Monthly Archives: June 2012

A MESSAGE FROM WASHOE COUNTY FORECLOSURE ADVOCATE WALTER TRAUTH

In the 36 months between March 2009 and March 2012, over 10,500 Trustee’s Deeds were issued in Washoe County alone. Based solely on population there were 4 or 5 times as many issued in Clark County in that same period. For those of you fortunate enough to find the jargon unfamiliar, a Trustee’s Deed is what is issued when a property is sold at a foreclosure auction.

“Foreclosed” – an illustration by Koren Shadmi

When there are forty or fifty thousand completed foreclosures in Nevada in such a turbulent three-year period, the result is a lot of unhappy people, a lot of unhappy voters. And it comprises the single largest unaddressed voting block in the state. By and large these families have been–and continue to be–cast aside with no information, resources, or support.

Nullifying your Foreclosure

You probably know that over the past few years a growing number of foreclosures have been successfully stopped for reasons of invalid, false, or fraudulent activity by the lenders. What you may not know is that a small but growing number of foreclosures can be nullified due to those same reasons. When nullified, the foreclosure is found in court to be invalid, and ownership is restored to the person who was foreclosed. This has happened even after the property was sold at a foreclosure auction and in the possession of a new owner.

Nullification hasn’t happened yet in Nevada, but I believe it’s coming. It can be accomplished at little or no cost. If you have lost your home to foreclosure, or are about to, and want to know how these and other foreclosure survival tactics may benefit you, please email me at walttrauth[at]gmail.com.

Walt Trauth is a Reno resident and long-time real estate investor. In 2008, he began reaching out to the Northern Nevada community, providing education to homeowners on foreclosure survival tactics. Through exhaustive research, he has been able to connect potential foreclosure victims with the knowledge and resources necessary to fight back. 

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Important Announcements

This Saturday: Volunteers Needed for the Reno Block Party Festival at Wingfield Park!

Join Occupy Reno at the second annual Reno Block Party, a bustling arts and music festival at Wingfield Park on Saturday, June 30th! There will be live music, ongoing performances, great food/drinks, vendor booths, community outreach stations and artistic demonstrations.

We will be setting up at 8:30AM and sharing a station with the outstanding Reno-Sparks Local Business Co-op and the Reno chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World (aka The Wobblies)! The IWW is a union for ALL workers, uniting people from all skills and trades for better working conditions.

Want to bring flyers, brochures, or business cards to hand out at the festival? Bring them to our booth and come ready to talk to festival-goers about the issues that are important to you and the Reno community.

Admission is free and is an all ages event.

monday action meetings have a new location!

Bibo Coffee- Click image for map

Our Monday night Action meeting has moved! We are now holding our weekly planning meeting at Bibo Coffee on 945 Record Street by the UNR campus (the former Record Street Cafe location).

Join us Monday nights, where ideas become actions, and strangers become comrades. Join us for a lively discussion and come ready to plan demonstrations, events, and outreach tactics.  Check out the OR calendar for more details.

Change the Conversation: How To Get Involved

Do you want to change the conversation in The Biggest Little City? Here’s an excellent place to start:

Meet Your Neighbors

Have you talked to your neighbors lately? A big part of changing a broken system is building relationships within your community and bringing awareness to the economic, political, and social issues that impact our world. Take some time start a dialogue with your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

Speak Up; Be Heard: Come To Our General Assemblies and Action Meetings

Join the General Assembly, our weekly facilitated forum for free speech, announcements, and community decision-making. Where everyone comes together to discuss our project needs and updates.

More interested in planning direct actions and outreach tactics? Come to our weekly Action meetings. See calendar for times and locations.

Know Your Rights!

We have assembled several English and Spanish guides from the ACLU including Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and ProtestsYour Rights and the Police, and a convenient pocket card. Don’t forget to watch the video of National Lawyers Guild lawyer, Jerry Boyle, giving a workshop to Occupy Chicago on how to ‘disarm’ a police officer. Visit the Occupy Reno Legal Resources page!

 Start A Committee or Working Group

Organize, reach out to the community, and use your skills any way you can. If you would like to start your own committee or project, let us know what you need.

