a speaker from the Citizens Climate Lobby.

4) We will be having a Precinct Chair training taking place from 10:00 am to noonish on Saturday, November 16 at the Bernalillo City Council chamber at 829 Camino del Pueblo. This will be led by Sandoval County Secretary Ruth Bouldes. If you are a current Precinct Chair or interested in becoming one, I highly recommend that you attend this training.

5) For all Democrats who are running for office if you would like your upcoming event posted on our website and Facebook page please get in touch with me at sandovalcodems@gmail.com.

6) We now have a Contribute tab on our website for those who would like to make ongoing contributions to the local Sandoval County Democratic Party!

7) Our Twitter handle, DPSandovalCO, was flagged as a bot by mistake by Twitter. The account has been unlocked and we are posting again.

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Genia Chavez – Why I am a Democrat

Being a democrat has been a piece of a three part story that make up my identity-my past, present, and future. My past is largely influenced by stories of my maternal grandfather. He was a Mexican-American veteran who had a hard time keeping his mouth shut in the face of injustice and adversity. Appropriately named Refugio, he instilled several truths I still adhere to today. These ideals frequently coincide with what we, as Democrats, are up against with our opposition.

Presently, I am a special education teacher. This means that if I were to be a Republican, I feel as though I would be aligned with a philosophy and set of beliefs that do not coincide with my purpose as an educator. Working in Rio Rancho, this often puts me in the minority with my colleagues. It’s insanely frustrating to think that so many men and women vote against their own interest, particularly in a field that requires compassion and understanding! The future, in respects to being a Democrat, has everything to do with my children and the world I want for them. A world where basic human rights are observed and preserved in a manner that promotes the growth of humankind in facets of life.

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David McGuffie – Why I am a Democrat


Imagine a world where healthcare and education are privatized leading to rising costs, many animals are now extinct, hordes of people are on the streets, begging for a dime, no public lands as they are now all in the hands of multimillionaires; and an earth that is scorched causing famines leading to mass immigration. If this sounds familiar, these things are all courtesy of the GOP. That is why I am a democrat. I am fighting for those things to NOT happen. I feel the Democratic party best exemplifies the best of humanity and most aligns with my core beliefs of caring for my fellow man and providing a hand up not a hand out.  I, also, feel it best defends the Constitution and the dreams for our country by our forefathers who wrote it.

I am a Democrat because I believe in HOPE and FREEDOM! We are the party with HEART, not the party of GREED! We embrace everyone. I am progressive because I believe we can do better as a party and I sincerely care about the future of our children, grandchildren and the future of our planet. I believe in universal healthcare for all, a plan that doesn’t distinguish us by income inequality. I am Pro-Choice. I believe in equal pay and support enacting laws that will stop violence against women, promoting equal rights for women and electing more women to public office, because I believe for way too long women have been treated as second-class citizens. Only Native Americans are natural Americans. The rest of us are all immigrants. We should treat all immigrants as we hope and believe our ancestors were treated. I am a Democrat because I believe in America and the Constitution that allows its melting pot of citizens to have rights that allow the people to live in peace due to the protections in a framework of laws that apply to everyone. The most important being Separation of Church and State that has allowed us to be a successful country by not allowing religion to sideline our laws.

I am a Democrat because we DO NOT support Racism! Nor would Democrats ever nominate a racist candidate for any office. I support FREE COLLEGE for ALL because if we are going to be the leader in technology, we need to educate our youth to be better than what we were. It’s my understanding that’s what every parent’s hope is for their children. I support raising wages for the working class thus closing the wealth gap as America prospers when we all prosper. Healthy, financially secure and stable workers are much more productive. But most importantly, I am a Democrat because I believe in FREEDOM!
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Kitty Pérez – Why I am a Democrat

When John asked me to put into writing why I chose to belong to the Democratic Party, it occurred to me that I can’t ever remember not being a Democrat!  As the proud daughter of immigrants, and having lived in several different countries, I was taught to appreciate the vast variety of human beings and their cultures.  The diversity found among the citizenry of the United States reflects the entire globe, and is something I relish.  Not only is immigration a natural human process, it is what keeps our country strong and innovative. It is the very foundation of our country. The Democratic Party has not forgotten that fact.  It is the party that welcomes new ideas, and the plethora of people who bring them. It is the party of inclusion and compassion, not exclusion and fear. It is the party of curiosity and tolerance, not ignorance and hatred.

Government is one of the defining elements of a civilization. It provides organization to our communities, by establishing and maintaining systems that keep its population healthy, safe, and educated. But is incumbent on that population to be vigilant in order to ensure that their form of government continues to keep their well-being in mind. During my lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the ideology and platform of the Democratic Party aligns closely with my own beliefs. I believe that Democrats express more willingness to examine and renovate their government in order to meet the changing needs of the United States and her citizens.

