• Tesla

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

     

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    September 10, 2014

    Dear Members of the Nevada Legislature:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for your service to our state.

     

     

    Sincerely,

    Bob's_signature

     

     

     

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

     

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

  • BREAKING: Fast Food Workers go on strike SEPTEMBER 4th

  • Governor Sandoval: Investigate corporations that are ripping off Nevada’s low wage workers

    Nevada Inc., the cabal of big corporate lobbyists who consider our state’s public resources as their private piggy bank, is at it again. This time, they were caught cheating the lowest-paid workers in the state out of millions of dollars.

    Voters overwhelmingly approved increasing the state’s minimum wage to a dollar above the federal amount in 2006. If employers provided health care, they were exempt from paying the higher minimum wage. Last week, we learned that giant corporations were skirting this law with impunity. TakeAction

    Fat cat lobbyists for big business subverted the will of the people by inserting the word “offer” instead of “provide” health care in the minimum wage regulations. So a corporation can offer health care at a price workers can’t afford, and exempt itself from paying the extra dollar an hour for minimum wage!

    How did they change the law without going through the legislative process? Much the same way gold mining lobbyists subverted the process by writing in the administrative code huge tax loopholes that the Legislature never authorized.

     

    But thousands of workers whose paychecks are getting shorted need our help now. Click here to demand Governor Sandoval immediately investigate how Nevada’s wealthiest corporations have stolen millions of dollars of wages from our lowest paid workers.

  • PLAN’s 20th Anniversary Gala

    The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada cordially invites you to join us,Thursday, April 17th to celebrate PLAN’s 20 years of building Progressive Power in Nevada with keynote speaker, US Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    The Center | 401 S. Maryland Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89101

    Doors Open: 6:30PM | Dinner Served: 7:00PM | Program Begins: 7:30PM

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       Menu

    • Mixed Greens Salad with Blistered Grapes, Dried Cranberries, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Braised Beef with Red Wine Sauce
    • Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Option – Parmesan Polenta Putanesca (contains dairy, gluten-free)
    • Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes (contains dairy, gluten-free)
    • Roasted Seasonal Vegetables
    • Family-style mini desserts platter – profiteroles with mocha whipped cream, blondies with chocolate chips, vegan strawberry cookies

    **If you require a vegetarian dish, please let us know during ticket purchase or 1 week in advance – thank you**

    Purchase Tickets

    VIP Tickets – $220 | General Admission – $150

    One week only, single tickets are $75. Click here to purchase

    Program Book Ads

    Full Page – $1,000 | Half Page – $500 | Quarter/Business Card  – $250

    Sponsorships

    Social Justice Champion – $1,200

    Table of 8 – Half-Page Ad – PLAN 20th Anniversary Gift Token

    Social Justice Activist – $450

    2 Tickets – Quarter Page Ad – PLAN 20th Anniversary Gift Token

    Paying by check? Download Ad/Sponsorship Form Here 

    Mail form and payment to 708 S. 6th St. Las Vegas, NV 89101

    Click Here To Purchase Tickets Online

  • What the Nevada mining industry doesn’t want you to know

    Last night we hosted a community forum about the mining industry with local experts to educate southern Nevadans about the impacts mining has on our environment. Even though the event was in Las Vegas, the Elko Daily Free Press announced the event on the front page of their paper.

    Nevadans listen to John Hadder of Great Basin Resource Watch talk Pit Lakes
    Today in a letter to the editor, a representative of Governor Sandoval’s Economic Development Office, attacked the newspaper, PLAN, John Hadder of Great Basin Resource Watch and Dr. Tom Myers, suggesting that a newspaper – our free press – should not provide coverage to any person or group the mining industry does not agree with.

    The mining industry and the state agencies that support them think we want to end mining in Nevada. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and they know it. They don’t want us to talk because they know the more Nevadans learn about what mining does to our environment, the more people will want to hold the industry accountable for their actions.

    Foreign-owned multinational mining corporations think they can use their overwhelming power and influence to control everyone, and they’ve tried this type of bullying in the past; we will not run and hide from these types of tactics.

  • Help celebrate my birthday with a donation to PLAN!

    The following is an email from PLAN “office mom” Barbara Silva. For her birthday she wanted people to donate to her favorite social justice organization :)

    My name is Bárbara Silva, but you can call me Barbs. I volunteer for PLAN, and some would say I’m the “office mom.”

