DPBC Blue Review
Newsletter Deadlines: Monday and Thursday 12 noon
August 2, 2022
Write Some Postcards, Make Some Dem Friends
Recruitment is underway for two postcard-writing campaigns--one to support Gabe Vasquez for U.S. Congress in the newly created, long-conservative Congressional District 2 (CD2) and one to spur Dem turnout in Bernalillo County.

If you or any of your friends can help, contact SandyDan@prodigy.net
 
Blue CD2. Volunteers for this pro-Vasquez campaign buy their own postage and commit to a one-week turn-around to get the postcards in the mail. There is some help for those willing to join in but unable to pay for postage. Here's a link for the campaign: 
 
Democratic Party of Bernalillo County (DPBC). Beginning in September and through the run-up to the mid-term elections, we are reaching out to young, Democrat-leaning, infrequent voters. Based on a strategy used in Santa Fe that is credited with getting 3.4% more voters in the 24-34 age group, the DPBC campaign is looking for as many willing and able scribes as possible. DPBC will provide the postage. Here is a link to the DPBC postcard-writing campaign sign-up. 
Community Safety: An Update 
By Lance Chilton

A year in, Albuquerque Community Safety has made great progress, though it isn’t yet everything to everyone. At a recent gathering near my home, one attendee voiced frustration with ACS, saying that it “isn’t even available during the evening when most domestic violence occurs.” I spoke with ACS Director Mariela Ruiz-Angel about that remark and other less-than-knowledgeable comments that discount ACS’s quite remarkable accomplishments during the department’s first year, and noted that most domestic violence calls come in during the 11 hours that ACS is open each day of the week.

Ms. Ruiz-Angel stated that she is very proud of Albuquerque’s progress with ACS, which has put it at a point unequaled by any comparable city she is aware of--and she travels a good deal to find best models from around the country. She is proud of the acceptance she and her department have earned from the two other public safety departments in Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Police Department and Fire and Rescue Department (APD and AFR), which, she says, often ask for ACS workers to work alongside them on vexing problems in the community. For example, in the investigation of the recent tragic shooting deaths of two West Mesa residents, ACS was brought to work with community members exposed to the trauma of these needless deaths. Similarly, when a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office fire control helicopter crashed on June 16, ACS workers were called in to work with grieving family members.

Ms. Ruiz-Angel is also very proud to have been able to assemble a strong team of professionals–including social workers, counselors, former community health workers, former teachers, and hospital and prison workers, and even former policeman and fire-fighters, to answer the many calls that come in each day. A remarkable December 2021 report, the Albuquerque Community Safety Department FY2022 Organizational Plan, documents the commitment of a number of ACS’s employees to their clients and their community.

A large proportion of the calls received by ACS have to do with persons experiencing homelessness and/or mental health problems and/or substance abuse–only a few have to do with domestic violence. Perhaps in contrast to other agencies dealing with public safety issues, ACS takes a non-judgmental approach to its clients, working with them to find
resources to meet their immediate and longer-term needs, and also is accepting in regard to their needing help on multiple occasions. ACS workers’ help, Ms. Ruiz-Angel says, is often better accepted by its clients when they realize “we are not the police.”

ACS has handled more than 12,000 calls during its first 10 months of operation. Ms. Ruiz-Angel stated that the number of cases taken had more than tripled in the last 3 months, following stationing of an ACS referral specialist at the crisis referral center.

“I’m overwhelmed by the amount we’ve accomplished,” the director said, “and overwhelmed by the amount that still needs to be accomplished.” The accomplishments are carried out using the WE CARE framework that will be the subject of another report upcoming in the Blue Review: Well being and safety, Empathy, Community, Accountability, Respect and dignity, and Equity.
Judge Candidate Statements

Please read these informative statements of candidacy for those seeking the recommendation of the County Central Committee for Metro Court Division 16 thus far. Note that the candidacy period does not expire until August 5th, so we may have many more statements for you to read after this issue of the Blue Review. Keep an eye out!

Candidates for Metro Court, Div. 16:
  • Michael Fricke
  • Claire McDaniel
  • Steve Diamond

Governor's appointee for District Court Div 31: Judge David Murphy
Governor's appointee for Metro Court Div 1: Asra Elliott

Other candidates may declare their candidacy here:
Judicial Nominating Commission: https://lawschool.unm.edu/judsel/application.html
Democratic Party of Bernalillo County: https://forms.gle/46pVUHS7iVXs85gk7
Both applications must be completed.
Deadline for submission is: 5:00pm August 5, 2022
For more information on the process, check out the ABCs of New Mexico Judicial Races.

