Sunday, March 04, 2012

Bernalillo County Democratic Convention 2012: Delegates, Candidates, Excitement!

Bernalillo County Democrats gathered at the UNM Continuing Education building on last Saturday, February 25, 2012. Chairwoman Ana Canales (below left) was very pleased with the turn out. She stated out of 657 delegates elected in the County 420 showed up for the meeting well within the needs of making a quorum.

   

The spirits were very high, with lots of optimism and energy going into this important election year. Pam Coleman (above right) State Field Director of OFA was there to address the delegates, reading a letter from Ray Sandoval of the importance of this State and indeed this County for Obama’s reelection and for the future of NM.

The Convention Delegates heard speeches from the 3 Congressional District 1 candidates, each speech was videoed and you can listen below.

First speech (above) was by Bern. County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham. She was introduced by new sitting Senator Lisa Curtis. Michelle gave a good speech detailing how New Mexican families are hurting and told the delegates about her past achievements. Explaining, "it is time for us to send a champion to congress, someone who has the courage of her convictions and the integrity to stand behind it." Michelle's most major endorsement is by EMILY's list.

Next speech (above)was by NM Senator Eric Griego. Eric had the most energized presentation. Several of his supporters escorted him on to the stage for his speech. The audience chanted "Eric, Eric, Eric!" Eric launched into his single mom background and how he was raised on democratic values and proud of it. A beneficiary of early childhood education, which allowed him the foundations to be a "Kid from Barales running for United States Congress." Describing the building of the American dream brick by brick, Eric's speech was electrifying, and fired up the delegates. Eric quoted Paul Wellstone " We all do better when we all do better." That is the simple truth. Eric believes in this concept with every fiber of his being you can feel and see this core believe in him. Eric has been endorsed by DFA, and many other progressive organizations as well as current progressive Congressman Raul Grijalva. 

The third speech (above) was by Former Albq. Mayor Marty Chavez. Marty was introduced by former AG Patricia Madrid, Patricia Madrid herself a candidate for CD1 in 2006. Patricia Madrid goes through the accomplishments of Marty's one at a time. Marty takes the stage and highlights his achievements as Mayor of Albq., starting with the San Juan Chama River project. Marty makes a point over the bottled water craze right now and how it is only tap water anyways and how the plastics from the bottled water is the least recycled plastic in our stream of commerce. Other achcievements were his creation of jobs. After listing out the economic failures of the former presidential administration, Marty states, "I refuse to fix our economy on the backs of the middle class." Marty's endorsements include Robert Redford, President Bill Clinton, Lilly Ledbetter and many others.

The CD1 race is fortunate to have 3 highly qualified candidates. Each having there own strengths. Each candidate carries with them a portion of the delegates who attended the convention and next saturday at the Dem State Convention the CD1 Delegates will cast a ballot for who there favorite choice is to Represent Congressional District 1.

    

The delegates also heard from the two candidates for United States Senate. The current CD1 Representative Martin Heinrich was in attendance and delivered a good speech (above left). And State Auditor Hector Balderas was not at the Bernalillo County Convention so his wife Denise Balderas took to the stage (above right) with her youngest daughter and presented on Hectors behalf. Hector was in the southern part of the state at other conventions being held on the same day.

  

The last videos of the day are regarding Congressional District 3. In attendance was Rep. Ben Ray Lujan who is running for re-election for CD3. Representative Lujan has been a champion of the northern part of the state. He is part of the hispanic caucus and the progressive caucus. In my opinion Rep. Lujan is New Mexico's brightest star. With that said Rep. Lujan has an opponent Harry Montoya. Mr. Montoya has run for previous offices. Why Mr. Montoya is challenging Rep. Lujan is not clear, it was not clear in his speech, and in my opinion Rep. Lujan is an excellent Rep, for his district and for the state. Why on earth Mr Montoya would want to run against Congressman Lujan is pure political bonk.

