The 79th Session of the Nevada Legislature has already proven to be a wild one… And we’re only on Week 2! Sometimes it’s difficult for many of us experienced hands to keep up with the action. What about regular folks with busy everyday lives?
I checked in on a group of Southern Nevadans who wanted to learn more. They didn’t just learn, but they also prepared to act.
Chispa Nevada and Battle Born Progress hosted a “rapid response and grassroots training” last night to equip activists for the next three and a half months of the Nevada Legislature.
“There are so many good things that can and should get done,” exclaimed Battle Born Progress Executive Director Annette Magnus.
At the training, activists learned about the intricacies of social media and rapid response. Battle Born Progress’ Deputy Director Maria Teresa Liebermann and Organizer Verna Mandez explained how to utilize social and traditional media to amplify their message. They spoke of the importance of “driving the narrative” to define the contours of their issue before their opponents can take advantage.
With the stakes so high this #NVLeg session, progressives aim to take advantage of the new balance of power. Minimum wage, women’s rights, public education, climate change/clean energy, immigrant civil rights, and LGBTQ civil rights are just a few of the big issues that will take turns taking center stage this session. Liebermann walked the activists through the various ways they can influence the #NVLeg “sausage making process,” from letters to the editor to testifying at committee hearings.
“You have to be the voice for your side of the issue.”
The media landscape has changed considerably in the past decade. And yet, some things remain the same. Sharing one’s story can still make all the difference. There are just more ways to share one’s story.
Magnus closed the progressive activist training with a call to action.
“All of you in this room are lobbyists. You are the most important lobbyists.”
Carson City typically overflows with paid lobbyists retained by special interests this time of year. Yet legislators often like to hear from citizen lobbyists in their community to get a sense of how a bill is playing back in “the real world.” “Don’t think you don’t matter. They do.” Magnus reminded the crowd that legislators do feel pressure when constituents apply it properly.
Can these and other activists apply it properly? They will have the chance to prove that in the coming days.