Mayoral Candidate Miguel Silva and Gina Montoya Ortega have repeatedly said Las Cruces is not a business friendly city on the campaign trail, and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce is hoping to help by getting more involved in this year’s Municipal Election.
The Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce is hoping to create a better environment for business to grow by influencing this year’s municipal election. Chamber Vice President Troy Tudor says it’s important for businesses to be involved.
“Why would it not be important for them,” Tudor said. “Again it’s their livelihood, their investment, they’ve chosen Las Cruces as a place to put down roots and make an investment, why would it seem strange that they would not want to be involved in the process? And so here we are.”
Right now, the Chamber’s endorsed candidates in each of the municipal races: Miguel Silva in the Mayor’s Race, Eli Guzman in District 1, Philip Van Veen is District 2, and Richard Hall in District 4. Tudor says they went through an extensive process to decide which candidates to endorse.
“We put together a questionnaire that talked about the different aspects that were going on in our community from a business perspective to see what the candidates knowledge was on those issues, and it started from there and then there was an interview process that they went through and then it went before our board for their approval.”
The Chamber has also set up a Political Action Committee, or PAC, Create Jobs Dona Ana, which at the last filing report with the state had not collected or spent any money. They have also not filed with the Las Cruces City Clerk’s office.
Tudor says it was time for the Chamber to get more involved in local politics to help bring balance to the community.
“You hear the dialogue on the impact fees, and taxes, and all those things,” Tudor said. “And while we need to do things to make sure we have a good quality of life and that we have a safe environment, and all those kind of things, again it’s about balance, and some times the balance get’s a little bit out of perspective. And the burden get’s a little to heavy for those who are carrying that load and that’s what’s been happening in our community for a while.”
Tudor says he knows the city needs to provide a good quality of life for it’s residents, and to do that it’s important to help create an environment for business to grow.
“It’s the backbone of the community,” Tudor said. “It’s the lifeblood, it’s where the GRT get created that again helps our community more forward and provide all the services and do all things that we do, but when it gets to be to the point where the business community can’t function and operate it stalls our economy and stalls the business community.”
Tudor says after the election the chamber hopes to work with the city to work on creating a better environment for businesses.
“So the chamber is working to figure out ways to do that,” Tudor said. “How do we capitalize on our assets, on our strengths, and one of those things is the people in this community and we need to put them to work and give them those opportunities that they need.”
In addition to the chamber’s PAC at least 2 others are contributing to the municipal elections. Advance Las Cruces is registered with the city but hasn’t reported receiving donations or spending any money. As well as the National Association of Realtors Fund out of Chicago, that has spent just over $14,000 supporting Miguel Silva.
The GOAL West PAC has also sent out mailers in Las Cruces, and their website says they are supporting Miguel Silva, but no reports for the group were available at the Las Cruces City Clerk’s Office or the Secretary of State’s Office.