The judicial candidates made short presentations as well to the convention attendees. Many other elected officials were in attendance and were cheered and thanked for their work for the state.

In summary it was a long invigorating day. The convention proceeded to discuss resolutions and other party business. Barb and I in the old days would stay through all the party business and resolution arguments. We would be rolling up our sleeves and diving into the resolution arguments. Regrettably I just could not focus on these important elements of the convention. Still missing my partner in all endeavors it has taken me a full week to accomplish putting this post together. But we all move on. All meeting and greeting and trying to improve our Country and our State. Go Bernalillo County Democrats 2012 is going to be our year.

March 4, 2012 at 12:23 PM in Bernalillo County, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3/04: Maggie's Re-Election Campaign to Bernalillo County Commission District 3

MHS_Logo_2Maggie Hart Stebbins Kickoff for Re-Election to Bernalillo County Commission, District 3

When: Sunday, March 4;  2-4 p.m.

Where: O'Niell's Irish Pub - Nob Hill Beautiful District 3 4310 Central SE, Albuquerque

Join Us To Help Maggie Kick Off Her 2012 Re-Election Campaign.

"It's an honor to serve as your County Commissioner. Working together, we have created new jobs in our community and helped our small businesses grow. We are making county government more accountable, protecting our water supply and supporting public safety strategies to protect our vibrant neighborhoods. To learn more about our efforts or to volunteer, email me at mhstebbins@gmail.com,"
- Maggie Hart Stebbins, Bernalillo County Commissioner, District 3

February 29, 2012 at 07:18 PM in 2012 Bernalillo County Commission Race, Bernalillo County, Candidates & Races | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Democratic Women of Bernalillo County Holding an OSCAR PARTY

DWBC OSCAR PARTY 2012

February 26, 2012 Sunday 5:00 PM -10:00 PM

at El Norteno 1431 Wyoming NE
(North of Constitution & Wyoming)

Admission: $10.00

Vote the attached Download Fandangooscarsballot-2012. Get prizes for the ballots with the most correct picks. Wear something that depicts your favorite nominated film or actor

RSVP: Barb Glazer 505 977 6401 gypsy_ms@comcast.net or Cornelia Lange 505 292 7365 or cwlange@aol.com

February 20, 2012 at 06:09 PM in Bernalillo County, Democratic Party, Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 17, 2012

02/18: On Saturday Attend Dem Party Bernalillo County Ward and Precinct Elections

The Democratic Party of Bernalillo County will be holding on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 the elections for ward and precinct officers and the election of delegates for the County and State Pre-Primary Convention. Click here to read the Call issued by Chairwoman Ana Canales and the time and location of each ward and precinct meeting.

All registered Democrats are urged to attend and vote for their ward and precinct officers and extra CCC members, or run for an office themselves. Those elected as ward chairs, precinct chairs and additional CCC members will serve on the DPBC Central Committee, which will meet on Feb. 25 at 10:00 AM at the UNM Continuing Education Center - 1634 University NE, Albuquerque. Registration will be start at 8:30 AM and the meeting will be called to order at 10:00 AM.

Please bring resolutions to present at the ward meeting tomorrow. Click Download Master dem resolution Form 2012 for a blank resolution document. And below are a few resolutions that have been drafted up, if any of these are interest to you download and bring to your own ward meeting, be sure to fill in the top of the form.

Download Resolution Access to broadband; Download Resolution Financial Literacy; Download Resolution Fracking; Download Resolution Funds for Health Care; Download Resolution Genetically Modified Salmon; Download Resolution Move to Amend; Download Resolution Non-lethal weapons; Download Resolution Prevailing wages; Download Resolution Repeal the NDAA; Download Resolution Tax LANL; Download Resolution The 99%; Download Resolution The commons

February 17, 2012 at 07:07 PM in Bernalillo County, Democratic Party, Events, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (5)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham- Paseo Del Norte I-25 Interchange

Michelle lujan grishamBy Michelle Lujan Grisham, Bernalillo County Commissioner

Last year alone there were over 400 accidents in the Paseo del Norte interchange area.  Since 1995, it has been a priority in this community to rebuild this interchange and bring the needed upgrades to promote public safety and reduce congestion,  accidents,  air pollution and, last, but not least, driver frustration.

