• Administrative relief and a shout out to Astrid

    Did you watch?

     

    President Obama announced administrative relief for undocumented immigrants that will save thousands of families from deportation. The President took action where Congress failed.

     

    And on a local note, the President made his point by sharing the story of Astrid Silva, our Las Vegas organizer and leader in Nevada’s immigrant rights movement.

     

    We could’t be more proud of Astrid and are amazed by her determination to pass comprehensive reform and help so many in our community, while her own father faces deportation in just a few months. But thanks to President Obama’s action, this won’t be Astrid’s last holiday season with her family.

     

    We would be nowhere without all the PLANistas who fight everyday for reform and will continue to fight until there is a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million. We are ready for this fight.

     

    Click here to watch the President’s speech

  • Thursday and Friday, some big immigration news

    On Thursday President Obama will announce from the White House his plan for administrative relief for undocumented immigrants. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.32.45 PM

    President Obama came to Las Vegas in 2013 to lay out his plans for for immigration reform. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill, but the House failed to do anything meaningful to pass comprehensive immigration reform. So the President is left no choice but to provide executive relief that stops senseless deportations and keeps families together.

    On Friday the President will be in Las Vegas to address the public about his immigration plans. If you don’t have tickets to the event, you can watch his announcement with us at the Culinary Union in Las Vegas.

     

    Thursday watch the announcement in Reno or Las Vegas:

     

    La Fonda Restaurant (appetizers and refreshments will be provided)

    4385 Neil Road

    Reno, NV 89502

    4:30PM

     

    Hermandad Mexicana

    2915 West Charleston Boulevard #4

    Las Vegas, NV 89102

    4:30PM

     

  • Tell CCSD: Students need real sex ed

    Clark County School District (CCSD) rolled out the  sex education community survey and they really need to hear from progressives like you who support real sex ed.

    A small, yet vocal, group has tried to shift the conversation away from medically accurate, age appropriate sex education to spread misinformation and fear. In doing so, they’re putting our most vulnerable students at risk. Filling out the survey lets CCSD know that our community wants sex education that covers:

     

    1. Dating violence

    2. Delaying or refraining from sex

    3. Cyberbullying

    4. Gender Identity

    5. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

    6. Good Touch/Bad Touch (elementary)

    7. Media and body image

    8. Legal consequences of sexting

    9. Safe haven laws

    10. Identify reproductive health service locations

     

    Click here to the complete the survey. And forward this email to your friends and family so they can do the same.

    Click here for a Spanish version.

     

    If you want to share your opinions in person too, CCSD is conducting community input forums. This is an opportunity to share your experiences and opinions directly with the trustees. Let us know if you can attend.

     

    Upcoming forums:

    Wednesday, November 12 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.): Cimarron-Memorial High School, 2301 N. Tenaya Way, Las Vegas

    Monday, November 17 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.): Green Valley High School, 460 Arroyo Grande Blvd., Henderson

    Tuesday, November 18 (9:30 – 11:00 a.m.): Nevada Partners, 710 W. Lake Mead Blvd., North Las Vegas

    Tuesday, November 18 (6:00 – 7:30 p.m.): Rancho High School, 1900 E. Searles Ave., Las Vegas

    Be sure to check out Nevada Teen Health and Safety Coalition website for more opportunities to get involved.

     

  • Fracking regulations written by frackers?

    Tell the Nevada Legislative Commission that Nevada is Not Ready for Fracking.

    Reject the industry-written rules

    The Commission on Mineral Resources approved the fracking regulations on August 28, 2014.  The final step in finalizing the regulations for addition to the Nevada Administrative Code is the approval by the Nevada Legislative Commission. Click here to read the proposed regulations.

    The Legislative Commission meeting will be held Friday October 24th at 9:00am.

