By Kate M., Las Cruces Volunteer
I am the fifth generation of my family to grow up in the Mesilla Valley, to proudly call Las Cruces home. My great-great-grandparents moved here from Texas and opened a little grocery store just off Highway 85. My grandfather expanded their store and started a chain of gas stations with his brother. My father and his siblings grew up here and graduated from Mayfield High School and then New Mexico State University. My sister and I both graduated from Mayfield and went on to attend NMSU. In school we often discussed our future plans and goals and a common theme among my friends was a desire to move away from New Mexico. I started to feel the same way until a chance phone call one summer.
In July of 2008 I was contacted and invited to attend a Neighborhood Team Training for the Obama campaign. I woke up early on a Saturday morning and made my way to the Democratic Headquarters where I was introduced to a team of organizers who despite having never spent much time in Las Cruces were determined to do everything they could to elect then Senator Obama. As I began to spend more and more of my time volunteering with the organizers I began to understand that the campaign was about more than just electing an individual to a political office, it was about believing that the people in our community were valuable and deserve to have their voices heard and needs met.
Seeing people so invested in our community reminded me of how much Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley mean to me. In fact I want to live here and raise my family here because I believe that this little city in the middle of the desert has the potential to be something great. What I saw and experienced in 2008 taught me that every city has potential and deserves to be recognized and appreciated no matter how small or remote.
I’m in because I believe that organizing can help turn good communities into great communities.