A Holy Respite in the Legislative Fray

Conservatives and Progressives, Democrats and Republicans, Jews and Christians, together in the Nevada Legislative building together celebrating a Passover Seder…yes it actually happened. For a short time on April 7 politics was put aside and people from every persuasion joined in a learning moment to remember that the Jewish Passover and Christian Holy Week shared a historical connection.

The director of Lutheran Episcopal Alliance in Nevada, Rev. Mike Patterson, was invited to this event and helped with the Host Committee. The leader for the meal was Cantor Bob Fisher who explained the ritual feast and why the Passover meal used the various elements to remember the Jewish history around the events in Egypt. The cantor also reminded those present that the Last Supper celebrated by most Christians was actually the Passover feast that Jesus and His disciples practiced on the night before the events of the crucifixion.

It was for many a time away from the divisive political atmosphere of the legislature and a time to remember what most of us share together. Everyone present was appreciative of the work done putting on this event by the Nevada legislative Jewish Council and the Host Committee.

Have Something to Say? Your Legislators DO Listen

By Sheila Freed

LEAN has been urging everyone to do Advocacy by using the Nevada legislative website. We’ve told you how easy it is to connect with your state Senator or Assembly Member. I know many of us are skeptical, and doubt that our legislator or anyone else actually reads what we send. Well, I can tell you someone must read at least some of them. I recently emailed my Assembly Member, who happens to be Pat Hickey, about AB 223, a bill dealing with protection of elders and other vulnerable persons. The bill was due for a hearing a couple of days later, and I wanted to point out a possible unintended consequence of the legislation. I asked that the language of the bill, which I support, be tailored to address the unintended consequence. I copied the chair of the committee that would hear the bill, the ranking minority member, and the primary sponsor of the bill. I received an acknowledgement message from Assemblyman Hickey, which did not surprise me. But I was really surprised to find my email included in the “exhibits” package that was prepared for the hearing. I think this proves that legislators really do seek thoughtful input. My faith in the system received a big boost. Try it!

Another Reason to Visit Nevada Legislature

Lutheran-Episcopal Advocacy in Nevada has been working to get parishioners involved in the legislative process. We’ve spread the word about how easy that is by using the Legislative website. But a visit to Carson City is fun and educational. The building itself is impressive, and visitors can watch the Senate and Assembly in session, or visit a committee hearing, or simply prowl the halls and visit legislators’ offices.

Beginning April 6, there is another great reason to visit the Legislature.

Always Lost, a Meditation on War is a memorial to those lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001 will be on display until April 22. This exhibit has been all around the country since its unveiling in spring 2009, but it has local roots. It was begun by three professors at Western Nevada College in Carson City. The description below is from the WNC website, where there is much more information about Always Lost.

Components of the Exhibition

In its entirety, the Always Lost: A Meditation on War art/humanities exhibition consists of several components:

  • The “Wall of the Dead” depicts the faces and names of U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, currently numbering over 6,000 dead. As casualties continue to mount, the Wall continues to grow.
  • The Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of Iraq War combat photographs (Breaking News Photography, 2004) by photojournalists David Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer, who were embedded with Marine units in Iraq in 2003. The twenty photographs are on loan to Western Nevada College courtesy of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Ninety pieces of literary work, which includes prose and poetry by Northern Nevada writers along with historical and contemporary sayings on the subject of war (the “meditations”).
  • Interviews and photographic portraits of three Western Nevada College student veterans, representing the thousands of military personnel returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
  • The story of Specialist Noah Pierce, who took his own life after completing two combat tours in Iraq, representing the thousands of veteran suicides. Included in the exhibition is Pierce’s poetry about his combat experiences, found after his death. Approximately eighteen veterans commit suicide every day (Army Times, April 22, 2010).  [In 2015, the figure is up to 22 per day.]

The exhibit will be in the second floor Atrium of the Legislative building. It will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is free to everyone.

Support Raising Nevada’s Minimum Wage

It is time act! LEAN needs you to come out and support a raise in the minimum wage on Wednesday, March 11 at 2:15 p.m. at the Nevada Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City.

We will have some signs for you to carry. If you are unable to join us, please send a note to the members of the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections at their e-mail addresses below.

Please get the word out to everyone you know who cares about the underpaid in Nevada.

Bill: SJR8

Text: Amends the Nevada Constitution to increase the minimum wage per hour worked. (BDR C-425)

What: Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2015. 3 p.m. PLEASE BE THERE BY 2:15

Where: Room 1214 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV. Videoconferenced to Room 4412 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV.

Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections Settelmeyer (C), Farley (VC), Hardy, Harris, Manendo, Atkinson, Spearman

James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us

Patricia.Farley@sen.state.nv.us

Joe.Hardy@sen.state.nv.us

Becky.Harris@sen.state.nv.us

Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us

Kelvin.Atkinson@sen.state.nv.us

Pat.Spearman@sen.state.nv.us