• The Planista! 7th Edition!

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    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.

     

  • Despite a disappointing DAPA & DACA+ decision, our fight continues!

    Thursday’s Supreme Court deadlock on DAPA and DACA+ was a disappointing setback for immigrant families. But organizers and families here in Nevada, and across the country, remain more committed than ever to fighting for these commonsense programs that are lawful, constitutional, and consistent with decades of actions taken by presidents of both parties. While today’s erroneous outcome is deeply disappointing, it does not impact DACA 2012, which was not at issue in this lawsuit.

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    Attorney Jocelyn Cortez with @AILANational Nevada talks about the legal aspects of the SCOTUS deadlock. (Photo PLAN)

    The decision does mean that DAPA and DACA+ policies remain blocked nationwide, however we are confident that this case will end up back at the Supreme Court, before a full panel of justices who can render a clear decision. Unfortunately, this will not be a quick process and many families will needlessly suffer in the interim.

    Join us to learn more about what the decision means and what comes next Sign up for a National Community Call scheduled for July 6th at 8pm EDT for English, 9pm EDT for Spanish (5pm PDT / 6 PDT).

    PLAN reacted to the disappointing news by joining American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Culinary Union, Americas Voice and other partners in organizing a press conference before heading to protest at Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office. Laxalt is responsible for adhering Nevada to this partisan lawsuit. These groups and many more also held an community meeting in the evening to share information about the split decision and to build power for the next phase of the struggle.

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    PLAN’s Laura Martin at Laxalt’s office. (Photo PLAN)

    PLAN in Reno also held a press conference to denounce the partisan politics not only prompted the Texas lawsuit, but also resulted in an incomplete Supreme Court and a deadlocked decision. Northern Nevada allies then drove to protest at Laxalt’s office in Carson City.

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    On the steps of Laxalt’s Carson City office. (Photo PLAN)

     

    Hear directly from Northern Nevada community leaders who provided insight and calls to action at Thursday’s press conference. Links to short videos below.

     

    VIDEOS:

    Attorney Steven P. Brazelton explains the SCOTUS decision.

    PLAN leader Theresa Navarro – we will be back to fight again, stronger than ever!

    Community leader Vicky Aguilar explains how the STOTUS deadlock affects real families right here in Nevada.

    Rest assured, this battle is not over.  We will not stop until every member of our community can live in dignity, without fear of being separated from their families.

    Don’t forget to sign up for the National Community Call scheduled for July 6th at 8pm EDT for English, 9pm EDT for Spanish (5pm PDT / 6 PDT). Experts and leaders from Reform Immigration for America will discuss what the decision means for the immigrant community and what the next steps are for our movement.

  • New report: Effect of open-pit gold mines on groundwater lingers long after production, profits and jobs are gone

    Growing concerns over the medium and long term impacts of open-pit gold mining on Nevada’s water were validated earlier this month when Dr. Tom Myers presented his third report on the effects of mine dewatering and pit lake formation on Humboldt River flows. PLAN traveled to Elko and Lovelock to share the findings of the most recent study with residents and impacted farmers. Read local news report from the meetings in the Elko Daily Free Press and Lovelock Review-Miner.

    Read Dr. Myers’ full report and presentation on what happens to ground water after mining ends and the pit lake fills with water, or check out our summary below.

    Open-pit gold mining impacts our water –
    even after production, profits and jobs are gone

    While the mine is in operation:

    • Over the course of a decade, companies carrying out open pit mining drain the aquifer of groundwater that took hundreds or thousands of years to accumulate. This quick suck significantly lowers the water table.
    • Mining companies claim they put more than half of the water back into the basin, but this is not the same as leaving water underground, in storage. Dewatering forces us to use the water now, instead of planning for the future.

    FACT: Since 1991, 3.9 million acre feet of water was pumped from open pits in the Humboldt River Basin. One acre foot, or 326,000 gallons, is enough water for a family of four for one year. That means mines have pumped enough water to support 3.9 million Nevada families.

    Immediately after mining ends:

    • Water pumping ends and the giant pits begin to fill up with ground water. This causes a slow suck of the water table over the course of decades. The slow suck results in a decrease in the water table and less water in the river. Increased flows while a mine is in production is due to water being pumped from the pit and discharged to the river.
    • Data from Newmont’s Lone Tree pit lake shows significant water loss in the Humboldt river since the company stopped dewatering the mine in 2007.

    FACT: Since 2007, the water being wasted to fill up the Lone Tree pit could have supplied nearly 9,000 families for 20 years (176,00 af between 2007 – 2016).

