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After The Election, Political Action Won't Stop For One Coalition

David Goldman/AP

It’s election season and lots of different groups have mobilized here in Nevada to get out the vote on November 8.

But what happens after November 8? Traditionally, those groups have either gone away or, if they’re local, moved back into the daily grind, as their funding and staffing has receded post election.

But progressive groups in Nevada are trying to change that. They are working together to make the election go their way, and, notably, they are planning to keep working together to make sure lawmakers do what they promised.

“It’s not enough just to participate in an election," Annette Magnus with Battleborn Progress told KNPR's State of Nevada, "We have a responsibility to hold those elected officials accountable for what they do when they get there,” 

Jocelyn Sida with the Nevada chapter of Mi Familia Vota agreed. 

“At the end of the day, I see a football game," she said, "Everybody is getting ready for the big day the big game but when the lights go down and the game’s over, we continue to stay on the field.” 

Her group is working to make sure immigrants have their citizenship and then get them registered to vote. It is also working to update information for voters who are already registered and register new voters.

She said there has been a big jump in all of those groups this year.

Christian Bato is doing the same thing in the Asian-American Pacific Islander community for iAmerica.

“We think that there’s a strong potential to get them out and going," he said "A lot of data is showing that if we can get the young millennial AAPI voters out that that can trend positively for the future in terms of leadership and development in terms of progressive issues in our community.” 

Bato and Sida's groups have actually brought voting machines out into the community to show people how they work so they are less intimidated by voting.

Erika Washington is with the group Make It Work. She said her group has held dozens of what they call "kitchen-table conversations" with people in the African-American community. The group talks to people about issues ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to child care and the education system and how those problems can be connected to policy.  

“We’ve been able to do something really unique here,” Washington said, "I think if we hadn’t come in and it was just the same old, same old as in other elections where people came in the last week and to do a get-out-the-vote push in the African-American community there may have been a little bit of a backlash”

Magnus said this year is different because many progressive groups are working together in a coalition to not only get the lawmakers they want in office but to make those lawmakers follow through. 

She said they are already working on policies they wanted brought before the 2017 Legislature.

Annette Magnus, executive director, Battle Born ProgressChristian Bato, AAPI Community Outreach and Engagement Associate, iAmericaErika Washington, Nevada State Director, Make It Work and Make It Work ActionJocelyn Sida, Nevada State Director, Mi Familia Vota

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)