    You can attend the meeting in Las Vegas: Grant Sawyer State Office Building, Room 4401, 55 E. Washington Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Or you can also observe the meeting and provide public comment through a simultaneous videoconference in Carson City: Nevada State Legislative Building, Room 4100 401 S. Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada.

    fracking

    The regulations the Legislative Commission is poised to approve fall short of providing the kind of protections our communities deserve and precious groundwater demands. The regulations were approved in a rushed, non-transparent process by the Commission on Minerals, which is comprised of members who represent (i.e., own interest in) oil, gas and mining corporations.

    Nevada should follow the lead of New York, which implemented a moratorium on fracking pending a further environmental and socio-economic analysis of fracking’s impacts. Barring that, the minimum changes to the regulations must be made:

    • If the Fracking industry wants to inject chemicals into our groundwater, let’s hold them to a higher standard. Under proposed regulations, there maybe no groundwater sampling, or sampling in the wrong location to intercept contamination. Make the Fracking industry adhere to the same regulations as the mining industry, and require monitoring wells. In addition, we want the company to monitor the groundwater for a longer period of time than just five years.
    • Fugitive methane releases from fracking is a powerful greenhouse gas, yet the current regulations are silent. Ambient air monitoring is needed at oil and gas/hydraulic fracturing sites to assure that hydrogen sulfide is at acceptable levels and that methane gas is not being released excessively. There also needs to be a provision to assure that hydraulic fracturing operations are not emitting excessive greenhouse gases.
    • Bonding amounts for drilled wells contained in current statute are not adequate for Fracking. These regulations, based on traditional oil and gas extraction, are insufficient to cover potential long-term environmental damage.  To supplement the bonding requirements for drilled wells the state of Colorado has included a number of additional financial assurance provisions that Nevada should also include for hydraulic fracturing operations.
    • The proposed regulations fall short on public participation.  Permits for hydraulic fracturing wells should be available for public review prior to finalizing, which includes a detailed plan of operations with the anticipated hydraulic fracturing scheme.  Especially given the public concern over hydraulic fracturing, and in the interest of public engagement and transparency, the NDOM should follow at a minimum the same procedure that NDEP uses for air, water and water pollution control permits.  This procedure is to post the draft permit for a 30 day public comment period, and process comments with agency responses, and then issue a Notice of Decision on the permit. In addition an appeal of a permit procedure should be installed, so that the public has recourse to an independent body, such as the State Environmental Commission.

    Finally, under the proposed regulations, the Nevada Department of Wildlife has zero role in permitting, analysis or even consultation. This is in spite of the fact that Fracking is known to exacerbate the decline of habitat of the endangered sage grouse.

     

    Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 12.48.12 PM

     

    Tell the committee: We don’t want Nevada’s wild and open lands converted into Fracking Industrial wastelands! Reject fracking industry-written rules!

    Action you can take:   

    1. Comment during public comment at the Legislative Commission Meeting
    2. Send comments to the Legislative Commission: director@lcb.state.nv.us

    Commission Members:

    Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Chair – Marilyn.Kirkpatrick@asm.state.nv.us, 702-655-0332

    Assemblyman Jason Frierson, Vice Chair – Jason.Frierson@asm.state.nv.us, 702-280-2981

    Senator Kelvin Atkinson – Kelvin.Atkinson@sen.state.nv.us, 702-457-9995

    Senator Moises Denis – Moises.Denis@sen.state.nv.us, 702-657-6857

    Senator Ben Kieckhefer – Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us, 775-223-9618

    Senator Ruben J. Kihuen – Ruben.Kihuen@sen.state.nv.us, 702-274-1707

    Senator Michael Roberson – Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us, 702-612-6929

    Senator James Settelmeyer – James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us, 775-450-6114

    Assemblyman Skip Daly – Skip.Daly@asm.state.nv.us, 775-359-0731

    Assemblyman Wesley Duncan – Wesley.Duncan@asm.state.nv.us, 702-767-3733

    Assemblyman Ira Hansen – Ira.Hansen@asm.state.nv.us, 775-221-2502

    Assemblyman Lynn D. Stewart – Lynn.Stewart@asm.state.nv.us, 702-614-0631

  • Job opening in Reno – join the Fight for $15 campaign!

