• DOMA is unconstitutional, Prop 8 is struck down

    Today the US Supreme Court ruled the so-called Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and struck down California’s Proposition 8. These are enormous victories and a joyous day for loving couples and their families, and for equal justice under the law. Today the Supreme Court affirmed that all loving and committed couples who marry deserve equal legal respect and treatment.

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    PLAN immigration organizer Astrid Silva was in Washington, DC to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision

    These decisions have added momentum for marriage, and PLAN will continue to lead the fight for Marriage Equality in Nevada by seeing to it that Senate Joint Resolution 13 is successful. The Nevada Legislature must approve the Resolution again in 2015 because it makes it to the ballot in November of 2016.

    This is an incredible chance to move marriage forward for the Silver State. Thousands of families are depending on us.

    Click here to sign our SJR13 petition and join the growing number of Nevadans organizing for Marriage Equality

  • Father’s Day Rally: What we as Interns learned.

    Our inter Dulce Valencia penned this blog about her experience hosting her first rally!

    Father’s Day Rally: What we as Interns learned.

    So, last Friday we interns hosted our first event: A rally. Earlier, Chris had shown us some letters about undocumented immigrants and we saw how many of them didn’t have their fathers with them because they had been deported. We decided to host a rally in honor of Father’s Day and here are some things we learned on what it takes to host and plan an event.

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    Dulce (left) phone banking with fellow DREAMer Victoria, as seen on Las Vegas Telemundo!

    Number 2-Social media isn’t the only way to go at it. Sure it’s always great to tweet and post stuff on Facebook, but you also have to tell people yourself. It helps if you can tell them face-to-face, but a phone call can also make a difference. That’s how we got Blanca and Elba to come. See, it seems like people are more motivated to do something when they see the person go out of their way to inform them.

    Number 3-We can actually get things done, we just have to maintain our optimism. Things didn’t start out great, let me just say that. It was just Alma, Dulce, and her sister. Then a reporter from Univision came, but she left after it seemed no one would show up. Alma and Dulce started calling people like crazy. (That’s how we got Elba and Blanca). Then, when it seemed like we would have an unsuccessful event, two people we didn’t know showed up and they had this amazing huge banner! They were so nice. Then Laura and Astrid showed up, we changed our location a bit and then an entourage came! I was so excited! We passed out signs, we chanted, cars honked in support, and Dulce talked to a newspaper reporter who told her she was going to feature her in a story! She was such a nice person to talk to. Finally, we wrapped up and Laura told Dulce if she wanted to do the circle thing, and she did! She called on the guy who had brought the great banner. He told us his story about how he came to the U.S. when he turned 19 to pay for his sisters’ education. He married a U.S. citizen, but he said that even though people believe that as soon as you marry someone who’s a citizen you get papers, that’s not the case. It was a great story.

     Overall, we’re really happy with our event, and we think we made everyone at PLAN really proud. Also, as interns we learned valuable lessons that will help us when we organize future events.

  • Our Congressmen voted to deport DREAMers

    Today Congressmen Mark Amodei (NV-02) and Joe Heck (NV-03) were booed as they voted on an amendment that would lead to the deportation of undocumented students (known as DREAMers) and other immigrants who have committed no crimes.


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    Congressman Heck and Congressman Amodei were booed on the House floor as they voted to deport DREAMers


    It is a misuse of immigration enforcement resources to target students and immigrant members of our community who are otherwise law-abiding residents. Voters are depending on Congress to come up with a bipartisan solution to our broken immigration system; this hostile move just muddies the water and calls into question Congressman Amodei and Congressman Heck’s sincerity.


    On Friday June 7th we are hosting an immigration reform meeting in our Las Vegas office. We are also calling Nevada voters next week while the Senate debates the immigration reform bill, S744. Plan to join us and learn more about the campaign to win a pathway to citizenship that keeps families together.


    Passing comprehensive immigration reform is not going to be easy. Help us fight for the 11 million undocumented individuals living in the United States. They deserve a chance at the American Dream and the dignity of living in the United States out of the shadows, and unafraid.

  • From Reno to Veags, Nevadans coming together for immigration reform

    On Wednesday May 29th Nevadans in Reno and Las Vegas gathered to show support for comprehensive immigration reform.

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    Packed house in Reno for Campaign for Citizenship kick-off

    In Reno more than 1,500 Nevadans packed the Little Flower Catholic Church to hear messages of faith, hope, and determination. ACTIONN, PICO and Immigrants for Justice kicked off the Campaign for Citizenship for immigration reform. PLAN’s board president Theresa Navarro introduced US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and also addressed the North’s other representatives who did not attend (Congressman Mark Amodei had a prior commitment). Theresa conveyed the importance of all political parties and all communities working together for the sake of the people. Immigrant families have to live the brutal reality of our broken immigration system every day. We need Congress to act, this year!