    For the foreseeable future:

    • A pit lake lasts forever, so that means water lost to evaporation off the pit lake will also be eternal.
    • 10,000 acre feet a year are lost to evaporation – the mining industry might say this number is insignificant, but we believe mining companies should not be allowed to waste any water, no matter the amount.

    FACT: In 18 years, we will have lost 180,000 acre feet of water to evaporation – the same amount Las Vegas wants to pump from Northern Nevada.

    Now consider the medium to long-term impact of dozens of open pit mines scattered across the state. Is open-pit gold mining the most sustainable and responsible use of our precious water?

    Recommendations to protect our future:

    • Require that pit lakes are reclaimed for post-mining beneficial use.
    • Demand enforceable water quality regulations on pit lake water.
    • Require the mining industry apply for water rights on evaporative losses from pit lakes.
    • Reform “temporary” water permits for mine dewatering to require companies to regularly justify water use as compared to other demands. Currently, these “temporary” permits for mining are valid for decades, but are not even calculated in overall water allocations.
  • My first protest – a reflection by PLAN intern, Brendan Gault

    My name is Brendan. I am a 23 year old student at the University of Nevada Reno. On June 14th, 2016, I was privileged to attend my first peaceful demonstration. The BLM was attempting to auction off public land for oil and gas, including fracking, in the Smoky Valley region of central Nevada. As an intern at PLAN focusing on renewable energy and climate justice issues, and a concerned citizen, this egregious use of public lands is in direct contrast to the goal of %100 renewable energy for Nevada.

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    Flag made during the art build on June 13th (Photo: Bucky Harjo)

    They held this “public” auction on the private property of the Siena Hotel. So PLAN and it’s partners formed a coalition with the goal of stopping this auction and letting the BLM know our loathing of this heinous proposition.
    My experience started the day before during the prep for the demonstration. The organizers wanted to use art of all types to help communicate our message to the BLM and the oil and gas companies. So we gathered to make visual pieces of art for the event and spent the afternoon creating and connecting. This was a very big part of the process for me personally because it helped to show we weren’t alone while, building a strong sense of community and investment toward our common goal of stopping fracking operations in Nevada. We were united.

    On the day of the demonstration we gathered together early and moved our people and art pieces into position a couple of blocks away from the scheduled auction. The performances began as more people arrived. Before I knew it I was surrounded by 150 like-minded people with the singular goal of protecting our beautiful state. The energy and sense of community amongst the crowd was powerful! There is something magical about a group of people gathering for a singular purpose. Before we began the march we had a moment of silence. The crowd silenced in solidarity ever building the feeling that we were here united.

    Then we began to march towards the Siena. I took up position in the middle of lead banner, which I didn’t plan, but felt compelled by the energy of the crowd. So we started off toward the auction the power of our message grew as 150 people all chanted our message together. The cries of people echoed through the streets as we approached the hotel where the auction was being held. As we approached the Siena we were met by their security guards. The security isolated who they believed was our leader and violently slammed him into the ground drawing blood. The treatment of our fellow angered the crowd but we turned our anger into motivation. It seems that they thought that by taking down “the leader” they could take away our momentum, but this was a movement of the people and could not be silenced.

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    At the Siena, inside the abandoned BLM auction room (Photo: Bucky Harjo)

    We took the energy of the assault and used it to enter the hotel. The lobby filled up behind me as we made our way to the stairs leading up to the auction, but we were again halted by two security guards. But the movement would not stop. Someone maneuvered around the line of security and we flooded up the stairs and into the auction room. We were met with an empty room and news that the people attending the auction had fled. They refused to hear our message. We occupied the room for about 20 minutes in case they came back, but eventually we moved back outside to avoid further arrest and harm to our  people.

    When we came outside the scene on the streets had changed dramatically. A large police presence had showed up, including a helicopter circling above. One thing that amazed me was how well the police treated us. They blocked off the street and allowed us to speak our peace – and speak it we did. Along with our message we demanded the release by the Siena security team of our fellow protesters. We achieved the release of two out of the three. After they were returned to us we begin our march down the street back to our starting point. The police were very considerate and blocked off our path for us.

    As I look back on my first demonstration I have this new sense of empowerment. The political process is often so noisy that it seems too busy to make anything out and too loud for the people to be heard. However, despite the chaos, we can be heard when we are united. United we can make a difference. Together we can stand up against those who take advantage of those less fortunate. We can stand up against the wasteful and destructive use of our precious resources. We can stand up for our rights. And most importantly we can win – or at least that is how I feel after my first demonstration. I just have one question for you. Will you stand up too?
    By Brendan Gault

  • Nevada Students Speak Out to Defend Water

    PLAN recently sponsored a Water over Gold essay contest in which students engaged in a conversation about the impacts of mining on our water and communities. A three-judge panel awarded top prizes to Katie Sitton from Nevada State College and Jade Utterback from West Career and Technical Academy.