Thanks to cooperation from city, county and state governments, this important project may become reality at last.

In these times of tight budgets and political bickering at every level of government, people become justifiably skeptical of their public officials’ ability to get anything done.  However, I believe that our progress on the Paseo project demonstrates that those of us in public service can accomplish great things when we set aside our differences and work together on what matters to the community.

The rebuilding of Paseo has long presented financial challenges as the cost of Phase I of rebuilding the Paseo Interchange is estimated at $93 million.  However, just this week, we have seen the County, the City and State each find a way to help solve this problem and pledge significant funds to this effort.

Since the County Commission supported my call to pledge bond money to fund this project on Tuesday, January 24, we have seen enormous support and positive reaction to our efforts.  Now, with $50 million from the City and $30 million from the State added to the $5 million committed by my colleagues and me on the County Commission, we are on the way to accomplishing our common goal and making our community safer. I hope the Federal Government will also share this responsibility, as I-25 is part of the national interstate system.

Improving the Paseo del Norte interchange is a win-win situation for Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, and the State of New Mexico. Not only will this address long overdue traffic and safety issues, the re-design and construction of this interchange will have a broad positive impact on our community. It will create many needed jobs during the design and construction phases.

Furthermore, after the necessary improvements, fewer accidents will lead to fewer injuries and fewer insurance claims. Law enforcement officers from the County and the City of Albuquerque will have more time and energy to attend to other duties.

We are so close.  I salute my partners in this effort, Republicans and Democrats, at the state and local level.  Without their commitment of funds, success would not be in our sights. Let’s all work together to get this across the finish line and make this happen.

January 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM in Bernalillo County, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Transportation | Permalink | Comments (4)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

1/9: Re-Election Campaign Kickoff for Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver

You are invited to a Re-Election Campaign Kick-off for
Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Maggie 1

Smooth, Transparent Elections
Effective and Responsive Leadership

 A County Clerk We Can Be Proud of

Hosted By: Renee Ward, Judith Espinosa, Nasha Torrez, Lawrence Rael, Fred Mondragon, Chris Cervini, Brian Morris, Justin Miller, Mo Chavez and Mark Saavedra

DATE: Monday, January 9, 2012
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Jazzbah - 119 Gold Avenue SW (Corner of Gold and Second)

Suggested Contribution: $50

Join Our Mailing List! Checks should be made payable to Friends of Maggie Toulouse Oliver
Paid for by Friends of Maggie Toulouse Oliver, PO Box 3071, Albuquerque, NM 87190

December 29, 2011 at 06:46 PM in Bernalillo County, Candidates & Races | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Urban Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque's South Valley Gets the Go-Ahead

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U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich with students from Mountain View Elementary, in attendance at the announcement of what will become first national wildlife refuge in the Southwest. Mountain View Elementary is just down the road from the property.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that a proposed 570-acre national wildlife refuge on a former dairy farm just a few miles south of New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area has been approved.  As proposed, the site will serve as an urban oasis for both wildlife and people. Very exciting, for everyone involved. Establishment of a new Albuquerque-based national wildlife refuge is a win-win situation for people and wildlife, for the economy and open space conservation, for visitors and residents alike.

“With the support of Bernalillo County, the Trust for Public Land, New Mexico’s Congressional delegation, and many partners, New Mexico will gain its first urban national wildlife refuge,” Salazar said. “Once complete, this refuge, which is within a half hour drive of nearly half of New Mexico’s population, will be a place for people to connect with and learn about the natural world and will provide valuable habitat for wildlife, including the endangered the southwestern willow flycatcher.”

