Vote Nevada: Civil Rights Report

Vote Nevada Supporters,

I am the Vice-Chair on the Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Today we released our report on the Impact of Remote Learning on Education Equity in Nevada.  This is the press release with the link to the report at the end.

Sondra

Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Releases Report on Remote Learning and Equity in Education

The Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report following a series of web hearings to understand the impact of remote learning and equity in education, especially among students in K through 16 schools with disabilities and students of color, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Committee heard from the Nevada State Board of Education, Nevada System of Higher Education, Nevada K-12 administrators, the legal community, educators in various institutions in urban and rural environments, behavioral health professionals, parents, and students.

In this report, the Committee received testimony from speakers in the following areas: difficulties with technology literacy and professional development for educators, increasing behavioral health needs, learning loss, access for students with disabilities and English language learners, the role of public/private partnerships, the lack of childcare, and questions about future options to choose distance learning.

Through this testimony, the Committee identified fourteen findings, some of which include the urgency of addressing the mental health of students and their families; and strained education support services for students, especially those with behavioral health and language needs.

The report also includes recommendations directed to the Commission asking for corrective actions from the state stakeholders including the Nevada Governor, County Commission Chairs and Municipal Mayors, Nevada Department of Education, Nevada school district superintendent and school board of trustees’ presidents, and Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents with a goal of helping address the Committee’s concerns.

Nevada Advisory Committee Chair, Wendell Blaylock said: “Our Committee’s report exposes the impact of remote learning on Education Equity and provides recommendations to federal and state officials to address these concerns and look forward to improving the health and well being of our students especially during this unprecedented time.”

Link to Nevada Advisory Committee Report: https://www.usccr.gov/files/2021-11/nv-sac-remote-learning-and-equity-in-education-report.pdf

Vote Nevada Update 10/31/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

Happy Nevada Day!

The National Constitution Center recently hosted a very interesting debate titled The Crisis of Two Constitutions: The Founders’ vs. The Peoples’.  Two constitutional scholars look at the historic trends that culminated in flurries of constitutional amendments and whether we are entering another such era.  You can watch here: https://youtu.be/pjNLIvL6IOU

Redistricting News

CCSD released two new redistricting maps, which can be found here: https://ccsd.net/trustees/redistricting/

There is a special Trustees’ meeting on November 4th at 5:00 pm with opportunities for public comments on the two new maps.  You can view the agenda here: https://ccsd.net/trustees/meeting-agendas/2021

You can participate in-person at 2832 E. Flamingo Road, LV NV 89121 or you can watch online through the CCSD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClarkCountySchoolDistrict

If you were not able to watch any of the legislative interim committee meetings on redistricting, you can view the meeting recordings here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Video/  All three meetings have the same presentations, but each recording has different individuals who provide public comments.  We do not know when the legislative special session to draw our maps will be in November.

Some Exciting News!

We can now share that Vote Nevada received a Nevada Humanities grant to create a Zoom podcast series on redistricting and communities of interest!  We spent the last year meeting with members of our richly diverse communities and discovered a tapestry of history and culture.  Not wanting to lose all these important stories, we applied for and received a grant to record and archive communities of intertest reflections.

To put these stories online as quickly as possible, to get ready for the special legislative session, we have developed a process that will allow as many communities of interest members to participate as wish to volunteer. 

A community of interest is any group of people who live near each other and share a language heritage, cultural background, religious affiliation, or ethnic, racial, or other types of identities.  You can also belong to a community of interest if you live where people who work in similar occupations reside or engage in some other important activity, such as attending a nearby higher education institution.  You can read more about communities of interest here: https://redistricting.lls.edu/wp-content/uploads/Basics-English6.pdf

If you would like to participate, please complete this form: https://vote-nevada.news/Redistricting-Project

We will send you the questions we would like you to answer in your recorded comments, so you will be able to write out your answers before we do the recording.  We will be using Zoom to record each community member, but you will be able to use your phone to participate as well.  Each recording will be no longer than 15 minutes and will be viewable on the Vote Nevada YouTube channel.