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    Barrick Gold’s Pipeline mine as seen from the Cortez Hills mine (Photo PLAN)

    “We could not be happier with the thoughtful and well-researched essays we received from all the participants and want to thank community leaders and teachers for encouraging students to get involved” said PLAN Las Vegas organizer, Erika Castro.

    In their essays, students expressed their disappointment in the failure of the government to act in the best interest of regular Nevadans, instead offering tax breaks to transnational corporations. Currently, Nevada is the top gold producer in the US and one of the largest in the world all while enjoying rock bottom tax rates.

    Students were also critical of mining’s impact on their communities’ water and expressed concern about the generations to come. Contest winner Jade Utterback wrote, “Nevada, possessing a warm, dry, desert climate, is already facing serious problems in terms of water accessibility due to the severe drought. We can’t risk polluting our already-limited water resources from mining gold.” Read Jade’s full essay here.

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    The mighty Reese River (Photo PLAN)

    While the essay contest focused on the importance of water over gold, many students dug deeper to address other negative impacts from mining including erosion, ecosystem disruptions, and health hazards. They offered ways to raise awareness about irresponsible mining among their peers and community, and the need to become responsible consumers.

    Nevada students showed they care about their community and its future. College student and contest winner Katie Sitton ended her essay with a question. “Most people may argue in favor of the mining industry, saying that they are great for the economy and create jobs, but is it really worth it to leave this planet in declining conditions for our future generations?” Read Katie’s full essay here.

    Here at PLAN we echo essay judge and former Senator Sheila Leslie who stated, “I enjoyed reading the student essays about the impact mining has on Nevada’s lands and people. These students already understand that our future depends on doing a better job protecting our natural resources and balancing the need for jobs with the negative and sometimes hidden costs of mining in our state.”

  • Hundreds rally to defend Nevada’s ground water, demand an end to leasing of public lands for oil and gas

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    Outside the Siena (Photo Rainforest Action Network)

     

    Hundreds of people rallied yesterday to demand an end to the leasing of Nevada’s public lands for oil and gas. Armed with hand-made flags, banners,  a 12 foot mock oil rig, and a human oil spill,  13417701_10207960025530850_5305568705520863607_nwe used the power of our voices and the strength of our bodies to protect our ground water, communities and wildlife from dirty extraction.13419176_1291468420882899_5915694811776997587_n-1 We called for a just transition to renewable energy – not 450 billion tons of potential carbon pollution. Our protest disrupted the sale and sent a clear message that we will not sit back and allow our land and water to be destroyed. Read the press release here.
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    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held the lease auction – a public hearing – on private property. As a result, Siena Hotel management was allowed to keep us out, something they wouldn’t have been able to do if the hearing were at a public venue. 27392105040_d98e0f054f_zWhen the hundreds of concerned citizens tried to enter the Siena, PLAN state director was abruptly taken down by hotel security guards using excessive force, causing minor injuries to his knee, jaw, chin, and ribs. A student was also tackled by hotel security and arrested as he tried to enter the auction room. Both were charged with trespassing.

     

    The BLM used taxpayer funds to pay a private hotel to bar the people from an auction of public lands and public resources. 27060311113_2235a961f3_zA leader asked police why  private corporate rights trumped the right of the people to access a public meeting. He couldn’t answer. The public still doesn’t know where the BLM auction took place as the room where it was scheduled to occur was empty. What we do know is that the BLM and their industry buddies conduct their climate-killing business in secret.

    Prior to yesterday, we focused our ire on the fossil fuel industry, but now it’s clear the BLM is in cahoots with the fossil fuel industry to ensure fracking and other dirty fossil fuel extraction continues unimpeded from public participation or transparency. And while the BLM still managed to give away 3,764 acres of our land to the fossil fuel industry, we will not back down!

    The threat to our 27670685065_8550009746_zplanet is real and the fight for climate justice must continue. Thanks for standing with us. We’ll see you on July 29th at the Governors’s energy committee hearing in Carson City, and at the next BLM lease auction in Reno, December 13th!

     

     

    Photos thanks to Rainforest Action Network and Bucky Harjo.

    Check out the links below for more photos and video from the protest and art build.

