“80 percent of success is showing up” — Woody Allen
The Sparks City Council voted in January 2007 to establish a diversity commission and nothing’s been heard since despite ongoing prodding from its Reno-Sparks NAACP sponsors.
Sparks was recently approached to help form a regional human rights commission but told Reno City Hall that the city is broke. For once, they told the truth. All the corporate welfare given away to the likes of downtown (Barbwire 12-14-2015) and Marina/Scheel’s developers has put the Rail City, like Reno, in a financial straitjacket. For much more about much worse, see the Barbwire Corporate Welfare Archives at NevadaLabor.com/
Both understaffed city police departments have almost no minority officers and Reno’s entrance exam even screens out minorities in the initial phase. (Barbwire Reno Gazette-Journal 7-17-2016 and Trib followups)
About two years ago, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve appeared to be leading the way on the human rights project but that seems to have been sidetracked by black tower intrigue. Business as usual. Reno will now have an advisory-only body which will meet only when the Good Lord’s willin’ and the cricks don’t rise.
Whenever a local government creates a toothless advisory-only body allowed to review only narrowly-tailored issues on an ad hoc basis, it means somebody’s selling some serious cosmetics.
It’s time to kick ass.
And so we come to Thursday and Saturday of this week in which the Reno-Sparks NAACP shoehorns its two major annual events into 48 hours.
First up, the Branch’s second Community Policing Forum takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, at Northern Nevada HOPES’ third floor Community Room, 580 W. 5th Street, Reno. Admission is free but arrives early. Last year’s event attracted an overflow standing-room audience. Local police agencies will take questions from Branch members and the public.
“At the event, we especially want updates on minority hiring practices and human rights advisory committees,” stated President Patricia Gallimore.
An archive of last year’s event will be linked to the web edition of this screed at Barbwire.US/
The NAACP’s 72nd Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet happens two days later on Oct. 14 in the Mandalay Ballroom at Circus Circus Hotel-Casino. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Individual tickets, tables of 10 and sponsorships may be reserved via RenoSparksNAACP.org or better yet, e-mail or call me at 775-882-TALK. (Time is tight.)
This year’s keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, co-author with Coretta Scott-King of “My LIfe, My Love, My Legacy,” the life story of Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. published earlier this year. Dr. Reynolds has written for many major magazines and newspapers including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Ebony, Essence, and USA Today where she was a columnist and editorial board member for 13 years. She was the first African-American woman to serve on the panel.
Tickets and tables for Saturday will be available at Thursday’s Community Policing Forum if any remain available.
In recent years, the Reno-Sparks NAACP made a high profile issue of Washoe and Clark County school districts artificially inflating graduation rates and glossing over embarrassing minority performance. It has been a successful plaintiff in major voting rights litigation and has registered tens of thousands of new voters statewide.
In December 2014, this little mouse roared with a little help from the Barbwire. The New York Times and every medium from the Maui News to the Washington Post to the Guardian of London carried the story of overtly racist (and onetime Tribune columnist) Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, becoming speaker of the Nevada State Assembly. (Details at BallotBoxing.US/) He resigned. The issue was so important that it generated assistance from the late, great Julian Bond in one of the final acts of his distinguished life.
The Branch needs new members to serve a mushrooming population base. So get involved. Show up!
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and BallotBoxing.US and first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail <email@example.com> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.