Nevada's grassroots are healthy
Congratulations to Jon Christensen for his April 3 comprehensive Great Basin special edition and thank you for devoting the resources and energy to this project. It will surely encourage more thoughtful communication among all parties about the myths and challenges we face here. While I was flattered by Jon's article on me, the references to Citizen Alert perpetuated another myth I'd like to dispel here and now.
The mission of Citizen Alert, particularly where nuclear waste is concerned, is as compelling today as it was 25 years ago when our founding mothers created the organization. As Jon points out, the state of Nevada has taken on the nuclear power industry and its allies in Congress over the proposed high-level radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain. Such institutional zeal would surely flounder without a strong grassroots movement which is immune to political changes in the administrative or legislative branches. Citizen Alert is the only statewide grassroots groups which is conducting grassroots education and organizing against the dump. Through these efforts, it is building necessary political support to outspoken state leaders who oppose the dump.
Regarding the difficult staff transition alluded to in the article, remember that pain and conflict are endemic to organizations which experience a change of leadership. While I like to think I'm unique and irreplaceable, Citizen Alert has found an extremely capable and energetic leader in executive director Rick Nielsen. Rick and the others at Citizen Alert are diligently carrying on the tradition of grassroots-movement building in Nevada which the organization began a quarter-century ago.
Carson City, Nevada
The writer is state director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.