Doña  Ana Communities United
June 2018  Newsletter

In this newsletter we are excited to introduce our newest DACU team members, Patricia Gonzalez and Enrique Solis, both of whom will work as coordinators on the Nevada Neighborhood project. We also share updates on the Lisa Drive multi-use trail project in Chaparral, an upcoming opportunity to learn about tactical urbanism, our May team meeting, the recent timebank game night, and the Just Community radio show. Read on to learn more about what we've been up to! 

DACU Director 
Kari Bachman
DACU Outreach Coordinator 
Meredith Severtson

Upcoming DACU Events

Timebank Orientation
July 14, 2-3:30 PM

Timebank Get-Together
July 14, 4-6 PM

DACU Team Meeting
July 26, 11 AM-1 PM

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

Welcome Patricia and Enrique! 

We are pleased to welcome two new members to our team! As coordinators for the Nevada Neighborhood Project, Patricia Gonzalez and Enrique Solis will work to build community and engage residents in the Nevada neighborhood. 

Patricia is a dyed-in-the-wool New Mexican and longtime resident of Las Cruces. She worked for 25 years at Sara Lee Hosiery aka L'Eggs aka Hanes and for several years in the Las Cruces Public Schools district. Her volunteer work includes the Mesilla Valley Film Society at the Fountain Theatre and the sorely missed Border Book Festival.

Enrique Solis was born and raised in Doña Ana County. He he has lived in four different communities here, and now resides in Las Cruces. He is currently a senior at New Mexico State University pursuing a degree in law and society. He enjoys working on his car and following football.

Please join us in welcoming Patricia and Enrique to our DACU family!
Photo by  Robert Yee
Patricia at the recent timebank game night.

Enrique at the DACU office.

Open House for the Lisa Drive Multi-Use Trail

On June 14, we participated in an open house in Chaparral to gather community input on the Lisa Drive multi-use trail project. The trail is intended to connect schools to the park on Lisa Drive, Chaparral's main thoroughfare. Attendees voted for amenities they'd like to see included in the project, such as streetlights, green areas, crosswalks, bus stops, and stop signs. Forty-six residents provided input at this event. Construction of the trail is scheduled to begin in December 2018.

Thank you to the Doña Ana County Community Development Department for the opportunity to collaborate on this project! 

Photos by Robert Yee 
Perla works with residents to gather feedback.

Residents provide input to DACU and County staff.

Tactical Urbanism Workshop

Interested in exploring possibilities for reviving vacant lots and other underutilized spaces? Here's a chance to share your ideas with your community and decision makers !

In partnership with ASH+LIME, a planning firm specializing in creative strategies for underutilized land and buildings, the City  of Las Cruces will hold several tactical urbanism workshops on June 22 and 23. Tactical urbanism is a collection  of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment intended to improve local neighborhoods and city gathering places.  DACU's street mural project and SLOW mural at the Community of Hope are both examples of tactical urbanism.

Three sessions will be held over June 22 and 23:
June 22  at  1 PM  and 3 PM at Beck's Coffee House (130 N. Mesquite Street)
June 23 at 10 AM at the Rio Grande Theater (211 N. Downtown Mall) 

We are excited to see growing interest in creative placemaking in our city! If you attend, we would love to hear about your experiences!
DACU Team Meeting

We hold a DACU team meeting every other month. The meetings are a great way to find out more about everything we do at DACU, from social equity mapping to timebanking, and to connect with DACU members and others in the community.

At our May 31 team meeting, we discussed DACU's evolving vision and mission statements and attendees generously shared their insights. We will be discussing your suggestions with our DACU steering committee and timebank steering committee and plan to release final versions of our vision and mission this summer!

We hope you'll make plans to attend our next team meeting on July 26 from 11 AM to 1 PM!

Timebank Game Night

On May 25, we held our first ever timebank game night! Timebank members and friends had a great time getting to know one another over board games and snacks. 
Special thanks to timebank members Shelly Nichols-Shaw, Amy Whipple, Donovan Brockhausen, and Tim Franco for taking the lead on this event!

We are looking for more creative ideas for timebank group events! If you have ideas or would like to help plan an upcoming event, please contact us

Photos by Robert Yee
Backgammon and Uno were popular with attendees.

Florence Hamilton shows off her skill at Jenga.
Just Community Radio Show

Kari continues to broadcast her live radio show Just Community on KTAL-LP every Thursday morning from 8 to 9 AM. (Tune your dial to 101.5 FM or listen to the show online.) 

The show focuses on social equity and features voices not often heard in our community. Recent guests include Debora Gladish on transit and renters' rights, Maya Weisinger on her experiences as a musician and working in workforce development, indigenous arrow soul artist Saba, and Tim Franco, a self-described quiet hard worker who tries to help as much as he can. 

You can listen to archived Just Community shows here. If you or someone you know is interested in being on the show, contact Kari to get involved!  

Debora Gladish.

Maya Weisinger.

Saba with the KTAL station ID.

Tim Franco in the studio.

Directions to Our Office
151 South Walnut Street, Unit B13  map

You'll find DACU at the corner of Walnut and Griggs in the Walnut Business Park.  Please call before you come by as we may be out and about in the community!


City bus routes have changed! Route 6 (stops 16 and 17) and Route 7 (stop 20) still deliver passengers within blocks of our office. We are also accessible via the new Route 8 (stop 5). For more information, visit the  Roadrunner Transit webpage.

A vibrant Doña Ana County in which all residents share their gifts and attain their own visions of health.

Mission:  Doña Ana Communities United is an affirming nonpartisan community-based organization. DACU is rooted in the gifts and needs of those whose voices often go unheard. We carry out creative community-driven projects to eliminate structural barriers that often prevent residents from reaching their full potential. In partnership with decision makers, DACU aims to forge equitable public policies and participation processes.

DACU conducts two main projects. (1) Social equity mapping: Undervalued community members explore their neighborhoods and work with local decision makers to develop policies that advance health equity. Current efforts focus on the Community of Hope, the Nevada Neighborhood, and Lisa Drive in Chaparral. (2) hOurTime timebank: Members build social cohesion and practice an equitable form of alternative economics by exchanging services.