Senator Tom Udall Announces $2 Million Grant for New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services

U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services has been selected to participate in a new pilot program to help better serve rural veterans. The department will receive $2 million in federal grants to increase access to health care and benefits for veterans and their families living in rural and underserved New Mexico communities. The N.M. Department of Veterans’ Services was one of five entities selected nationally for the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP) by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a competitive two-year grant program to help veterans and their families as they transition from military service to civilian life.

“Our veterans have earned the best care we can provide, regardless of where they live. Yet too many veterans in rural New Mexico communities face long travel times, a lack of health care options, and medical staff shortages,” Udall said. “I talked with VA Secretary McDonald about these issues when we met during his confirmation process, and I’m pleased that New Mexico has been selected to participate in this program. I’m hopeful that the RVCP program will help rural veterans in New Mexico and across the country get better access to quality care.” 

The awarded funding may be used to increase the coordination of health care and benefits for veterans, increase the availability of high quality medical and mental health services, provide assistance to families of transitioning veterans, or provide outreach to veterans and their families. The Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health will oversee the pilot program, and the VA will use it to evaluate the effectiveness of non-VA entities, such as community-based organizations and local and state government entities, to improve access to benefits and services for returning veterans and their families. 

Udall helped to pass the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, which authorizes the RVCP, and he continues to work to address some of the biggest barriers to health care for veterans living in rural communities. In February, he introduced the bipartisan Rural Veterans Improvement Act with Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) in response to concerns he had heard from veterans across New Mexico. The bill would address some of the biggest barriers to health care for veterans in rural communities, including retention of doctors and nurses at rural clinics, access to mental health care, transportation to doctors’ appointments, and improvements at the VA’s community-based outpatient clinics.

Doña Ana County Democrats Celebrate Labor Day


The Doña Ana County Democratic Party celebrates Labor Day and the lasting contributions of working people to the history of our nation. We also celebrate the history of unions and the role of organized labor in bringing about the emergence of the middle class.

Labor’s many contributions include the eight hour day, the end of child labor, worker safety standards, health insurance, a cleaner environment, the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, pensions, along with a higher standard of living and many other economic benefits for all Americans, whether or not they are members of unions.

At a time when America’s working people find those hard-won standards of living under attack, once again, we stand by the collective bargaining rights of labor here in New Mexico and across this great nation that our unions helped build. Organized labor is the bulwark of democracy and prosperity. We continue to work for fair play, a fair shot, and a fair share for all. We remember the lessons of the past and continue to fight for the future of all Americans. In the words of the traditional labor song, “we are fighting for our children, and we shall not be moved.”

The Pullman Strike and the History of Labor Day

The first Labor Day stemmed from the desire of the Central Labor Union of New York to create a public holiday for workers. It was celebrated by laborers in New York, Brooklyn and eastern New Jersey beginning in 1882. However, it was a national railway strike, centered in Chicago, and put down by military force during the economic depression that began in 1893 that led to the establishment of Labor Day as a national holiday.

pullman strikeThe strike began at the company town of Pullman, Illinois, a model workers village conceived and built by George M. Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Company, the manufacturer and management of Pullman railroad sleeping cars. As demand for sleeping cars fell in the economic downturn, Pullman laid off workers and drastically lowered wages without reducing the cost of rents and supplies in the company town where workers were required to live and shop.

Pullman’s town was built with the idea that its clean tree-lined streets, orderly row-houses, charming arcades, theater, library, park and other amenities would eliminate labor conflict. To aid in eradicating agitation and dissension, public free speech and outside newspapers, along with alcohol was prohibited in his perfect community, and company inspectors entered homes at will to enforce Pullman’s rules on and off the job. Laborers wives were told what they could, and could not grow, in their gardens. George Pullman also expected his model village to turn a profit, demanding no less than a 6 percent return from his employees, and the Pullman-run bank ensured that the fees were paid before wages were issued. When Pullman refused to lower rents for his houses, workers walked off their jobs on May 10, 1894.

