Longtime Las Cruces resident and New Mexico State University graduate Gabe Vasquez has announced his candidacy for Las Cruces City Council District 3.
Vasquez has a wide range of experience working in the private and public sectors in Las Cruces and has a long history of community service and volunteerism. His professional experience includes working as the business editor of the Las Cruces Bulletin, executive director of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces, as vice president of public relations for a local medical monitoring device company, and as an aide to U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich. Vasquez has also worked in Washington, D.C., as a communications director and public policy expert for a nonpartisan children’s advocacy organization.
“I’m excited and humbled to have the opportunity to represent the people of District 3,” Vasquez said. “It’s a district that’s very representative of Las Cruces — gritty, hardworking, Hispanic, and giving. In many ways, it’s the heart of the city.”
In his free time, Vasquez has served as a volunteer as the secretary of the board of directors for Casa de Peregrinos, as a board member of the Las Cruces Downtown Partnership, as the secretary of the board for the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces, as a founding member of the Young Philanthropists of Southern New Mexico, as an advisory board member for Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico, and as an organizer for the For Unity Now Youth Leadership Conference, among other volunteer activities. Currently, he serves as an appointed member to a federal advisory committee for the U.S. Forest Service, as the board secretary of the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, and as the New Mexico Coordinator for Latino Outdoors.
“I truly love this community and I want to help create a more equitable economic environment in which all families have a chance to succeed, and in which we create opportunities and foster the talents of our young people so that they’re encouraged to stay here to work, raise a family, and make a difference,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez believes that the city’s economic development approach must be tied in with the flourishing industries that surround it, including light assembly and manufacturing; healthcare, alternative and clean energy development; engineering; warehousing, transportation and logistics; arts, film and culture; the high-tech sector; outdoor recreation; and hospitality and tourism.
“As your District 3 City Councilor, I’ll fight for equitable, affordable, and accessible small business development opportunities and a regional economic development plan that can help everyone prosper to begin to shift the balance of wealth inequality in Las Cruces,” Vasquez said.
A first-generation American who grew up in Ciudad Juárez, El Paso, and Las Cruces, Vasquez is also a passionate advocate for immigrant and civil rights and wants to ensure that all Las Cruces residents can live in safety and peace, free of harassment and threats fueled by recent extreme and abusive federal immigration policy and enforcement.
“The Las Cruces I know and love is one in which everyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules is welcome and embraced,” Vasquez said. “To help combat today’s extreme national policies, we must be bold and act decisively with a strong sense of morality, social justice, and a shared common interest. We must work together to see our community thrive. We are a border community, and we should embrace that.”
In addition to immigration and civil rights, Vasquez is an advocate for more culturally representative public art districts and city museums, more accessible and affordable recreation opportunities for families of all income levels, more bike and pedestrian-friendly transportation infrastructure, and community policing. In his professional career, Vasquez currently works as an advocate for public lands and organizes a local youth program that helps provide underserved youth and Hispanic families with meaningful outdoor recreation experiences throughout southern New Mexico, including in the Organ-Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.
“I’m looking forward to listening to and working with the people of District 3 to ensure that this campaign represents the majority of what our residents want,” Vasquez said. “If elected, I look forward to building on the work of Councilor Pedroza, while also introducing a new, bold, vision for Las Cruces.”
Local organizer Angelica Rubio is managing Vasquez’s campaign. For more information about the campaign, visit GabeForLC3.com.