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Area residents work to find ‘good’ for all in state

Education, immigration and services for the elderly and people with disabilities were the focus of discussions as more than 1,500 leaders from the area gathered for Nevadans for the Common Good’s third Convention for the Common Good in May at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas.

Boulder City United Methodist Church, St. Andrew Catholic Community and St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church are members of the organization and their congregants participated in the convention.

Nevadans for the Common Good is dedicated to educating and training individuals to participate in public life. Diverse institutions work together to build relationships, find common ground on issues, and act in nonpartisan ways to improve life for all Nevadans.

“To become the ‘New Nevada’ with a diversified economy and an educated workforce, we must support our public institutions that invest in developing and caring for our greatest resource — our people,” said Barbara Paulsen of Boulder City United Methodist Church.

The theme of the convention was “Our Faith in Action; Our Democracy at Work.”

Nevadans for the Common Good highlighted the need to invest in students in the Clark County School District which as dealt with a decades-long teacher shortage. Current and past students, along with a professor from UNLV and school board member and candidate, spoke about the overcrowded classrooms and how that impacts higher education.

Alison Sloat of Boulder City United Methodist Church and a UNLV professor, said 40 percent of students have to take remedial math and science courses before advancing their studies.

Noemi Guigui, a 17-year-old from Christ Church Episcopal/Cristo Rey in Las Vegas, received a standing ovation after sharing her family’s experience living in the shadows of the immigration system.

“I’m scared my parents will be deported and leave me and my brother alone,” she said. “I want my dad to see me walk across the stage at my graduation and to be proud of me. That’s why I’m speaking up for immigration reform.”

Nevadans for the Common Good called on U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez-Masto to invest in the children of immigrant families. She agreed to work on and prioritize comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together.

The group also raised three issues related to state funding of health-related programs for the elderly and those with disabilities, including reimbursement rates for home-care providers, privatizing Medicaid and minimal support for the Meals on Wheels program.

The convention closed with the unveiling of a plan to raise $600,000 in the next four years to address these and other issues facing state residents, and a call for those attending to get others to vote.

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