• #NoDAPL National Day of Action – 200+ Stand with Standing Rock in Reno

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    200+ protectors outside Army Corps of Engineers field office in Reno, NV in solidarity with Standing Rock – #NoDAPL! (Photo: Autumn Harry)

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    Helen Filmore speaking about what she witnessed during her recent trip to Standing Rock. (Photo: Autumn Harry)

    Today over 200 people in Reno and thousands across the US and internationally mobilized to support the water protectors at Standing Rock in their efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. We gathered at the Army Corps of Engineers field office in Reno to demand the agency cancel the permits and halt the pipeline – now and in the future. Organizers attempted to deliver the below letter to Army Corps staff, but found the office unexpectedly closed.

    Follow Sacred Stone Camp on Facebook for information on the #NoDAPL national day of action and Stand with Standing Rock, Reno NV for updates on local solidarity efforts.

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    November 15, 2016

    Ms. Kristine Hansen
    Senior Project Manager, Nevada-Utah Branch
    Army Corps of Engineers field office
    300 Booth Street, Reno, NV 89509

    Dear Ms. Hansen,

    The “Dakota Access” Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. DAPL is slated to carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day across Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where it would be laid underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent. Construction of DAPL threatens the water source that millions of people depend on. It is not a question of if a pipeline will rupture, it is a question of when.

    The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation or adequate assessment, determining that there will be “no direct or indirect impacts” on the 200 cultural and spiritual sites, the four states the pipeline crosses, or the Missouri River under which the pipeline is slated to run. This lack of due diligence was outlined in critical letters to the USACE from the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Interior, and the American Council on Historical Preservation.

    The Obama administration and the USACE must act now to reject this pipeline and cancel the permits. This disaster-waiting-to-happen cannot be passed along to the administration of President elect Donald Trump. We cannot and we will not allow our human rights, our Indigenous rights, our water or our climate to be sacrificed for the benefit of corporations.

    We are deeply concerned that the Army Corps granted permission for police and private security to arrest water protectors on USACE land. The militarization of the police and private security has escalated this conflict, putting the safety of the water protectors at risk. We demand the Army Corps retract this permission in order to deescalate the situation and ensure the safety of the water protectors.

    Similarly, we call on the USACE to discontinue stall tactics, like those described in yesterday’s press release, which stated, “The Army invites the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions on an easement for the pipeline crossing that would reduce the risk of a spill, hasten detection and response to any possible spill, or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” This statement, issued one day before massive mobilization against the agency, does not address our clear demand to reject outright the construction of the pipeline. No more stalling, no more rerouting. The USACE has the responsibility to respect indigenous sovereignty, cancel the permits, and halt this project now and in the future.

    Many individuals and organizations throughout the state of Nevada have carried out rallies, concerts, fundraisers, and teach ins. Others have traveled to Standing Rock to. In addition we have organized for the transfer of donations, and several members of our community have traveled to Standing Rock, North Dakota to participate in the prayerful resistance on the front-lines. We join this fight because federal regulations are supposed to protect everybody and not privilege corporate profits over basic civil rights of people, and the health and future of our environment. This is happening in collusion with our national government and the state of North Dakota. If it happened in North Dakota, it could happen in Nevada.

    Today we join tens of thousands of people at hundreds of events across the country to stand in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock. Nevadans are calling on the Army Corps, and stakeholders at every level – including the banks who are funding Dakota Access and the companies building the project – to ensure native sovereignty is honored, indigenous rights are protected, and our communities, water, and climate are valued over fossil fuel profits.

    This fight is grounded in the values expressed at the Oceti Sakowin Camp: respect, compassion, honesty, generosity, humility, and wisdom. The protectors have vowed that they will stay on the land indefinitely in order to stop the construction of the pipeline. We vow to continue to stand in solidarity with them. As such, we urge the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately halt the Dakota Access Pipeline and to cancel the permits in order to prevent any further desecration of sacred burial and archaeological sites and to protect the land and water we all depend on.

    Stand with Standing Rock, Reno NV 
    Water is Life!

  • Apply to be a Climate Justice Fellow with PLAN

    Location: Reno, NV

    Dates: 10 weeks at 12 – 15 hours per week beginning in mid-January 2017

    Application Deadline: November 16, 2016

    Position: PLAN’s Environmental Justice program aims to transform how Nevada produces and distributes energy by centering is on the realities of communities impacted by mining and energy/climate policy. This means engaging at both the grassroots and legislative level to ensure a democratic and wholistic approach to dealing with the challenges of warming planet. We seek to compel action by centering the climate crises within an intersectional analysis which takes into account class, race, and gender. Join us for a 10 week fellowship and make a major impact in Nevada and the country!

    This is a 10 week-long position at 12 -15 hours per week. Fellow will begin work in mid-January 2017 and will be compensated at $15 per hour.

    Responsibilities: Our winter fellow will help support our state climate justice work in collaboration with the People’s Action (PA). Fellows will work with PLAN staff to:

    • Support writing and launch of PLAN’s environmental justice report and other publications and materials for our website and blog.
    • Engage in base building and organizing efforts to promote full implementation of the Clean Power Plan, as well as PLAN’s legislative priorities including government regulations that protect our public resources and policies that promote reinvestment in green, democratically controlled energy production.
    • Attend and lead energy and climate meetings and trainings.
    • Plan events and actions in to increase community participation in the 2017 Legislative session, specifically a public forum in January and two legislative days of action.

