Members of Third Act, a local climate change and democracy advocacy group, gathered Friday night at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada. Their goal: rally local voters with information on voting rights and climate change.
Billed as “Defending Democracy in our Third Act,” the event featured speakers including one of the group’s founders and renowned environmentalist, Bill McKibben. McKibben, who is also the founder of 350.org spoke along with Third Act Advisor Rebecca Solnit about the importance of the upcoming election.
Democratic Secretary of State candidate Cisco Aguilar also spoke at the event.
Solnit told This Is Reno that “the U.S. Senate is hanging in the balance and getting Cortez-Masto elected again is crucial to having a majority for climate stuff in the Senate.”
Solnit said she comes up to Reno to work on Get Out The Vote because Nevada is “a lot more exciting” [than California, which is a solid blue state].
This was a sentiment echoed by McKibben as well.
“Not only is this election important for Nevada, but for the country; you dont want crazy, election denying, QAnon fanatics in power. It’s a good thing to remember that at this point every election is important for the world,” McKibben said. “Having some way to get the message out, that most people in Nevada and everywhere else want climate change…We aren’t getting it because our political system is broken and manipulated. So we have to make sure we get people into office who aren’t going to play those kind of games.”
Cisco Aguilar reinforced the voters’ rights theme of the event and stressed voter protection and access in his speech.
“I believe in our Constitution, I believe in access to the ballot box and I believe in the freedoms and fundamental rights we live our daily lives by. We can not move forward unless we protect that ballot box and that access,” he said.
As a first time candidate Aguilar spoke about voting concerns as well stating, “I believe in our state, we fought hard to get here and we need to continue to fight for what we believe is right.”
Speakers pointed out that in 2009 the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized in the Senate by a vote of 98 – 0. But by 2018, “two years into Trump, not one Republican candidate voted to reauthorize the Voting rights Act,” they said.
The event ran approximately two hours and also featured community information and an opening prayer.
More information on Third Act can be found on their website https://thirdact.org/
Born in 1971, Eric Marks was fortunate enough to grow up in a time and family where photography and literature were normal parts of his life. His parents were always enthusiastic and supportive of his photography as a child, and encouraged him to read and write as much as possible. From 2005 to 2012 he owned an award-winning, international, high definition video production company, and has produced video and photography in over 14 different countries on four continents. Eric majored at the University of Nevada, Reno in English/Writing and Art, graduating with English and Photography degrees in 2013, and again with an Art degree in 2018. He teaches all genres of photography at Truckee Meadows Community College, is a freelance photojournalist for several publications, and offers private photography instruction.