Striking Pullman workers appealed to the American Railway Union for support. In June the ARU began boycotting Pullman, its 150,000 members refusing to handle Pullman Cars anywhere in the United States. The Railroads began firing union members, escalating the strike.

In July President Grover Cleveland ordered 14,000 Federal troops into Chicago to put down the strike. Violent confrontations ensued. By the beginning of August the strike was effectively broken, and the ARU crushed, but President Cleveland’s heavy-handed response led to national demonstrations against his actions. Congress rushed legislation to create a national workers holiday in an effort to diffuse the spiraling nation-wide conflict. The Federal holiday bill passed both houses of Congress unanimously and was signed into law by Cleveland in the six days following the end of the strike, establishing Labor Day as the first Monday in September.

An Ongoing Heritage

In the aftermath of the events of 1894, President Cleveland was not re-elected, one of the few sitting Presidents to be repudiated by his own party in American history. A national commission found Pullman’s feudal paternalism to be a central cause of the crisis, and the Illinois Supreme Court forced George M. Pullman to divest ownership of his town, which the Court termed “un-American.” The Erdman Act of 1898, the first national legislation to recognize the rights of labor and to create a framework for arbitration of labor disputes, ushered in the era the progressive reform. The collective bargaining rights sought under the American Railway’s Union’s model of industrial unionism, in which workers, regardless of craft, join together in a common labor union, fought by the Cleveland Administration, and backed by the Supreme Court during the Pullman Strike, were eventually recognized under theNational Labor Relations Act, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935.

The Pullman Company again figured significantly in labor history when, after a protracted twelve year labor dispute in which it fought against the recognition of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), signed a collective bargaining agreement with that Union in 1937, the first African American led labor organization chartered by the American Federation of Labor. The BSCP played a key role in the civil rights movement when, under the leadership of its President, A. Phillip Randolph, the union organized the 1963 March on Washington, often most remembered for Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Members of the labor movement continue to lead the ongoing fight to protect, not only the rights of working people and the economic security of all, but also civil and human rights for all of us, and America’s most cherished democratic values.


Images above:
Pullman labor mural, S. 111th St., Chicago. Academy of Art Project, 1996 (top);
Federal troops confront strikers at Pullman, print, 1894 (right).

Weekly Address: This Labor Day, Let’s Talk About the Minimum Wage

In this week’s address, the President wished Americans a Happy Labor Day weekend, highlighted the important economic progress we’ve made, and reaffirmed his commitment to accelerate our progress and ensure that our growing economy fuels a strong middle class.

To do this, the President reiterated that Congress should do right by hardworking Americans across the country and raise the minimum wage, and he praised the 13 states and Washington, D.C. as well as employers large and small who have heeded his call and taken action to provide their citizens and employees a fair wage.

The President underscored that America built the world’s greatest middle class by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead – an economic patriotism worth remembering this Labor Day, and every day.

VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: Celebrando nuestros trabajadores en el Día del Trabajo

En el mensaje de esta semana, para celebrar el Día del Trabajo , el Secretario de Trabajo de EE.UU. Thomas Pérez honró los trabajadores de los Estados Unidos que han ayudado para que la economía crezca y han contribuido a nuestras industrias de la energía , la tecnología , la fabricación y de automóviles. Ese progreso se puede avanzar por aumentar el salario mínimo y luchar por las maneras de fortalecer la clase media.

English/Inglís: Watch and share President Obama’s weekly address.

En Español: Video mensaje de la Casa Blanca.

NM House Democrats Offer Ideas and Vision For Future

Republicans continue to push extreme, damaging, out-of-touch agenda

New Mexico Democrats are fired up and excited about our 2014 state house candidates. These outstanding women and men are teachers, labor leaders, firefighters, paramedics, veterans and small business owners. They don’t pretend to have all the answers but they do promise to offer common sense ideas and solutions to solve problems in New Mexico.

  • Raising the minimum wage
  • Accessing the permanent fund for early childhood education
  • Creating good paying jobs so families can remain in New Mexico and build a future.

NM House Republicans?

Rep.Nora Espinoza wants to keep Hispanic history books out of public schools. Why?

