Meet our newest PLAN organizer!
Ellen Moore is originally from Wisconsin but has been working with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) 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.
Citizenship Fair in Vegas
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!
The Debt Crisis is Real
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.
We Must Keep Our Families Together!
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.
Celebration of Women
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!
15 To Finish is not here for Students!
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.
Congrats to Northern Nevada Hopes!
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!
Remember to Vote!
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!
Also, it’s not too late to join our contest!
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!