Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fair Maps Nevada Announcement

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and meritless, lengthy litigation challenges, the Fair Maps Nevada team was unable to gather sufficient in-person signatures to qualify our redistricting reform amendment to end partisan gerrymandering in Nevada. But we are very happy to announce that State Senator Ben Kieckhefer has graciously offered to facilitate a transparent dialogue on redistricting reform by sponsoring our amendment in the 2021 legislative session.

We continue to interpret the increasing number of Nevada voters registering as non-partisan, which now stands at nearly one-third of voters in our state, as well as the many voters from both parties who signed and pledged to sign our redistricting reform petition as evidence that Nevadans reject the intransigent politics distorted election maps create.

Consequently, today we are not abandoning the battle to stop gerrymandering, which we still argue is a growing systemic threat to democracy.  Instead, we are embarking on a plan to continue engaging the public in robust discussions about redistricting reform and we are officially launching our advocacy efforts to pass our legislative resolution in 2021.

If that effort encounters insurmountable opposition from self-interested legislators, we will refile our ballot initiative in October of 2021.

Anyone interested in our efforts to create and maintain fair election maps, which allows voters to pick their elected officials instead of politicians picking their voters, can join with us through a sign-up form on the Fair Maps Nevada Facebook page. Nevertheless, we will persist.

https://www.facebook.com/fairmapsnevada/

Welcome Voter! Voter Registration Social Media Challenge

Thank you for your interest in our Welcome Voter! voter registration challenge.  Here are the instructions:

On one or more social media platforms, encourage one or more of these groups of eligible voters to register to vote and to cast a ballot in the 2020 election.

Please include this sentence in all posts: Register to vote at www.RegisterToVoteNV.gov

1.  The first group is newly enfranchised Nevadans who have served a prison sentence and who are no longer incarcerated.  Nevada law AB431 now allows these eligible voters to register to vote.  Please either link to this AB431 Handout: https://lwvnvblog.org/2020/07/29/voting-rights-restored/

Or, include a reference to AB431.

2.  The second group is eligible voters who have turned 18 since the last election or who will be 18 by November 3, 2020.

Please provide reasons why young voters should make their voices heard through voting. Such as:

Did you know that elected officials decide the cost of college?  

Did you know elected officials make the rules for when a person can be arrested?

3.  The third group is adults who are eligible to vote, but who choose to not vote.

Please include reasons why someone who has never voted should vote.

Such as:

Did you know elected officials decide how the unemployment insurance program works? 

Did you know elected officials decide education policies? 

Did you know elected officials set the minimum wage?

After you create your content, please post it on one or more social media platforms and include the hashtag #WelcomeVoter! so we can find your post.

Decriminalizing Mental Illness

The League of Women Voters of Southern Nevada hosted a Zoom meeting with Leslie Turner from the Mass Liberation Project, NV, on July 25th to discuss the urgent need to decriminalize mental illness. 

A recent Channel 3 story about Stephen Burrell, who needed treatment for schizophrenia, but instead ended up in jail, demonstrates why this topic is so urgent.  This sweet soul went without eating for 47 days and starved to death while in custody.  Say his name.  Stephen Burrell needed medical treatment, but instead he starved to death in a jail cell in 2020.

https://news3lv.com/news/local/vegas-lost-starved-to-death-the-story-of-stephen-burrell

If you would like to join a working group planning messaging and strategy for decriminalizing mental illness in the upcoming second special session, we are meeting Tuesday, July 28th, 6:00 to 7:00 pm, in Zoom.

RSVP here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/special-session-justice-reform-advocacy/

LWV Northern Nevada Community Meeting on Policing Practices

On July 11, 2020, the League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada hosted a meeting with law enforcement leaders to discuss how each is addressing policing practices since George Floyd’s murder.  Our conversation ranged from various policy changes to the funding of mental health services.

You can view the Zoom meeting recording here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CniWMl_oty4BkeKk0SHXfKb7GU2SYrTX/view?usp=sharing

Here is the list of participants:

Kenneth Furlong, Carson City Sheriff

Ron Elges, Douglas Undersheriff

Pete Krall, Sparks Chief

Lt. Colonel Daniel Solow, NV Highway Patrol Chief

Darin Balaam, Washoe County Sheriff

LWVN July Community Meetings

The League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada is hosting an important meeting on July 11th, from 10 a.m. to noon, in Zoom on policing reform.  Like the LWVNN on Facebook for more information: https://www.facebook.com/nevadavoters/

LWVNNJuly11Meeting

The League of Women Voters of Southern Nevada is hosting a community meeting with a panel discussion about why candidates run as independents and with third parties, in Zoom, on July 18th, from 9 to 11 a.m.  You can RSVP here:

https://actionnetwork.org/events/accountability-crisis-guerilla-campaigning/

JOIN LWVSN JULY 18, 2020 9 to 11 am-6

The League of Women Voters of Nevada is continuing our conversation about decriminalizing mental illness, in Zoom, on July 25th, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.  You can RSVP here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/continuing-conversations-decriminalizing-mental-illness

ActionNetworkDecrminalize

Press Conference Recap: Redistricting Reform 2020 Race to the Ballot with Arnold Schwarzenegger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 23, 2020

Video recording of press conference available here

Contact: Sarah Fuchs

925.895.1602 / sarah@thepeople.org

THE 2020 REDISTRICTING REFORM  RACE TO THE BALLOT 

LANSING, Mich – Governor Schwarzenegger joined leaders of anti-gerrymandering campaigns from six states sharing updates and strategies during a virtual summit on Tuesday, June 23. The conference was convened by Katie Fahey, who led a grassroots effort in Michigan that resulted in a successful anti-gerrymandering amendment to the state’s constitution in 2018, and now is the Executive Director of The People, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing everyday citizens from all walks of life together to find common ground around issues of good government.