Join a Committee or Working Group

A lot of work needs to be done. To join a committee or working group, search the OR calendar to find out when we’re meeting, and/or contact Occupy Reno directly at info[at]occupyreno.org.

Stay Connected!

Like us on Facebook   |   Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to our newsletter
View our photos on Flickr  |  Watch us on YouTube

It only takes a handful of passionate people to change the conversation in the Biggest Little City. Let’s work together.

Educate! Organize! Unite!

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About Occupy Reno

Occupy Reno was organized in October 2011 as a response to the Occupy Wall Street movement that began on September 17, 2011. Around the world, citizens are rising up and demanding social and economic justice – and a return of power to the people. Read more about the Occupy Movement and find out WHY it’s time to Occupy Reno…

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The Occupy Caravan: Dispatch From Reno (Occupy.com)

After a wonderful visit from The Occupy Caravan on Monday, June 11th, Michael Levitin of the Occupied Wall Street Journal authored a brilliant piece on their stop in Reno and the stories of Reno Occupiers. Read below to learn about the arrests on Memorial Day,  the struggles of one local middle class family, the Moana Pool occupation, and the silenced humanitarian crisis in Northern Nevada:

Occupy.com
Thu, 06/14/2012 – 15:55
By Michael Levitin
 

Our caravan of three vehicles with nine riders pulled into Reno a little before six o’clock on Monday afternoon as the hot Sierra sun was still beating down on dozens of bathers out splashing around by the rocks in the Truckee River.

June 11, 2012- Occupy Caravan marches with Occupy Reno

At the Strega Bar on Arlington Street, a potluck spread was laid out for our arrival: quiche, lasagna, salad, crumble pie, strawberries—and lots of ale. We dove into conversation with a lively mix of folks from Occupy Reno, about 30 in all, then headed out to march through the warm, deserted evening streets of “The Biggest Little City in the World” bearing signs, flags, some livestream cams and a chorus of chants—our voices united across cities and states on this first leg of the Occupy Caravan, which had left downtown Oakland at midday heading east.

That evening we pitched tents and settled into the backyard of Cathy Blane. Dressed in a long-sleeved cotton shirt with rolled-up jeans and leather sandals, Cathy sat on her patio deck describing what led her, a 53-year-old middle class mother of two, to join the Occupy Movement. She had quit work as a massage therapist, she said, to stay home and raise two children but was thrust back out into the workforce—this time as a dermatological assistant—when the housing market crashed and she and her husband, Steve, a realtor, found themselves inches away from bankruptcy and losing their home.

“We’ve got nothing. We went through all of our savings, our children’s college education savings, we sold our jewelry and cashed in coins—we had to liquidate anything that had any value, anywhere we could cut, just to stay afloat,” she said. “Nobody knew it was going to last this long. My husband went from making $100,000 a year down to nothing overnight.

Cathy Blane: “It’s hard for people who are comfortable to understand what is really going on. It took us almost losing everything to open our eyes, and I’m grateful.”

“I always leaned toward being very compassionate,” she continued. “I’m a massage therapist so I have a lot of empathy. But it made me understand: it could be you or me just like this,” she said, snapping her fingers.

To get a sense of things as they now stand for people in Reno, consider: Nevada has the third-highest foreclosure rate in the nation, behind Georgia and Arizona. It ranks last in education and unemployment. When Occupy Reno got going last October, Cathy helped establish a camp at Moana, a natural spring that had been converted into a large indoor pool, which the city closed down and left abandoned once it could no longer afford to maintain it. The pool “was in ruins, dirty, with weeds and broken glass, so we went in and cleaned it up,” Cathy recalled. “The city made us buy porta-potties. We had a community kitchen. There were probably about 20 tents and we fed homeless there.”

Occupy Reno’s camp was broken up in the winter, but Cathy and dozens of others are still occupying: still feeding the homeless, still marching, still doing what a small group of dedicated people can to do that their broken system has failed to. A 20-yearlong resident of Reno leading what used to be a comfortable life, Cathy said it was her own experience of desperation that brought her “to the edge of the mountain to look over and see that you can fall off the side.”

“It’s hard for people who are comfortable to understand what is really going on. It took us almost losing everything to open our eyes, and I’m grateful. Then Occupy came along. It’s just logical and it makes sense. Things can’t get a whole lot more obvious and worse.”

