Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I’m a native, born, raised and educated in Nevada. I have an A.A. in Social Science from Community College of Southern Nevada (formerly known as Clark County Community College). A graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a B.A. and a M.A. in Political Science. I also completed two Congressional Internships for former Congressman James (Jim) Bilbray.
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District has been my place of employment for nearly 17 years and the position I currently hold is a reference assistant. As a library employee I’ve worked in Courier, Young People’s Library, Circulation, Readers Service, Programming and Special Events and served on the following committee assignments: Safety, Five Year Planning, Staff Day, Chili Cook-off and Union Contract.
I’m a former civilian employee for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and have participated in the police department’s successful goal to earn an national accreditation award for additional monies to fight crime. I worked as a former writer and photojournalist for the "Las Vegas Sentinel Voice Newspaper" and Vice-President and Public Relations Director of Black Extravaganza Productions. I serve as an advisor, consultant and public relations for documentaries "The Forgotten Battle of Fort Pillow", "Black Confederates: The Forgotten Men in Gray.", "Invisible Las Vegas" and "Native Americans of the Civil War".
I have traveled to the Legislature of the State of Nevada while in session the following years; 1991, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005. I’m also the father of two special needs daughters.
Some of my awards "Outstanding Academic Achievement Award", University of Nevada, Las Vegas (February 26, 1989 and February 25, 1990), honoree nominee for "Jean Ford Democracy Award", Office of the Secretary of State, Nevada, "Certificate of Appreciation", Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, Alabama, the "Sunshine Award", Las Vegas-Clark County Library District and the"Certificate of Achievement", General Sales Drivers, Delivery Drivers and Helpers Local No.14, an affiliation of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
I am a member of Teamster’s Local No. 14 ( Steward), (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) N.A.A.C.P., (Democratic National Committee) D.N.C., Friends of the Center, Southern Poverty Law Center and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
What is Smart Growth? Growth that is needed and welcomed by the community that it impacts. It’s a partnership of developers and neighborhoods working together to protect and enhance the quality of life which has made the city of North Las Vegas one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. What is Easy Living? My pledged support for major road projects, parks and recreation centers, schools, public works, code enforcement, water reclamation, a new hospital and the removal of graffiti.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
These are the issues of Ward 2 reported to me from concerned citizens during my "door to door" campaign to get out my message and listen and learn from my neighbors.
Sex Offenders and halfway houses invading Ward 2 and the city of North Las Vegas.
Sex offenders have made their way into my neighborhood, my ward and my city...... That makes it personal and political.
*A N.L.V neighborhood complained about having 11 group homes (reference 1). Four of those homes were on just one street (reference 2). N.L.V. is also home to three sex offenders houses (reference 3). According to www.familywatchdog.us There are 684 found offenders and 144 non-mappable offenders in the 89030 zip code for N.L.V. alone.
The greatest and most heated complaint and concern that was shared with me was the invasion of sex offenders and other unwanted prisoners released into N.L.V. from the authoritative and punishable corrections and justice penal system of Nevada.
Even Mr. Robinson has taken it upon himself in his most recent mailer to weigh in on the issue.
"Safer neighborhoods, led the fight to kick sex offenders out of N.L.V." per his released political flier.
Why did Mr. Robinson allow our neighborhoods to be used as "Testing Sites" for sex offenders thus putting our families in harms way?
Why were they there in the first place? How is it possible that you could have single-handily lead the charge to remove more than 600 sex offenders from our neighborhoods.
His flier suggests that he was some sort of Pied Pieper in kicking out sex offenders in North Las Vegas.
In my neighborhood there was one of these sex offenders houses and let me tell you folks, they literally decimate the canvas of your community and reduce your neighborhood to a populated ghost town. Mr. Robinson can boast and spin the issues about removing the sex offenders, But why were they there?
How he came to the knowledge of the house on 3009 Colton ave. was after out raged home owners complained and brought it to his attention. I learned about it after February 13, just one day shy of appearing on "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" talking about the issues of Ward 2. I will admit that I knew of a sex offender living in my neighborhood, but I had no idea there was a house of 8 or 9 of them living together. How I was enlighten to one of them is when I received a card notifying me that a tier 3 sex offender had moved into 3009 Colton ave. I was under the impression that the offender had been released from prison and was staying with relatives. Boy, was I shocked when my neighbor told me we had a sex offender house in our neighborhood that has been in operation since 2005 and that the only reason she had known about it was because of this tier 3 card mailed to her home.