    The Fight for $15 campaign is expanding to Reno!

    Are you ready to work for Nevada’s largest progressive organization to fight for economic justice with Northern Nevada’s low wage workers? Click here to apply today. Interviews for this position start November 10, 2014.

    Read more →

  • Coming out for Social Justice – We Are Powerful


    We are Raising our Voices! (4)

  • Mourning the loss of our friend Sandy

    Sandra Eddy

    Sandy at her 65th birthday party in February

    We were honored to call Sandra “Grammee” Eddy a PLANista and we are still completely heartbroken by her unexpected death this past weekend.

    You have probably met Sandy; at one of our sign in tables, lobbying with us in Carson City, at a rally or a march, at a volunteer meeting, saw her picture on our facebook page, or you were one of the many guests at her 65th birthday party at the PLAN office in February. The Blue Nevadan provides an excellent account of Sandy’s remarkable life.

    Sandy was an active volunteer and board member for many organizations, including Board President for the Nevada AIDS Project. She leaves behind children, grandkids and great-grandkids who she cherished dearly, and spoke of often. She also leaves behind a Progressive community still reeling from this sudden loss, and determined to honor her legacy by continuing to fight for the causes she believed in most, and remembering to love one another unconditionally.

    Even in death Sandy continues to be the same generous and loving person we all came to know and love. As an organ donor, she gave new life to more than 100 people. On Saturday September 27th a celebration of her life is planned in Las Vegas. The time will be 5:30pm, but the location is still to be determined. If you would like an update, just reply to this email.

    Finally, Sandy gave so much to PLAN, through donations, unwavering support, and countless hours of volunteering. Please help us give back to her by helping her family cover final medical costs by making a donation here: Sandra Eddy memorial fund. If you are not able to give, please considering sharing the link with your personal networks so others can contribute.

    Rest in power Sandy. We miss you, and will always love you.

  • Update on Tesla

    Its time to call your legislators!

     

    The special legislative session in Carson City began yesterday and will continue at least through tonight as lawmakers consider a massive, $1.25 billion corporate subsidy package to entice the Tesla battery manufacturing plant to northern Nevada.  Whether today’s actions will be an apology for a decision already made behind closed doors, or a real debate, remains to be seen.

    Only two organizations, PLAN and the Nevada Policy Research Institute, publicly questioned the deal during public testimony. But just because we’re on the same side doesn’t mean the deal is good because it’s the middle position.  Both left and right say this deal’s bad because it’s virtually UNFAIR and the taxpayers are going to pick up the bill for a private corporation’s shareholders.

    Indeed, Good Jobs First has found serious deficiencies in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development report: “Growth induced by Tesla will drive a burden shift…in the absence of revenues from Tesla (which operates tax-free for 10 years), working families’ sales and property tax revenues will have to pick up the slack…Is Nevada paying Tesla what it would have done anyway?”

    And, in the hoopla over Tesla, yesterday’s story showing we’re even more broke than previously thought got buried. Even if the so-called regressive sunset taxes are extended, Nevada still faces at least a $120 million deficit. And higher-than-expected enrollment in Clark County schools puts us in the hole an extra $60 million.

    Given this, the windfall giveaway of $195 million to Tesla for transferable tax  credits is even harder to swallow.  And should low-income Nevadans really help subsidize Tesla’s power costs? Where will Nevada come up with the $43 million to give to the developer for his right of way and to build the new highway? Will Tesla pay prevailing wages?

    There’s a disturbing atmosphere of “groupthink” pervading the building yesterday, as lawmakers and lobbyists are under incredible pressure to ratify the deal and adjourn as quickly as possible. Many are raising serious questions privately, but are are reluctant to go against the grain and voice them publicly. That’s where you come in.

    What can you do? You can go on the record by calling the Legislative Hotline today and voicing your concerns: (775) 684 -6800.