    Barbs and Astrid

    I got involved with PLAN through my daughter Astrid who is the immigration organizer (I may be biased, but she is the best organizer they have). I like to bring the staff food, help them decorate the office for parties and events, and sometimes I have to scold them for working too much or not wearing a hat and gloves when it’s cold outside. 

    PLAN welcomed me into their family and empowered me to use my voice as a Latina, a mother, and an immigrant to advocate for social justice. And for that, I am forever thankful.

    Today is my 50th birthday. Can you donate $50 to PLAN so they can continue their great work?

    I came to the United States more than 20 years ago with little education. I did not feel confident speaking out publicly about issues I cared for, and I didn’t think someone like me, an undocumented housewife, would be taken seriously. But PLAN showed me that everyone deserves fairness and justice, and our stories and our voices matter.

    Barbs checks out her temporary tattoo at AMP

    I am proud to be an immigrant, a Latina and a mom, but I’m also proud to be a PLANista. Help PLAN continue their work with Progressive activists with a generous donation of $50. PLAN has helped me in so many ways, and this is my way of giving back to them.

    Sincerely,

    Barbs :)

    PS: Is now not a good time to donate? You can drop by either PLAN office to volunteer or drop off a holiday treat for my hard-working kids!

  • PLAN remarks at Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission

    October 31, 2013

     

    TO: Nevada Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission

    FR:  Bob Fulkerson, State Director, PLAN

    RE:  Methyl Mercury from Nevada Mining

     

    At the MOAC meeting of June 26, 2013, I raised serious allegations that the mining industry was largely responsible for methyl mercury poisoning of Nevada waters and fisheries. I cited UNR research suggesting that mercury emissions from tailings facilities and active heap leach operations are now probably double the amount of mercury being released into the air, compared to that being reported under state requirements.  I said that the technology exists to decrease mercury pollution from these sources, but neither the mining industry or the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection seems to care.  

     

    In response to questions about this from this committee, the  NDEP adminstrator basically blamed sources other than current Nevada gold mining for contaminating Nevada’s fisheries and waters.

     

    And she said that the NDEP mission of promoting economic development prevented her agency from coming down too hard on mining. Since none of the economic development authorities have environmental protection in their mission statements, why should NDEP’s mission include economic development?

     

    More importantly, I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to get to the truth about mercury contamination in Nevada.  Please place the issue of unregulated fugitive mercury emissions from mining tailings and heap leach operations on your next meeting agenda. We can suggest specific experts for you to invite.

     

    According to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, mining accounts for 98% of all toxic pollutants released in Nevada. Every day, methyl mercury from active gold mines is polluting our water and contaminating our fish and wildlife.  Please don’t let it continue to happen under your watch.

     

    And in anticipation of today’s agenda regarding reclamation, in which we’re sure to hear rosy assurances of success, the General Accounting Office reported recently that: “We determined that 57 hardrock operations (in 12 western states) had inadequate financial assurances—amounting to about $24 million less than needed to fully cover estimated reclamation costs.” Nevada’s share of that $24 million is $23,853,662 (more than 99.4% of the total of the 12 western states.)  And, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the cost for cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines could run as high as $54 billion. Much of that cost could ultimately be borne by U.S. taxpayers.

     

    Meantime, every year the industry takes billions in gold and other hardrock minerals without compensating taxpayers as a whole, states like Nevada, or covering cleanup costs. This must change.

  • TAKE ACTION: Senate to vote on Rep. Watt’s confirmation!

     

    Check out the message below from our friends at the New Bottom Line who are fighting every day to put the economic interest and financial security of working American families first.TakeAction

     

    Take action and tell Senator Dean Heller not to block the confirmation of Mel Watt as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency

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    We just found out that President Obama and Senate leadership is pushing Rep. Mel Watt’s Confirmation forward!

    After months of inaction, the Senate is close to a vote to Confirm Rep. Mel Watt to become the permanent regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who together control more than half the mortgages in the US.

    The vote might happen this week, so we need to prevent a potential filibuster and make sure that our Senators vote to confirm Rep. Watt.

    Can you take 1 minute and call your Senators to urge them to confirm Rep. Mel Watt to head Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so we can keep millions of homeowners out of foreclosure and get our housing market and economy back on track?

    Call 866-200-6444 today.

    When you connect with your Senator tell them:

    My name is ______________ I am urging you to vote to confirm Representative Mel Watt to lead Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Representative Watt is extremely well qualified and deserves an up or down vote and a speedy confirmation.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been without a permanent regulator since President Obama took office. Homeowners and communities deserve better!

