A View from Just Outside the Roundhouse: Conservancy District Elections

Here's my periodic newsletter that, this month, features the election for Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Board.

Conservancy Elections are Upon Us

It doesn’t seem like election season but it is—for those of us in the valley area of Albuquerque, which is served by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD). Election Day is Oct. 3. Stephanie Russo Baca is running for the at-large position being vacated by Barbara Baca (no relation), who was elected to the County Commission. Stephanie needs our support to prevent backsliding into the old, unresponsive-style Conservancy District.  John Kelly is also running for the Bernalillo Co. slot, but (mercifully)  he has no opposition. As long as he votes for himself, he’s in!  Not so for Stephanie.  She faces opposition from Jerome Cordova, who is a farmer and owner of a security company from Valencia County.

Stephanie has a small farm and is now a board member from Valencia County, where she, her husband and five children raise livestock (she told me her pig was giving birth to piglets sometime this week!) and alfalfa.  She is well aware of the issues facing Bernalillo County, whose taxpayers supply 2/3 of the revenue for the multi-county irrigation district even though they mostly don’t irrigate. Check out her responses about the bosque and recreational uses of ditches in our areas in this article from the Downtown News


and you’ll see why she’s the best candidate.   And did I mention that Stephanie is Wonder Woman?  Yes, not only is this young woman a farmer and mother of five, but she’s a water lawyer who serves as an ombudsman at UNM’s Utton Center where she explains water rights to citizens unexpectedly getting a letter from the State Engineer or a realtor.

Important Election Details

In a throwback to the 1700s, only property owners within the district (roughly the north and south valley and downtown) can vote in this election. (Don’t get me started about this set-up, which needs to change). Election Day is Tuesday Oct. 3, with polling locations in the North Valley at the Los Ranchos Villa at 4th and Osuna, Valley High School and the Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center. Early voting is underway now at the Los Ranchos Villa. 

Here's a link to a complete list of polling places (with street addresses) for both early and election-day voting: https://www.mrgcd.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/2023-MRGCD-Site-List-1.pdf

Can’t make it to the polls? Click here Absentee Ballot Application to download and print your application or pick up an application at the MRGCD General Office, 1931 2nd ST. SW.   Fill out the application showing the county in which you are casting your vote (Bernalillo) and return to the MRGCD Office by Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.  Absentee ballots may not be returned to early voting locations or the county clerk!

…and City, School Board Elections are Coming Right Up in November

 Joaquin Baca is my choice for City Council District 2—and I’ll have a lot more to say about this great candidate in a newsletter closer to the Nov. 7 election. Meanwhile check him out at https://www.joaquinforabq.com/get-involved . I also urge you to educate yourself about school board elections, which some say are the most important ones in decades, given the involvement of a national, right-wing group, Moms for Liberty.  https://abqjournal-nm.newsmemory.com/?publink=0eb7d1c7e_134ad29