Occupy Reno is still feeling the sting of an anti-police repression march that turned ugly on Memorial Day, when protesters came out to decry the police’s abusive treatment of a homeless teenager whose arm they broke during an arrest. Members of Occupy Oakland, who call themselves the Nomads, drove four hours to join the march—a piece of news that caught the attention of Reno’s PD, which jumped in using immediate force against the nonviolent protesters. According to Cathy and others, police swarmed the marching crowd and without warning began making arrests, 13 in total, on charges of “parading without a permit.”

Now just stepping off the sidewalk during a protest has a new element of risk in Reno—a considerable shift from months past, said Cathy, when the city remained tolerant, almost oblivious, to the occupation.

“Every march we’ve done we’ve taken the streets,” she recalled. In the fall and winter, “we could march down the middle of Virginia Street and you couldn’t find a police officer, we would stop traffic and they would be nowhere.” Not so ironically, the change happened when a few people from Oakland showed up, and “that’s when the police came out in force. Now they monitor what we’re doing from afar.”

May 28th, 2012- Memorial Day Arrests

But for Cathy, a woman with auburn shoulder-length hair and a warm, gentle face, the struggles she and others in Reno are facing make protest the only logical response—one for which she’s willing to take some risks. “It’s such a division of the classes and it’s just so wrong, that only rich people’s kids can afford to go to school. Can you imagine how many minds are wasted? It makes me want to cry,” she said. “I’ll get arrested for feeding homeless people. But I feel it’s my right to march if I want to. They’re not going to back me down from that.”

As for drawing out more people like herself into the streets to address the economic injustices and suffering so many here are facing, Cathy’s not sure what it will take—but she sees hope.

“People are numb. I think a lot of people have the same beliefs that we have but they’re afraid to lose that little piece of the pie that they have. They’re comfortable and afraid to lose that little bit of comfort. We’re already powerful for a grassroots movement. But for real change we need numbers. It’s legislation: I think we need to be more involved getting active politically, sitting down and having roundtable discussions, and seeing who we’re putting our votes behind.

“People wait for perfect, and there’s no such thing as perfect. And so they’ll just wait forever. We’re not supposed to have all the solutions. We’re supposed to ask the really important questions, and then get so big that we can’t be ignored. You can still live in a house and be an activist and make the right decisions. It’s not about surrendering everything you have and living on the street. It’s the activists now, and we need to get everyday people out, the grandmas and the children, everybody,” she said, “because it’s just common sense.”

“The People’s Dinner”

The mainstream media in Reno, like most places across the country, didn’t cover the May 1 protests. On that day, more than 200 people showed up here across from City Hall, and there was a heavy union presence: from the Railroad Workers of America and CWA to the Carpenters union, government workers and the IWW. Funny thing, isn’t it, when the press stays away?

They’ve also stayed away from any mention of “The Feed,” also known as “The People’s Dinner,” which Occupy Reno hosts every Saturday, feeding citizens by the hundreds outside a homeless shelter. “That’s where we put all our resources,” says Ben, who we met on our Occupy Caravan stop in Reno. “We cook it, we serve it, we deliver it. And the media still won’t cover it. We have a huge humanitarian crisis and everyone wants to ignore it.”

The People’s Dinner- every Saturday at 5pm at the Community Assistance Center

Humanitarian crisis. The words seem almost too big, too foreign-sounding, to have relevance at home. Yet that’s exactly what Reno, with its blown-out numbers of unemployment and foreclosures, is clearly in the middle of. So what is to be done in a crisis like this one—call it something other than it is, and pretend that it isn’t happening?

That’s the question Ben and another occupier, Abear, posed to me as we sat out late on Monday night on a picnic bench at the Strega bar, smoking rollups and drinking pints. Abear, who is thick and bald and wears thin glasses, partially blamed the denial of the crisis on his area’s demographic: “Too many rednecks, too many Fox watchers, and hills full of billies,” as he said. People in Reno are too busy listening to a diversity of outrageous rightwing talk shows and “not enough people have lost their cable.”

“It’s gotta get a lot worse before it gets better,” he added. “Nobody’s questioning the actual system—capitalism. Nobody wants to have that conversation.”

