What I saw in Reno

Andy Matthews

Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

What I saw in Reno

I’ll be boarding a plane to return to Las Vegas in just a few hours, after wrapping up a week-long trip to Reno — and boy, what a week it’s been.

My schedule has been filled just about every hour this week, with meetings, phone calls, some work on a few exciting projects we’ve got cooking, a couple of speeches — and, of course, the “Thanksgiving Thank You” event we held at NPRI’s Reno office on Tuesday.

A couple takeaways from that open house: First, it was really touching to see how many of our supporters were willing to take some time out of their busy schedules to come by and see us. By my rough count, we had about 100 people show up over the course of the four-hour event, and I want to extend my sincerest thanks to each and every one of you who did so. And a special thank you is owed to Dan Mason and his team at KKOH, for joining us for a live broadcast from 3 to 5 p.m. and injecting some additional energy and fun into the festivities.

Second, it was truly inspiring to be able to talk to those who attended, and to learn about what they’re all doing to provide hope and opportunity for Nevadans. And I don’t just mean their support for NPRI — although that is certainly most appreciated. What I mean is the various activities and organizations they’re involved in as part of their efforts to make Nevada stronger, freer and more prosperous.

I had a chance to talk with dozens of freedom-loving Nevadans who have dedicated themselves to that cause on one front or another. I talked with current lawmakers, candidates, political operatives, bloggers, citizen-activists, policy researchers, and on and on. I chatted with senior citizens who had been fighting in the political arena for 40 years, and young up-and-comers who were just starting to break into the policy world.

What was really impressive about so many of these folks was that in many cases, their political activities are something they’ve taken on in addition to their day jobs. Obviously, I spend a lot of time and effort working to advance NPRI’s ideals of free enterprise and individual liberty. But this is my full-time job. I am amazed at the number of people I spoke to who were putting in 40 hours (or more) a week at their day job and were then taking on their political causes in their spare time.

A typical response, when I’d ask someone what he or she did, would be: “Well, I work Monday through Friday during business hours as a paralegal, but then I’m also involved in an effort to help inform voters about some of the problems with Common Core.”

Or: “I just started a new business, but on weekends I’ve been helping a couple of Assembly candidates get their campaigns off the ground.”

The reason I’m sharing all this with you is that I see it as another reason for optimism, along with the object lesson provided by Obamacare's spectacular failure, and the decision by the Washoe County Commission not to raise sales and property taxes through the constitutionally dubious AB 46 scheme. There are a lot of good, smart, dedicated individuals here in our state who want to help turn things around, and they’re willing to sacrifice much of what could be their leisure time in order to help advance freedom for us all.

Like I said, very inspiring.

So I know the next time I’m thinking about the many problems Nevada is facing, or overwhelmed by the number of obstacles to making the changes we really need, I’ll remember those conversations I had this week and know that our cause is in good hands. There’s a long way to go, but together, we're advancing and defending liberty.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Andy Matthews
NPRI President

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