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The Nevada Independent


Ranked-choice voting is needed, along with open primaries

In my previous op-ed, I argued that open primaries would improve our democratic institutions by liberating our elections from the stranglehold of the two-party system. However, while opening up the primary system will improve the viability of third-party and independent candidates, this reform would be insufficient on its own.

Open primaries are needed now that the two-party system has failed

Our current mode of electing candidates for office is a relic of the past, belonging to a time when the two-party system served the needs of our democratic system and ensured responsible party government. Academics describe our current state of party politics as consisting of “weak parties and strong partisanship.”


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For the Bible tells me so

About ten days ago, our church facilities hosted an event for gubernatorial candidate Sheriff Joe Lombardo. Gov. Glen Youngkin of Virginia headlined the event. The sheriff used the forum to share his concern for education in the state.  The Nevada Independent wrote a story, it was picked up by other media outlets, and we were asked many questions.

Reno City Hall sign

Sorry (but not sorry), Ward 3 voters

When Reno City Council Member Neoma Jardon resigned last month, I wanted to write about the best way to replace resigned municipal council members but ultimately thought better of it — this is The Nevada Independent, after all, not the Reno Independent. Luckily for me, Council Member Oscar Delgado, who resigned last Friday, gave me another chance.

Should you be worried about polio? 

The poliovirus, a disease that was once considered eradicated in 1979 by the World Health Organization (WHO), is now seeing a resurgence. While at the time of this writing there have been no reported cases of the virus in Nevada, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), areas around the globe including New York are seeing cases and have declared a state of emergency to monitor the disease and prevent further community transmission.

Nevada Supreme Court building in Carson City

The Nevada Supreme Court should look like Nevada

State supreme courts across the United States fail to adequately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve as well as the diversity of the legal profession. Unfortunately, this stark contrast is also present in the makeup of the Supreme Court of Nevada. Currently, all seven of the Justices on the Supreme Court of Nevada are white. Not one person of color presides on our state’s highest court. 

Intensive livestock grazing cannot reverse the ecological destruction it causes

Barry Perryman, an agriculture professor from UNR, has asked us all to believe that modern livestock grazing can’t be faulted for today’s degraded rangelands and cheatgrass infestations across the West. Indeed, he asserts that a new kind of seasonal overgrazing – called ‘targeted grazing’ by the livestock industry – is a viable solution to halt spread of this invasive weed and the unnaturally large range fires that come with it.

Expect youth voters to show up at the polls this year 

Whether it comes from grandpa’s political rant or from our own representatives in government, this is a sentiment that college-age students hear all the time. With only half of eligible voters aged 18-29 voting in the 2020 election, our voting rates don’t help our case. However, the 2020 presidential election represented an 11 percent increase in nationwide youth participation in voting from 2016. The rate of youth voting is on an upward trend.  

Conservative book censors and conspiracy theorists don’t even win in Boise

I understand what it’s like to follow a show religiously, to trace its ups and downs, and to debate endlessly with fans of other franchises over which franchise is better. I know what it’s like to dedicate one’s time to arguing over whether the U.S.S. Enterprise could defeat an Imperial Star Destroyer (though I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars, not a chance — Star Destroyers are simply too large).

The front entrance to the Chicken Ranch brothel

If Nevadans are serious about ending sex trafficking, they must abolish legal prostitution

Given the political push over the past few years in many states and local jurisdictions, as well as at the federal level, to either decriminalize prostitution or to adopt Nevada-style legalization of prostitution, the question of legalization is an emerging issue that will soon grab national headlines and force federal law makers to debate significant paradigm-shifting policy questions.  

Southern Nevada is set to lead in quality, equitable healthcare

My son, in 2021, went to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Maryland to have a critical surgery for recurrent infections — a surgery that wasn’t possible in Nevada. My brother received a critical bone marrow transplant in 1995, at Primary Children’s Hospital in Utah — a procedure still not available in Nevada today. And that’s just my story. Countless other Nevada families have experienced similar situations. 

To protect life on Earth, we must refuse to extract

We at Protect Thacker Pass are used to people calling us “delusional”, as David Colborne did in his recent opinion article, “Refusing to extract lithium is not a refusal to extract” wherein he wrote that “we are every bit as likely as a nation to abandon cars as carbohydrates. Pretending otherwise isn’t environmentalism — it’s delusion.”

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