Since 2018, five states have passed some type of redistricting reform, with another nine taking on the issue in 2020. The message is clear: Voters are finished with the self-serving status quo and ready for a change – and a say – in the way district lines are drawn. “I have long believed that the end of gerrymandering is going to come from the voters themselves – and now is the time for the voters of Oregon, Arkansas, North Dakota, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Virgina to terminate gerrymandering this November.”, said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a fierce supporter and proponent of redistricting reform dating back to his time as Governor of California.

Like so many aspects of life as we know it, COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders across the country have created unforeseen barriers and complications to the work of democracy reform. Many campaigns struggle to meet signature and timing deadlines in normal circumstances, let alone amidst a global pandemic. Today, these campaigns shared some of their struggles: from Oklahoma’s state of emergency that forbids signature gathering, to Oregonian organizers having to navigate the heavy burden of asking voters to print, sign, and mail in their own petitions. 

One thing is clear, though: That voter appetite for change is still strong and, regardless of party, voters want politicians and the redistricting process to be accountable to them. Each campaign mentioned the strong dedication and creativity they’ve witnessed from their volunteers who are fighting against party politics and a pandemic to make it onto the ballot. Campaign leaders were from Oregon (Kate Titus, Executive Director, Common Cause OR, People Not Politicians Oregon), Arkansas (Bonnie Miller, President, League of Women Voters Washington County, Arkansas Voters First), North Dakota (Amy Jacobson, Senior Campaign Advisor and Carol Sawicki, Chair, Campaign Director, North Dakota Voters First), Nevada (Sondra Cosgrove, President, League of Women Voters of NV, Fair Maps Nevada), Oklahoma (Andy Moore, Executive Director, Let’s Fix This OK, People Not Politicians Oklahoma) and Virginia (Brian Cannon, Executive Director, OneVirginia2021).

Says Fahey, “What we saw in Michigan two years ago was that change is possible when regular Americans set aside their differences and come together to make sure our democracy is working for the people. We want to apply that to the larger movement, and bring together people from all over the country who are working to end gerrymandering.”

Representatives from each campaign spoke to the urgency and importance of this moment:

  • OREGON: “We’re just nine days out from the signature deadline to get on the November 2020 ballot. This is a make or break moment for Oregonians to enact a fair and transparent process in time for 2021 redistricting.”  Kate Titus, Executive Director, Common Cause OR, People Not Politicians Oregon

  • ARKANSAS: “The pandemic has added an extra layer of complication to the process – but we strongly believe in the need to end gerrymandering, and we know that Arkansans are with us and can turn out the 89,151 total signatures needed to get us to the ballot.” Bonnie Miller, President, League of Women Voters Washington County, Arkansas Voters First

  • NORTH DAKOTA: “Bringing together campaigns from around the country highlighted the larger effort to put voters first, especially in North Dakota where we want to put power back into the hands of the state’s voters Carol Sawicki, Chair, North Dakota Voters First

  • NEVADA: “It’s about ensuring that voters get the opportunity to have their voices heard when it comes to the way our district lines are drawn. We can’t wait another 10 years for Nevada to get it right!” Sondra Cosgrove, President, League of Women Voters of NV, Fair Maps Nevada

  • OKLAHOMA: “Our government is failing us. Our legislators say they’re going to fix things, and yet, every year nothing changes. We need to end gerrymandering, and we have a fair, open, and transparent plan to do it.” Andy Moore, Executive Director, Let’s Fix This OK, People Not Politicians Oklahoma

  • VIRGINIA: “With the momentum from redistricting victories in the last election cycle, 2020 is poised to see a wave of reform that sends a clear message that voters demand accountable representation in an unrigged system.” Brian Cannon, Executive Director, OneVirginia2021

For more information about this event or how you can get involved in ending gerrymandering (and other issues working to strengthen our democracy and hold our representatives accountable) email Sarah@thepeople.org or check us out at thepeople.org, on Facebook, or on Twitter and Instagram: @thepeopleorg. Or contact a campaign near you:

 

Nevada Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights Announces Call for Study Topics

To whom it may concern:

The Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is considering study topics for its 2020-2024 term and invite members of the public to submit ideas for investigation. Topics considered must be in the following areas:

(i)           voting rights,

(ii)         discrimination/disparate impact, or

(iii)       denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution and in the administration of justice.  

If you are interested in submitting ideas, please complete this prompt https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JTZ7JMK by August 14, 2020

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) is an independent, bipartisan agency established by Congress and directed to study and collect information relating to discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, or in the administration of justice. The Commission has established advisory committees in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These Advisory Committees advise the Commission of civil rights issues in their states that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction.

The Committee will meet via teleconference to discuss and narrow down study topics. If you wish to remain informed of upcoming Committee meetings, you may subscribe to the Commission’s page on the federal register, or visit the State Advisory Committee Meeting Calendar on the USCCR webpage

Sincerely,

Ana Victoria Fortes
Civil Rights Analyst

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
afortes@usccr.gov | (202) 681-0857