Michael Fricke, Candidate for Metro Court, Div. 16:

Service is important to me. Over my 29 years as a lawyer, I have developed the knowledge and judgment to serve well. I have over 22 years of experience as a criminal lawyer. For twenty of those years, I prosecuted cases in Bernalillo County. I have prosecuted drug cases, property cases, white collar crimes, racketeering cases, child abuse, and violent crimes including criminal sexual penetration and murder. I have conducted probation violation hearings, suppression hearings, and responded to writs of habeas corpus. I have instructed police cadets and officers as well as less experienced lawyers. From 2011 to 2017, I was the deputy in charge of the White Collar Crimes Division; from 2017 to 2019, I was a deputy in charge of a section of the Violent Crimes Division. I responded to on-record and de novo appeals at the district court level from approximately 2004 to 2007. I have also filed and responded to extraordinary writs in the Supreme Court. I have tried approximately 50 criminal jury trials. I have responded on behalf of the State to approximately 70 on-record appeals and approximately 70 de novo appeals from Metro Court from approximately 2004-2007. In addition, I have filed or responded to 3 extrordinary writs in the Supreme Court; I have argued at the Supreme Court once. Read more here.

Claire McDaniels, Metro Court Judge, Div. 16:

It would be an incredible honor to join the bench of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. I have dedicated the past seven years of my career to the incredible work done in the Metropolitan Courthouse. I have practiced in the courthouse as a prosecutor during that time.

My personal experiences and professional experience make me uniquely qualified to be a judge on the Metro Court bench - and I know I would be truly great at it. My first real job after graduating law school in 2010 was working for a civil rights law firm. I loved meeting with clients and hearing their stories. It was fascinating work. I learned what bad policing looks like and how harmful it is to the individual affected by it. I saw firsthand how devastating it is to be abused by someone in a position of power and I will never forget the stories I heard from the firm’s clients. I became a prosecutor in March of 2013 because I wanted courtroom experience. I wanted to learn how to be a trial attorney. I soon learned to love a lot more about being a prosecutor than just the training and courtroom experience. I love that I have the ability to do justice. I can decide to not initiate a case or to nolle a case if I do not believe it is in the interests of justice. I can give individuals an opportunity to get treatment and be diverted from the system. I also love that I get to speak on behalf of the community and I get to be there for victims of crime.

As someone who was the victim of a violent crime, I feel I have a unique ability to listen to survivors and make them feel heard and respected. I also understand that many of the defendants I see have been through trauma and have been victims of violence. . . Read more here.

Steve Diamond, Metro Court Judge, Div. 16:

I have been a practicing attorney since 2007, and for the past decade I have worked at the Second Judicial District Attorney's Office. I have spent a large portion of my time at the District Attorney's Office prosecuting domestic violence, sexual assault, and crimes against children cases. Therefore I believe I would be able to create a courtroom environment that not only protects the rights of Defendants, but is also empathetic to the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

If chosen to the bench, I look forward to the opportunity to seek out new and better treatment options for those in our criminal justice system. We already have a number of diversionary courts in both the Metropolitan and District Court that allow for a model of treatment rather than incarceration for many offenders. But I believe that our system can do even more to improve and expand those programs. I think by looking at housing first models of recovery, better utilization of community resources, and outreach programs we can make sure our diversionary courts and other treatment options perform at both maximum capacity and maximum efficiency. In short, if elected to the bench, I strongly believe that my job as a judge is not just to preside over the cases that are put on my docket, but its to constantly seek out ways to make improvements to our criminal justice system.

Please read these informative statements from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's appointees.

Judge David A. Murphy, Second Judicial District Court, Div. 30:

I’m Judge David Murphy, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointee to the Bernalillo County Second Judicial District Court, Division 30, and I am asking for your support to place me on the ballot as the Democratic Party nominee to keep my seat.
I was appointed by Governor Lujan Grisham to this newly created seat earlier this month, after having been nominated and vetted by the Judicial Nominating Commission.
The New Mexico Legislature created this new judicial position in the 2022 Legislature, and since the position was not on the 2022 Primary Ballot, SCC members have the important and critical role of choosing the Democratic Party's nominee to be on the 2022 General Election Ballot.

Prior to this appointment, I served as a Metropolitan Court Judge, and I met many of you in my last election. As a Judge, I’ve presided over the Community Veterans Court program, which provides critical mental health and substance abuse treatment to military veterans.  I also serve as a member of the Supreme Court’s Equity & Justice Commission, which is doing important and timely work. I’ve presided over thousands of cases, and through my time on the bench I have emphasized transparency and procedural fairness from the bench.

I want you to know that I’ve worked hard as a Judge, and I am bringing that same ethic with me to the District Court. Read more here.

Asra Elliot, Candidate for Metro Court, Div. 1:

I am Metropolitan Court Judge Asra I. Elliott, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointee to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. I was appointed to fill the vacancy resulting from the retirement of the Honorable Judge Victor E. Valdez.

Because this vacancy and appointment occurred after the Primary Election, the Bernalillo County Central Committee has the critical and important role of nominating the Democratic Candidate who will appear on the 2022 General Election Ballot.
I know you take this role seriously, and I ask for your vote so I can continue working for you on this busy and important court.

I am the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. My comfortable life and its abundance of choices stand in stark contrast to the lives of my parents and ancestors. Because of the privileges I have enjoyed by virtue of my place of birth, I feel a profound sense of duty to my community. Since I was a small child, I have known my life must be committed to public service. New Mexico and Bernalillo County are my home, and I can think of no higher use for my expertise and energy than serving my community by continuing to serve on the judiciary. Read more here.
The Color of [all too much] Law
A Book Review by Lance Chilton

This article is much too late for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and for Black History Month,but maybe that makes it important in its own way. Somehow it seems that the outpouring of grief and outrage at George Floyd’s murder abated all too quickly, just as the conclusions of the Kerner Commission were all too quickly shelved after they were published in 1968. And so we can’t just consider racial prejudice on MLK Day or during Black History Month!

