Doña  Ana Communities United
December 2017 Newsletter

Greetings from DACU! We have lots of exciting updates to share with you this month, including reports from our participation in the Strong Families New Mexico legislative roundtable and the Camino Real Regional Leadership Consortium.

DACU staff will be out of the office from December 23rd through January 1st to spend time with family. Thank you for your support throughout 2017, and we look forward to connecting with you in the new year! 

Kari and Meredith

DACU Director 
Kari Bachman
DACU Outreach Coordinator 
Meredith Severtson

Upcoming DACU Events

All events listed below will be held at our office ( 151 S Walnut Street, Unit  B13).
You'll find directions at the  bottom of this newsletter.

Timebank Potluck
December 11, 6-8 PM

Timebank Potluck
January 19, 6-8 PM

Timebank Orientation
January 13, 2-3:30 PM

DACU Team Meeting
January 25, 11 AM-1 PM

Legislative Roundtable
On November 29th, DACU members presented at a legislative roundtable in Anthony sponsored by our colleagues at Strong Families New Mexico. The DACU social equity mappers made a case for New Mexico to become a Right to Rest state. We were encouraged to hear local and state elected officials express their support for this homeless bill of rights. You can read our policy proposal  here.  

Our next step is to research local ordinances and talk with other area residents who have experienced homelessness. Please let us know if you'd like to partner in this effort!

Photos by Robert Yee 
DACU social equity mapper Stanley Smith shares his story with decision makers.
These are just some of the DACU members who came out in force!

Regional Leadership Consortium
On December 1st, DACU presented to the Camino Real Regional Leadership Consortium (RLC) about our work engaging Chaparral residents to inform design of the multi-use trail that the County will build along Lisa Drive.  Community members are expressing which amenities they want to see along the trail as well as bring to light other issues, such as flooding and traffic safety.

DACU mapper Perla Diaz described how she and Lizette Estrada have gathered ideas from residents and built relationships with them. Their methods have included visiting with residents door-to-door, holding a caminata in July, piggybacking onto local events, and setting up a large map at local gathering places that they have personalized with details only residents would recognize.

The RLC meeting provided an opportunity for local agencies to reflect on their own community engagement practices and to recognize the importance of working with undervalued residents to develop as well as implement community engagement strategies. The DACU mappers look forward to sharing what they've learned with Chaparral residents and the County in the new year.

Perla Diaz explains how she added elements easily recognized by residents (such as ice cream trucks at the park) to enhance their engagement with an aerial map.
"Just Community" Radio Show 
Kari continues to interview interesting guests on her radio show "Just Community" on KTAL-LP at 101.5 FM. Recent subjects have included DACU colleague Sarah Strobel (a public health perspective on living abroad), social worker Veronica L.P. Grijalva-Palmisano (domestic violence), and activists from Paso del Sur (saving the Duranguito neighborhood in El Paso). You can listen to recordings of past interviews via this link. If you can't tune in on Thursdays at 8 AM because you're outside the listening area, you can still stream the show live from the station's  webpage.

Photo by Robert Yee
Duranguito resident Toñita Morales describes the  plantón (encampment) and other efforts to protest the plans of developers and the City of El Paso to construct an arena in the historic neighborhood.

Directions to Our Office
151 South Walnut Street, Unit B13  map
DACU is located at the corner of Walnut and Griggs in the Walnut Business Park. We are  w alking distance from Roadrunner bus routes 6 and 7. Please call before you come by, as we are often out and about in the community!
Doña Ana Communities United (DACU) builds the capacity of communities to develop and implement policies and community-based solutions that improve social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and life opportunities. We work to advance health equity in Doña Ana County by addressing institutional inequities related to geography, class, gender, and race. We are a nonpartisan organization and we welcome everyone to join us!

We are conducting two main projects. Through the social equity mapping project, undervalued community members explore their neighborhoods and work with local decision makers to develop policies that advance health equity. Participants in the hOurTime timebank build social cohesion and practice an equitable form of alternative economics as they exchange services with each other.