Vote Nevada November Meetings

On November 6th, 3-4:00 pm, via Zoom, we are offering a Youth Workshop: You Should Run! This workshop is specifically designed for students, K12 or college, who would like to know more about the different offices we elect in Nevada and the types of things elected officials do each day. We will also review what is required to run for office in Nevada.   You can RSVP here: https://vote-nevada.news/You-Should-Run-RSVP

On November 20th, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom, join us to learn more about the Nevada State Casa Program, these are Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.  Lorrie Currieden from the Nevada CASA program will be our guest speaker. You can learn more about CASA here https://www.nvcasa.org/ and you can RSVP here: https://vote-nevada.news/CASA-Program-RSVP

If you have missed any of our meetings, you can watch the recordings on our blog: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/

Thank you for being Nevadans with me,

Sondra

Vote Nevada: Solving Problems with Civics

Please consider selecting Vote Nevada as your preferred nonprofit on Amazon Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_se_uspo_laas_aas

Vote Nevada is now qualified to receive donations through Facebook fundraisers.

Vote Nevada is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civic engagement organization.  Anyone can become a supporter by emailing info@vote-nevada.org, we have no membership dues.  We do, however, accept donations Here

Vote Nevada Update 10/27/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

CCSD released two more redistricting maps that you can see here: https://ccsd.net/trustees/redistricting/

You can evaluate the maps by looking at the Census data that is available when you open each map and then scroll down to the second page under the map.  To meet the legal requirements for redistricting, each district must be compact, its lines must be contiguous (no breaks), the total population in each district must be very close in size, and communities of interest must be taken into consideration.

The next CCSD Trustees’ meeting is tomorrow, October 28th, at 5 pm.  You can attend in person by going to 2832 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121; or you can live-stream the meeting here: https://ccsd.net/trustees/meeting-agendas/2021

Redistricting is not on this meeting’s agenda, but a discussion of possibly terminating the superintendent’s contract is, as is the first draft of the CCSD anti-racism policy.

Today there was a good NPR report on how gerrymandering causes voter suppression and distorts policy making. You can listen to the recording here: https://www.npr.org/2021/10/27/1049546344/how-gerrymandering-stifles-potential-voters-and-candidates-as-well-as-skews-poli

The Department of Justice also hosted a sobering webinar on strategies for confronting hate this week, the recording is here: https://youtu.be/fhDOZeBKA7A 

Thank you for being Nevadans with me,

Sondra

Vote Nevada: Solving Problems with Civics

Please consider selecting Vote Nevada as your preferred nonprofit on Amazon Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_se_uspo_laas_aas

Vote Nevada is now qualified to receive donations through Facebook fundraisers.

Vote Nevada is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civic engagement organization.  Anyone can become a supporter by emailing info@vote-nevada.org, we have no membership dues.  We do, however, accept donations Here

 

Vote Nevada Update 10/24/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

Yesterday’s Committee to Conduct an Investigation into Matters Relating to Reapportionment and Redistricting in Nevada meeting recording is now available here https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Video/  The meeting includes a thorough explanation of the redistricting process, including all the constitutional mandates and federal laws that cover redistricting and a brief overview of the MyDistricting Nevada software. 

If you create an account and use the MyDistricting Software, you can use the Validate feature to check existing maps for compliance with all constitutional mandates and federal laws.  Nevadans who log into the software to draw or validate maps will be able to see all redistricting maps and communities of interest map submitted by other Nevadans here https://redistricting.leg.state.nv.us/legdistricting/nevada/comment_links

Please consider creating a community of interest map here to help others draw and validate maps: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Districts/Reapp/2021/getting-involved The information is about halfway down the page.

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is scoring state congressional and legislative maps here https://gerrymander.princeton.edu/redistricting-report-card/  So, even if you do not use the MyDistricting Nevada software, you’ll be able to see how the Project’s Report Card scores our maps as soon as we see them.

All the redistricting maps belong to the people, so it is vitally important to participate as much as you can in this process.

Our Inclusive Civics Education: Tribal Government and Sovereignty event was very informative.  If you are not aware that tribal governments have a “nation to nation” relationship with the U.S. Government, you will definitely want to watch the event’s presentations: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17A_iwTdmVCvvHEETGg-62XcleDuTeNTI/view?usp=sharing

We are definitely planning more indigenous-themed events in the future. There is a lot to share.

