Stacey Shinn from PLAN, Annette Magnus from BattleBorn Progress and Assemblyman Elliot Anderson represented Nevada in Washington DC on April 5th for a day of action on #WeNeedNine. Representatives from nine states traveled to the capital to ask Senate Republicans to hold a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court and give him a vote.
Nevada’s delegation thanked Senator Harry Reid’s staff for his leadership and met with Senator Heller to ask for him to meet with Judge Garland, as well as encourage his leadership to stop their current obstruction of the process. PLAN and the Nevadans for Judicial Progress continue to encourage the Senate to #DoYourJob and educate progressives why courts matter.
On Thursday March 24, PLAN co-hosted a presentation on the North Valmy Coal Plant with the Sierra Club and the Reno Justice Coalition. The event was held at UNR with over a dozen participants. The presentation highlighted the need to close the plant sooner than the proposed time, its economic and health impacts on Nevadans, and its relation to compliance to the Clean Power Plan. Participants left the meeting with a plan to continue working with each other to engage with Nevada’s next steps in relation to clean energy.
Social Work Students and PLAN organizers attended “Campaign School” on April 1st and 2nd. The 2-day workshop event was led by Kate Coyne-McCoy, president of the nationally recognized organization, Campaign Fixer / KCM Consulting. They have trained more than 7,000 candidates and assisted with hundreds of successful elections. Kate designed and implemented candidate training and support programs for EMILY’s list and for the Oval Office program at Harvard University while serving as a Fellow in the Women’s Public Policy Program. Kate is a trained social worker, an experienced advocate, coalition builder, effective organizer, and former candidate for Congress.
The workshop was held to explain how important it is for everyday people to become involved in their communities politically. Kate pushed the importance of not only people from the community representing their neighborhoods, but also the steps of getting started. Day two of the workshop also featured interactive activities and panels led by political social workers, and current elected officials, including our lobbyist Stacey Shinn. Participants learned valuable skills that can be applied to any practice setting.
On Wednesday March 13th the Reno Justice Coalition (RJC) hosted the Million Student March (MSM). Over 30 students at the University of Nevada, Reno joined PLAN, RJC, and students around the country. All of us demanding free college tuition, an end to student debt, $15 an hour for all campus workers, and divest from private prisons by all colleges and universities. In addition, students presented the universities Provost with petitions challenging the 15 to Finish policy which has tied 15 credits to access state funding, citing issues with equity.
PLAN attended the annual César Chávez event on March 30th in Reno NV. The event celebrated César Chávez’s historical march with farm workers from Delano, to Sacramento, California in 1966. The event featured dancers, awards presented to union supported businesses, and César Chávez’s nephew, Ramón Chávez excepted an award on his late uncle’s behalf.
PLAN also showed support at a student led César Chávez and Dolores Huerta event on the University of Nevada Reno’s campus. The event was hosted by the Latino Student Advisory Board on campus, and PLAN registered students to vote. The event celebrated the legacy of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. It also focused on the importance of domestic workers, understanding worker’s rights, and organizing for change!
On Thursday April 14th The PLAN Immigration Program in Reno held a pre-screening for a citizenship workshop. Rosa Molina, the program’s director, held an information session on the process of citizenship and answered any questions
the community had. A dozen people participated and were able to take home materials to research, and help them further in citizenship application. The PLAN Immigration program was excited to take these steps in preparing a citizenship workshop in Reno! To contact the Immigration Program in Reno call: 775-800-1851
PLAN’s new mining organizer, Ellen Moore’s opinion piece titled, “One View: Guatemala mine owned by Nevada firm operating outside the law,” was published in the Reno Gazette Journal last week. Ellen’s piece focused on the mining industry’s deceit and how it not only effects residents in Nevada, but also citizens in Guatemala. Ellen did a lot of work in Guatemala before joining us here in Reno. She worked on human rights campaigns and focused on fighting against corporate companies taking land from residents. Ellen has seen firsthand how fraudulent mining companies can hurt a community. To read Ellen’s piece, click here!
We are still excited about our civic engagement work! This past month we’ve been working with RISE, the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality. RISE’s program, Rise and Dine provides many people in the community with food who wouldn’t normally receive any.
While working with RISE, PLAN has been able to reach many people who have never participated in elections before. John, pictured to the right, registered to vote for the very first time with PLAN. John explained to organizers that no one has ever approached him to register before. He told us the thought that his vote could be the deciding vote on an issue makes him excited. John believes that the coming election is going to be an important one and he’s glad that he gets to participate in it!
Are you registered, and ready to let your voice count too? If not, click here!!!
Next time in the Planista we look forward to
-sharing our march in Las Vegas for 15$ an hour
-Our efforts with supporting DAPA/DACA
-and our new mining efforts!
Meet our newest PLAN organizer!
Ellen Moore is originally from Minnesota but has been working with NISGUA in Guatemala for the past few years. Ellen is PLAN’S Mining Accountability Organizer!
Ellen’s help has come just in time too!