    Ask legislators to to review and support the Guinn Center for Public Policy’s solid recommendations for less corporate subsidies and more transparency and accountability.

    Thank you for all that you do, and for the great feedback we’ve received from our letter to legislators.

     

    Here’s coverage of the day:

    Must read from Reno News & Review

    Bob on Ralston Reports last night talking Tesla

    Business Insider: Lawmakers to consider huge tax breaks for Tesla

     

  • Tesla

    Please find below the letter we’re sending today to lawmakers as they begin the special session to consider the massive corporate subsidy package to seal the Tesla deal for Nevada. I’ll be going to Carson City today and would like to know if you think PLAN’s on track with our analysis. Thanks!

     

    logo-trrans-for-web

     

    September 10, 2014

    Dear Members of the Nevada Legislature:

    We join in the excitement surrounding the selection of our great state as the site for Tesla’s massive new manufacturing facility, and wish you well in your deliberations that begin this afternoon.

    But our enthusiasm is tempered by hard, as yet unanswered questions surrounding the deal. Without answers, it’s impossible to know whether this is indeed in the best interests of Nevadans.

    If we are to use our state’s threadbare tax coffers to subsidize this multi-billion dollar corporation, we urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to hold Tesla accountable for creating family-wage jobs with Nevadans first in line, and other benefits for our state. Specifically, you should attach job quality standards regarding wages and benefits, indexed to inflation over the 20-year deal, to the Tesla tax breaks. You should also mandate customized training and first-source hiring procedures to maximize hiring opportunities for Nevadans. And to deter outsourcing or the use of temp agencies, all of Tesla’s tax breaks (not just the refundable credits) should require direct employment and be pegged to employment levels (so that property and sales tax exemptions would be scaled back if Tesla does not reach and maintain 6,500 employees).

    We seriously question the highly dubious 80:1 payoff that the Sandoval Administration has touted as our gamble-free return on investment. The Legislative Counsel Bureau should be directed to provide you with an independent analysis of that claim because it mixes apples and oranges: taxpayer costs with benefits that are not equivalent tax-revenue gains.

    If the 80-1 ratio is incorrect, what else is being fudged in the economic analysis? Storey County, where the facility is being built, currently has only 16 firefighters. Who will pay the costs, sure to be created by growth, for teachers and schools, public safety, sanitation, roads, transit and other infrastructure? The Governor’s own analysis says sales and property taxes paid by working families will become the available revenue while Tesla pays nothing. Will this deal create pressure to raise the sales and property tax rates?

    The proposed Tesla contribution of $7.5 million per year for schools for five years (while it would pay no property taxes for 10 years and no sales tax for 20 years) seems like chicken scratch for an influx of thousands of children of new workers. Will this be enough to ensure that our already overcrowded and underfunded schools meet the challenge of educating a new workforce? We doubt it.

    Governor Sandoval’s open-ended proclamation leaves the door open for other corporations, such as Switch, to come feed at the tax-break trough of this special session. Don’t entertain this foolishness. Keep the focus on Tesla alone.

    In closing, we at PLAN support taxpayer investments in education and infrastructure because they benefit all employers. They avoid putting a lot of eggs in any one corporate basket, reducing our risk if a deal doesn’t pan out. This subsidy package is 14 times bigger than any prior deal in Nevada history. It deserves 14 times more caution and safeguards to protect taxpayers.

    While some subsidies may be warranted, the deal on the table appears far too generous, and far too risky.

    Thank you for your service to our state.

     

     

    Sincerely,

    Bob's_signature

     

     

     

    Executive Director
    Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
    821 Riverside Drive
    Reno, Nevada 89503
    (775) 348-7557

     

    PS. One last question, which has been asked by others but only answered by silence: Why can’t the state of Nevada come together on a plan to raise revenues to fix our broken education system as enthusiastically as the rush to create a $1.3 billion package of corporate subsidies for a single company in one part of the state?