Joined by U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, Congressman Martin Heinrich, and Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz, Salazar said a refuge in this location would fulfill the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to work with community partners to establish a 21st century conservation ethic and reconnect people -- especially young people -- to the natural world.

Economic Growth and Jobs
An urban refuge will also help generate economic growth and support jobs by attracting visitors, Salazar said. Recreation in refuges, national parks and other public lands alone led to nearly $55 billion in economic contribution and 440,000 jobs in 2009. National wildlife refuges alone currently support an estimated 35,234 jobs.

“Establishment of a refuge not only will improve the quality of life of the citizens of Albuquerque but also help create new jobs by attracting visitors,” Salazar said. “One in twenty U.S. jobs are in the recreation economy –- more than there are doctors, lawyers, or teachers -- and places like this new refuge could help support more than 3 million new jobs across the nation in the next decade.”

A Unique Opportunity for Urban Open Space
“At 570 acres, this former dairy is one of the largest remaining farms in the Middle Rio Grande Valley and is the largest agricultural property within the Albuquerque metro region. There are very few opportunities like this one that allow us protect open space in highly urban areas,” said Senator Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I’d like to thank Secretary Salazar for coming to New Mexico today to make this exciting announcement, and I’d like to thank the many individuals and local officials whose involvement made this urban wildlife refuge a reality.”

“In America, and especially in states like New Mexico, we value something uniquely American: our wildlife and public lands,” said Congressman Heinrich. “But too often today, our youth get more screen time than outdoor time. For kids in the Albuquerque area, Price’s Dairy can help change that. Our community has come together in support of this project, recognizing the tremendous value in investing in the health and education of our kids, with the added benefit of driving economic development and supporting nearby small businesses.”

Working Together for Common Good
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bernalillo County have long explored the possibility of establishing an urban refuge on the former Price’s Dairy Farm. After completing the necessary studies and planning documents, the service is now authorized to acquire land and establish the refuge. 

By policy, the Fish and Wildlife Service acquires lands for refuges only from willing sellers. Condemnation is not used. The current owners of the 570-acre site are interested in selling the land.  The Bernalillo County Commission has already set aside $5 million to assist with land acquisition.

“Years from now people will say how glad they are that we had enough foresight, determination and love that we preserved this place forever, and for them,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz.

The Service intends to work with its partners to establish environmental education programs at the refuge and provide demonstration areas for sustainable agriculture. Once fully restored, visitors to the Refuge will likely be able to see waterfowl, small mammals, and neotropical migrant birds, including the flycatcher.

Additional funding for purchase of the land will likely come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Congress established the fund in 1964 to use revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling to support the conservation of America's lands and waters.

 "Our goal is to protect land for people and there is no better example of that then making sure that this special place is protected for future generations,” said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land, a key partner in the establishment of the refuge. “This announcement has the support of local neighbors and is important to the people who live nearby, particularly the children of the area. This was a true team effort, and it would not have been possible without the leadership of Secretary Salazar and the New Mexico congressional delegation, and the support of the landowner."

Only a few of the nation’s more than 550 National Wildlife Refuges are in urban areas. Urban refuges offer unique environmental education and recreation opportunities in populous area while promoting the mission of the refuge system to protect wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

October 10, 2011 at 07:22 AM in Bernalillo County, Environment, Land Issues, NM Congressional Delegation, Obama Administration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Comment Now on BernCo Clerk's Voting Convenience Center Proposal

Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver is rolling out her proposal that the Bernalillo County Commission implement Voting Convenience Centers (VCC) in lieu of precinct-specific locations for the Primary and General Elections in 2012. VCC's are similar to Early Voting Centers in that any voter can obtain his or her appropriate ballot and vote at any VCC he or she finds to be convenient. Each VCC will have the ability to print out a ballot that contains the proper listing of candidates, ballot questions, etc., for any precinct in the county where a voter resides.

