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October 28, 2020 — WestSideDems.org
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Meet Dan Ohiri – DPNM Coordinated Campaign Organizer for the West Side

Dan-Ohiri
By Sue Wolinsky

I take politics personally,” said Dan Ohiri, the Coordinated Campaign’s 2020 organizer for the West Side in a recent interview.

A LOCAL RETURNS HOME: The 21-year-old Albuquerque native comes by his political passion naturally. His family has always been politically active. “My mom took me campaigning for (John) Kerry in 2004. I was in a wagon with a stack of John Kerry flyers”, he shared. “Having a toddler with you while you canvass is a great way to get people to open the door!”

Dan is the son of Uche and Manny. He grew up on the West Side of Albuquerque, near Coors and Ladera. He attended The Bosque School for middle and high school. He was involved in debate and speech, Model UN, and high school musicals at the Bosque School.

IMPRESSIVE RESUME: He got a solid start in political organizing and fundraising while a student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (He graduated in May.) While at GW, he joined the College Dems, but that didn’t suit him. So he became advocacy chair for the Roosevelt Network, a group that advocates for policies modeled after FDR. A proven multi-tasker, he also interned as:
  • A legislative fellow at the Consortium for Universities;
  • A staff recruiter for the Polaris Charity, a human trafficking hotline;
  • An intern with then- NM CD1 Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham;
  • A fundraiser for the NM Democratic Caucus, raising money for the NM State House candidates, including the West Side’s own NM State Legislator (HD29) Joy Garrett (who is up for re-election now and needs your support!)
  • A fundraiser for the Democratic Attorney Generals Association; and
  • An intern for NM Senator Martin Heinrich, supporting the (US) Senate Majority PAC – focusing on ousting Republican senators and replacing them with Democrats.
ORGANIZING ON THE WEST SIDE: The reserved, extremely polite young man with his wide grin and empathetic attitude has already dug his political organizing heels into the West Side, where ~one-fifth of the county’s approx. 200,000 voters are registered as Democrats. Many West Side Democratic volunteers have “met” Dan in virtual meetings: training sessions, weekly virtual volunteer events, and the candidates huddles that have been held over the summer. And he’s been growing the number of West Side Democratic volunteers since his first day on the job.

“I like the sense of community on the West Side,” he said, adding that it is difficult to maintain that during the pandemic’s social distancing restrictions. “Many people are passionate about this election. People here are concerned, very concerned about this election. And they should be. Many people are supporting Biden and Harris. But do you know that some Democrats don’t know that they have Republicans representing them in Santa Fe? That’s why we emphasize voting Democratic from the bottom up, starting with judges,” he said.

“I try to build on personal relationships,” he said. Having lived on the West Side while growing up, he feels he knows his area, the West Side part of Congressional District 1.

Dan is working hard to pool the local resources and the “passionate” CC organizers. “The party’s county officials, ward and precinct chairs and their volunteers are ‘the bread and butter’ of the work we are doing….We are working hard to fight for all New Mexicans. We can only be successful if we work together.” He sees the CC team as being very focused in working with the local party infrastructure.

“I will do whatever you need,” he said. “I’m hosting trainings and virtual events. I’ll be happy to cut targeted lists for your neighborhoods, precincts, and wards.”

Dan pointed out that the CC is hosting a Weekend of Action on September 12-13. “I am hoping to use it as an event focused on getting voters to return their ballot request application and making a personal “voting plan”. Watch for more details soon.
Here is a list of weekly and special virtual volunteer events that Dan has organized for the West Side. Similar virtual events are held all across the county.
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Joy Garratt: Priorities, Not Politics

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Joy Garratt is the State Representative from House District 29. She was elected to the House in 2018, defeating David Adkins by just over 1,000 votes. In 2016 Adkins won this seat by 9 votes out of 14,000 votes cast. It is great that HD 29 elected a Democrat in 2018, but this seat is far from safe. As a retired educator, Joy has worked hard for the children in New Mexico. Joy has also sponsored key legislation to promote sensible gun control, such as background checks and the Red Flag law.

Joy is a tireless campaigner and she appreciates the enthusiasm West Side Democrats bring to her campaign. Let’s make sure Joy Garratt is reelected in 2020.
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Damian Lara: Grateful and Giving Back to Immigrants

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West Side Democrat and Chair of the WSD Program Committee Damian Lara continues to take the lead on many issues -- including the West Side School Supply Drive.

Damian Lara arrived in Southeastern New Mexico at the age of 6. As an immigrant from Mexico, he and his family were welcomed by the small community of Melrose with open arms and big hearts.

“I was so in awe when I came here as a child and was able to thrive with the values of my community and the United States, and I am so grateful for that experience,” Damian recalls. “I never in my life thought I would see the values and compassion of this country result in torturing people and putting them in cages.” With a quiver in his voice, he added, “It breaks my heart.”

Ill-Conceived Decisions Can Ruin a Good Community: An Interview with West Side Development Expert

Rene' Horvath

Renee Horvath
Rene' Horvath has been involved in monitoring West Side development for a long time.

She was quite young the first time she rode down Coors Boulevard, amazed at the magnificent scenery with its majestic mountain and bosque views. She moved to Taylor Ranch in 1982 and, as a resident, was involved in the effort to preserve the petroglyphs which led to the establishment of Petroglyph National Monument in 1990. She later became involved in development issues, focusing on the changing development patterns along Coors Boulevard.
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Want to Volunteer?

Lots of Virtual Training Available


Many local Democratic volunteers have taken advantage of the free, 1-hour webinars that the National Democratic Training Committee offers. These trainings focus on effective ways to organize in this era of social distancing.

They offer everything from boosting your email campaign to staying calm in a crisis.

Check out the 1-hour webinars offered over the next few weeks. Click here

Local Online Trainings Available


There are also local trainings available online from the Coordinated Campaign and the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County website.

Click on this link to the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County website to get started.

The training offered by the Coordinated Campaign is listed in a separate article in this newsletter: “Meet Dan Ohiri - Coordinated Campaign Organizer for the West Side".
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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:


September 14, 2020
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, 2020 Early 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.
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Risner Fundraiser with Senators Mimi Stewart and Liz Stefani

Please join Senate Majority Whip Mimi Stewart and Senator Liz Stefanics in support of Claudia Risner, NM Senate District 19 candidate, Tuesday, September 1st at 4:15pm (MT) for a fundraiser and discussion on Environmental Conservation And Our State Senate. Reserve your spot today! RSVP at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/claudiamimiliz0901 or email Drew@PrestridgePolitical.com
  • Tuesday, September 1, 4:15 pm

Campaign Coordinators: Publicize Your Events Here

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If more people know what's happening, more will participate and get involved. The West Side Democrats want to help you get the word out by publicizing your events on our website and in our newsletters.

Complete this form to send us your event information.
West Side Democrats of Bernalillo County
PO Box 67154
Albuquerque, NM 87193
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