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    People gather at UNLV for an immigration reform forum hosted by the Asian and Pacific Islander communities

    The same night, the Asian community in Las Vegas held a discussion on UNLV’s campus. Immigration reform is often treated only as a Latino issue, but 20% of of the undocumented community in the United States is Asian. Many members of the diverse Asian audience spoke out against fear mongering and racism, and vowed to work together to pass reform this year, and get their communities involved in the process. They also called on their community to come out of the shadows, and share their own personal immigration story.

    Debate on the Senate immigration bill begins Monday June 10th. We must call our Senators and let them know that we are watching them, and the time is now for immigration reform.

    Join us for immigration reform phone banks on Thursday June 13th and Friday June 14th. We’re also having a Keeping Families Together meeting on Friday June 7th to update everyone in the state of immigration reform. Click the links to RSVP for one or all events.



    Today is the last day of the legislative session. It is also the last day Senate Bill 457 has if it wants to survive. Governor Sandoval can veto the bill, or just let it sit on his desk and die.

    Senate Bill 457 would require cities to hold both their primary and general elections within their wards. This system already exists in Las Vegas, and as nonpartisan races candidates often win in the primary by gaining over 50 percent of the vote.

    In cities like Reno, Sparks, and Henderson, however, candidates run in their ward in the primary election, then citywide in a general. This can, and has, led to candidates who were favored substantially in the primary losing in the general, unable to raise the funds to compete citywide or not having the favor of the voters outside their neighborhood.

    SB457 would ensure that the residents of each ward have the control to pick their representatives, a principal we see reflected at all other levels of government.

    Click here and tell Governor Brian Sandoval: Don’t veto Senate Bill 457. Give Nevadans a chance to have representatives from their community.

    Or call the Governor’s office directly: 775-684-5670 or 702-486-2500

  • TAKE ACTION: Tell Governor Sandoval to sign SB373

    Senate Bill 373 helps Nevada workers deal with their debt and at the same time allows them to keep more of their wages to provide for their families while paying off creditors over time.

    Under current Nevada law 25% of a worker’s wages can be garnished to collect a debt.  SB373 reduces the garnishment amount to 15% of take home pay for those with gross annual earnings under $40,000.


    Nevadans where hit hardest by the economic downtown, and our state’s high rate of foreclosures continues to drag us down. Reducing the amount of wage garnishment allows workers to pay at a rate which they can afford to avoid bankruptcy and/or default on their other obligations.

    The Governor needs to hear from you. Take action, contact him today and tell him to sign SB373 into law.


  • Take action: Tell Governor Sandoval to sign these bills into law to strengthen our elections

    Our Field Director Howard Watts III explains three bills that are headed to Governor Sandoval’s desk that will strengthen Nevada’s election process should he chose to sign them into law.Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 7.02.01 PM
    The Governor needs to hear from YOU. Making it easier for eligible voters in Nevada to participate in elections should be common sense; ask Governor Sandoval to do the right thing, sign these bills into law.
    Senate Bill 457 would require cities to hold both their primary and general elections within their wards. This system already exists in Las Vegas, and as nonpartisan races candidates often win in the primary by gaining over 50 percent of the vote. In cities like Reno, Sparks, and Henderson, however, candidates run in their ward in the primary election, then citywide in a general. This can, and has, led to candidates who were favored substantially in the primary losing in the general, unable to raise the funds to compete citywide or not having the favor of the voters outside their neighborhood. SB457 would ensure that the residents of each ward have the control to pick their representatives, a principal we see reflected at all other levels of government.


    Assembly Bill 441 is a simple bill that would allow the Early Voting-style election centers we all know and love to exist on election day, in addition to precinct voting sites. The bill doesn’t require these sites to exist, so as counties find the resources, they could add these convenient locations where you can vote no matter where you’re registered, as long as you’re within your county. This bill is an important step in bringing an outdated Election Day administration into the 21st century, and will allow more voters to cast full, instead of provisional, ballots on election day.

    Assembly Bill 440 is also a simple bill, allowing people to register online or in person at an elections office up to the last day of early voting. Every election, people head to the polls only to find out they missed the registration deadline, or that their registration never made it to the rolls. This bill gives uses the technology available to give people more time to register and participate in our democracy. It also allows people to elect to receive a sample ballot through email, saving paper and making sure late registrants have all the information they need in time to vote.
  • Tell Governor Sandoval to support the immigration community with more than words

    Take Action: Tell the Governor to sign Senate Bills 169 and 303, and Assembly Bill 74

    Last week Governor Sandoval signed a resolution to support comprehensive immigration reform, and  in an interview expressed his support for the Senate’s “Gang of 8” immigration reform bill.

    Governor can support Nevada’s immigrants with more than just words by signing three vital pieces of legislation.

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    Call the Governor’s office directly

    Senate Bill 169 changes the the mandatory sentencing of gross misdemeanors from 365 days to 364. If you’ve been sentenced to 365 days for anything, even if you didn’t serve time, you can not apply to become a United States Citizen. This bill could help many undocumented Nevadans, including those who only plead guilty because they didn’t not have proper representation, and didn’t understand the charges against them. You can be charged for a gross misdemeanor for misusing a hotel room key. Should that prevent someone from applying for citizenship? Tell Governor Sandoval to sign Senate Bill 169.