Rep. Tom Anderson obsesses about a non-binding 1992 United Nations resolution that suddenly, 22 years later is a “threat to homes (and the) property of our middle-class” in New Mexico.” Really?

Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s main accomplishment was to introduce a bill that charges a rape victim that ended her pregnancy with a 3rd degree felony for “tampering with evidence.” 3rd degree felonies carry a sentence of up to three years in prison. Then she tried to explain it was all a mistake. She is the mistake.

Rep. Paul Pacheco voted against increasing the minimum wage, against an expansion in education funding and against any other issue that his constituents support. Pathetic.

Why would anyone vote for these Republicans currently serving in the state legislature?

Fact is: they won’t. New Mexico voters, given the choice and provided the information, will consistently support and vote for Democratic candidates because of our common sense ideas and vision for the future.

Your contribution of $10, $25 or even $100 right now will send a strong message to the GOP that we’re ready to take them on in November.

New Mexicans believe in diversity, tolerance and compassion. That’s what Democrats believe too.

This is Governor Martinez and NM House Republicans Vision for New Mexico:

  • 50th in nation for well being of children
  • zero jobs created—state lost almost 6000 jobs within last year
  • 1st in nation for child hunger; 2nd for adults

Unfortunately, this is the reality.

New Mexico Democrats, led by Senator Tom Udall, Gary King and NM House Democrats, will help create jobs, maintain affordable health care and ensure our kids have a world class education.

If you share these views and want to build a better future for New Mexico and your kids, vote Democratic, from the bottom to the top on November 4th.

With our Democratic candidates tied in the polls with the GOP, we need your help. CONTRIBUTE NOW.

Democrats are building a better future.

Hispanic and Women Farmers Endorse State Representative Phillip Archuleta

State Representative Phillip M. Archuleta (D-36) and Jacinto Palamino, a local farmer who lives and works in the Doña Ana community.

State Representative Phillip M. Archuleta (D-36) and Jacinto Palamino, a local farmer who lives and works in the Doña Ana community.

The Hispanic and Women Farmers of Doña Ana County, an organization of local growers, has endorsed State Representative Phillip M. Archuleta (D-36) for reelection.

“Representative Archuleta has been the leading advocate for the interests of Hispanic and Women farmers in our region and throughout New Mexico” said Guadalupe Garcia, who has organized efforts by Hispanic and women farmers working for fair treatment in Doña Ana County. “Representative Archuleta has been a strong voice and advocate for the equal treatment of all New Mexicans, including Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. He has also stood for the interests and economic opportunities of all of our small businesses, including those of us in the agricultural sector, and worked to promote the agricultural produce of our members for national and international markets” Garcia said. “Today we wholeheartedly endorse Representative Archuleta for re-election.

Earlier this year Representative Archuleta was the successful chief sponsor of HM 41, a legislative memorial supporting efforts of Hispanic and women farmers in their pursuit of a fair, equitable and just resolution to their discrimination claims against the United States Department of Agriculture. The memorial passed both houses of the legislature and was signed by the Governor during the last session of the legislature in Santa Fe.

“Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers, along with Native American and African American farmers, have for decades submitted funding applications to the United States department of agriculture and the farm service agency for irrigation projects, equipment purchases, tax assistance, crop insurance, harvesting and marketing technology only to be routinely ignored and discriminated against in the distribution of federal farm benefits,” Representative Archuleta said. “I stand with the Hispanic and women farmers here in southern New Mexico and throughout our region in demanding a fair and equitable resolution to the discrimination claims of the members of our community” he said.

The Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers of America is an association that advocates for civil rights and property rights of farmers and ranchers and provides assistance in organizing, coordinating, distributing and promoting the agricultural produce of its members in the states of New Mexico, Colorado, California, Texas, Utah, Florida, Louisiana and Washington and across interstate lines.


DNC Chair Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s Statement Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in celebration of Women’s Equality Day:

“Today we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, the 94th anniversary of the certification of the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Since our nation’s founding, the struggle to form a more perfect union has moved America forward. The 19th amendment is among the steps our nation has taken towards greater equality by ensuring that more Americans are able to make their voice heard.