    Photos and Video from the Potentialist Workshop – organizers of the human oil spill

    Arts Organizing Workshop and Art build by Monique Andrea

  • Issue 6 of the PLANista!

    new Planists

    PLAN’s been busy in the community the last few weeks. Check out what’s new!

     

    On the road for our public lands!

    Pipeline from above 2016

    PLAN organizers Ellen Moore, and Erika Castro, and Great Basin Resource Watch’s John Hadder take a look at public lands

    In May PLAN and Great Basin Resource Watch traveled to central Nevada to visit lands slated for auction at the upcoming Bureau of Land Management Sale on June 14th. The 42 parcels on the auction block cover over 74,000 acres in the majestic Big Smokey Valley. The land was nominated for the BLM lease sale by a Texas real estate developer without the knowledge of most of the residents living and farming near the potential fracking sites.

     

    Join us next week to send the message that our public lands are not for sale! Rally to Keep it in the Ground on Tuesday June 14th at 8am. Meet us at the Virginia Street Bridge in downtown Reno before we head to the BLM live auction at the Siena Hotel on South Lake Street. We are also inviting folks to come to PLAN’s office on Monday June 13th between 2 – 8pm to build amazing art for the next day’s action. Click here for more information on both activities and to RSVP.

     

    EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FEARWe have  Winners!

    March, we sponsored a Water over Gold essay contest to engage students in a conversation around the impacts of irresponsible mining on water and communities in Nevada.  Given the severe drought that our state is facing we believe it is important for young folks to get involved and learn how to protect such a precious resource.

    Nevada mining companies are using up to 70,000 gallons of water per minute to extract gold and other minerals, and students were very critical about that. They expressed their disappointment in the lack of protection our water has when it comes to extractive industries. High school contest winner Jade Utterback wrote, “Nevada, possessing a warm, dry, desert climate, is already facing serious problems in terms of water accessibility due to the severe drought. We can’t risk polluting our already-limited water resources from mining gold.”

    Katie Sitton, one of our winners!

    Katie Sitton, one of our winners!

    Katie Sitton, a Nevada State College student, was also a winner of the $250 scholarship. We were very pleased with the participation of students and their interest in wanting to get more involved.

    We want to thank all the community leaders and teachers that encouraged their students to take part in this contest!

     

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    We attended the Harvey Milk Awards!

    On Friday, May 20, Build Our Center celebrated the 4th Annual Harvey Milk Day! Build Our Center celebrated Harvey Milk, who worked long and hard to build, strengthen, and connect communities.

    PLAN organizers, Juseth Giron and Escenthio Marigny representing PLAN.

    PLAN organizers, Juseth Giron and Escenthio Marigny representing PLAN.

    PLAN was there to celebrate with them and registered people to vote. Harvey Milk, was a visionary civil and human rights leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. The annual event gave awards to community leaders who represent Harvey Milk’s vision. In addition, there was a pasta sauce competition, and great entertainment. We were so excited to celebrate this special day and the achievements of Harvey Milk with Our Center!

     

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    New Energy Task Force!

    Over the last two months PLAN has been working with community members and organizations to engage the governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force (NEITF). The NEITF was reconvened after a brief hiatus by Governor Sandoval to craft recommendations for clean energy for the 2017 legislative session. PLAN, community, and organization members have worked together in Las Vegas and Reno to meet members of the task force, give public comment, and give presentations for policy. Key to this engagement has been attempts to encourage policy recommendation that will move toward a 100% renewable future that centers low income communities and communities of color. The NEITF was reconvened by Governor Sandoval to craft recommendations for clean energy for the 2017 legislative session.

     

    Sculpture fest

    We registered people at the Sculpture Fest!

    On May 7th PLAN attended the Sculpture Fest in downtown Reno! The event featured sculptures and other forms of art from artists all over Nevada. PLAN was there to join in the fun while registering people to vote and to let people in the community know who we are. We were so excited to be a part of this festive event in our community.

     

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    PLAN on the move in the Community!

    In the last few weeks PLAN has been canvassing around town and registering voters. In Reno, Las Vegas, and in rural areas PLAN hopes to educate new voters and explain the

    First time voter with PLAN organizer, Monique Normand.

    First time voter with PLAN organizer, Monique Normand

    importance and impact the voting system can have on our community. If you still haven’t registered click here. Every vote counts and you and your community are worth it!

    
    

     

     

     

    Excited by all the great things PLAN’s doing in Nevada? Want to know how you can help? Consider giving a donation.

    Click here to give a gift.