Thank you for being Nevadans with me,

Sondra

If you have not yet reviewed our fundraising projects for 2021-2022, you can read more here: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/2021/09/05/vote-nevada-civic-projects-fundraising/

Altogether, we are fundraising for $10,000 for our 2021-2022 civic engagement projects.  If you are interested in supporting these worthwhile endeavors, please consider donating through our

Facebook fundraising page if you are on Facebook (we pay no fees through Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/donate/187176190048775/

Or

Our Square Donation page (we pay a small transaction fee through Square):

 https://checkout.square.site/merchant/MLAC21JKV6XNH/checkout/CEXZLRNNSBLFPFI5H4FIF2KH

Vote Nevada Update 10/20/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

If you are interested in the CCSD Capital Improvement Plan (the plan is for constructing new schools and rehabilitating existing buildings), here is the meeting flyer:

Here are updates on redistricting in Nevada:

The legislative interim committee on redistricting is holding a meeting this Saturday, October 23rd, 11:00 am, to review the redistricting process and the legislative redistricting software.  You can attend in-person or virtually, the meeting information is here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/InterimCommittee/REL/Interim2021/Meeting/24118

Other Nevada governing bodies engaged in redistricting are currently sharing proposed redistricting maps as files that can be uploaded into a range of redistricting software.  We can check these maps for Voting Rights Act compliance and view each proposed district’s demographic composition.  You do not need to draw your own maps to participate in this type of redistricting feedback, the free redistricting software includes a Validate or Integrity Check feature that is easy to use.

This feature allows anyone to upload a redistricting map into the software and then to click on the Validate or Integrity Check button to determine if the map complies with the Voting Rights Act redistricting criteria, which are:

  1. Districts must be close to equal in population.
  2. Districts must be as compact as possible.
  3. District lines must be contiguous (the district lines cannot break anywhere in the district).
  4. Communities of interest must be taken into consideration.

It is criteria #4 where we need community members to contribute their expertise about where our communities of interest exist.  A community of interest can include groups connected by race, color, or membership in a language minority group.  We can also include other characteristics based on community history.

I will emphasize again; we need as many community members as possible to look at proposed maps to ensure our communities of interest are being given due legal consideration.

Here is a website that includes redistricting data and training videos for using the free redistricting software: https://redistrictingdatahub.org/engage/training/

The ESRI redistricting software package has its own training here: https://youtu.be/jGnfVQz4JdM

You can search for redistricting information at these levels of Nevada governance:

School Boards

Board of Regents

Each City

Each County 

For example, if you go to the Clark County Commission’s redistricting website, you will see a button to download the map files and links to the free redistricting software: https://maps.clarkcountynv.gov/redistricting

If you find a governing body that is not making its map files publicly available, please contact your elected official in that governing body to request the files be made available.

We also have a Vote Nevada meeting this Saturday, October 23rd, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom, on:

Inclusive Civics Education: Tribal Governance & Sovereignty

Panelists: Lance West, Schurz Elementary School Principal, Stacey Montooth Executive Director Nevada Indian Commission, William Bauer Director UNLV Indian Studies Program.

Please RSVP for this event if you would like to join us for a very important discussion: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpcO6rpj4tE9TQ903oWZWG6s7YRv4rXxjR

Thank you for being Nevadans with me,

Sondra

Vote Nevada: Solving Problems with Civics

Please consider selecting Vote Nevada as your preferred nonprofit on Amazon Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_se_uspo_laas_aas

Vote Nevada is now qualified to receive donations through Facebook fundraisers.

Vote Nevada is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civic engagement organization.  Anyone can become a supporter by emailing info@vote-nevada.org, we have no membership dues.  We do, however, accept donations Here

 

 

 

 

Vote Nevada Update 10/15/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

When we discuss indigenous sovereignty, we must be mindful of our indigenous Pacific Island communities as well.  Here is comprehensive information about our vibrant Hawaiian culture and the movement to protect important cultural sites on the islands: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_sovereignty_movement

Last night the CCSD Trustees discussed the district’s redistricting process and the three proposed maps. President Cavazos helped us understand that due to the pandemic the normal redistricting process was compressed, and the resulting changes have created some problems. In sum, because the normal redistricting process was not followed, problems the process was designed to avoid have appeared.

The main question debated last night was how to bring back as much of the normal process as possible to address these emergent problems and still have valid redistricting maps adopted by November 30th.

Most of the Trustees agree that we need two more CCSD redistricting maps to consider and that we need a more open and interactive process to create those maps.  Communities of interest were unfortunately absent in the truncated process, so those voices must be added back to ensure we, the people, have fair representation.

