[These are unofficial draft minutes; they have been reviewed and corrected by the executive committee but have not yet been approved by the caucus.]

Adelante Progress Caucus

Minutes of regular meeting
2 December 2021

The Adelante Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico held a regular monthly meeting on Zoom from 6:30 pm to 8:25 pm on Thursday 2 December 2021.

Attendance

Present

Members of the caucus:

  • ViAnn Beadle
  • Athena Christodoulou (Political Director)
  • Carol Courtney
  • Dan Fay
  • Cheryl Harris (Chair)
  • Wanda Harrison (data manager)
  • Michelle Meaders
  • Samuel Nevarez (Congressional District 1 Chair)
  • Karlyne Nordholm (webmaster)
  • Nicole Olonovich (Administrative Director)
  • Scotti Romberg
  • Maurreen Skowran
  • Michael Sperberg-McQueen (Secretary)
  • Laura Stokes

Guests:

  • Gabe Vasquez, candidate for Congress in CD-2
  • Robert Phillips (GV's campaign manager)
  • Devont'e Watson

1 Call to order

The chair called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.

2 Introductions

Those in attendance introduced themselves briefly.

3 Remarks by Gabe Vasquez

Gabe Vasquez, currently the only announced candidate running for Congress in NM CD-2, spoke to the group. He introduced himself and spoke of his background, his motivation for running, and the issues he thinks most important. He is running against Yvette Herrell, he said, but more importantly he is running for the people of the district. He spoke about the wealth gap, immigration reform, climate change, affordable health care, and the minimum wage.

GV and his campaign manager Robert Phillips spoke about their campaign organization; they resist the idea that GV is "too progressive" for the district: his policies are common-sense ideas with wide support. Early outreach to mobilize people who currently feel they lack a voice as well as the existing base is important.

There were questions and discussion of individual issues. ViAnn Beadle reported on three key observations, based in part on the analysis of many races in southern NM:

  • Doña Ana County makes up 40% of the population of CD-2.
  • Democrats undervote (i.e. turn out less than the opposition) in every county in CD-2.
  • 75% of the population of Doña Ana County speaks Spanish as their first language.

She urged that all campaign materials be bilingual, since not all potential voters are.

There was discussion of what APC members can do to help. The most prominent suggestion was volunteering as an individual to help the campaign. There are canvassing efforts underway now, and there will be more.

4 Blue CD-2 New Mexico

Rochelle Williams, one of the organizers of Blue CD-2 New Mexico, was unable to attend owing to illness, but she sent her slides, and Vi Ann Beadle, who is one of the other organizers, spoke through them. She talked about the missions of the group, their activities so far, and their plans for the future. And she encouraged APC members to join the group and help accomplish its mission.

5 Redistricting

We examined and discussed the three Congressional redistricting maps approved by the Citizen Redistricting Committee. Map A is very close to the status quo; map E-revised (Justice Chavez's map) unites more of the metro area into CD-1 and makes it an essentially urban district; map H increases the Hispanic majority in CD-2 by some percentage points.

CH noted that the executive committee had taken the position that APC would not endorse particular maps but would encourage our members to urge their legislators to do the three things suggested by Fair Districts NM:

  • From among the maps endorsed by the CRC, adopt the map which best achieves the goals of compliance with the Voting Rights Act, freedom from partisan gerrymandering, protecting communities of interest, and respecting governmental boundaries including Tribal boundaries, without attempting to favor incumbents.
  • If the legislature alters any CRC map they should explain why, in detail.
  • During the special session, the legislature should respect the letter and the spirit of the Open Meetings Act.

She asked if anyone wished to argue for endorsing specific maps; there were no respondents.

6 Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.

[These are unofficial draft minutes; they have been reviewed and corrected by the executive committee but have not yet been approved by the caucus.]