    Qualifications: We’re looking for someone passionate about climate justice with how it relates to economic, racial and environmental justice. A successful candidate will have strong interest and possibly experience in leadership development and organizing. They will be a self-starter but also enjoy working in a collaborative, fluid team environment. Our Climate Justice Fellow will work out of our Reno, Nevada office and must be able to define set work days and hours.

    Additional preferred qualifications:

    • Strong writing and research skills
    • Willingness to take risks and work with minimal supervision
    • Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines
    • Experience with Dropbox and Google Applications

     

    How to Apply: Submit a resume and a 1-page cover letter to emoore@planevada.org with “Climate Fellowship” in the subject line by November 16th. Women, Indigenous, and People of Color strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Guatemalans appeal case against Tahoe Resources in Canadian court

    PRESS RELEASE

    Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) – Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) – Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN)

     Tuesday, November 1, 2016

    Today, the British Columbia Court of Appeals in Vancouver, Canada will revisit a procedural motion in the case of seven Guatemalans who have brought a civil suit for battery and negligence against Tahoe Resources. The suit concerns the mining company’s role in a violent attack in April 2013, when Tahoe’s private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the controversial Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala. Video footage shows that the protestors were shot at close range while attempting to flee.

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    Victims of attack by Tahoe Resources’ private security. Luis Fernando (left) was shot in the face. His dad, Adolfo, was shot in the back. (Photo: Giles Clark)

    In November 2015, a BC Supreme Court judge refused jurisdiction and said the case should be heard in Guatemala. Lawyers for Tahoe Resources, which is registered in British Columbia and headquartered in Reno, Nevada, had argued that most of its business in done in the U.S., and Judge Gerow focused narrowly on the procedural costs and inconvenience of bringing the suit in Canada.

    “Under international law, companies have a responsibility to protect human rights – no matter where they occur,” says Kelsey Alford-Jones, Senior Campaigner at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). “To the extent that human rights abuses occur, business enterprises have an affirmative duty to avoid complicity in those abuses. Canadian and U.S. courts must hold their companies accountable for violations, full stop.”

    Guatemala continues to be plagued by a high impunity rate, lack of judicial independence, and widespread corruption. The lead suspect in the criminal case filed in Guatemala and former head of security for Tahoe escaped police custody and fled the country just weeks after the BC Supreme Court decision was released in November 2015.

    “The April 2013 attack is just one of numerous troubling human rights incidents in connection with Tahoe’s operations in Guatemala,” says Ellen Moore of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. “The company’s argument that most of its business is conducted in Reno is preposterous – Escobal is its flagship project and was its only mine at the time of the attack. And while Tahoe desperately ties to outrun accountability first in Guatemala and now in Canada, it’s running out of places to hide.”

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    An organizer from a community near Tahoe’s mine describes repression and ongoing resistance. (Photo: NISGUA)

    Since receiving its exploration license in 2011 without the consent of local communities, the Escobal mine has been mired in conflict, and subsequent judicial proceedings related to its exploitation license and industrial contamination of water. A recent complaint filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission questions whether Tahoe Resources Inc. has met legal requirements for disclosing human rights abuses and lawsuits that impact the Escobal mine to its shareholders.

    “While Tahoe claims strong community support in Guatemala, by its own admission the local opposition is so intense that the mine cannot be connected to the main power grid,” says Becky Kaump from the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA). “This is only one example of clear community resistance to the mine, and the April 2013 violence is only one example of the backlash organizers have faced for their opposition.”

    Criticism of Tahoe’s operations spans the U.S., Canada, and Guatemala, and human rights defenders in all three countries have been calling on their governments to intervene to address ongoing repression and violence. Today, advocates in Vancouver, BC are outside the courthouse to show support for the Guatemalans bringing this suit forward.

    For more information and background about this lawsuit and the broader community struggle, please visit www.tahoeontrial.net.

    Contacts:

    Kelsey Alford-Jones, Center for International Environmental Law (202) 742-5854 kalford@ciel.org

    Ellen Moore, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (775) 348-7557 emoore@planevada.org

    Becky Kaump, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (+502) 5575 2058 becky@nisgua.org

  • Nevadans stand up for the Clean Power Plan in Washington D.C.

    Last month PLAN leaders from across the state traveled with People’s Action to Washington D.C. to take part in a day of action in support of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP is currently on hold after a legal challenge filed by 24 state Attorney Generals, and with support from some of the worst corporate polluters on the planet. The CPP is a monumentally important first step toward inching back from the brink of climate catastrophe – an issue that means life or death for vulnerable, low-income communities and communities of color.

    Below, PLAN leader, Sierra Norton Jickling reflects on on the day of action and why she thinks protest and direct action is important.

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    Sierra speaking outside the Court hearing on the CPP in Washington D.C. (Photo: Rae Breaux)

    We loaded into buses early in the morning to head to the D.C. District Court House, where our rally in support of the Clean Power Plan was to take place. We started off the morning with a series of speakers, punctuated by rounds of chanting and cheering. Each of the speakers brought a unique voice, face, and perspective to the environmental movement. Some were angry, some were scared, and some were downright upset–but every speaker contributed to the sense of passion, urgency, and importance that was in the air that morning. Not many of the people passing by stopped to listen to what we had to say, and just a few slowed down to look.