Progress on attaining racial rectitude has been slow and uneven in its coming. Governmental efforts in this regard have been mixed, some moving forward, some reinforcing the backwardness epitomized by Jim Crow laws and Ku Klux Klan lynchings.

The Color of Law: A History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein (Liveright Publisher, 2017), documents in exhaustive detail the failings of federal, state and local governments to assure equal rights for African Americans. But that sentence doesn’t say it all: governments, and not just in the South, didn’t just passively allow prejudice and inequality to exist, but actively promoted them on many occasions.
Our Campaign
Know where we are,
See where we're going,
And vote your power in November.
Keep progress and promise in New Mexico: VOTE YOUR POWER.

We’ve seen what the radical right GOP is about: They want to limit who can vote, which books we read, what lessons teachers can teach, what private medical decisions can be made between doctors and patients—all while using bigotry and racism to keep their followers stirred up.

We DON’T want any of that happening in New Mexico. Now’s the time to put our power to work for Democratic candidates—by donating to campaigns, volunteering, helping Get Out the Vote, and, above all, marking our own ballot for Dems we want to see in office.
Don't forget to follow us on social media, too!
Join In. Help Out. Pull Together. Spread the Word. Be Happy the Day After Midterm.
If you have a skill to lend to our Democratic Party of Bernalillo County efforts, now is the time to let us know! We're working to expand the party's reach throughout the summer and into the midterm elections. We need everything from people making phone calls and checking prices for goods and services to people staffing information tables and passing out brochures. We need voter registration agents. We need social media expertise. We need writers. We need planners. We need you if you need democracy.

Rise up and take action HERE: volunteers@bernalillodems.org
The War to Be Yourself
By Jake Stern Powell

Poet e.e. cummings once wrote that “to be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”

Today, the frontlines of these battles are taking place in the transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming communities. In April of this year, the Human Rights Commission noted that state legislatures introduced more than 130 bills that targeted trans rights.
Even this past week, more than 20 Republican attorneys general sued President Joe Biden’s administration to block a school meal program that prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.

In a world where making others suffer is too commonplace, it’s essential to take a step back and look at the cruelty here: The leading law enforcement officials in over 20 states are fighting for the right to discriminate against transgender children.
Fortunately, nonprofit organizations are pushing back and advocating for the rights of our trans family and community members.

Take the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, for instance. What began humbly in 2008, with a mere website and snack distribution in Morningside Park, has now grown into an organizational force.

Their work is based on three pillars: advocacy, education, and direct services. Perhaps the best example of their advocacy within the New Mexico legislature was their work on the Vital Statistics Modernization Act of 2019.
Helpers is a regular column introducing Blue Review readers to worthy organizations helping in our communities. Our goal is simple: to open a window into the mission, methods, and needs of organizations working to do good in unenviable circumstances. If learning about these worthy helpers inspires you to get involved with the nonprofit, even better. While we cannot shine a light on every deserving nonprofit, we hope to hear from you, too. If there’s a 501c3 organization whose work you believe we should highlight, please let us know at helpers@bernalillodems.org.
Fundraising Reception for Joy Garratt

For more information, please contact: mike@nmhdcc.com
UA Local 412 Kick Ass Awards
Coffee with Damian Lara
Campaign Kickoff for John Allen!
Unite Nite for August - Crime and Solutions
Justice Briana Zamora will join us for our August Unite Nite to present on a commission on crime that she's put together, and Justin Allen, an organizer with Millions for Prisoners, will present on some criminal justice reform legislation that he's working on. This will be a terrific way to get informed about how New Mexico is hitting crime head on, so be sure to register below. UNITE NITE, Tuesday, August 23 6:00 pm – 7:30 p.m.
Decades Dance for John Allen!
Meet & Greet with Rep. Roybal Caballero
September Fest

September 18 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Music, food, car show, tabling by multiple organizations, kids’ area, and much more. 
Can you help? We need you now to join us in having lots of fun while doing significant work. To volunteer, drop a note to: volunteers@bernalillodems.org.

Meanwhile, give generously! You can make your contribution HERE. Thank you!
DPNM Hiring Tribal Outreach Organizers
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Join In!

Democrats who want to see change and be change are participating throughout the County in making change. Join them! Join us! Subscribe to The Blue Review at the bernalillodems.org website at https://bernalillodems.org/newsletter-subscription. Send us your news too! We want to hear from you.

Contact us by noon on Mondays and Thursdays for the newsletter editions on Tuesdays and Fridays. Write to us directly at news@bernalillodems.org.  You can also reach us by clicking on the “Enter Your Event" link on the website at www.bernalillodems.org website or this link: https://bernalillodems.org/event-entry/Bernalillo Dems.

Public Event Entry – Bernalillo Dems Newsletter deadlines: content must be received by noon Monday or noon Thursday.