Local issues, candidates drive Democratic enthusiasm: Mahler
By Sarah Mahler – Progressive Democrats of America Reno | reno gazette journal
As chair of the Washoe County Democratic Party, I see unprecedented interest in our local elections, as national politics is fueling people to become involved like never before. Where once we struggled to find candidates, we now have candidates running in every district across Northern Nevada. People are showing up at events and donating their time, talents and energy in record numbers. This is happening across political parties, professions, ages, ethnicities and religions. People are angry about and afraid of the ugly turn our country has taken and are showing up to combat it at the local, state and federal level. We must compete in every single electoral contest and on every issue up and down the ballot to enact change.
Nevada still ranks near the bottom nationally on education. With Democratic majorities in the Legislature and a moderate Republican governor, we have begun to make needed improvements to schools and curriculum. Yet the Republican nominee for governor, Adam Laxalt, has vowed to undo all the progress we’ve made together. He is the candidate most hostile to improving Nevada since the failed Jim Gibbons administration. This regressive and anti-Nevada candidate has sought the endorsement of and endorsed Trump. Money is flowing into Nevada from the Koch brothers and other corrupt special interests to affect the outcome of this election. If Laxalt wins this race, Nevada will end up further behind.
In Washoe County, affordable housing has hit a crisis point. Property prices and apartment rents are skyrocketing as government’s willingness and ability to deal with such issues have not kept up. We lack the political will, resources and courage to take care of our own citizens. Washoe County offices have been dominated by Republicans for years; however, in this cycle we have a Democrat running for every single race. Of 13 elected Washoe County positions, only one is currently held by a Democrat. The Republicans running our county and state have failed to protect our children, our housing, our lands and our livelihoods. It’s time for new ideas and leadership.
If Nevadans want real change, we need to keep the Democratic-led Legislature and add more Democrats in office at every level. This is how real change — and improvement — in Nevada can happen.
The goals of our local party align with the Nevada State and National Democratic parties. We are committed to reversing the corruption and incompetence that defines Trump’s administration. Trump and his enablers Dean Heller, Mark Amodei and Laxalt are hurting real Nevadans, but they are not alone. They are helped by other elected officials who either explain away or even cheer on the worst policies and behaviors of Trump. We can only turn the tide if we fight them at every level of government.
The increased involvement of a diverse group of people across our county and state has been inspirational. We must continue to get involved, be informed and encourage everyone we know to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. The party of Trump has hijacked our democracy with the barest minority of support, and our most vulnerable citizens are paying the price. I’ve already seen the fires of outrage mobilize people, and it gives me hope. We need all voters in Washoe County to express their outrage where people have the real power: at the ballot box.
Sarah Mahler was a National delegate 2016 for Bernie and is a member of Reno PDA, is the chair of the Democratic Party of Washoe County and is a Spanish Springs resident.