This is a prime example of Vote Nevada’s mission: Solving Problems with Civics.  While it can be boring to focus on processes, when we fail to adhere to good processes, we can end up with results that violate civil rights.  To ensure we get back on the right track, please follow along as the Trustees strive to be responsive to the community and represent our families.  This webpage includes all the CCSD redistricting information https://ccsd.net/trustees/redistricting/

I also have an update on our October 23rd Inclusive Civics Education event, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom.  I am happy to share that Schurz Elementary School Principal Mr. Lance West, who is working to enrich our school curriculum with indigenous history and culture, is joining our panel.  Schurz is located on the Walker River Reservation, south of Reno and Carson City, in Mineral County.

Please RSVP for this event if you would like to join us for a very important discussion: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpcO6rpj4tE9TQ903oWZWG6s7YRv4rXxjR

Thank you for being Nevadans with me,

Sondra

Vote Nevada: Solving Problems with Civics

Please consider selecting Vote Nevada as your preferred nonprofit on Amazon Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_se_uspo_laas_aas

Vote Nevada is now qualified to receive donations through Facebook fundraisers.

Vote Nevada is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civic engagement organization.  Anyone can become a supporter by emailing info@vote-nevada.org, we have no membership dues.  We do, however, accept donations Here

 

Vote Nevada Update 10/10/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

The National Constitution Center hosted a very interesting, and at times, heated debate over the issue of qualified immunity for the police.  It’s only one hour and well worth the time: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/town-hall-video/for-debate-should-qualified-immunity-for-police-officers-be-abolished

I wanted to also send a reminder for three upcoming events. 

First, Vote Nevada and CSN are partnering with the Las Vegas Indian Center and PLAN to offer a viewing of American Outrage, a documentary about the Dann Sisters of Nevada, to commemorate Indigenous People’s Day.  If you’ve lived in Nevada for a bit you’ll remember reading about the Dann sisters and their legal battle to protect their cattle from government confiscation.  After the movie, you can join us for a panel discussion about indigenous sovereignty, the LandBack Movement, and the current litigation around developing a lithium mine at Thacker Pass.

Date: October 11th    Time: 6-8 pm

You can attend in person or join us via Zoom.  We will be at the CSN West Charleston Campus, 6375 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146, Building I-Room 108, 6-8 pm.  Here’s a campus map: https://www.csn.edu/charleston-map

Or you can RSVP to join us on Zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkce-pqzgvHNDF16Ba0kF80ormN7DuuFr6

To further recognize our indigenous friends and neighbors, please join Vote Nevada on Saturday, October 23rd, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom, for a panel discussion about Inclusive Civics Education: Tribal Governments and Sovereignty.  We will discuss the history of treaties, including the U.S. government’s refusal to abide by ratified treaties with indigenous peoples, and the roles tribal governments and sovereignty play in current civic life. 

Our panelists will be Dr. William Bauer, UNLV History Professor and the Director of American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program, and Stacey Montooth, Executive Director of the Nevada Indian Commission.

You can RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpcO6rpj4tE9TQ903oWZWG6s7YRv4rXxjR

Over the last year, we’ve seen quite a few changes to our cannabis distribution and consumption laws. One of the main topics discussed has been opportunities for people of color to qualify for cannabis distribution licenses.  Despite the fact that our past drug laws have disproportionately impacted communities of color, opportunities to enter the cannabis distribution sector have gone mainly to white entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in learning more about how cannabis distribution licensing has changed and about more inclusive opportunities to enter the industry, the Black Business Association is offering a seminar this upcoming Saturday.  The seminar is part of the larger Black Food Festival, so you can also enjoy great food and music as well.

You can learn more about the Black Food Festival and the cannabis business opportunities seminar here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1-black-festival-in-las-vegas-4th-annual-black-las-vegas-food-festival-tickets-137839600957

Lastly, redistricting has started!  We have school boards, the Nevada System of Higher Education Regents, Cities, and Counties already drawing maps and soliciting feedback. Unlike ten years ago, however, when CCSD released over twenty possible redistricting maps, this time there are only three school Trustee maps under consideration.  Many of us who have attended the CCSD redistricting community meetings have discovered some disturbing issues with all three maps, but especially with Maps 2 and 3.

You can view the current CCSD Trustees’ district map as well as the three proposed maps and the list of community meeting dates on this webpage: https://ccsd.net/trustees/redistricting/

You can also provide comments through the link that is under the three proposed maps. 