On March 8th PLAN attended the Keep It In The Ground rally, hosted by the Center for Biological Diversity. Their campaign has been seeking out public land auctions and making a presence at them. The rally was held to shed light on fracking and the taking of our lands here in Nevada. During the rally, PLAN marched with over 50 people to the Silver Legacy hotel and casino where the BLM oil and gas leasing auction was being held. Once there, we let our presence be known and some folks even went inside to witness the auction take place. Learn more here and here!
PLAN is proud to stand with anti-fracking activists in order to combat climate change and protect Nevada’s water. We also believe that taking a stand on hard rock mining is equally important in the fight to protect our precious water resources. According to the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP), gold mines are the largest source of atmospheric mercury in our state. And this isn’t just a problem here at home. Nevada based gold operations currently make up nine of the top 10 mercury producing mines in the United States. These toxic emissions settle on the soil and wash into our surface water. The most recent NDEP report states that 34 of Nevada’s lakes, streams and reservoirs are contaminated with mercury, up from 19 in 2006.
More than 100,000 people are eligible to become US citizens in Clark county. Along with the Culinary Workers Union 226 and UNITE HERE, PLAN held a workshop Saturday March 19th to help some of these community members begin their journey to citizenship. We were able to help 182 complete their applications with almost 100 volunteers recruited to make this happen. Sign up here to help Nevadans become eligible voters before November!
On March 7th-9th PLANistas from Reno and Las Vegas attended People’s Action’s Nation Debt Conference. The conference centered around examining the various forms of debt plaguing our nation ranging from payday loans, student debt, and legal financial obligations. Participants learned about the root causes of the varying debt crises and devised strategies to transform the current reality. In addition, participants engaged in meetings with their respective state representatives with information about beneficial bills that can stymie the debt crises.
Members also engaged in an action to challenge Representative, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s backing of H.R. 4018, which would limit the ability of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate the payday loan industry.
On Wednesday March 9th PLAN along with UNR Social work students, and community members attended Reno’s city council meeting to ask that that the Council to reject Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s dangerous ideology and support immigrants and clean air advocates in Nevada. During Public Comment we asked The city council to support Nevada’s immigrant families and back the amicus brief in support of President Obama’s immigration actions that will keep families together. Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has attached Nevada to two lawsuits, one that will stop efforts to lower toxic emissions (the Clean Power Plan) and another that will stop the deportations of the undocumented parents of US Citizens. In addition, our goal is to ensure that the Mayor and City Council support the people of Reno and the entire state of Nevada by adopting these two resolutions.
PLAN, along with Tu Casa Latina, Safe Embrace, CAAW, and, NNLC celebrated International Women’s day on March 8th at Little Flower church in Reno. More than 100 women attended! The event honored many notable women in the community. The event also allowed for many helping services in Nevada to come and reach out to the community. International Women’s day provides a global opportunity for everyone to pledge support to help accelerate gender equality.
PLAN joined Moveon.org on March 21st in Reno and Las Vegas to ask senator Dean Heller to give president Obama’s supreme court nominee a fair chance. Chief Judge Merrik Garland is more than qualified for the position. Around 40 people attended the action that took place at Senator Heller’s office in Reno and in Las Vegas.
In Reno, activists were able to go inside and leave comment for Senator Heller, while In Las Vegas activists were able to talk with a representative from Senator Heller’s office, that met with them outside. PLAN was excited to be part of this push to fill the seat!
On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, approximately 40 students gathered with the Reno Justice Coalition with the support of PLAN, to discuss the University of Nevada, Reno’s “15 to Finish” program. The “15 to Finish” program requires that students be taking 15 or more credits each semester, in order to qualify for scholarships and full-time financial aid. Breaking out into small groups, students shared their stories of how this policy has negatively impacted their time at the university, especially since most of them are forced to work in order to pay for necessities such as food and rent.
Taking 15 credits, while not mandatory (except for certain aid), makes maintaining a job incredibly difficult. This disproportionately affects students of color, low-income students, and first generation students. Students were joined by the university’s provost, Dr. Kevin Carman, who provided an opportunity for them to ask questions directly to an administrator. Questions dealing with mental health, time and working off-campus jobs, and the root causes of the “15 to Finish” program were asked by students. After the question and answer session, students re-convened and overall seemed unsatisfied with Dr. Carman’s responses, pledging to move forward with their campaign to end the “15 to Finish” campaign.
PLAN’s group member, Northern Nevada HOPES had the grand opening of their new building on March 15th in Reno. PLAN was there to celebrate with them and see the new space. Hope’s new wellness center will accommodate the community in Reno and bring quality healthcare to some folks who don’t have the means to receive it elsewhere. To learn more about HOPE’s click here!
PLAN has also been connecting with college students during our civil engagement work! A few weeks ago PLANistas were able to talk to students in the dorms at the University of Nevada Reno, and got over 60 students registered to vote!
If you still need to register don’t waste anymore time, click here and do it now! Remember, if you’ve moved since the last election you need to register again!
Now through April 18, PLAN is inviting middle school, high school, and college students to participate in our “Water over Gold” essay contest. Judges will select one essay from each category that best discusses the real impacts of mining on our land and water, and why it is important to protect our natural resources. Winning participants will be awarded prizes and will have their essays featured on the PLAN website. Click here for more info!