In response, Ben suggested two approaches the Occupy Movement could coalesce behind to strengthen its numbers as it enters its second year this fall: one is finding ways to show that normal people are suffering also—that we’re not alone—and that we acknowledge ourselves to be “the remnants of a once-mighty middle class” without trying to hide it.

The second is building the anti-War message to a pitch where it can have true impact on an economic and political scale. “We’re paying for these wars, so give us our money back,” he said. “We need an anti-War peace brigade, one that says: you’re not spending our money the way we want? Then we’ll stop paying taxes.”

Saying no to paying taxes. Unthinkable? Not really. The question for people in struggling Reno is: who will be the first to try it—and when?

[Source: http://www.occupy.com/article/occupy-caravan-dispatch-reno]

Featured in The Huffington Post: Citizen Anthropologist Occupying Reno

by Julia Hammett
Published June 12, 2012

I have been an Occupier in Occupy Reno (OR) since it began last October. Many view Occupy as a youth movement, with Occupy Wall Street (OWS) as its epicenter, because of the financial meltdown; but its traditions are deep-rooted in human history, and Occupiers target social injustice worldwide. Each occupation acts independently according to its own governing processes, yet Occupiers are interconnected through social networking. There is a global awakening that capital and politics are at the heart of most human suffering. Occupiers seek the rights humans have always sought: the ability to support their families, to live in safe, healthy communities, and to have a voice in their governance. In today’s world only money can buy these dignities, but there is a sense of shifting sands underfoot.

Occupiers challenge hegemonic paradigms about leadership and power relations and are weaving a new social reality from the grassroots based on a responsive, sustainable, nonviolent model of earth stewardship. Recognitions of the shortcomings of the Left/Right political structure and how “monied interests” turn hierarchical governments into totalitarian regimes motivates Occupiers to seek alternatives. Some Occupiers consider themselves anarchists, arguing that people can self-govern and live productive, quality lives without coercion, force or violence. Gandhi advocated enlightened anarchy: “The ideally non-violent State will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.

Anarchy is only one form of non-hierarchical governance. Archaeologist Carole Crumley has applied the concept of heterarchy to describe stratified power relations and political and economic structures that have been transformed through social movements in any number of different ways. Social networking offers the additional potential to transform power through essentially rerouting political and economic relationships. Hierarchy is a unilineal structure intended to integrate power and capital in predictable, directional ways; heterarchy provides a multilineal model of interconnectivity. Social networking provides today’s global movements the ability for ongoing revisions through mindful assessment and rerouting capabilities to more fully integrate resources. These emerging dynamics can generate any number of viable solutions for restructuring self sustaining, resilient, and responsive governance.

[Continue reading “Citizen Anthropologist Occupying Reno”…]

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Tomorrow- Occupy Caravan Comes to Reno!

Occupy Reno is proud to welcome the Occupy Caravan on Monday, June 11th! Festivities begin at 6:00pm at Strega at 310 South Arlington Ave with a potluck and welcoming party. Please bring a dish and well-wishes for our traveling comrades.

 Following the potluck,  we will MARCH!
(Details to follow)

Tuesday morning, the Occupy Caravan will be continuing their journey…next stop Elko. Let’s welcome our Occupy brothers and sisters in true Nevada style and help them to have a good journey on behalf of improving our democracy. All are welcome!

About the Occupy Caravan:

“This Land is Our Land” Summer Caravan kicks off June 11 from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We will travel three routes across America on our way to Philadelphia for the five-day Occupy National Gathering that ends July 4 on Independence Mall!

At each stop, cities will be organizing events to welcome the Caravan which brings with it musicians, speakers and performers — a traveling democratic road show that educates as it entertains!

Feed-in caravans will be joining along the way, and a full day of celebration is scheduled in half a dozen Hub cities. Invite neighbors, friends and family to come out for this continental gathering where we’ll share stories as individuals and communities growing stronger together — then hop on board and travel the rest of the way to Philly!

How bad do you want your democracy? Enough to take it back? As we celebrate the history of America that we are about to write, only one thing is required:

Our Participation.

Visit the Schedules and Cities page to find out when the Caravan reaches your town so you can plan an event and then climb aboard. Official route map to be issued soon…See you in June!