• The PLANista – May 2016

    Happy Spring! See what PLAN has been up to in the past few weeks

    Save the date for my golden birthdaY! (1)

    Fight for $15!

    On April 14th, the day before Tax Day, PLAN once again came out in full force to support low wage fast-food, child care, and home care workers as they marched for a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union. From its very inception here in Las Vegas, PLANistas have always been there to stand with workers and the community.

    Workers and their families woke up before dawn and marched on to the McDonalds on Fremont Street carrying signs andFight415 1 banners, demanding that the multi-million dollar fast-food giant pay their workers a living wage. PLAN staff and our community leaders came out to support an all-day action starting with a strike line at 6 am. PLAN leaders like Jose Macias and Harold Carnes stepped up to the bullhorn and chanted “We believe that we will win”.

    This morning action was followed by a mid-day press conference where State Senator Ruben Kihuen talked about walking in the shoes of a child care worker. The day ended with an afternoon rally on the Las Vegas Strip, where several hundred community supporters and several dozen community organizations packed the iconic Vegas Strip McDonalds to stand in solidarity with workers.

    PLAN staff in the News!

    Laura Martin

    PLAN’s Associate Director, Laura Martin was featured in the New York Times in April. In the piece titled “Of the People”, individuals in various states were asked their opinions on politics and community. Take a look at the article here!

    Also, Laura was a guest on Ralston Reports on April 13th to talk about the importance of raising the minimum wage and why we are in the fight for $15. If you missed the show, check it out here!


    Action On Mining!Mining1

    On April 21st, PLAN and the Comstock Residents Association (CRA) held a press conference in front of the Nevada Mining Association to denounce the illegal operations of local company, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) in Guatemala. The action was an opportunity to demonstrate a pattern of abuse on the part of KCA President and Comstock Mining board member, Daniel Kappes, characterized by a disregard for environmental concerns and legitimate community opposition. Read the press release here.

    We also called on the Nevada Mining Association to do the right thing and publicly distance itself from KCA’s illegal and dangerous operations before heading out to KCA’s Reno office to personally deliver the court order suspending its mining license. Check out our blog for more information!

    Immigration discussion at UNR

    University social work studentsImmigration form in collaboration with PLAN, Tu Casa Latina, and FUSED, hosted the event, “At the Border of Immigration & Justice.” The event was held at the
    University of Nevada Reno, and was open to students and community members. During the event, community leaders led a panel discussion about the realities that immigrant families in Nevada face, and the current rhetoric around immigration as the political race heats up. Guest Speakers included PLAN Director of Organizing Astrid Silva, President of NAACP and board member Patricia Gallimore, and PLAN board member Teresa Navarro.

    Citizenship Fair!

    2citizenship pic

    On Saturday April 30th, PLAN, Culinary Workers Union 226, UNITE HERE, and NPNA held a citizenship workshop to help some of the 90,000 legal permanent residents eligible to naturalize in Clark County. More than 500 people had the opportunity to learn about citizenship and start their journey to naturalization. This was made possible by more than 160 volunteers, including lawyers, students, and community members.

    Race and Law Enforcement in Nevada

    The 3rd annual Race Symposium on April 21st brought community and religious leaders from around the Northern Nevada area. The community came together with local law enforcement officials to discuss building a stronger collaboration between community and law enforcement.

    Race symposiumThe symposium was held at the University of Nevada Reno and PLAN board members, Theresa Navarro and Patricia Gallimore were part of a panel discussion on community policing. There was also a panel discussion on immigration here in Nevada.

    Local law enforcement and government agencies involved included the Reno Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, UNR PD, Sparks PD, Nevada Highway Patrol, Washoe County School Police, Reno-Tahoe Airport Police, Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, and the local offices of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    May Day!

    On May 1st community members, PLAN, and other local organizations joined together to celebrate May Day in Reno! The event started in Downtown Reno at May DayBarbara Bennett Park with a community pot luck and an art workshop. After, we took to the streets and marched through Downtown Reno to bring awareness to May Day and workers still fighting for their rights. PLAN also registered voters along the way!

    Cinco De Mayo and our newest PLANistas!

    PLAN attended the Cinco De Mayo festival in Reno on April 30th and May 1st at the Grand Sierra Casino with our newest PLANistas, Josefina Martinez and Beverly Harry! Josefina and Beverly will be registering voters throughout the cCinco De Mayoommunity this summer.

    They started out strong by registering over 25 folks during the festival! They were also able to educate people on some of the issues we are facing here in Nevada. Welcome these ladies around town if you see them!

    Earth Day

    PLAN attended Earth day at Idelwild Park in Reno on April 24th! We got the chance to celebrate our planet with other local organizations and the community while giving away cookies and candy. Earth day 2We also got to spread the word about the importance of voting, and register people as well.

    Our Center Opening!

    PLAN attended the grand opening of Our Center in Reno, the only LGBT community center in Northern Nevada. We were very excited to celebrate with these folks and see their new facility while registering people to vote!

    Our Center

  • Demanding accountability for abuses in Guatemala and the Comstock

    On Thursday, April 21, PLAN and the Comstock Residents Association (CRA) held a press conference in front of the Nevada Mining Association to denounce Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) illegal operations at its Progreso VII Derivada gold mine in Guatemala. KCA’s exploitation license was suspended by Guatemalan Courts in July and November 2015 and the Ministry of Energy and Mines in March 2016, but mining continues. Read the press release here.


    PLAN also visited KCA’s office to personally deliver the Court rulings and the Ministry of Energy and Mines order to suspend exploitation activities.

    President and founder, Daniel Kappes was not in, and unfortunatly his staff refused to receive our letter requesting he clarify the state of operations in Guatemala and respect the rule of law. Mr. Kappes did provide a statement to the Reno Gazette-Journal claiming that the mine was both operating legally and suspended due to lack of consultation with impacted communities.

    Members of the peaceful opposition who have camped outside the mine entrance in protest for four years report that clandestine operations – clearly not those of a legally operating mine – continue.

    Daniel Kappes, is also on the board of directors for Comstock Mining Inc. Comstock operates the highly controversial open pit mine near Gold Hill and Silver City and is a member of the Nevada Mining Association. PLAN and CRA also delivered a letter to the Nevada Mining Association calling on it to do the right thing and demand Kappes to respect the law and suspend operations in Guatemala.

  • PLAN celebrates approval of federal funds for Anaconda toxic mine clean up

    On March 29th, Governor Sandoval approved the EPA’s request to list the Anaconda copper mine as a Superfund National Priority. This designation, more than 10 years in the making, means federal funds will be available for long-term, integrated clean up of the toxic site located near Yerington.

    On March 25th, PLAN, Great Basin Resource Watch and 42 other individuals and organizations sent a letter to the Governor requesting immediate action in the face of an increasing threat to the families, farmers, wildlife and Tribes living in the region. PLAN also called on the Governor to defend the right of affected citizens, many who have been forced to drink bottled water for the past decade, to clean and safe groundwater.

    PLAN applauds the Governor for taking this important step and reiterates our demand that he and other elected representatives take concrete steps to hold mining corporations accountable for the contamination and abuse of Nevada’s groundwater in other parts of the state.

  • 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.