When you click on each map link, if you scroll down, under each map is a data breakdown of the 2020 Census demographic numbers, the demographic numbers for each grade level, the demographic breakdown for CCSD as a whole, and the demographic changes between the current map and the proposed map.

I attended the CCSD redistricting meeting for District G, which is Linda Cavazos’ district.  The tone of the meeting was very patronizing and disrespectful to attendees and the explanation for how the maps were internally created was missing a key criterion. 

The CCSD representatives claimed that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 only requires governing bodies to include three criteria for fair representation while redistricting.  The three criteria mentioned were, the districts must be equal in population size, compact, and contiguous. 

I pointed out that the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a memo on redistricting that clearly includes a fourth criterion: take into consideration communities of interest.  You can read the memo and the DOJ redistricting guidelines here:

https://www.justice.gov/crt/redistricting-information

https://www.justice.gov/crt/case-document/file/1429826/download

When the meeting attendees broke into three groups to view the maps, there was consensus on these three points:

While the 2020 Census documents that Clark County has a 44.86 percent white population, four of the seven districts on Map 3 have a white majority.  Without any documentation demonstrating that this over-representation of white Nevadans in this CCSD redistricting proposal exists due to consideration of one or more communities of interest, Map 3 appears to dilute the voting power of non-white Nevadans.

Map 2 moves District G from the east side of Clark County to the southwest side of Clark County, south of Blue Diamond Road.  No explanation is given for this drastic change. District G loses over 16 percent of its Latino voters and gains over 9 percent of Asian voters.

Attendees’ questions included: Why is one Trustee losing so many voters from a community of interest and why is only one community possibly losing its Trustee due to a drastic redistricting change?  Additionally, District C on Map 2, which includes the Historic Westside’s Black community, is extended all the way out to Mount Charleston and Indian Springs.  This looks like Black voter dilution due to failing to make District C compact.

Map 1 has fewer problems and resembles the current district lines the most, but it is not concern-free. District D looks like a dinosaur and extends from the middle of the valley all the way out to Sandy Valley.  Again, this looks like vote dilution due to not drawing a district compactly.

All of these observations are based on the information provided at the redistricting meeting, which did not include any explanation for how each map was drawn and how each map complies with the Voting Rights Act.  So, UNLV Law Professor, Sylvia Lazos, asked the Legislative Council Bureau to please load the three proposed CCSD maps into the redistricting software legislators will use to draw our congressional and legislative maps.  The LCB agreed. 

This allows us to use the software’s Validate feature to determine whether all three maps comply with the Voting Rights Act.  The software will also allow community members to either alter the current maps to achieve Vote Rights Act compliance, or to draw new maps from scratch.

I will let you all know as soon as the CCSD maps are loaded into MyDistricting Nevada, but in the meantime, if you would like to use the software, you’ll need to create a free account here: https://redistricting.leg.state.nv.us/legdistricting/nevada

And review this How-To Guide for using the software: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Documents/MyDistrictingNevada2021UserGuide.pdf

There are still more CCSD redistricting meetings this week and other opportunities to weigh in on other redistricting maps.   Here is a link to the CCSD meetings (scroll to the bottom): https://ccsd.net/trustees/redistricting/

And here are the other opportunities to weigh in:

Clark County redistricting: https://maps.clarkcountynv.gov/redistricting

Washoe County redistricting: https://washoelife.washoecounty.gov/washoe-county/washoe-county-seeks-input-on-county-commission-redistricting/

City of Reno Redistricting: https://city-of-reno-redistricting-engagement-portal-maulfoster.hub.arcgis.com/

The Interim Legislative Committee to investigate redistricting met on Thursday, October 7th; you can watch the meeting recording here:    https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Video/

The committee elected a chair and vice-chair, saw a brief presentation on how to use the MyDistricting Nevada software, and set some tentative dates for future community meetings.

If you need a quick refresher on why we redistrict and the redistricting process, I’ve archived all the Vote Nevada Zoom presentations and workshops on redistricting here: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/redistricting-resources/

It is vitally important for each of us to be heard in this process.  The district maps give the people the representation we are guaranteed under the U.S. and Nevada constitutions; the maps belong to the people, not the political parties. 

If you know “No taxation without representation,” then you know how long Americans have been demanding fair and accountable representation in our governing bodies. We now have the technology to amplify our voices, so, please do not allow this civic opportunity to pass by. 

