Month: April 2013

Will ‘Stop and Swab’ Replace Stop and Frisk?’ DNA Profiling and Race

Today is national DNA Day. It marks the day on which James Watson and Francis Crick along with Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin published their papers elucidating the structure of human DNA. 10 years ago today also marks the day that scientists working on the Human Genome Project announced that their efforts were nearly complete. That same day the U.S. Congress issued a proclamation declaring April 25th National DNA Day.  Having studied and worked in the field of genetics for two decades, this day has always passed with a sense of geeky pride for me. Pride in the work...

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PLAN organizer Christopher Preciado partnered with The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada to host a screening of the Academy Award winning documentary ‘Inocente’ and to discuss what its like to be an undocumented youth in Nevada, and what its like when that identity intersects with your queer identity.   A question every organizer involved in the immigration reform battle has had to ask themselves is: “How are we going to get non-immigrants to care about immigrant related issues?”. The Center, serving the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, opened up their beautiful new building for a group of youth to screen the documentary ‘Inocente’. This Academy Award winning documentary provides a fresh perspective on the struggles faced by many undocumented youth living in the United States; a perspective that doesn’t focus on the usual political battles, but focuses purely on the life of an undocumented 15 year old named Inocente, who is trying her best to survive as she faces homelessness and deportation. Creating art is what she loves to do, and it keeps her sane in a world that has not been kind to her or her family. Inocente’s art manages to be quirky, beautiful, and emotional all at the same time. It is showcased throughout the film, which you can watch online by clicking here. I am the lead organizer for PLAN’s Uniting Communities Nevada program....

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Be part of Nevada’s Big Give and donate to PLAN!

  Nevada’s Big Give is a flurry of fundraising activity in a 24 hour period to benefit Nevada’s non-profits. PLAN currently is among the top 25 of donations received! You can help us stay on top by donating $10 right now by clicking HERE. It takes less than a minute to donate and your generous contribution will go a long way toward supporting PLAN’s social justice organizing to make Nevada a more fair and just place for all Nevadans to live! Check out PLAN member groups who are also part of Nevada’s Big Give: Committee to Aid Abused Women Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada Food Bank of Northern Nevada Nevada Conservation League Planned Parenthood ProgressNow Nevada...

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PLAN’s work highlighted in US Senate

PLAN organizer Christopher Preciado highlights PLAN’s LGBT work to Senate Democrats in Washington, DC At the invitation of US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, I participated in a roundtable discussion with national LGBT leaders from organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, HRC, ACLU and Freedom to Marry to talk about the work the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada has done for the LGBTQ community in Nevada before the Senate Democrats Steering and Outreach Committee. Chair of the committee, Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, got the discussion started on how we can all work together with Congress to advance LGBT inclusive policy across the country. It was clear that while all states are working hard to reach full equality for all citizens, there is still much work to be done. I was able to highlight work I do as organizing lead for Uniting Communities Nevada (UCNV). Uniting Communities is a project of the Western States Center that supports organizations like PLAN working in the racial justice and immigrant rights movements to proactively engage and include their members and constituencies who are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) people of color. LGBTQ people of color have been leaders in movements for justice, from Bayard Rustin to Sylvia Rivera. Accepting, embracing and engaging LGBTQ people of color make racial justice groups stronger and represent their entire communities. UCNV had...

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Time to Take Action: Homeowner Bill of Rights

Your help is needed to pass one of PLAN’s legislative priorities: the Nevada Homeowners Bill of Rights, Senate Bill 321. At the bottom of this blog is a description of the full benefits. Briefly, it takes the “bad acts” listed in the Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s master settlement against the five major banks and outlaws them in Nevada by both large and small lenders. It then gives remedies to those hurt by bad actors and stops the ways that lenders may evade compliance with the law. The purpose of this bill is to increase predictability for all parties involved in the foreclosure process and provide strong but fair accountability measures by extending protections to all residential mortgages written in Nevada.  This should also speed up the processing of foreclosure for those borrowers without options to avoid foreclosure. SB321 will help curb unfair foreclosure practices, so that more Nevadans who qualify for loan modifications can avoid foreclosure and keep their homes. Reducing foreclosures will help stabilize the state’s housing market and help limit the terrible impacts this crisis has had on families, communities and our economy. The Homeowner Bill of Rights will be heard Wednesday April 10th in the Senate Judiciary committee at 8:00am.   TAKE ACTION: Go to the legislative website at Check that you are FOR SB321 and fill out the constituent information. We hope to propel...

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