Candidates Must Denounce “Respect New Mexico” Endorsement

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Marianna
 Anaya
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*Trigger warning: sexual assault.

For months we’ve seen the empty-messaged billboards from so-called “Respect New Mexico,” trying to re-brand the Republican party as something more moderate than the extreme right-wing party they’ve become. For months, they’ve tried to escape Trump’s responsibility for the death of over 200,000 people due to COVID-19. And now, they’re trying to pivot away from Trump’s support of the white supremacist hate group, the Proud Boys.

Meanwhile, “Respect New Mexico” is perpetuating the same extreme measures here in our own state, endorsing a slate of conservative candidates, some of which display their own version of “western chauvinism,” not unlike the Proud Boys. Enter Dave Gallus, a candidate in New Mexico Senate District 37, who is seen wearing a MAGA hat adorned with the Proud Boys’ iconic laurels in his campaign photo. Indeed, he’s endorsed by “Respect New Mexico” -the brand that’s too embarrassed to call themselves Republican in 2020.

“Respect New Mexico” -the brand that’s too embarrassed to call themselves Republican in 2020.

In 2018, Gallus wrote a series of letters to the editor in the Las Cruces Sun-News that suggested that women who were sexually assaulted must be “groupies” or “prostitutes”. Further, in a second op-ed, Gallus blames survivors of sexual assault by stating “when a woman dresses and acts provocatively… she wishes to choose the male”. This shaming of survivors is not only disgusting but unacceptable. And if that weren’t enough, Gallus runs to the defense of perpetrators of sexual assault, suggesting a sexual assault is “like a nuclear reaction, once released is difficult, if not impossible, to control”. Gallus provides excuses for perpetrators instead of calling sexual assault what it is: a criminal act of violence.

Dave Gallus and “Respect New Mexico” are sick to endorse this behavior. Any self-respecting candidate endorsed by “Respect New Mexico” has the responsibility to denounce this group, their Republican colleague, and their shameful acts of violence against women, queer communities, and all survivors of sexual assault.

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Alissa Barnes :: Executive Director
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Alissa Barnes is Executive Director at ProgessNow New Mexico where she leads a team that works on message development, issue and voter education, and amplification of progressive messages and values. She leads the organization in strategy development, fundraising, and organizational growth and sustainability.

Alissa’s background includes nearly 12 years at Roadrunner Food Bank where Alissa led the development and creation of multiple programs that are now national models, invested in community building and collaborations, and worked closely with elected officials, educating about hunger and why policies would either benefit or hurt clients in food lines. She has a BA from the University of New Mexico and various non-profit certifications.
  • If she followed her childhood dream, she would be a Broadway tap dancing star
  • Has seen Frozen 1 and 2 over 100 times
  • Loves heavy metal concerts
Marianna Anaya :: Deputy Director
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Marianna oversees strategic messaging and creative implementation tactics for issue-based and political campaigns. She leads the team’s digital and earned media programs, bringing a New Mexico values-based approach to her work. 

Marianna’s background includes race and ethnic studies in education as a focus at UT Austin and UCLA, political campaign work, staffing former Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as leading organizing and communications work for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.

  • She currently serves as the Board President of Emerge NM. 
  • Her hobbies include getting more women, queer folks and BIPOC elected to office.
  • She has three cuddle-worthy dogs at home
Lucas Herndon :: Energy and Policy Director
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Lucas’ focus is on all things energy and environment, election integrity projects and general messaging strategy. He is often the front facing voice for PNNM when it comes to issues surrounding methane, renewable energy, oil industry accountability, and public lands issues. 

Lucas has an extensive background in public lands and solar energy. He was instrumental in the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 2014 and has participated in every local election since 2012 through phone banking, online organizing, and poll watching. Lucas is a lifelong resident of Las Cruces where he has served in various capacities of leadership including as President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, District Director for the Dona Ana County Democratic Party, and attending and completing the inaugural classes of the Las Cruces Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Las Cruces Tree Stewards. 

  • Owned a tattoo shop called Omega Tattoo & Supply 
  • Once got a chin bump “what’s up” from James Harden on an airplane when Harden saw Lucas’ beard 
  • Has a minor in Medieval and Early Modern History
Josette Arvizu :: Communications Director
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Josette Arvizu is the Communications Director at ProgressNow New Mexico where she oversees the development and implementation of systems that further the external and internal communications of the organization.

Josette’s background in marketing includes copywriting, paid media, SEO and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits, including convention and visitor bureaus from Bermuda to Anaheim. She began her career teaching writing to college students while in New Mexico State University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her previous work promoting diversity and inclusion includes coordination of writing and traditional arts workshops for Native American youth at the Tucson Indian Center.
  • Is a cat mom to an obstinate orange tabby named Quasimodo and a restless grey cat named Squirrel
  • Hasn’t heard a pun she didn’t like
  • Minored in dance in college and is an avid follower of ballet on Instagram
Jackie Aguirre :: Communications Specialist
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Jackie’s focus is on graphics and social media marketing that promote progressive issues across our state. 

Jackie’s background includes work in the Reproductive Justice space focusing on Latinx, Chicanx and Mexican-American communities.

  • She is a co-owner of a community art gallery celebrating BIPOC artists
  • She is a long-time volunteer for Planned Parenthood and works with college students to provide condoms/dental dams, menstrual products & other resources
  • She is a part of a group of women who love craft beer and hosts monthly beer shares with beer from all over the country
Edgar Cruz :: Communications Specialist
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Edgar Cruz is a Communications Specialist at ProgressNow New Mexico where he focuses on video creation and research that promotes progressive issues across our state.

Edgar has a background producing multimedia initiatives. With over five years of radio production experience, he is a movement agent who believes in exploring all avenues of media to inform and engage community.

  • Is a host of Espejos de Aztlan on KUNM
  • Is a member of Generation Justice
  • First discovered his passion for organizing as a high school student after joining the Youth Alliance in 2009