Gerrymandering silences our voices, it needs to be banished once and for all.

Thank you for reading this lengthy message. I am going to add just a bit more with a reminder about our current fundraising efforts.

If you have not yet reviewed our fundraising projects for 2021-2022, you can read more here: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/2021/09/05/vote-nevada-civic-projects-fundraising/

Altogether, we are fundraising for $10,000 for our 2021-2022 civic engagement projects.  If you are interested in supporting these worthwhile endeavors, please consider donating through our

Facebook fundraising page if you are on Facebook (we pay no fees through Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/donate/187176190048775/

Or

Our Square Donation page (we pay a small transaction fee through Square):

 https://checkout.square.site/merchant/MLAC21JKV6XNH/checkout/CEXZLRNNSBLFPFI5H4FIF2KH

Thank you for being Nevadans with me!

Sondra

 

 

 

Vote Nevada Update 9/28/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

April Corbin Girnus, a reporter with The Nevada Current, wrote a comprehensive update on redistricting:

https://www.nevadacurrent.com/2021/09/28/legislature-readies-itself-for-redrawing-of-congressional-state-district-maps/

An interim committee to study redistricting is now operational, but no meetings are posted yet.  You can track committee meetings here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/InterimCommittee/REL/Interim2021/Committee/1909/Overview

The My Districting Nevada software is now available.  This software allows us to draw maps for congressional and legislative seats and to validate completed maps to ensure each map complies with all laws and Supreme Court rulings. You can view a How-To Guide for using the software as well. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Districts/Reapp/2021/

The software includes a communities of interest map-drawing tool: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Districts/Reapp/2021/getting-involved

I did a redistricting presentation for the Carson City’s Democratic Men’s Club yesterday that covers what redistricting is, how to access the main map-drawing software, and how to use the communities of interest mapping tool.  Here is that meeting’s recording: www.CarsonCityDemocrats.online/1k7

Upcoming Vote Nevada events include a panel on October 23rd, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom, to discuss Civics Education and Tribal Sovereignty.  We will discuss tribal government and the need to include tribal sovereignty in civics education.  RSVP: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpcO6rpj4tE9TQ903oWZWG6s7YRv4rXxjR

Thank you for being Nevadans with me,

Sondra

Vote Nevada Update 9/18/2021

Vote Nevada Supporters,

To celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th, the National Constitution Center hosted an event to examine: James Madison, Ratification, and the Federalist Papers.

Seeing James Madison is my favorite founder, I wanted to share the recording: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/podcast/james-madison-ratification-and-the-federalist-papers

Our Wednesday evening meeting with Michelle Chan from the Nevada Grow program went really well.  The conversation ranged from how to develop a business plan, to the mental health strains of owning a business, to weaknesses in the grant allocation process. 

We agreed that grassroots economic development that drives investment in Nevada’s social institutions must supplement economic diversification programs that merely lure established businesses into the state with tax abatements.  You can listen to the recording here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OPBcN_DgPBeN3vVc0U1w_3IQD4CEB3c_/view?usp=sharing

Our meeting today on managing campaigns for candidates and ballot questions was very informative with lots of good discussions.  We will definitely follow up with a future meeting on running ballot questions.  You can watch the recording here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/116p9dbp8aXB7PrUQH_RA_pXcPXcfFWy7/view?usp=sharing

Redistricting news: The Legislative Council Bureau gave legislators access to the final Census 2020 data in a format compatible with the current redistricting software and the redistricting software on September 10th.  The public will not receive access to this data and to the legislative mapping software for a few weeks and the unofficial word is that a special session to approve the final redistricting maps will not be held until November.

So, legislators (not the legislature, because the legislature is not in session) will have the ability to draw maps without public scrutiny or input for approximately six to eight weeks.  

You can review what is publicly available on redistricting on the legislature’s website: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Division/Research/Districts/Reapp/2021/

If you would like to see some sample maps for Nevada, Dave’s Redistricting website has the 2020 Census data uploaded and sample maps for each state available. You can go here to see Nevada’s sample maps: https://davesredistricting.org/maps#state::NV

If you click on any of the sample maps, you will go into the map-drawing software.  If you would like to see how the map-drawing software works, you can view a training video here: https://youtu.be/bEOs5Yn0QMI

Dave’s Redistricting software and the legislative software we will use in Nevada have an integrity-checking feature.  This feature shows you whether a redistricting map meets all federal guidelines for fair districts; which includes, compact and contiguous lines, equal population,  and does not break up or compress communities of interest.  