“Legislation was passed last year to allow all Clerks in New Mexico the option of implementing Voting Convenience Centers,” said Clerk Toulouse Oliver in a statement released today. “My staff and I have prepared a detailed proposal and we are seeking input from the public in an effort to make certain that we have incorporated all essential elements.”

“Our analysis shows that VCCs will be more convenient while cutting costs for county taxpayers and voters. The 65 locations will be strategically located throughout the City and County and will be easily accessible. Having 65 locations instead of the traditional 172 on election day will cut down significantly on manpower and supplies, resulting in a potential savings of upward of $1 million dollars,” she continued. “More and more voters are taking advantage of Early Voting and VCCs are a logical extension.”

Members of the public can view or print the proposal on the front page of the website at www.bernco.gov or click here for a direct link. Comments, questions or concerns can be sent via e-mail to votingconvenience@bernco.gov or you can call 468-1291.

The Clerk will also be hosting a public forum to present the proposal on Thursday, September 22, 2011 beginning at 6:00 PM in the Chambers at One Civic Plaza, NW.

The proposal will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for final approval in October.

August 29, 2011 at 04:36 PM in 2012 General Election, 2012 Primary Election, Bernalillo County, Election Reform & Voting | Permalink | Comments (7)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ACLU Protests Plans to Hold Bernalillo County Deputies Graduation in Legacy Church

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico released a statement announcing that it has sent a letter (pdf) today to Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston protesting plans to hold the only graduation ceremony for new County deputies at Legacy Church in Albuquerque. The ceremony will take place at 1:30 PM this Friday, August 26, at the church located on Central Avenue NW (see invitation).  According to biographical information posted on the County’s website, Houston worked as Legacy Church’s director of security “for several years” before becoming County Sheriff. Like Houston, BCSO Captain Scott Baird also is a member of the Legacy Church.

“Government officials should not use their official positions to promote their personal religious beliefs,” said ACLU Executive Director Peter Simonson in the written statement. “Sheriff Houston evidently has a close relationship with Legacy Church. If he wants to encourage people to follow his faith, he should do it outside of the work context and should not use the authority of his position to require new deputies to attend the only official graduation ceremony in his place of worship.”

The ACLU’s letter cites multiple legal cases in which courts held that no government entity “can force [or] influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will.”  The letter ends with the request that Sheriff Houston identify a new, non-religious location for the August 26th graduation ceremony.

Simonson said, “It is hard to believe that there were no non-religious sites available to hold this event.  Why put the County in the position of discriminating among different faiths? Inevitably the Sheriff is going to alienate some deputies and their families who do not subscribe to his particular religious beliefs and cause them to fear retaliation if they voice their concerns to their new bosses.” 

August 25, 2011 at 04:00 PM in Bernalillo County, Civil Liberties, Law Enforcement, Religion | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, June 13, 2011

6/14: Young Dems Host Rally Calling for Resignation of BernCo Commissioner Michael Weiner

From Young Democrats of New Mexico:
The Young Democrats of New Mexico will be hosting a public rally calling for the resignation of Bernalillo County Commissioner, Michael Wiener on Tuesday, June 14, in Albuquerque. At 4:30 PM, attendees will gather at Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza to show their dismay with Commissioner Weiner and his inappropriate comments made towards a female employee.

According to an independent report following allegations of sexual harassment, Commissioner Wiener was found to have made inappropriate comments towards a female staff member. After the report was made public, Weiner stated he has no intention to resign from his position. President Benai Padilla stated, “These comments are unacceptable and Commissioner Wiener needs to be held accountable.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring family, friends, and others who feel Commissioner Wiener acted inappropriately and must resign.

Discrimination cannot be tolerated. Elected officials must be held to the highest ethical standards expected by the constituents who put them in office. Any elected official who engages in repeated ethical lapses must step down from their office. Please help us hold Commissioner Wiener accountable by signing this petition supporting women who have been harrassed in the workplace.