    In April, Rep. Watt was nominated by President Obama to replace acting director Ed DeMarco — a Bush-era appointee — as permanent director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

    As a 20-year member of Congress, Rep. Watt has supported principal reduction, championed anti-predatory lending legislation, and was a key supporter of the Dodd-Frank Act. Rep. Watt knows what it takes to get the housing market and economy back on track.

    Senators from both sides of the aisle, including Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Elizabeth Warren, have endorsed Rep Watt and recognize that he is extremely well-qualified to be our nation’s next chief housing regulator. But some Republican senators oppose his nomination on party lines.

    Call now to urge your Senators to vote for cloture to make sure Rep. Watt’s nomination can come up for an up or down vote. Voting for cloture limits debate and guards against a Senate filibuster, which would make an up or down vote impossible. We can’t let a few Senators block Rep. Watt’s confirmation.

    Call your senators now at 866-200-6444!

    Thank you!

  • Come Out for Health Care!

    Full Banner Ad

    Celebrate National Coming Out Day with Out2Enroll, a collaborate effort of the Center for American Progress, the Federal Agencies Project, and the Sellers Dorsey Foundation to educate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities about the options now available under the Affordable Care Act. The educational campaign launches on October 11 to coincide with National Coming Out Day and will include a website specifically tailored to the LGBT communities and will include information on such topics as coverage available to transgender people, obtaining family coverage, applying for financial assistance with a same-sex spouse, finding LGBT-friendly health care providers in your area, and how to find help if you experience discrimination when applying for coverage or obtaining care.

    This focus on access to health care is grounded in the need to erase long-standing health disparities for the LGBT community. Research by the Center for American Progress has demonstrated that 1 in 3 LGBT persons in the US are uninsured, a major obstacle to ensuring equality for all. However, there are now options under the Affordable Care Act and as of October 1, Nevadans are able to shop online for health insurance plans at Nevada’s Health Link, an insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.

    For more information or to sign up for updates, please visit:

    Silver State Health Exchange

    HealthCare.gov

    The Center for American Progress

    Out2Enroll

    To find insurance coverage or to compare prices for individual or small business plans, please visit the Nevada Health Link.

  • March Against Monsanto in Las Vegas

     

    Check out this blog from PLAN Intern Sarah Short who is a Master of Social Work student from the University of Southern California. Join thousands of people around the world this Saturday as they March Against Monsanto and demand our food be safe and labeled.

     

    Saturday October 12, 2013 – March Against Monsanto

    This Saturday, hundreds of marches will be held across the U.S and the world to bring awareness of the increase in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. The world wide “March Against Monsanto” will bring together activists and concerned citizens to protest corporations, like Monsanto, that continue the practice of manipulating our crops and controlling farmers through litigation to produce crops that have not been proven safe. Monsanto also seeks to profit off of climate changemonsanto

    Currently, over 85% of corn and 91% of soybeans are genetically modified, this means, the DNA from another species (bacteria, insects, or viruses) are artificially combined to produce plants that resist herbicides and produce their own pesticides. Corn and soybeans are not the only crops thing being altered by Monsanto, thousands of other plants and animals have as well, such as: pigs injected with human grown genes and fish with cattle growth genes. It is estimated that nearly 75% of foods in our supermarkets contain genetically modified ingredients.

    Despite the fact that 18 countries have banned, and over 60 countries require labeling of GMOs, Congress has yet to pass any laws to required labeling. While other countries refuse to allow GMOs in their food supply until proven safe, the US has decided to allow them until proven unsafe: we are their science experiment. The FDA has the authority to label over 3,000 ingredients in our food, such as: milk, peanuts, and soy. The FDA also has the authority to label GMOs, yet they will not. Interestingly, the Deputy Commissioner of Policy at the FDA spent over 10 years working as an attorney representing Monsanto.

    Numerous studies have questioned the safety of these new genetically modified organisms and the risk to human health and the environment could be disastrous. In contrast to studies questioning the safety of GMOs, the USDA has claimed NO pre-market studies will be performed on crops and biotech companies are responsible for performing their own safety studies. In response, Monsanto has stated: “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM (genetically modified) foods in humans”.

    Please join hundreds of others to show your concern against the use of GMOs in our food supply!

    March Against Monsanto | Saturday, October 12, 2013 | 10:30 am | Freemont Street East, Las Vegas