If we start a special session with maps already drawn, we may need to use this feature to quickly integrity-check those maps.

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project and RepresentUs Redistricting Report Card project is up and running. Grades for maps currently submitted in some states are available here: https://gerrymander.princeton.edu/redistricting-report-card/

You can see what scores as an F here: https://gerrymander.princeton.edu/redistricting-report-card/?planId=rec1ovrNKW7xjVsKb

Some Vote Nevada meetings coming up in October are: The Nuts and Bolts of Running a Ballot Question and, for Indigenous People’s Day, Civic Engagement and Tribal Sovereignty.

If you have not yet reviewed our fundraising projects for 2021-2022, you can read more here: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/2021/09/05/vote-nevada-civic-projects-fundraising/

Altogether, we are fundraising for $10,000 for our 2021-2022 civic engagement projects.  If you are interested in supporting these worthwhile endeavors, please consider donating through our

Facebook fundraising page if you are on Facebook (we pay no fees through Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/donate/187176190048775/

Or

Our Square Donation page (we pay a small transaction fee through Square):

 https://checkout.square.site/merchant/MLAC21JKV6XNH/checkout/CEXZLRNNSBLFPFI5H4FIF2KH

Thank you for being Nevadans with me!

Sondra

 

Vote Nevada Update: 9/12/2021

Vote Nevada Supporter,

PBS Frontline has some new documentaries about the 9/11 tragedy and what happened after that devastating day:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/films/

 We have two meetings this week you can still RSVP to attend:

We now have a follow-up meeting scheduled with Nevada Grow Counselor Michelle Chan and her partner who is a mental health professional.  RSVP for Nevada Grow: A Mindful Approach to Small Business and Nonprofit Development, September 15th, 6:30 to 8 pm, via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpce2upzIjHNQ-C19Or9kuqkz0TzRsaxHm

Our next meeting on nonpartisans running for office is on September 18th, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom.  We will discuss the various roles associated with a campaign, such as a campaign manager, communications manager, and outreach volunteers.  Included is a discussion on running statutory ballot questions.  A statutory ballot question puts a bill into the next legislative session as a priority. 

If the legislature does not act on the bill it goes on the ballot in the next election for voters to decide its fate. This keeps legislative leadership from being able to kill a bill outright.  You can RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrceivqjsjEtPVcmw1hQNzQJvhtL_ZoAwq

On redistricting, we are still waiting for a special session to be announced for Nevadans to offer input and feedback on our redistricting maps.  In the meantime, other states are well on their way to approving new maps.  Dave’s Redistricting App website includes information about Nevada’s current redistricting maps and legal process: https://davesredistricting.org/maps#state::NV

The Department of Justice has released guidance and warned state legislatures to not engage in gerrymandering practices.  The Department of Justice’s assertion of power to challenge a state’s redistricting process derives from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Section Two, which requires fair representation for communities of interest. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-issues-guidance-federal-statutes-regarding-redistricting-and-methods

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will offer expert witnesses to uncover gerrymandering if maps are litigated in court.  https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/08/12/1031567/mathematicians-algorithms-stop-gerrymandering/ 

At the state level, the voter bill of rights we amended into our state constitution in 2020 includes that voters are expected:

9.  To have equal access to the elections system without discrimination, including, without limitation, discrimination on the basis of race, age, disability, military service, employment or overseas residence.

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/const/nvconst.html#Art2

The without limitation clause may possibly allow for a legal challenge against partisan gerrymandered districts in state court based on the argument that they would deny equal access to the election system for voters of one party or for nonpartisans.

If you have not yet reviewed our fundraising projects for 2021-2022, you can read more here: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/2021/09/05/vote-nevada-civic-projects-fundraising/

Altogether, we are fundraising for $10,000 for our 2021-2022 civic engagement projects.  If you are interested in supporting these worthwhile endeavors, please consider donating through our

Facebook fundraising page if you are on Facebook (we pay no fees through Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/donate/187176190048775/

Or

Our Square Donation page (we pay a small transaction fee through Square):

 https://checkout.square.site/merchant/MLAC21JKV6XNH/checkout/CEXZLRNNSBLFPFI5H4FIF2KH

Thank you for being Nevadans with me!

Sondra