    Sometimes though, it is just as important to remind ourselves about why we commit as activists to a certain cause, as it is to educate others about that cause. Although we did not draw a crowd of non-informed strangers, we did bring a deeper sense of purpose and unity to our group of People’s Action folks.

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    PLAN staff, Ellen Moore, calls out the National Mining Association and the Nevada Mining Association for blocking the CPP. (Photo: Rae Breaux)

    After finishing up our scheduled speakers in front of the Court, we quickly made our way down the street to the National Mining Association (NMA), one of the groups that signed on to the lawsuit against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. There we entered the lobby and occupied the lobby there for about thirty minutes, chanting and having another series of speakers. After we had made our presence known, loud and proud, we left a letter of grievances with those at the front desk, and we exited peacefully. The security guards, while displeased, did not attempt any force with our group.

    Immediately after our visit to the NMA, we moved again by bus to another part of town to the National Association of Manufacturing’s building. Once again, we entered their lobby and held space with speakers and chants, and a small yet decent sized group of individuals in suits were temporarily prevented from entering the building.

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    PLAN leader, Jose Macias, leading chants and keeping the crowd energized. (Photo: Rae Breaux)

    The downside of holding space in a lobby, which was the case in the last two direct actions of the day, is that the individuals that must confront the protesters most directly are likely the individuals in the building that have the least to do with the matter that the protesters are demonstrating against. In our case, those that seemed to be most dismayed or inconvenienced by our action were the security guards and front desk employees of both the NMA and the Association of Manufacturing.

    Our real anger and grievances are directed at those that sit in the big private offices and make the decisions to spend millions of dollars against sustainable policies and environmental protection, but due to their socio-economic status and career, they are exceedingly unlikely to have to make contact with lobby protesters. That being said, it is worth noting that any protesting presence, no matter how small, at least contributes to any conversation around the issue that is protested. I believe this to certainly be true about the actions we held that day.

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    PLAN leaders on their way to meet with their elected representatives.

    Following the direct action, we had some quieter time to spend making office visits to our representatives. For our Nevada group, we had a scheduled visit with Rep. Dina Titus (D) and a drop off of literature with Rep. Cresent Hardy (R). The drop off was brief, and we made our way to Rep. Titus’s office to meet with her office aide There we discussed the various bills that we wanted Rep. Titus to co-sign or vote in favor of–mostly, our conversation revolved around water, energy, and infrastructure. While the office visit could not have been insanely thorough due to the limited time we had, we hit on the most important topics and made our wishes known. I have never had the experience of visiting a representative of Congress before, so the opportunity was, for me, very eye-opening.

  • The PLANista October 18th

    PLAN Logo

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    Welcome to PLAN’S first Fall edition of the PLANista!

    Take a look at all the stuff we’ve been up to!

    Native's in Reno gather in protest against DAPL

    Native’s in Reno gather in protest against DAPL

    Standing Rock Fundraiser and #NoDAPL Rally in Reno

     

    PLAN was proud to join Native leaders and the Be The Change project the last week in September to rally in support of the estimated 6,000 people camped at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota who are putting their lives on hold and their bodies on the line to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The Reno rally was also held to raise funds and gather winter weather supplies that will be delivered to the camp by Be The Change and others. 

    Nationwide Action to Keep it in the Ground

     

    Over the past month PLAN has taken action at home and in Washington D.C. to protect our climate, land and water. On August 23rd, PLAN Director, Bob Fulkerson was scheduled to go to trial on charges stemming from the June Keep it in the Ground Rally. Dozens of supporters came to a rally outside the courthouse and accompanied Bob during the proceedings, which were eventually postponed. We are still waiting on a new trial date.  

     

    PLAN also was proud to stand together with frontline and Indigenous leaders outside the White House to deliver 1 million signatures to President Obama demanding no new fossil fuel leases on public land and water. Later we took the fight to the doorstep of the U.S. Department of the Interior where the Bureau of Land Management is located. The BLM recently reported that future oil and gas lease sales will be held online, out of the view of the public. PLAN joined 40+ climate protectors in peacefully occupying the DOI lobby before 13 people were arrested in an act of civil disobedience. Our message is clear: No more pipelines, no new leases – we have never been stronger, and we will not stop!

    Keep it in the Ground & No TPP Event at Lake Tahoe Summit

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    As President Obama, Minority Leader Reid and other decorated elected officials gathered in South Lake Tahoe for the annual Tahoe Summit, two movements joined forces on the streets outside to deliver important messages to leaders and attendees.  Activists demanded that President Obama end leasing of federal coal, oil and gas, as well as get on the path to a just transition and clean energy future.  Our future is not for sale, keep it in the ground!

    Family Defenders!

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    Family Defender, Brenda Romero with volunteers!

    PLAN’s Family Defenders program is dedicated to helping immigrant families this election season! We are focused on immigrant voters and keeping our Nevada families together. On August 25th Reno held its first Family Defenders meeting with 7 people in attendance. Las Vegas held its first Family Defenders meeting on August 8th with 8 people in attendance. Since then, our program has grown with new volunteers, voter registration work, promoting citizenship fairs, and Get Out The Vote efforts! In Reno the Family Defender’s program was able to engage high schools in voter registration and recruit volunteers!

    Family Defenders speak at Sparks High school in Reno!

    Family Defenders speak at Sparks High school in Reno!