June 13, 2011 at 11:27 AM in Bernalillo County, Democratic Party, Events, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (9)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Neighborhood Associations Demand BernCo Commissioner Weiner's Recusal on Zoning Request

In a press release, Albuquerque's Mountain View and San Jose neighborhood associations claim that Bernalillo County Commission Michael Weiner has inappropriately discussed a special use zoning request with a petitioner's representative, and therefore should recuse himself from voting on the company's upcoming appeal of the permit.

The groups explain that County Commissioners serve in a judicial capacity when hearing zoning change requests brought before them. Therefore, they legally are not to enter discussions with petitioners or other stakeholders in such processes -- so that they make their decisions in an unbiased manner. Other stakeholders involved in the case of whether or not a California company, NMRT, should be allowed to build a waste disposal site in the Mountain View/San Jose community have not had any opportunity to hold a conversation about the matter with Commissioners.

According to the groups, Commissioner Weiner stated at a Bernalillo County Commission meeting on December 14, 2010 that he had a private meeting with the company's representative, Steve Gallegos, about the project:

"... and I especially appreciate Steve Gallegos coming to my office and making a very good presentation on this and  stressing all the positive aspects of this."

NMRT's special use permit application to build a waste disposal center in the Mountain View/San Jose neighborhood near downtown Albuquerque was rejected by the Bernalillo County's Planning Commission in April. The associations say that the site would generate a huge expansion of industrial truck traffic in communities that are currently undergoing revitalization process. The site would negatively impact the quality of life and character of the Mountain View and San Jose neighborhoods, which are already overburdened by a legacy of polluting industry. The neighborhoods have an active and engaged community of residents who are joined by major local businesses in the area, such as US Foods, in their opposition to the NMRT waste disposal site.

The Bernalillo County Commission will hear the company's appeal of the case on May 24. A formal request that Commissioner Weiner recuse himself has been filed by the Mountain View and San Jose Neighborhood Associations, a copy of which you can see here (pdf).

"Mr. Weiner is not now capable of considering this appeal impartially and should therefore recuse himself from any further participation, of any kind, in the consideration, deliberation or decision to be rendered in this appeal," said Esther Abeyta, President of the San Jose Neighborhood Association.

May 21, 2011 at 12:43 PM in Bernalillo County | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bernalillo County Commission Announces Proposed County Manager Search Committee

How about this for transparency? Bernalillo County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins announced today the proposed search committee and course of action for finding the county’s next permanent manager. The committee contains representatives from the business community and higher education, public servants, and open government advocates.

The following individuals will serve on the Bernalillo County Manager Search Committee:

  • Michael W. Carter, Coldwell Banker Parnegg Metro Realtors
  • Del Archuleta, President/CEO, Molzen Corbin & Associates
  • Sarah Smith, Rust Professor of Business Ethics, UNM Anderson School
  • Robert M. White, NMFOG Board of Directors
  • James Jimenez, City Manager, City of Rio Rancho
  • Maggie Toulouse Oliver, County Clerk, Bernalillo County
  • Nataura Powdrell, Public Information Officer, MDC

"We promised this community an open and independent search for the best and brightest candidates to compete for the county manager position –- our process will fulfill that commitment," said Bernalillo County Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins in a statement. "I'm confident that we will find the best candidate for the job this way, and that he or she will lead Bernalillo County in the new direction we have charted."

The Bernalillo County Commission will vote to accept the new search team at the next commission meeting on May 10, 2011. The county has also advertised a request for proposals (RFP) for a third party facilitator to help administer the search in the most open and independent manner possible.

Bernalillo County will host a public forum on May 17, 2011 to gather community input on the qualifications for next county manager.

May 4, 2011 at 02:32 PM in Bernalillo County, Government, Transparency | Permalink | Comments (3)