Wells Street was closed from Vassar to Plumb this weekend for Fiesta on Wells, an all-day community event to celebrate the area’s Hispanic heritage. The street was filled with a variety of vendors, live music, and performances.
With nearly perfect weather, all attendees seemed to be in a jovial mood. People talked amongst themselves and crowded around to watch dance groups perform everything from very traditional Hispanic dances to hula dancing.
While the even was one of celebration, the current political climate has a role. Acting in Community Together In Organizing Northern Nevada (ACTIONN) and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) were both on hand offering information and help to those with questions.
I spoke with Monique Normand of PLAN about what the organization has been seeing since termination of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was announced. Normand explained that PLAN is offering help to DACA recipients to renew the DACA before Oct. 5, 2017. PLAN has also been working to alleviate people’s fears by explaining what DACA really is/was and what is happening next. Normand also expressed hope for H.R.496 better known as the BRIDGE Act.
Alejandra Hernandez Chavez of ACTIONN spoke at the event and hosted an ACTIONN booth. She explained ACTIONN’s recent success in getting a six-month stay of deportation for David Chavez-Macias, who had been in sanctuary status since April 2017. Chavez continued that ACTIONN is helping other places of worship to become capable of giving sanctuary to an individual if the need arose.
Both ACTIONN and PLAN, in separate interviews, voiced their concern that with the confusion and fear that can come with the changes in DACA that scam artists will be preying on those wishing to do the right thing. Both members of ACTIONN and the organization itself have seen the ramifications of these scams and want to get out ahead of them and inform people.
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.