    We visited Hug High school and Sparks high school and reached 80 students all together! We spoke to 5 classes, registered 7 students, and recruited 47 students to join PLAN. The Family Defenders programs is glad to have this chance to engage our communities about this year’s election!

     

     

     

     

    Pathway to Citizenship!

    LiUNA working with PLAN for a great Fair!

    LiUNA working with PLAN for a great Fair!

    PLAN’s been uplifting our immigrant communities and helping our neighbors on the road to citizenship! In September we held citizenship fairs in Reno and Las Vegas and this month we held them in both locations as well. In October we served 66 people all together!

    Karla Rodriguez assisting a client at the Las Vegas fair!

    Karla Rodriguez assisting a client at the Las Vegas fair!

    In Reno we held our citizenship workshop at the LiUNA labor union headquarters. We assisted many people with the help of LiUNA and our volunteers who came out to help. The Guatemalan counsel also dropped by to visit and take part in our fair!

    The Guatemalan counsel discussing their work at the Reno fair!

    The Guatemalan counsel discussing their work at the Reno fair!

    Along with partners like iAmerica, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Asian Community Resource Center and Mi Familia Vota, PLAN hosted a citizenship fair in Las Vegas at the Rio Casino. We were able to assist a wide range of community members thanks to our dedicated volunteers. PLAN will continue to build immigrant power by ensuring that eligible community members have access to citizenship. If you have any questions about our citizenship work or would like to volunteer, please contact Karla Rodriguez at krodriguez@planevada.org.

     

     

    Introducing the Nevada Coalition for Women’s Equity

     

    In November 2015, women from AAUW called together community members to launch an effort to pass an Equal Pay bill in the Nevada Legislature.  Since the initial launch, PLAN Action along with 7 other organizations have come together to advocate for a gender equity platform.

    Stacey Shinn peeping in on the Women's Equity meeting!

    Stacey Shinn peeping in on the Women’s Equity meeting!

    The Nevada Coalition for Women’s Equity’s (NCWE) priorities also include paid leave, affordable family planning, increasing the minimum wage, domestic workers rights, affordable childcare and the enforcement of Title IX.  The coalition conducted a survey of legislative candidates on the seven issues and have produced a report that can be found at NV4Equity.org.

     

     

     

    Reno/Sparks NAACP’s Banquet

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    PLAN's new team of interns!

    PLAN’s new team of interns!

    PLAN attended our member group, Reno/Sparks NAACP’s annual 71st annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet. The Banquet took place on October 8th in Reno Nevada at the Circus Circus casino. We were excited to be a part of this fantastic fundraiser and show support for the NAACP! We also brought our new social work interns, who enjoyed their first banquet event!

     

     

     

     

    Rosa Molina guest speaking at Fraternidad Guatemalteca.

    Rosa Molina guest speaking at Fraternidad Guatemalteca.

    Immigration forms

    PLAN informing LiUNA members of citizenship information!

    PLAN informing LiUNA members of citizenship information!

    In September PLAN’s Immigration program in Reno was able to partner with many local organizations for citizenship screenings, citizenship test preparation, and information forms. We worked with Fraternidada Guatemalteca, Latinos Unidos from Carson City, Family Resource Center from Sun Valley, and the labor union LiUNA. These information sessions were held successfully throughout the city of Reno and Carson City!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “American Outrage” film screening links past to present

     

    img_5062On September 8th, PLAN hosted more than 40 people for a backyard screening of the documentary chronicling the Dann sister’s valiant fight to defend their land and way of life from mining giant Barrick Gold. After the film Professor Debra Harry drew connection between the Western Shoshone sisters’ struggle to stop an open pit gold mine from desecrating their ancestral land to the historic movement at Standing Rock to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline. Local Native leaders organizing to provide solidarity and support for the encampment shared i

    information before ending the night with a prayer. 

    Nevadan’s Vote!

    Family Defenders with volunteers registering their community to vote!

    Family Defenders with volunteers registering their community to vote!

    PLAN has had a great run this election year with voter registration! In Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City, and rural areas with canvassers, volunteers, service agencies, and local community events we have had a full year this election season! All together PLAN has registered 5,872 people throughout Nevada!

    Canvasser, Frank Ramos registering a new student to voter at UNR!

    Canvasser, Frank Ramos registering a new student to voter at UNR!

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    Volunteers came all the way from California to help PLAN get Nevadans registered!

    It has been great talking with communities all over and listening to the issues folks truly care about. We have enjoyed our time engaging with our residents and helping them in this year’s voting process. We hope that everyone in Nevada votes and allows their voices to be heard in this upcoming historical election!

     

     

    Thanks to our Voter Registration teams!

    Canvasser, Brenda Virrey stopping a shopper to register!

    Canvasser, Brenda Virrey stopping a shopper to register!

     

    Canvasser, Josefina Martinez at the state fair in Carson City!

    Canvasser, Josefina Martinez at the state fair in Carson City!

     

    Canvassers registering folks at Patagonia clothing store!

    Canvassers registering folks at Patagonia clothing store!

     

    PLAN registering folks at the homeless shelter!

    PLAN registering folks at the homeless shelter!

    So long for now!

    Thanks for checking out our page! Keep up to date with PLAN events and initiatives through Facebook and our Twitter page! Also, if you enjoy our work and would like to take part or help, please consider volunteering or making a financial gift here. Community member’s donations allow us to do the work we do in Nevada! Thank you for your support!

