Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) is a coalition of more than 30 left-leaning groups which provides research, campaign support, and legislative agenda guidance in Nevada. Its membership includes prominent left-leaning organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union’s Nevada chapter, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL in addition to a number of environmental, gender, and union groups. 1
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada functions as the major advocacy coalition for the left wing of Nevada politics. A number of its priorities were adopted by the 2019 legislature, the first Democratic Party “trifecta” in the state since the turn of the 21st century. It was on the steering committee for an immigration advocacy coalition which led a push to allow non-citizens to secure state occupational licenses. 3
The group pushed for Nevada to compensate people exonerated after being in prison. 4 The adopted measure provides financial compensation for years of being improperly behind bars and offers non-monetary benefits such as health care and expunging of criminal records. It also provides protection to federal and Nevada taxpayers by requiring exonerees to reimburse the state if they receive federal compensation, and vice-versa. Nevada is the 35th nation to have an exoneree compensation law. 5
The Alliance supported a new law which will raise the minimum wage for Nevadans to $12 per hour over five years. 6 It also backed a bill to prevent eviction based upon unpaid fees, though its efforts for an affordable housing bill were blocked in the legislature. 7
The group pushed unsuccessfully for a ban on the death penalty and a ban on payday lending. 8 It also advocated for reductions in cash bail, and decriminalization of certain traffic offenses in the state’s 2019 legislative session. 9
The group signed a letter in June 2019 urging the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to not approve former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Sponsored by the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress, the letter cites a number of Cuccinelli’s past statements to claim that he was unfit for the job. 10
The Alliance’s influence is also recognized outside of the state. New York Mayor (and 2020 Presidential candidate) Bill de Blasio (D) met with the group during a swing through Nevada in April 2019. 11
Criticism of Trump Administration
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada signed a letter condemning the immigration policy of the Trump Administration and urging American CEOs not to employ anyone involved with the policy. It accused these officials of being directly guilty for physical abuse, sexual assault, and even the death of illegal immigrant children. The letter was titled “An Open Letter to America’s CEOs” and was dated April 6, 2019. 12
The Alliance’s board president is Raquel Cruz-Juarez, an official with Planned Parenthood’s Nevada affiliate. 13 Its co-founders and directors emirita are left-wing activists Bob Fulkerson and Jan Gilbert.
Executive Director is Laura Martin. Martin’s background includes union organizing. She is on the Board of Directors for the Nevada chapter of the environmentalist group Sierra Club, and is the Alliance’s representative to the left-wing organizing and advocacy group People’s Action. 14
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada’s revenues were $1.26 million in 2017, with expenses of $1.1 million and assets of $378,000. 15 Almost all of its revenue came from “contributions and grants,” according to its 2017 tax return.
PLAN receives funding from a number of major liberal funding groups, including the Tides Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. 16 The Service Employees International Union-backed Fast Food Workers Committee also paid PLAN substantial amounts, including $139,543 for “contracted services” in 2014. 17
- Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Members Groups – A Coalition, Accessed June 17, 2019. https://planevada.org/about/member-groups-coalition/
- Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Our Work, Accessed June 17, 2019. https://planevada.org/our-work/
- Jeniffer Solis, “State opens up occupational licensing to non-citizens,” June 14, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.nevadacurrent.com/2019/06/14/state-opens-up-occupational-licensing-to-non-citizens/
- The Innocence Project, “Nevada governor signs the strongest compensation law in the country,” June 15, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.innocenceproject.org/nevada-governor-signs-the-strongest-compensation-law-in-the-country/
- Bill Dentzer, “Wrongful conviction compensation approved in Nevada,” June 2, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/2019-legislature/wrongful-conviction-compensation-approved-in-nevada-1677924/
- Colton Lochhead, “Sisolak signs bill raising minimum wage to $12 an hour in Nevada,” June 12, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/2019-legislature/sisolak-signs-bill-raising-minimum-wage-to-12-an-hour-in-nevada-1685993/
- James DeHaven, “Autopsy of an affordable housing bill: Nevada Democrats killed measure amid fears about local control,” June 17, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019.
- James DeHaven, “Analysis: Democrats dominate the Nevada Legislature, so why are progressives unhappy?” April 19, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.rgj.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/19/nevada-legislature-pay-day-lending-minimum-wage-increase-democratic-majority/3512325002/
- Michelle Rindels, “Podcast: Mass liberation advocates and the state of criminal justice reform in the Legislature,” April 13, 2019. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/podcast-mass-liberation-advocates-and-the-state-of-criminal-justice-reform-in-the-legislature
- Center for American Progress, Coalition letter against Ken Cuccinelli, June 11, 2019. Accessed June 18, 2019. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/content/uploads/2019/06/11075948/cap_letter_Cuccinelli.pdf
- Matthew Seeman, “New York May Bill de Blasio plans visit to Las Vega,” April 4, 2019. Accessed 6/18/2019. https://news3lv.com/news/local/new-york-mayor-bill-de-blasio-plans-visit-to-las-vegas
- “An Open Letter to America’s CEOs.” Restore Public Trust. April 6, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/04/Restore-Public-Trust-Open-Letter-Asylum-04.2019.pdf
- “”Raquel Cruz-Juarez.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 1, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/raquel-cruz-juarez-8986a59a/.
- Progressive Leader Alliance of Nevada, About Us, June 19, 2019. https://planevada.org/about/
- Pro Publica, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada 2017 990, Accessed June 17, 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/880318655/201833059349301228/IRS990
- Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc. from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted June 28, 2019.
- Fast Food Workers Committee (DOL File Number 544-946), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2014, Schedule 19