    Special thanks to Ellen Moore, Juseth Giron, Escenthio Marigny, and Erika Castro for their help with this issue of PLAN’s newsletter!

     

  • Why we fight to “Keep it in the Ground”

    In May PLAN and Great Basin Resource Watch traveled to central Nevada to visit lands slated for auction at the upcoming Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction on June 14th.

    BSV Road View

    View of Big Smoky Valley (Photo PLAN)

    The 42 parcels on the auction block cover over 74,000 acres in the majestic Big Smokey Valley. The land was nominated for the BLM lease sale by a Texas real estate developer without the knowledge of most of the residents living and farming near the potential fracking sites.

    Reese River Valley 2016

    Reese River Valley (Photo PLAN)

    Fracking is environmentally risky and has the potential to contaminate drinking water. In Nevada, water is especially precious – it is the lifeblood of farmers and ranchers across the state.

    By keeping fossil fuels in the ground we are protecting our ground water and aquifers. To avoid catastrophic warming, scientists estimate that approximately 80% of proven fossil fuel resources need to stay in the ground. Here in Nevada, serious challenges to water users and wildlife are already being felt as a result of our changing climate. For more information about official protests filed against the BLM lease sale in the Reese River and Big Smokey Valleys, click here.

    Join us next week to send the message that our public lands are not for sale! Rally to Keep it in the Ground on Tuesday June 14th at 8am. Meet us at the Virginia Street Bridge in downtown Reno before we head to the BLM live auction at the Siena Hotel on South Lake Street. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

    We also traveled to Crescent Valley where Barrick’s Cortez Complex is located, which includes the Pipeline and Mt. Tenabo open pit gold mines.

    Pipeline from above 2016

    PLAN staff Ellen Moore and Erika Castro, and Great Basin Resource Watch director, John Hadder get a birds eye view of the Cortez Complex. (Photo PLAN)

    Destruction to the Mt. Tenabo Western Shoshone spiritual and cultural region has proceeded at an alarming rate, although not unexpected rate. Barrick reported nearly 500 million dollars in net proceeds from the Cortez Complex in 2014.

    Mt Tenabo June 2016

    Mt. Tenabo – the wall of Barrick’s open pit mining operation extend up the sacred mountain. (Photo PLAN)

  • MEDIA ADVISORY: The legacy of open pit mine dewatering and pit lake development

    RENO, NV — On Friday June 3rd in Reno, hydrologic consultant, Dr. Tom Myers will present his latest research on the long-term effects of dewatering and the formation of pit lakes on the flow of the Humboldt River entitled “Effect of Open Pit Mine Dewatering and Cessation on a Semi-arid River Flows”. The report expands on Dr. Myers’ June 2015 study, “Hydrogeology of the Humboldt River Basin, Impacts of Open-Pit Mine Dewatering and Pit Lake Formation,” which sought to deepen understanding regarding the long-term consequences of open pit mining on the Humboldt River watershed and aquifers, and the impacts on communities and ranchers living in the region.

    An executive summary of the report can be found here.

    Dr. Myers will also present the report in Elko on June 8th from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at Great Basin College, Room GMCML 219, and in Lovelock on June 9th from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at the Pershing County Community Center. The 2015 and 2016 report was commissioned by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

    WHEN:
    Friday, June 3rd
    12:00 pm

    WHERE:
    Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
    203 S. Arlington Ave.
    Reno, NV 89501

    CONTACT:
    Ellen Moore, emoore@planevada.org, 775-348-7557

  • The PLANista – March 2016

    new newsletter

    keepitinthe

    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!keepitin the ground

    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

    Citizenship Fair LV

    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

    Debt Conference

    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.

    Debt Conf

    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!

    Americus Brief

    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

    PLANistas tabling

    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.

    #DoYourJob

    PLAN volunteers and PLANista's talk to Senator Heller's representative Jack Finn

    PLAN and Sierra Club volunteers and PLANista’s talk to Senator Heller’s Southern Nevada representative Jack Finn

    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.

    PLANista's and volunteers stand in solidarity in Reno!

    PLANistas outside of Senator Dean Heller’s office in Reno

    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.

    The Provost and UNR explains the 15 to Finish program.

    The Provost and UNR explains the 15 to Finish program.

    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!

    PLANista's and organizers celebrate with Northern Nevada Hopes!

    PLANista’s and organizers celebrate with 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 registered many first time voters!

    PLAN registered many first time voters!

     

    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!

    EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FEAR

    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!

    Enjoy our work and all the great things PLAN is apart of in the community? Please consider a donation. We couldn’t do all the things we are able to do, without the help of the community! Click here to help!