  • ‘Keep it in the Ground’ trial postponed, but we’ll be back!

    Today’s trial against PLAN Director, Bob Fulkerson for charges stemming from Nevada’s massive ‘Keep it in the Ground’ protest on June 14th was postponed. Fulkerson and fellow activist, Travis Fuller, were both tackled and detained by Siena Hotel security at the rally, becoming the first people arrested during a year of protest aimed at Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales across the country.

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    Supporters gathered outside the Reno Municipal Court

    The Reno Municipal Judge ordered a continuum in order to allow time to access video footage from the Siena Hotel. The judge also recused himself due to his history of relationship with the Fulkerson family. A new trial date will be set within the week. Travis Fuller will stand trial on September 21st.

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    Autumn Harry, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

    PLAN is incredibly inspired and grateful to the dozens of people who came out to support Bob and stand up for Nevada’s water and our country’s climate future. A special thank you to student activist, Sierra Jickling and Autumn Harry, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, whose words put the struggle to defend land and water into a national context marked by unprecedented climate catastrophe, but also unprecedented resistance from frontline communities.

    Together, we reaffirmed our commitment to stand together. From the prayer camp against a dangerous oil pipeline at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to the inspiring movement to halt new leases in the flood ravaged Gulf of Mexico and the KING national convergence in Washington D.C. on September 15th – we will continue to fight back against a system that persecutes the people who are protecting life and supports the industries and fossil fuel corporations that are causing irreparable harm.

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    Sierra Jickling, UNR student activist

    We continue to call on President Obama to do what’s right by communities and climate by ending new fossil fuel leases on our public lands and waters.

    Check out videos from today’s press conference and rally here and here.

  • American Outrage movie screening

    On September 8th at 7pm PLAN will host a backyard screening and discussion of the documentary, American Outrage (Our Land, Our Life), the inspiring story of Western Shoshone sisters, Carrie and Mary Dann, who stood up to mining giant Barrick Gold.

    It is difficult to find a Nevadan who is unfamiliar with the history and influence of mining on our state – from the early men and women who risked it all for the chance to strike gold, to today’s massive operations run by transnational mining conglomerates. These already well-known stories were the focus of a recently aired four-part Nevada mining series on Northern Nevada’s Public Broadcasting station, KNPB.  The Nevada Mining Association paid for the 120 minute production, which dedicated just eight minutes of air time to voices concerned about the environmental and cultural impacts of mining on our state.

    Too many questions were left unanswered. What about the sacred tribal sites overrun to make way for open-pit gold mines? What is the industry doing to address the fact that according to the EPA, Nevada mines are some of the greatest producers of mercury in the U.S.? What does the shift away from an economy fueled by expensive fossil fuels mean for the future of gold-mining in Nevada?

    PLAN, Great Basin Resource Watch and the Comstock Resident’s Association were particularly disappointed as all three groups had participated in the making of the series with the good-faith that KNPB would ensure a fair and accurate portrayal of one of Nevada’s most controversial issues. We wrote a letter detailing our concerns and shared it in person with  KNPB management, the Community Advisory Board and the Board of Directors. KNPB’s response did not address any of the specific content or factual concerns, totaling over eight pages, that were raised and failed to justify that opposing views accounted for less than 10% of the overall content.

    Nevada has a rich history of mining and resistance, and we think both stories need to be told. Join us at PLAN’s office on Thursday, September 8th from 7 – 8:30pm where we will begin to discuss some of the questions KNPB and its corporate sponsors failed to address. Bring lawn chairs if you have them; we will provide the popcorn!

    PLAN’s office is located at 203 S. Arlington Ave, Reno, NV 89501

  • 8th Edition of The PLANISTA!

     

    PLAN’s been doing some great work!

    Take a look…

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    Black Lives Matter march in downtown Reno

    Black Lives Matter march in downtown Reno

     

    Black Lives Matter march in Reno!

    Black Lives Matter arts event, day before the march.

    Black Lives Matter arts event, day before the march.

    Probably the most followed news item in the recent past of our quirky little city was the planning of a demonstration in support of the #BlackLivesMatter (#BLM) movement. Two distinct marches comprised one day of action; the first, led by Krys Ro,–a longtime (Black) Renoite–began at UNR and joined the larger rally downtown, which took to the streets to the “Believe” sculpture and was organized by two (white) local high school students, Brooke Fimby and Carissa Garcia.

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     PLAN offered materials and organizing/logistical support and was led by Thio Marigny and Monique Normand, who also brought the students and local NAACP and Reno Police Department leadership into the same room. The event was a success and brought over 300 community members out in support!

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    People’s Energy Forum

    PLAN's AJ Buhay speaking on the importance of renewable energy

    PLAN’s AJ Buhay speaking on the importance of renewable energy

     

    On July 19, 2016, PLAN together with community partners Chispa Nevada, Sierra Club, and NextGen Climate, gathered at the Winchester Cultural Center to discuss Nevada’s Clean Energy Future and the policies that surround it. As part of a weeklong event for Latino Conservation Week, the event was kicked off by our featured speaker, Congresswoman Dina Titus, who spoke about the need for Nevada to have policies in place that will ensure clean energy benefits for communities of color. Dean Titus latino

     

    There was also a panel discussion that followed moderated by Rudy Zamora of Chispa NV. The discussion included panelists Jennifer Taylor of the Clean Energy Project, Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, and Elspeth DiMarzio of the Sierra Club. The community followed up with their own questions regarding the intersections of race, economic inequality, and clean energy policies.