“Unfortunately, Republican actions at the state and federal level threaten to undo the progress our nation has made. Last year, the Supreme Court gutted a key component of the Voting Rights Act. Republican governors and state legislatures have moved to restrict early voting periods and enact policies like voter ID that make it harder to vote. These policies disproportionately affect women, as well as young people and people of color.

“The right to vote is fundamental for women to elect officials who share their priorities. I am proud that the Democratic Party is fighting for paycheck fairness and to defend a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. In light of Republican opposition to these policies, this anniversary is a reminder that the key to expanding opportunities for women is to empower women at the ballot box.”

DPNM Chair Sam Bregman: Weh Ad Depicting James Foley’s Killer Horrific, Shows Desperate Lengths Weh is Willing to Go for his Own Gain

DPNM Chairman Sam Bregman today called Allen Weh’s latest ad using footage of American photojournalist James Foley’s jihadist murderer “a horrific act of desperation” by Weh.

The ad, which depicts the knife-wielding killer of James Foley, to attack Tom Udall shows the desperate lengths to which Weh is willing to go for his own gain, Bregman added.

“To use the image of James Foley’s killer in a campaign ad is horrendous and incredibly disrespectful to James Foley’s family and New Mexicans. New Mexicans want to talk about the issues – but this isn’t about a conversation on our foreign policy. Weh’s ad is a gratuitous attack using an American’s tragic death to scare and appall voters.”

“This ad just shows the lengths Allen Weh is willing to go for his own gain. It’s really beyond the pale. Weh should remove the ad out of respect for James Foley’s family,” Bregman continued.

Weh’s ad, which was reported on by CNN earlier today, follows a pattern in which Weh has resorted to mudslinging politics and volatile behavior that are out of touch with New Mexico voters. Even leaders of his own party have reprimanded Weh. For example:

  • While Weh was losing to Susana Martinez, he launched an attack criticized by GOP party leaders as “misleading,” “and example of dishonesty” and something that “should not be tolerated.” [, 5/26/2010]


  • When Weh couldn’t get ahead at a GOP convention, he assaulted a staffer. [National Journal, Hotline, 2/24/10]


  • After the same event, Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Rich Abraham said he would no longer tolerate verbal or physical abuse from Weh or his campaign. Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Rich Abraham said at the time, “My volunteers, staff and officers are tired of your ‘bully-style’ tactics. We will no longer tolerate any more verbal or physical abuse by your campaign or candidate and we will notify the authorities if this abuse continues occur…. Since you are not big enough to apologize and want confrontation with me, I am going to do ONLY what I am required to do for you, nothing more!” [Blog, Joe Monahan’s New Mexico, 2/24/10]


  • Weh already has a history of inappropriately using footage in campaign ads to promote himself. In July, Allen Weh’s campaign posted an ad that stole footage from Marine Corps recruiting ads. The Albuquerque Journal later reported that Weh was forced to take down the offending ad. “Marine Corps Recruiting Command officials called Allen Weh’s campaign headquarters today and expressed concern with regard to their use of Marine recruitment advertising footage in their political campaign ad,” Marine Maj. John Larson said in an email to the Journal. [Albuquerque Journal, 7/31/2014]

Bregman continued: “It’s not even Labor Day, and Allen Weh is already desperate. He doesn’t care who he hurts or what rules he breaks as long as it gets him what he wants.

“Meanwhile Tom Udall is talking about how he’s standing up for New Mexicans,” Bregman concluded. “Fortunately, New Mexico voters know that Tom Udall has the integrity to do what’s right for New Mexico in the U.S. Senate.”

Weekly Address: The Export-Import Bank

In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress made towards rebuilding our economy, including the creation of nearly 10 million new private sector jobs in the past 53 months and the rise in the number of American exports to an all-time high. That growth is in part thanks to the actions of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an organization that creates American jobs by helping to take American businesses global. The charter of the Export-Import Bank is slated to expire next month, unless Members of Congress renew it, as has happened 16 times in the past with support from Democrats and Republicans. The President asked business owners and employees to reach out to their representatives, who are home this month, and let them know how important it is that the Export-Import Bank continue its work so that American businesses can continue to grow.

VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: El Banco de Exportación e Importación

En el mensaje de esta semana, Alejandra Castillo, Directora de la Agencia Federal de Desarrollo de Negocios Minoritarios destacó el progreso realizado en la reconstrucción de nuestra economía, incluyendo la creación de casi 10 millones de nuevos empleos en el sector privado en los últimos 53 meses y el aumento en el número de las exportaciones estadounidenses a un nivel más alto. Ese crecimiento es en parte gracias a las acciones del Banco de Exportación e Importación, una organización que crea empleos en Estados Unidos, ayudando a tomar las empresas estadounidenses a un nivel global.

English/Inglís: Watch and share President Obama’s weekly Address.

En Español: Video mensaje de la Casa Bla

DNC Launches

Today the DNC launched the Spanish website as part of our Voter Expansion Project and commitment to increasing access to the ballot box for all Americans. is the Spanish companion site to, the DNC’s one-stop site for all the information Americans need to cast their ballot.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on the launch of the new site:

“In early June, the DNC launched as part of our Voter Expansion Project. The goal was to make it easier and more convenient for Americans to participate in the electoral process, by empowering them with the information they would need to exercise their right to vote.

“Democrats are committed to inclusion and diversity. That is why we have launched a Spanish language version of,, so that language does not pose an unnecessary barrier to electoral participation for those voters who are more comfortable getting information in Spanish.

“The Hispanic population in the United States continues to grow and it’s more important than ever to ensure that we can provide the information and resources for Hispanics to actively participate in our democracy and elect leaders that share their community’s priorities.”

You can follow the DNC’s new Spanish Twitter account at @DNC_Espanol

New TV Ad Tells How Tom Udall Helped New Mexico Get Running Water

Udall overcame Senate gridlock to pass legislation creating a major pipeline project, bringing water to a community that had hauled water for generations

The Udall campaign’s latest TV ad tells the story of how Tom Udall helped get clean running water for a New Mexico family, one of hundreds on and near the Navajo Nation who will no longer have to haul water to their homes because Udall was able to secure funding for a major water pipeline project.

While fighting for New Mexico’s bases and national labs may get him more attention, the ad says, it’s just as important to Udall to help families and support small communities across the state. The new ad features the Jim family on the Navajo Nation, who had had to haul water eight miles to get it to their sick and elderly parents near Whitehorse Lake, N.M. The Jims now have clean, running water as a result of legislation Udall introduced and passed, despite obstruction in the U.S. Senate.

“If you lived in Whitehorse Lake, New Mexico, it was an eight-mile drive to get fresh water. And because Andrew lost his leg, and Sarah her sight to diabetes, their children brought the water to them,” says a narrator in the ad, which runs 30 seconds and began airing today. “But now they just come by to say hello, because Tom Udall got the community running water.”

As Senator for New Mexico, Udall has been a strong defender of funding for the labs and bases. Just as important, as a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, Udall also has worked to get water and other critical infrastructure projects built to help strengthen economic opportunities for communities across New Mexico.

Udall, along with former Senator Jeff Bingaman, passed legislation approving the San Juan River Water Settlement and then secured funding for the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project, a major component of the settlement, which provides certainty to the Navajo Nation and other New Mexico residents who rely on San Juan Basin water. Andrew and Sarah Jim now are among the 550 residents of Whitehorse Lake, north of Grants, N.M., who have access to running water as a result of Udall’s work to fund the Cutter Lateral, a segment of the Navajo Gallup project. A reliable water supply will keep families healthy, support economic development and attract young people back to the community.

“Whether it’s defending our national labs and bases or bringing water to a rural community like Whitehorse Lake, Tom Udall is working hard in the U.S. Senate to do what’s right for families across New Mexico,” said Campaign Manager Daniel Sena. “Tom is working across party lines to overcome gridlock, pass legislation and secure resources that are critical to strengthening New Mexico’s economy.”

Watch the new television ad HERE.


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