This being said, below is a brief summary of what the Democratic Party supports, and I am happy to stand behind these goals:

  •  Raising wages, closing the wealth gap, strengthening Social Security
  • Lowering health care costs; ensuring all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care; stabilizing Medicare and Medicaid
  • Sensible immigration reform that keeps America’s promise
  • Defending our borders, our ideals, and our institutions
  • Supporting our veterans and military families
  • Fixing our criminal justice system to eliminate systemic racism
  • Guaranteeing rights for minorities, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and all Americans
  • Acting to advance women’s rights, protect access to reproductive care, fight for equal pay, stop violence against women, and elect more women to public office
  • Protecting and promoting every American’s fundamental right to vote
  • Advancing clean energy and climate change action
  • Common-sense gun reforms
  • Smarter infrastructure investments
  • Advancing access to liberty and equality for all
  • Investing in modern education and jobs programs that prepare our kids for tomorrow’s challenges (https://democrats.org/about/what-we-believe/)

Sincerely, and in total solidarity,

Kitty Pérez

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Sherianne Pierce – Why I am a Democrat

I grew up in a household parented by a single mom.  Hard times were many, but we persevered.  My mother was not a political creature though, in her circumstance, she should have been.  As a child of color with two white half siblings and a white mother, I noticed early on that people treated me differently from my brothers.  I didn’t understand this was prejudice, but that understanding changed as I grew older.  I remember, when I was in school in central California, many of my classmates were first generation Mexican Americans.  They were not allowed to speak Spanish on the school grounds.  I thought something about this was very wrong.  These children were brought in to translate for their Spanish speaking only parents during parent/teacher conferences, but they couldn’t speak their native language at school any other time.

This was the beginning of my awakening. This awakening continued as a young woman, married to an abusive spouse (who was white).  When law enforcement became involved, I was treated differently than I would have been as a white woman.  The seeds of championing the disenfranchised were planted, and have grown over almost half a century.  I learned to speak my own truth, and I listened to politicians; I wanted to hear the ones I felt understood my plight.  The ones who seemed to understand the best were Democrats.  Therefore, the first time I registered to vote, I registered as a Democrat.

I feel in my heart that Democrats understand what I and other disenfranchised persons go through just to exist in these United States.  Since that ill-fated election in 2016, it has become even less safe for people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, and other disenfranchised persons.  I believe Democrats try to do the best they can for all of us, not just a select few of us.  From DC to Corrales, I’ve marched, canvassed, carried petitions, registered voters, and given money to those people I believe have my best interests at heart.  Those people are Democrats, and that is why I am a proud Democrat.

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Steve Conrad — Why I Am a Democrat

I grew up in a Republican household. I love my Republican family (as well as my many Republican friends). But from a young age, I knew I was a Democrat at heart. I knew it as clearly as I know that I’m tall, and left handed, and have brown eyes. It seems as if it wasn’t even a choice on my part, but more of a predisposition. But why? At the tender age of 10 or so, I wouldn’t have been rationally assessing and comparing the policy positions of the two parties (although as a budding nerd, I probably could’ve taken a decent stab it it). Why then? I think it comes down to deep-seated intuitions about morals and values. Democrats have always cared deeply about protecting and lifting up the disadvantaged and about providing equal opportunity for all. We’re not rugged individualists and we don’t tend to engage in “Us Versus Them” thinking and we’re not afraid of changing the status quo for the better. Instead, we build community by working in service to one another. This sense of building a caring community and striving to provide fairness and justice and opportunity for all citizens — not just the white and the wealthy and the powerful — is what appealed to me at a gut level and at a young age. It still appeals to me now. Now more than ever!

I remember back to the early 1980s when I first moved out west to go to school at New Mexico Tech. Love Canal, the first Superfund site, was still in the news and I was studying earth science with an ambition toward contributing to the environmental movement. I was writing to a childhood friend and proclaimed, “Is this a great country or what? I have the opportunity pursue my dreams. I can grow up to be whatever I want!” I didn’t fully understand until years later that not everybody had the same opportunities as I had. I was born on 2nd base and didn’t even know it! My family was by no means wealthy, but we had stability and sufficient resources to live in a nice neighborhood and go to good schools. All I had to do was to work moderately hard and not screw up too badly. I have since come to understand that many in our society don’t have nearly the same opportunities and they certainly have far less margin for error.

I’m grateful for all the advantages I’ve received. And like any good Democrat, I want to “pay if forward” (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/the-science-of-paying-it-forward.html). I can’t undo the privilege conferred on me by birth and gender and race. But I can use my many advantages along with some of my time, and money, and energy to help elect democrats and to work to create a society that offers improved opportunities for all. And that is why I am a Democrat.

 

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