     

     

    PLAN presents Howard Watts of Great Basin Water Network for a Community Lunch and Learn

     

    On July 22, 2016, the PLAN office in Las Vegas was packed with community members to listen and hear Howard Watts present on Nevada’s current water issues for the Great Basin Water Network. We gathered around a hearty lunch and discussed the problems that never seemed to be discussed in public dialogues.

    PLAN’s own Erika Castro opened the event by presenting on PLAN’s Dewatering Report. A lively discussion followed after Howard’s presentation and addressed the need for the information he presented to be translated in Spanish for it to reach a more diverse audience. Plans for more events like this are being discussed and PLAN, together with Chispa NV, will spearhead the efforts to translate all the materials in Spanish.

     

    NAACP Community Fourm

    Members from different organizations speak out, including PLAN's executive director, Bob Fulkerson.

    Members from different organizations speak out, including PLAN’s executive director, Bob Fulkerson.

    On July 14th at Northern Nevada HOPE’s in Reno, the NAACP had an open community fourm to talk about policing in the United States and here in Nevada. The fourm had speakers from the Reno and Sparks police departments and members from the Reno city council. The NAACP also opened the fourm to community members to voice their concerns and views on the operations of the police department here in Reno. PLAN attended and voiced concerns on policies here in Nevada that marginalize and target our African American community members. Bob Fulkerson also made comments during the open fourm.

     

    Citizenship workshops

    Carson City Planista's and volunteers!

    Carson City Planista’s and volunteers!

    Keeping families together!

    Keeping families together!

    Here at PLAN, we are continuing the naturalization work that started in the spring.

    We continue to help Nevadans become US citizens through free workshops with the help of organizations like the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Western Nevada College, and United Latino Community.

    Las Vegas citizen applicants

    Las Vegas citizen applicants

    So far, we’ve hosted 3 workshops in 3 different cities – Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City! We’re working hard to ensure that every Nevadan gets a chance at fulfilling their American dream.

    Volunteer helping an applicant!

    Volunteer helping an applicant!

     

    PLAN pays a visit to the Governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force

    PLAN organizer, Thio Marigny urges the Task Force to focus on green jobs for residents of Nevada!

     

    On July 27, 2016, PLAN leaders and community members paid a visit to the Governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force as they met and discussed their final policy recommendations that will shape the Governor’s Energy legislative priorities for 2017. PLANistas showed up at both the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas and the State Legislature in Carson City.

    PLAN’s own Bob Fulkerson, AJ Buhay, and Thio Marigny led the charge and spoke about the energy issues they see in Nevada. They also asked that they demand where energy policies are designed to help communities of color, low income families, and hardworking Nevadans instead of using it as profiteers for Nevada Energy.

    PLAN organizer, AJ Buhay express the importance of renewable energy in communities of color.

    PLAN organizer, AJ Buhay express the importance of renewable energy in communities of color.

     

    Thio delivered an impassioned plea for creating an energy future that would include workers transitioning into a clean energy economy with a living wage, which got the attention of a few members of the task force who have the ability to ensure exactly that. PLAN leaders like Harold Carnes, a Fight for 15 activists, delivered a powerful testimony that spoke of low wage workers and communities of color joining the fight for clean energy. But the day’s biggest and most talked about testimony came from a young PLAN volunteer: 14 year old Christian Castellans who held the task force accountable for possibly damaging his future and his generation’s future by not acting on climate change.

    Community member in Las Vegas, expresses why renewable energy is important to him and his family.

    Community member in Las Vegas, expresses why renewable energy is important to him and his family.

     

    Just like PLAN’s mission, Christian spoke of the need for planting the seeds today that will ensure Nevada will be able to move forward and lead in a clean energy

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Annual Board meeting

    Member group members share ways to work together!

    Member group members share ways to work together!

    On July 15th, PLAN held our Annual Member Group Meeting in Reno, Nevada. Coming together with our member groups gave us an opportunity to work together to put forward a more progressive agenda for the State of Nevada. Our annual meeting was held at Evelyn Mount Community Center, where we had the opportunity to learn about Evelyn Mount who the center is named after. She has been a staple of the Reno community for years, and has dedicated her efforts to feeding those who need it most. Being in a center named after such a powerful African American woman was the boost PLANistas needed.

    PLAN organizer, Dulce Valencia raps the history of PLAN!

    PLAN organizer, Dulce Valencia raps the history of PLAN!

    Yanna Cancela from the Cullinary Union in Las Vegas, and PLAN's Laura Martin, talk about the importance of engaging labor workers.

    Yanna Cancela from the Cullinary Union in Las Vegas, and PLAN’s Laura Martin, talk about the importance of engaging labor workers.

    The member groups in attendance were able to hear from our PLAN Board Director, Yvanna Cancela of Culinary Workers Union 226, who gave us a history of why Union involvement in progressive issues is so important. Everyone was equally excited when our very own Dulce Valencia, rapped the entire history of PLAN during our meeting as a fun way to remind us of where we have been and the work we have yet to do. We were also happy to be joined by Kit Miller, daughter of Maya Miller our PLAN founder. Kit has been deeply involved in progressive issues and having her there helped us come full circle after hearing our PLAN history.