You see, folks there are actually 4 tiers ratings for sex offenders (0, 1 ,2 and 3). A tier 0 is an offender who is required to register and was convicted of a misdemeanor , gross misdemeanor or a crime with a child. A tier 1 is a sex offender who is assessed as posing a possible risk of recidivism and a threat to public safety. A tier 2 is considered a moderate risk and now notification is sent to law enforcement, schools, churches, youth organizations, courts and prosecutors. At tier 3, the worst and the highest risk for recidivism, residents and home owners are finally notified of the offenders address, sex crime and/or other crimes and time in prison. Only through the occupation of the worst sex offenders is the house exposed. (source of the sex offender tier ratings is www.lvmpd.com/crime/tier)
Once my neighbors found out about the house by visiting www.familywatchdog.us they stormed city hall to vent and voice their disapproval of a sex offender halfway house. One by one they took to the podium to tell of their horror of having this unwanted home in their neighborhood. Mr. Robinson was flanked by N.L.V. police officers, detectives, city officials and even a state senator while the bi-annual legislature was in session to pad him from the heat of disbelief and discontent of residents (reference 6). If nothing else I can say about Mr. Robinson’s self-professed mantra "experience, experience and experience", is that he is a professional deflector of responsibility and accountability. It was the city licensing, the sex offender’s house operators and even the state’s fault for the houses residing in N.L.V. Never once did he take any blame or express any fault in their existence. Maybe he felt he didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe he doesn’t have a problem with sex offenders setting up shop in neighborhoods? I don’t claim to know what he is thinking or wish to put words in his mouth, but "I don’t want any sex offender or halfway houses opening or operating in N.L.V. and especially Ward 2!!!"
I support SB421 which is "Makes various changes relating to facilities for transitional living for released offenders". I also support putting more police officers on the streets.
"To Serve and Protect." It starts with your City Council.
*Development and redevelopment plans for the city. What’s planned for your neighborhood?
Did you know that a state senator proposed a bill (SB352) to the legislature to force the N.L.V. city council and officials to make mandatory infrastructure improvements in maturer and poorer areas of the city (reference 4)?
* How are your tax dollars being spent? Is your community witnessing a return on its residents’ tax dollars for beautification, reasonable zoning (business, residential) and infrastructure (roads, schools and a free standing police department) needs?
The city has quadrupled since Mr. Robinson took office in 1983 but still is falling behind in meeting the basic infrastructure needs of the third fastest growing city in America. N.L.V. is still struggling with new roads, schools, businesses, parks and the hiring of city officials (police, firefighters and other mandatory city employees). The concern for infrastructure needs is so grave and urgent that L.V. Mayor Oscar Goodman had joked that the city of N.L.V. should just disband itself and join the city of Las Vegas ( reference 5).
*Why are utility costs steadily going up without any real challenge or objection from officials despite cries for moderation and curbed use from residents? The utility companies, it appears, never seem to collect enough revenue and the rates never decrease, why is that?
*Who really pays for growth?
*The building and actual construction of a new hospital for North Las Vegas.
The Centennial Hills Hospital is welcomed but North Las Vegas needs more than two hospitals. However, I do know that it took N.L.V. decades to build a second free standing library and are still trying to duplicate the same for a second police station.
If there is no water how can there be any growth. People who live in Clark County are constantly reminded, fined and reminded again about water conservation and the preferred removing of grassy lawns for desert landscaping. After the public has made the sacrifices and paid their watering fines for the greater public good, here comes a new development of thousands of homes or condo projects. You want to know where all the grass is in southern Nevada, just look at the grassy plains and lush waterfalls blanketing the landscaping decor of the new luxury planned communities. Its not fair. You conserve water, they build new projects and water rates continue to rise. Again, its not fair.
*These are the definitive and predominate issues that was shared with me during my "take it to the street" campaign to meet the voters and get out the vote.
***References for quotes and other pertinent information***
"Group homes come under fire in NLV" by Brian Wargo, June 19, 2006 the LV Sun. (1), (2).
"NLV home with sex offenders causes alarm" by Lynnette Curtis, February 16, 2007 the LV Review Journal. (3).
"Irate NLV leaders: Leave our poor to us" by Mike Trask, April 04, 2007 the LV Sun. (4).
"Council member says work not done: In sixth term, NLV’s Robinson known for getting to point" by Lynnette Curtis, February 13, 2006 the LV Review Journal. (5).
"Halfway Homes: Neighbors turn out to protest–North Las Vegans express anger that facilities house sex offenders" by Lynnette Curtis, February 23, 2007 the LV Review Journal. (6).
Remember, vote for John T. Stephens III for NLV City Councilman, Ward 2 on June 5.