South Washoe DEMS
May, 2019 Newsletter
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Monday, May 6, 2019

Navigating the Immigrant's Path - A Conversation with an Immigration Attorney*

So, how much do you really know about the immigrant's path?  What are the complex and confusing legal obstacles? Join us for an education on this vital topic.

Our featured speaker this month is Sylvia Ontaneda-Bernales, Esq, whose practice covers all aspects of immigration law for local, national, and international clients. A native of Peru, she has a broad understanding of the cultural, ethnic, and legal nuances of life in Latin America.  A lecturer as well as a print and broadcast journalist, Ms. Ontaneda-Bernales produced the highly acclaimed documentary "Making a Difference: A Celebration of Women in Politics" in honor of the 75th anniversary of women's suffrage. She is an active participant in local civic and political organizations, and she has garnered many awards for her legal and cultural activities. She is also the founder and manager of American Immigration & Mediation Services.    

Ms. Ontaneda-Bernales suggests that members submit questions to  prior to the meeting so that she can best address the interests of our members. During her presentation she will also address any additional questions.

* Note that Ms. Ontaneda-Bernales was our much anticipated speaker scheduled for February, but the meeting was canceled due to an impending winter storm.   

Our meeting location is at the:

South Valleys Library.
15650 Wedge Pkwy
Reno, NV 89511
[see map at Our Next Events page of the South Washoe DEMS website] 

There is no admission charge.  Our meetings start at 5:30 p.m. with a social time where we serve light appetizers. Donations are welcome to cover the cost of appetizers. Please invite your friends as we welcome both new and long time members to our meetings. We look forward to seeing you!
Our monthly meeting date is the first MONDAY of the month. 
SAVE the DATE: Monday, June 3rd for our next meeting at the South Valleys Library on Wedge Parkway.

To suggest future topics, please email Carol Cooke and Kathy Peltier. 
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Notes from The Chair -
Here's Spittin' at You, Kid!

Okay, I admit it. I did it. I did it. It wasn't exactly one my proudest moments – unceremoniously spitting into a little tube – but curiosity trumped decorum. After all, once done and mailed off, I was on my way to learning all sorts of interesting information about my heritage. 

I am far from alone. 23andMe claims over 5 million customers. recently touted they had surpassed 10 million users. And these are just two of a growing list of companies that offer DNA analysis services. Demand continues to grow. Apparently, we are obsessed with learning about our personal heritage and ethnicity. 

Why? Perhaps because we are a nation of immigrants. Unless your spit reveals the infinitesimally small probability that you are 100% Native American, your ancestors came from a foreign shore in search of a better life for themselves and – well, YOU. 

So, here's the irony. Why are we, the heirs of immigrants, so interested in reveling in the origin and journey of our ancestors, while denigrating those who seek to emulate them? Have we forgotten that our country's first emigres were people fleeing to escape religious and social persecution? Perhaps our own grandparents or parents were seeking safety, security, or simply better personal, professional and economic opportunities? Fact is, the door was open for them. Why does there seem to be so much backlash now?

Some might say, "Well our ancestors came here legally." That's probably true. But times are different. Have policies changed? Is it harder now? How difficult is the process today? How many immigrants apply? How many are accepted? How does immigration affect us – positively or negatively? This meeting's guest speaker can answer those questions and many more. In fact, you can actually submit questions on this topic in advance, if you wish (see above section).

Immigration is a hot-button issue right now. And while it helps to be reminded of our own immigrant past, we need answers to more than just 'Where did my ancestors come from?' Join us on Monday, May 6th for a fascinating, informative discussion about today's immigrants. 

Good news: no tube-spitting required.     
                                                                                  ~ Barbara Twitchell, SWD Chairperson

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful - May 11th Cleanup! 

As part of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful's (KTMB) 'Adopt-A-Spot' program, South Washoe DEMS cleans Wedge Parkway 3 times a year. The next KTMB cleanup is Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 9:00 am. Meet at the Washoe County South Valleys Library on Wedge Parkway. Wear layers if the weather is cool. Safety vests, gloves, garbage bags and the "picker upper" tools will be provided. 
For more information or to sign on to our fabulous work crew, please email Wally Prendergast.

Count Down to 
Election 2020

Yeah, it seems like the 2020 election is far away but the events leading up to the election are less than a year away.  Here are some important dates to get on your calendar.
  • January 1 - 15, 2020 - Preregister for the Virtual Caucus
  • February 15 - 18, 2020 (Saturday - Tuesday) - Early Vote for the Caucus
  • February 16 - 17, 2020 (Sunday & Monday) - Virtual Caucus
  • February 22, 2020 (Saturday) - Nevada Caucus
  • April 18th, 2020 (Saturday) - Washoe County Convention
  • May 30, 2020 (Saturday) - Nevada State Democratic Party State Convention, LV
  • July 13-16, 2020 - National Democratic Convention Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • November 3, 2020 (Tuesday) - Election Day & Victory Party

News from the WashoeDEMS 

Red, White & Barbecue!
To commemorate Memorial Day and the 75th Anniversary of
D-Day, the WashoeDEMS and their Veterans Committee invite all to a barbecue in Village Green Park. 

The event will feature food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), live music, games, and down-home fun. Elected officials planning to attend the event include Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall, State Controller Catherine Byrne, Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, County Record Kalie Work, Reno City Councilman Devon Reese, and Sparks City Councilman Donald Abbott.  

Tickets are general admission and each one includes a meal and a non-alcoholic beverage. 

 Date:  Saturday, June 8, 2019
 Time:  Noon
 Location:  Village Green Park
 4549 Village Green Parkway
 Reno, NV 89519
 Tickets:  Eventbrite


Our optional e-mail Alerts program has been in operation since March 2017.

Action Alerts!!!   
Our Action Alerts announce upcoming upcoming rallies, marches, meetings or other important issues that need quick action.
Legislative Alerts!  
Legislative Alerts will be sent weekly during the 2019 Nevada Legislative Session. We will report the status of bills we consider particularly important as they progress through the Legislative process. The alerts will also report activity for the upcoming week. 
To receive our Alerts via email, please click on this 'Sign Me Up' button: 

South Washoe DEMS Book Club
May 23, 2019

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm hosted by Joyce Destefanis and Dave Penning. Their home is located in the Saddlehorn community at 14210 Powder River Court (from Thomas Creek Road, turn west onto Saddlehorn Drive and then south onto Powder River Court.) See map inside our Book Club webpage.

Our next book is Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  

In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership.

Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?

In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope.

Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.

No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon hardships. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.

This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today's polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.
The book is available in hardback, paperback, eBook and audio  from your local or online bookstores.
Please email Joyce for updates or details. For more information about our current book, a list of articles, and past books we have reviewed, visit our Book Club webpage.

Save The Date...

  • May 6th - Monthly SWD Meeting
  • May 9th - Protecting and Strengthening the VA, our Nation's Best Healthcare System
  • May 23rd – Book Club
  • May 26th – Record Street
  • June 3rd - Monthly SWD Meeting