    Senate Bill 303 authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue Driver Authorization Cards to Nevadans, regardless of legal status. SB303 also guarantees that the DMV does not share immigration status of any applicant with Federal immigration authorities. SB303 will lower the cost of vehicle insurance in Nevada and make our roads safer. Tell Governor Sandoval to sign Senate Bill 303

    Assembly Bill 74 regulates Nevada’s ‘nortario’ and document preparation services. It is vital that we have regulations in place to protect our undocumented and immigrant communities. ‘Notario’ means different things in different countries, and many families have seen their hopes of becoming US citizens disappear because of shady notarios, and currently there is no recourse for their unscrupulous actions. Tell Governor Sandoval to sign Assembly Bill 74

    If Federal immigration reform passes, these bills will do a lot to help Nevadans hoping to become citizens. Please contact the Governor and ask him to sign these bills to keep families together.

  • It’s time for Nevada to stop criminalizing acts between consenting same sex couples

    Senate Bill 388 eliminates the “infamous crimes against nature” law. It passed out of both houses and now heads to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval

    PLEASE CALL 775-684-5670 OR EMAIL the Governor today: http://gov.nv.gov/contact/


    Nevada’s outdated “infamous crimes against nature” statute discriminates against same sex couples and violates their rights to equal protection under the law.

    Under current Nevada law, the age of consent is different for same sex and opposite sex couples. While the age of consent for opposite sex couples is 16, same sex couples effectively cannot consent to sex, or even communicate about sex, until age 18, due to the “infamous crimes  against nature” statute. Same sex couples can also be criminalized for their behavior, because this statute is law, Nevadans are being charged with this alleged crime.


    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada has sued the state Nevada for prosecuting a gay teen who had consensual sex with his partner.


    SB388 does not eliminate ANY of the crimes currently on our books that protect children because other statutes protect against sexual contact between adults and children. Not only is the “infamous crimes” statute outdated and discriminatory, but also it has no real legal necessity, given that there are already crimes on the books under which individuals can be charged.



  • After 150 years, what changed?

    Our state director Bob Fulkerson on how SJR15 came to be.

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    SJR15 candies PLAN gave to legislators on Valentine’s Day

    We at PLAN have been asked several times about what changed between 2010 and now that turned the tide against mining’s stranglehold on Nevada. Here’s some thoughts:

    In 2009, PLAN tried to get some measly deductions removed from the industry but we were shut down handily. In 2010, we launched the Nevada Fair Mining Tax initiative that would have changed the constitutional cap from 5% net to 5% gross. But mining mounted a vigorous legal challenge, and ran out the clock before we could get enough signatures.

    Meanwhile, the state is in the midst of a devastating recession, cutting $1 billion from education alone over a 5-year period. People saw mining and the rurals doing incredibly well. They wondered why the Legislature wouldn’t enact a tax higher than the 1 percent mining tax it paid to the general fund. And the answer was because mining was protected in the Nevada constitution. This concerned people in Clark County, who knew that whether the Strip boomed or lost money, schools in Elko and other mining towns would be funded by their dollars. Yet when mining did well (this year, mineral production exceeded $10 billion in Nevada), Clark County didn’t see many mining dollars at all.

    In the 2011 session, Senate Revenue Chair Sheila Leslie  and Majority Leader Steven Horsford held hearings on mining taxation. What came to light was the laundry list of deductions, coupled with the fact that the mining companies had rarely, if ever, been audited by the state. The fall guy was the head of Nevada’s Department of Taxation, who had to resign. The mining lobbyists had gamed the Tax Commission (the lobbyist for Newmont was a former member) by writing in deductions on everything from the dues to the World Gold Council to double dipping health care costs. It took the press and other legislators aback, and mining’s been on its heels ever since.

    Finally, mining’s reaction to heightened scrutiny has been arrogant and ill conceived-which never makes you any friends. In 2011, they were neutral on SJR 15. In hearings on the Senate side this year, they were still testifying as neutral. (Although everyone knew this was BS.) But at the hearings in the Assembly, they came with both barrels blazing, threatening lawsuits and reduced funding for the budget. Hubris once again.

    People began seeing that mining had run Nevada like a colony since statehood, and became outraged. To show how far the tide had turned, even conservative Republicans who voted against SJR 15 in 2011 launched their own effort in 2013 to tax mining by another $600 million-contingent on passage of SJR 15.

    It’s no wonder mining offered a $50 million bribe to the Nevada Legislature to kill SJR 15, in the most outrageous and under-reported story of the session.
    We’re encouraged by the strength Legislative leaders have demonstrated under such immense pressure from mining. Next step is to pass this on the November 2014 ballot, then to enact a reasonable severance tax on mineral production to build infrastructure that will last long after the mines are gone.