Resistence must be heard
Our elected officials are constantly disappointing us these days, beginning with our indescribably disgraceful president, followed closely by our do-nothing Congress, so controlled by the NRA and other special interests they allow our children to be murdered, our natural resources to be destroyed, and our families to be torn apart while far too many go hungry and unhoused in the richest nation on Earth.
The only thing more disgusting is that we, the people, allow it. Some find comfort in responding with the phrase that “This is not who we are” when confronted with these atrocities, but we need to come to grips with the fact that this is indeed who we are—at least this is what we’ve allowed our nation to become.
Many of the Trumpsters are so blinded by their unrelenting and righteous support of the president that they refuse to see how he has sold their interests to the highest bidder, giving permanent tax cuts to the insanely wealthy while granting the rest of us meager temporary crumbs. And the president’s new budget is remarkable in the scope of its greed and its cruelty to poor and struggling families.
Closer to home, many progressives are profoundly disillusioned by our majority Democratic Reno City Council which just approved a massive new development outside Cold Springs. The project is designed to provide housing to more new residents despite the loss of millions of tax dollars given away to super-rich corporations in the name of progress. The new development is the size of Fallon, but we don’t have the means to provide adequate police, fire, or other infrastructure necessary to serve the thousands of new people located far from the city core, not to mention the teachers, social workers or mental health professionals they’ll need.
In a letter to the Council, Reno conservationist Susan Lynn reacted strongly, writing, “I am stung, shocked, alarmed, concerned—all those words—that this will likely go forward and here’s why. Many of us spent many hours pouring over your newly adopted Master Plan, attending meetings and workshops and then supported its adoption. Stonegate—and several others—do not conform or meet the new Master Plan goals and objectives, except that the project will provide ’housing.’ I cannot see that it provides the type of housing that the community needs—some low cost or moderate cost. It is not compact, nor anywhere in proximity to jobs, nor is it a walkable or transit-oriented community. …
“Reno has become like every other boom town; there is no planning. It’s an approval process, not a weighing thoughtful process that demands answers and solutions to induced problems. I thought that the Master Plan had a chance because of broad participation, but the Plan is obliterated right out the gate on this project. It ignores the principles, goals and guidelines, so what was the point?”
It should be noted that only Councilmember Jenny Brekhus voted against Stonegate, choosing to side with her constituents who are rightly concerned about their quality of life.
One way to resist politicians who have forgotten who they represent is to find better candidates, but there’s not much time, as filing for the November elections begins March 5. To review the elected offices that will be on the ballot this year, visit the Washoe County Registrar of Voters website at www.washoecounty.us/voters. While you’re there, you can look up your voter registration, change your party affiliation or address, or register to vote for the first time.
If you’re thinking you’re not qualified for elected office, look around. You could hardly do worse. If now isn’t the time to run, at least let your representatives know you don’t want our beautiful valley ruined by sprawl. Don’t let your resistance be silence.