Newsletter Deadlines: Monday and Thursday 12 noon
Focus on: Claudia Risner for NM Senate District 19 (East Mountains and beyond)

By Diane McCash

Claudia Risner will bring a lot to our NM legislature’s table, beginning with impressive leadership experience as a senior naval officer. Over a 29-year career, Risner had four commands and led people in accomplishing missions in Base Support, Military Sealift, Personnel Support, and Maritime Civil Affairs and Expeditionary Training. She was stationed overseas for 9 years and specialized in liaising with allied navies and in advising our Ambassadors as a Foreign Area Officer in Southeast Asia and in Europe. With a proven record of leadership and a passion to serve, this candidate rises head and shoulders above her competition.

To say that it is important to elect Claudia Risner to the NM State Senate is an understatement. This race is key for her constituents in District 19 and for all New Mexicans, no matter their party affiliation. Her opponent, Gregg Schmedes, is against gun control, against raising the minimum wage, against reproductive rights – and strongly for reduced government and a “free market” approach to healthcare plans. If ever there was a time to think policy and not politics, this is it.

On the economy. Risner has a multi-faceted plan to build on New Mexico’s “tremendous potential for growth and (economic) diversification...” With unpredictable gas and oil revenues and a mandated transition to renewable energy, it is vital that New Mexico’s leaders be focused, effective, and proactive. Risner’s plan includes creating jobs that build our rural infrastructure and support New Mexico’s transition to renewable energy – as well as policies that would encourage job creation and small business startups in the private sector.

On water and the environment. As a State Senator, Risner “will work on Water Plans legislation to mitigate our risks for drought and fires in our communities.” She is currently involved in regenerative agriculture with the Healthy Soil Working Group. Building environmental resilience and addressing climate change are also priorities. Risner does not shy away from the inconvenient realities we must all face, realities that affect our collective and individual economies and wellbeing. This is the kind of leadership needed in these times.

On health care and safety. Claudia Risner supports data and science-based health care and public health decisions. Her goals include reducing costs for medicine and health insurance and prioritizing “creative economic solutions to get our small businesses through this tough time.”

On education. Risner will prioritize the diversification of our economy to create a more stable funding base for education. She vows to never vote to cut education funding: “I believe education is the foundation of our children’s lives, our workforce, and a better future for New Mexico.”
A vote for Claudia Risner is a vote for New Mexico. Visit her website and/or social media, and get involved. 
Focus on: Re-elect PRC Commissioner Cynthia Hall, a Champion for Clean Energy

By Tricia Holser

A big change for the Public Regulation Commission (PRC), an agency that many voters know little about—although it affects every New Mexican who pays a gas, electric, or water bill—may be coming this November. The NM Legislature voted last year to place a question on the ballot that will determine whether to convert the PRC, which currently has five elected commissioners, to a three-commissioner panel in 2023, with appointments made by the governor.

Against this backdrop of uncertainty, Democrat and incumbent Cynthia Hall is running against Republican Janice Arnold-Jones. Whoever is elected will take office on Jan. 1, 2021 and serve for 2 years (if voters approve the ballot question) or 4 years.

In January 2017, Cynthia Hall took office as District 1 Commissioner of the PRC. As such, she has advocated for a higher Renewable Portfolio Standard—meaning a greater percentage of total retail sales by investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives must be from renewable energy resources. She has also worked to require consideration of storage as a resource in integrated resource plans and for competitive procurement of renewable resources by utilities.

Hall, an attorney, brings a wealth of expertise to the commission. She was previously an associate general counsel to the PRC, assistant staff counsel in the NM Public Service Commission and Energy and Minerals Department. She also has worked as associate general counsel, hearing officer, and felony insurance fraud prosecutor in the NM Office of Superintendent of Insurance. Cynthia currently serves on the Committee on Electricity and the Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues–Waste Disposal of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She is a former Bernalillo County planning commissioner and former vice president of the NM Renewable Energy Association.

Hall’s opponent, Janice Arnold-Jones, is a native of North Carolina who moved across the country following her husband’s Navy career. She worked in the electrical contracting industry, banking, and media. A former NM state representative (HD 24, 2003-2011), she also served for 10 months as an Albuquerque City councilor (District 7). Arnold-Jones holds a bachelor's degree in speech communications from UNM.

Cynthia Hall grew up in Indiana, and holds a JD from Southwestern Law School, an MS from St. Louis University, and a BA from Washington University.

In the words of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich: “Cynthia Hall has been a champion of renewable energy from the beginning of her tenure on the PRC. Her commitment to 100% clean, affordable energy for all is unwavering. She protects ratepayers’ interests and has the expertise, vision and drive to lead the Commission through New Mexico’s energy transition and emergence as a national clean energy leader.”
Visit Cynthia Hall’s website or social media to learn more and lend your support.
Know the Candidates, Know the Challenges

As part of Candidate Focus 2020, we’ve created Dems Up and Down the Ballot -- a full listing of all the Democrats who are counting on our support in their bids for federal, state and local offices in November, including names and pictures, the office they’re seeking, their websites and social media. We’re also providing access to our Focus feature articles on Dems in Priority Races where there are hotly contested seats to be flipped or held. Both resources are quickly available on our DPBC website. Just click here.
Watch for the Week’s Actions – coming soon to your inbox

Starting next Monday, watch for weekly notices of how you can help get out the vote and
bring about a Democratic victory this November. Organizers in and around Bernalillo
County are setting up phone banking, text banking, networking and other ways to
volunteer. DPBC Action Focus emails will bring you the news of how to be involved!
For timely info and discussion of your voting options:
Watch this webinar with Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover, County Elections Administrator Jaime Diaz, and County Bureau of Elections Coordinator Nathan Jaramillo.
Key Dates for the 2020 General Election

The 2020 General Election is only weeks away! Let’s get ready. By now some of you will have received an absentee voting application. You do NOT need a reason to vote absentee. Here are some key dates to know for the election lead-up:

The absentee ballot online portal is live NOW! It’s important to request your ballot as soon as possible.