    PLAN organizers Astrid Silvia and Laura Martin canvass in Reno and engage voters!

    PLAN organizers Astrid Silvia and Laura Martin canvass in Reno and engage voters!

     Following the exciting speakers and information, we all were given a refresher course on how to canvass and register voters. Together our staff and member groups ventured out into Reno neighborhoods and were able to engage with community members about progressive issues. Many of our team were able to have meaningful conversations with community members who look forward to becoming more engaged with PLAN and our member groups and appreciated the visits to their homes. This will be a tradition we definitely look forward to incorporating into future meetings. Our next bi-monthly member group meeting will be on Thursday, September 1st from 12 to 1pm.

     

     

     

     

    Voter Registration

    Voter reg

    PLANistas across Nevada, from Reno to Las Vegas have been educating and registering new voters in time for the upcoming election. Meeting and engaging with community members has been a great experience for PLAN, and allows us to understand the issues our community members truly care about.

    If you need to register for the first time to vote or if you need to update any voter registration such as a change in political party, name change, or just an address change, please click here! Time to register and update voter information is winding down, and it only takes 1 minute!  dulce and laura

     

     

    Interested in civic engagement work? Think about volunteering and registering folks to vote with us! Contact us in Reno or in Las Vegas to get more information.

     

     

     

     

    Love the work PLAN is doing? Want to be involved and don’t have the time? Think about making a contribution to help us continue the work we do in Nevada! To give a gift to PLAN, please click here! Thanks so much for your support!

    Special thanks to AJ Buhay, Astrid Silvia, and Karla Rodriguez for contributing to this edition of the PLANista!

     

  • The Planista! 7th Edition!

    PLAN Logo

    tHE Planista (1)

    See what’s new at PLAN!

     

     

    Banner made in the Las Vegas arts workshop!

    Banner made in the Las Vegas arts workshop!

    Arts and Organizing!

     

    On June 11th, 2016, Las Vegas artist Denise Duarte and the Left of Center Art Gallery welcomed PLAN and its volunteers to their space to host PLAN’s Arts and Organizing Workshop for Environmental Justice. The community came together to create posters and banners that were then brought to Reno for the Keep It In the Ground Rally that happened on June 14 to protest the Bureau of Land Management’s auctioning of public lands. aRTS OrgThere were more than 25 attendees that got their hands dirty with paint and talked about environmental justice issues. As a group, we decided to focus on the message “People Planet First”. With volunteers as young as 9 years old to whole families in attendance, volunteers created a community banner that represented our resolve to build a community that puts our families, the people, and the planet first over corporations and profits.

    Arts Org2On June 13th, Reno also held an Arts Organizing workshop, in connection with the Keep It In the Ground Rally. The Reno workshop was led by David Solnit, an arts organizer with the organization, 350.org. PLANista’s from Las Vegas, members of environmental organizations, and community members came out to learn how art can be an important component in social justice and environmental movements. In addition to guiding us in making some amazing art, David also led a discussion on his work and explained how art can be a big help in getting messages across.

     

     

    Defending water and land: Hundreds protest the BLM oil and gas lease auction in Reno

    Group Picture of PLANista's and volunteers!

    Group Picture of PLANista’s and volunteers!

     

    On June 14th hundreds of Nevadans took to the streets to demand an end to the leasing of public lands for dirty oil and gas exploration  PLAN is proud to have lead the organizing effort that saw a diversity of participation including the Battle Horse Drumming group from Pyramid Lake, members of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Potentialist Workshop, Fight for $15 workers from Las Vegas and many more. And while the Bureau of Land Management still managed to lease $31,000 of our land, we sent a strong and clear message that we will not sit idle while our public resources are auctioned off to the highest bidder. PLAN’s June 11th and June 13th Arts Organizing Workshops in Las Vegas and Reno respectively, provided an important space to unify our struggle for climate justice using art and creativity. Check out some of our favorite photos from the Reno art build.

    Protest in front of the Siena Hotel

    Protest in front of the Siena Hotel

     

     

    But we aren’t done yet! We are energized and ready to continue demanding a just transition to 100% renewables. Join us for a rally on July 27th at the Governor Sandoval’s New Energy Task Force meeting in Carson City. RSVP here to reserve your spot in the carpool.

     

     

     

     

     

    Volunteers helping out at the fair.

    Volunteers helping out at the fair.

    Reno Summer Citizenship Fair!

    Our first Reno, summer citizenship fair was on June 11th! The fair was held at the RISE, Academy for Adults Achievement building. A whopping 40 volunteers gave their time to make the fair a success, and we also had six lawyers who gave their time to help us in our efforts to naturalize our communities.Citizenship Fair block Over 100 people filed applications to start the process of becoming citizens! We were so excited to serve our communities in Reno, and can’t wait to plan the next one!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    DAPA/DACA Court Decision!

     

    On Thursday, June 23rd, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down their decision on DAPA and DACA+. These measures would help millions of undocumented families be able to live without fear by giving them a work permit and a deferred deportation status. While these means are not temporary, they would have brought much needed relief to our communities struggling under the shadow of an uncertain future. DAPADACA

     

    Unfortunately, SCOTUS reached a 4-4 tie in Texas v United States, Nevada was one of the 26 states with an Attorney General or Governor who was involved in the lawsuit. While the decision was a blow to our community, the fight continues as this decision does not set a precedent and can be brought up at a later time when the bench is full, or a new President is elected.

