Early leaders of the Adelante Progressive Caucus
First membership meeting, October 12, 2018, Roswell, NM

Adelante Leadership Group Photo
Seated, from left, are Cheryl Harris, Mitch Buszek, Julia Berman, Sharla Parsons, Pia Gallegos, Maurreen Skowran, and Jay Levine. Standing, from left, are Martin Rodriguez, Rusty Pearce, Kathy Wooten, Jeremy Sment, Sara Hume, Paul Gibson, Jerry Morris, and Roxanne Barber

Formation and Early History of the Adelante Caucus

Since its authorization by the Democratic Party of New Mexico in the spring of 2018, Adelante Progressive Caucus has built its structure, elected many progressives to party offices, conducted legislative lobbying, and made endorsements in congressional and legislative races.

Adelante largely grew out of a group that formed in the summer of 2017 to help move the state to the left. That group was led by Moss Templeton and based in Bernalillo County. After some initial discussions, committees were formed. 

One of those committees focused on Democratic Party structure and cultures. Spurred by Cheryl Harris, the godmother of the caucus, that subcommittee started laying the groundwork for what was to become Adelante. Members did research on progressive caucuses in other states. Members contacted officials in the state party to see about official formation under party rules. State party officials wanted tighter rules about caucuses. A decision was made to postpone seeking formal authorization until the spring of 2018.

Putting forth the idea of a “New Caucus,” in the fall of 2017, members brought the idea to a meeting held in conjunction with the State Central Committee (SCC) of the state party. Several people from across the state signed up to help form the caucus, calling themselves the Working Group.

The Working Group met often, usually by teleconference. In February 2018, an in-person meeting was held, deciding on caucus leadership structure and the name “Adelante Progressive Caucus.”

During the winter of 2018, bylaws were drafted by Dayan Hochman, Pia Gallegos and Maurreen Skowran. Those three also drafted a new rule on caucuses, later approved by the SCC. The bylaws were unanimously approved by the Working Group.

Working Group members lobbied members of the SCC for approval, which was granted April 21, 2018.

Working Group Members

Cheryl Harris
Dayan Hochman
Jay Levine
JD Mathews
Kathy Wooten
Lloyd DeWald
Liz Copeland
Martin Rodrigues
Maurreen Skowran
Paul Gibson
Paul Stokes
Pia Gallegos
Rachel Coleman
Roxanne Barber
Sara Hume

Additional contributions were lobbying by Kathy, research by Liz, and communications by Cheryl, Lloyd and Roxanne.

Officers: April – October 2018

Chair Pia Gallegos
Vice Chair Roxanne Barber
At-Large Officer Ricardo Guillermo
At-Large Officer Martin Rodriguez
Congressional District 1 Chair Maurreen Skowran
Congressional District 2 Chair Kathy Wooten, then Rusty Pearce
Congressional District 3 Chair Jay Levine
Secretary Sara Hume
Treasurer Jerry Morris

Main accomplishments: setting up the website, starting the newsletter, setting up the PAC. CD 1 held a candidate forum and sign-making party.

Officers: October 2018 – January 2020

Chair Sharla Parsons
Vice Chair Mitch Buszek (died in office)
At-Large Officer Ivan Pfeifer
At-Large Officer Jerry Morris
Congressional District 1 Chair Jeremy Sment
Congressional District 2 Chair Joann Vullo
Congressional District 3 Chair Jay Levine
Secretary Sara Hume
Treasurer Cheryl Harris

Main accomplishments: legislative lobbying and electing progressives to party offices.

Officers: January 2020 – Oct 2020

Chair Maurreen Skowran
Vice Chair Patricia French
At-Large Officer Jay Levine
At-Large Officer Jerry Morris
Congressional District 1 Chair Samuel Nevarez
Congressional District 2 Chair Gilbert Guadiana, then vacant, then Frances Gonzales
Congressional District 3 Chair Debbi Brody
Secretary Sara Hume
Treasurer Cheryl Harris

Main accomplishments: developing an endorsement policy, making primary endorsements in CD 3 and in 11 legislative races, and proposing a bylaws revision to add officer positions of administrative director and political director.

Please check out our Adelante Committees
Tell us how you’d like to help build progressive power in New Mexico.