September 14, 2020

September 19, 2020 Sample ballots will be available online to view and download.

October 6, 2020
  • Clerks begin mailing absentee ballots to voters who have requested them.
  • Books close for online and paper voter registration.
  • Absentee Voting Begins
  • In-person Absentee Voting and Same Day Registration (SDR) begin at Clerk’s Annex (Oct. 6-16, 2020, M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

October 17-31, 2020Early Voting and SDR (Click for locations) M-S, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

October 20, 2020 – Deadline for clerk to receive a mailed absentee ballot application

October 27, 2020 – Recommended final day for voter to mail absentee ballot

November 3, 2020 – Election Day 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Click for information on Military/Overseas Voting, Election Board (poll workers), Student Election Clerks and Third Party Voter Registration Agents. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and visit the Newsroom.
Say it loud and strong!

Help get out the vote with a colorful yard sign. Order yours today.
Voter Registration Agent Training

The Bernalillo County Clerk announced a new on-line VRA Training program which is available until September 13, 2020. If you know any friends who want to become VRAs, this is a great way to get the training. Here’s the link to sign up for a class:
Online tools for voters

Yes, Voter Registration activities have been severely curtailed! But, thankfully we have on-line tools available to help our friends and family register to vote or update their voter registration information. Go to the Secretary of States website for all things relating to voter registration:
Get Tested
If you are feeling sick with any COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been in contact with an infected person, you can get tested for the virus.

Those without insurance can go to a New Mexico Public Health Office to get tested at no cost. Locations are listed here.

There are various sites throughout Bernalillo County and the State that offer testing services. Once you find your site, you may pre-register for testing here.

Be a census ambassador to your community, your friends, and your family. Will you join us to make sure everyone is counted?

Here are actions that you and your organization can do to contribute to a complete count today. The link also has excellent information about how an undercount affects different areas of concern, such as education, human services, agriculture and food, healthcare, and representation.

New Mexico is at risk of a significant undercount in the 2020 Census, and we need your help. Right now, New Mexico is in danger of losing more than $3 billion over the next 10 years*. A census undercount means cuts for Title I schools and school food programs, cuts for firefighters and first responders, less road funding, and reduced access to health care for the next 10 years. It also fundamentally changes our political representation. It is critical that all our voices are heard and that our communities get the funding they deserve.

We are rural and urban. We are parents and children. We are diverse. We are mixed-status. We are essential. We are New Mexico, and we will be counted.
You + DPBC + Social Media

You can help us expand our audience by joining us on social media. Follow us on Facebook at the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County, on Twitter at @DPBC, and on Instagram at bernalillodems.

Share our content with your social network. Our voices, raised in unity, will be heard.       
Events in Bernalillo County
Event listings are open to Democratic candidates, their representatives, and organizations whose philosophies are in line with Democratic values. Event listings are a service to the community. They do not indicate endorsement of a candidate by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County.

Due to coronavirus, please contact event organizers for information regarding cancellations.
Dare to Lead: Facing the Climate Challenge Head On
Join us for a conversation about the climate & our communities on Wednesday, September 9 from 6:00-7:30 pm Live on Facebook or on Zoom. Registration will open up soon. There will be an opportunity to join us on Zoom but we will also be livestreaming directly onto Facebook.

Meet the dynamic women taking a lead on climate policy on behalf of communities here in New Mexico. We'll go deep with strategy discussion with YUCCA endorsed candidates Congresswoman Deb Haaland & Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero.

Donations are welcome and we are grateful. Any $ graciously donated will go to the Campaign to Re-Elect Patricia Roybal Caballero & to YUCCA Action. Donate at

***Rep. Deb Haaland is appearing at this event as a special guest. Rep. Deb Haaland is not asking for funds or donations for her campaign.

  • September 09, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
DPBC Resolutions Committee
The Resolutions Committee will meet to consider resolutions and new business.

Via Zoom.

  • September 20, 1:00 pm
Volunteer for Xochitl Torres Small
Xochitl Torres Small’s election contest is again one of the, if not the, closest in the Nation. Every contact is important. And given the pandemic, contacts must mostly be by phone.

There are two phone options, and you can do both. One is to use a link to access a script and people to call at your convenience.

The other is virtual phone banks from 5 PM to 7 PM Monday through Thursday as well as from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Sundays. These begin with a training. This weekend there will be a chance to meet and talk with other volunteers (virtually of course).

There are texting options which you can do on your own schedule after training this weekend.
Volunteer for Xochitl Torres Small
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