     

    Our PLANistas in Las Vegas made sure that our disagreement with the decision was heard by the man who signed us up for the frivolous lawsuit, Attorney General Adam Laxalt. PLANistas as well as members of other community organizations gathered at the office of Attorney General Laxalt to host a press conference on Decision Day. DACAFamilies and children spoke about their fear and what it means to be living without documents in the United States. Community members then walked into Attorney General Laxalt’s office and demanded a meeting with him. After initially being told Mr. Laxalt was unavailable, we discovered that he was doing media interviews while our distraught families were waiting to hear from him.

     

    Later in the evening we hosted a community forum in which we gave information about the next steps in this process as well as legal guidance from our friends, American Immigration Lawyers Association – Nevada Chapter. We were accompanied by a group of people affected by the decision as well as members from our member group, Planned Parenthood and various other resource tables. A stand out moment was when 11 year old Karla and 10 year old Yovanna stood before the crowd, and spoke about the fear that they live in. As United States citizens they have the right to be with their parents who are Undocumented.

     

    Reno DACAIn Reno, PLANistas let their voices be heard as well. A press conference was held at the Reno PLAN office the morning after the decision was given. Community groups, faith leaders, legal advisors, activists, and members of the community effected by the decision all spoke up and explained how this decision impacts them and their city. After the conference, PLANistas along with other members of the community, drove down to Carson City to speak to Attorney General Laxalt in person. We were told he was away, but a representative would speak to us. After waiting 15 minutes in the lobby and being greeted with nothing but stares of disapproval, we decided to have a silent sit in. No one ever came to meet us, but we were greeted by police while leaving.  Read more about our response to the decision here!

     

     

    PLAN presents new report on the effect of open-pit gold mines on Nevada’s water

    Water Tour

     

    This June PLAN traveled to Elko and Lovelock to present a new report by Dr. Tom Myers about alarming effects of open-pit gold mining on Nevada’s water. Dr. Myers addressed interested college students, faculty, members of the mining industry, and farmers in two community forums regarding the medium and long-term effects of mine dewatering and pit lake formation in the Humboldt River basin. Read local news report from the meetings in the Elko Daily Free Press and Lovelock Review-Miner. You can find Dr. Myers’ full report and presentation on the website or check out our simplified summary here.

     

     

    Pro-Bono Citizenship Clinic!

    Our PLANista Karla Rodriguez, assisting an attendee

    Our PLANista Karla Rodriguez, assisting an attendee

    On Saturday June 25th, PLANistas helped host the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Annual Pro-Bono Citizenship Clinic. Through our collaboration with our local AILA – Nevada Chapter, we were able to assist applicants who are eligible to Naturalize. The event was held at the Linq Hotel and Casino, just a few blocks away from the National AILA conference taking place, at which our own Astrid Silva participated in a panel about DACA students. LawyerThrough partnerships with other community organizations, PLANistas have helped over 2,200 finish their Naturalization application or get on the path to doing so in the past 10 months. This work would not be possible without the help of every single volunteer. One of the major reasons that many Permanent Legal Residents do not apply for the Naturalization process is because of a lack of resources and access to the information. Through the work of PLAN, we are able to tear down an obstacle so that our applicants become engaged and motivated to participate in the political process.

    LawyersA diverse community attend the fair! Applicants from Laos, Spain, Mexico and many other countries were attended by our volunteers, and had an opportunity to talk, one on one with an immigration attorney. This service is invaluable to making sure that every application that is sent, has the best opportunity to be approved. One of the highlights of the day was a family of three who were all processing their documentation, father, mother, and daughter. We know that through this work we will be successful in helping as many of our neighbors Naturalize as possible.

     

    Juneteenth Event!

    1Juneteenth

    On Saturday June 18th, PLAN attended the Juneteenth festival in Reno! The annual festival was put on by NNBCAS, Northern Nevada’s Black Cultural Awareness Society. The Emancipation Proclamation freed slave on January 1st, 1863, but the last state to hear about this was Texas, on June 19th, 1865, a whole two years later. This day is celebrated by African Americans all over the United States as their day of independence! PLAN was excited to be part of this event and celebrate with the community. PLANistas shared about PLAN and also registered folks to vote.

     

    State Fair!

    FAIR

    PLAN attended the Nevada state fair in Carson City June 9th through June 12th. In addition to enjoying the fun with Nevada residents from all over the state, we were also able to share all the important work PLAN’s been doing with the community. PLANista’s signed up folks interested in volunteering, educated people on the importance of voting, and registered many first time voters!

     

    Registering Voters

    Don Jesus Vazquez REG

    PLAN Las Vegas is out registering voters Monday-Saturday by attending community events and going to supermarkets like Cardenas. This past week, while at Cardenas we met Don Jesus Vazquez, a U.S. citizen who wasn’t registered to vote. After hearing that our staff members, Astrid and Dulce couldn’t vote, he registered and promised to go out and vote for them. Don Jesus shows us that it’s important to take voting seriously and show up for everyone out there who isn’t eligible to vote!

     

    Enjoy the work we’re doing? Consider contributing a gift and helping us in our efforts! Click here to give.

    So long until next time!

    Special thanks to AJ Buhay, Astrid Silva, Ellen Moore, Dulce Valencia, Karla Rodriguez, and Rosa Molina for their contributions to this issue of the Planista.