I would personally like to take a moment to congratulate, and give a huge thank you to everyone who pushed for the designation of Basin and Range National Monument. Thank you to those in our community that took the time to call our elected representatives asking them to act, protecting Coal and Garden Valleys for future generations to explore and enjoy.
Some of the members of our community came together and had our voices heard convincing our elected officials to act and protect our little corner of the Nevada Desert. With greater protections to the area we will be able to see future generations continue a way of life we have seen in this part of the Great Basin for generations. A way of life without the worry of fracking contaminating our water, or Yucca Mountain?s railroad using untold amounts of water our county just can?t afford to lose. The permanent protections will also generate new interest in the area, bringing the opportunity of some eco-tourism from which our community can greatly benefit from economically.
We have a chance to build a future that works with our ecosystem while maintaining our rich history of ranching, living sustainably with the land, and will bring in revenue that will not only help this generation but our little ones too. It?s a chance to start a movement within Nevada towards a green sustainable future, to work together on both sides of the discussion so that we can all be proud of and to know we are making the best choices for the long run and not a quick attempt at short term profits that come with so many foreseeable consciences and risks. So many communities like ours have been hurt by not standing up to big oil companies from moving in and destroying their way of life.
History has been made in our small community, and like many presidents before him, President Obama listened to the community and invoked his power granted to him by congress under the Antiquities Act to preserve our corner of Nevada?s rich history dating to 13,000 years ago. Another thank you needs to be extended to our State Elected Officials like Senator Reid who have worked with us to help guarantee the use of our lands while preserving our great heritage of ranching and living sustainably with the land.
Thank you again.
Recently, I was on a national conference call with Representative John Delaney of Maryland to discuss the Open Our Democracy Act, HR 2655, which he has reintroduced. The call was convened and hosted by Jackie Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, the largest association of independent voters in the country of which I?m a part. On the call, we got the inside scoop on this important legislation and the role independents can play in building support for it.
The bill does 3 things: enacts Top Two nonpartisan primaries for all Congressional elections in the United States, makes Election Day a national holiday, and creates a road whereby the practice of gerrymandering could be replaced with a more citizen friendly redistricting process.
In other words, it?s an anti-corruption package of reform designed to empower voters and give our country some much needed breathing room from the partisanship that now over-determines every step of the political process.
Delaney said ?Politicians always make the mistake of underestimating the American people. 300 million smart Americans are not going to let some 500 members of Congress stand in their way forever.? I couldn?t agree more.
Given the vested interest of most politicians in the status quo, it?s going to take a grassroots movement of independent-minded voters to pressure our local representatives to support this bill. I will be contacting Congressman Amodei this week to ask him to support it. Please join me.
We can Open Our Democracy and unleash the innovation and creativity needed to solve old problems in new ways. We?ll have to free ourselves from the grips of partisanship to do so.
Catana L Barnes
President, Independent Voters of Nevada (IVON)