Have Reno’s elected officials seen document setting up refugee plan for their city?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 16, 2016
….And, if so, have they shared the document with the general public, the taxpaying citizens?
Dear readers, do not be deterred by the length of this post—this is some of the most important information you need to know if you are in a target community!
In Refugee industry parlance, it is called an “R & P Abstract” and every town that will be ‘welcoming’ refugees for FY2017 has prepared one, or is in the process of preparing one, to be sent to Washington.
It will be the document on which their federal funding will be based!
And, here is the kicker—I will bet a buck that most elected officials (let alone the citizens!) in the targeted towns have never seen the Abstract which lays out the plan in great detail. It tells how many refugees are coming and from where. It tells what amenities your town is offering by way of medical care, subsidized housing, schools for the kids and where the refugees might find employment.
It has been our contention ever since we became aware of these closely held documents that citizens are entitled to know what the resettlement contractor is offering up in their cities and towns.
After I wrote about yet another new resettlement site the other day—Reno, Nevada—I came across the R & P Abstract that has apparently been in the possession (since at least last November) of a reporter who is on the side of MORE refugees to Nevada.
If you live in Reno, or its surrounding communities, and have concerns, you should go to the mayor and ask her to produce the R & P Abstract drafted by the Northern Nevada International Center (NNIC) which will be working as a subcontractor for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). Ask her to hold a public hearing on it!
If NNIC was giving its “proprietary document” to friendly reporters back in November, surely the citizens of Reno are entitled to see it! Again, I will bet the mayor and other elected officials in Reno have not seen the plan for their city!
[Pay attention citizens of Rutland, VT, there is a document just like this one for your city too! It lays out what your town is offering the refugees!]
Here (below) is a screenshot of the front page of the Reno document. The abbreviations for where the FIRST 75 refugees for Reno will come from are as follows: AF (Africa), EA (East Asia), ECA (Europe and Central Asia), LAC (Latin America/Caribbean), NE/SA (Near East/South Asia). Tie capacity indicates whether they have any relatives in the area.
Page 2 of the 16-page document lists the following countries from which they will come: Colombia, Cuba, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria.
Here is some of the text, just to give you an idea of the detail involved in R & P Abstracts (this one is 16 pages long!):
Health Care Access and Refugees with Special Needs:
The Northern Nevada International Center (NNIC) will be able to accommodate refugees with special needs through the wide range of services available in Reno and Sparks. Housing for families with over 8 members may be difficult to secure. Wheelchair-accessible housing is available, but such housing would require additional time to access. Although Reno is home to many free and low-cost clinics and health resources, NNIC will need additional time to ensure that timely and culturally appropriate mental health services are available before accepting clients with serious mental health conditions.
NNIC has a long history of collaborating with local, county and state officials through its public diplomacy, language services, and educational outreach programs. NNIC serves as the link for community members interested in international affairs and programs, and assists visitors and newcomers to the community. The City of Reno Mayor,Hillary Schieve, as well as the City Manager’s Office, are supportive of NNIC’s efforts to establish a refugee resettlement program. NNIC has also consulted with the Washoe County School District, the Washoe County Health Department, and other local service providers,and all have enthusiastically supported NNIC’s application to become a resettlement affiliate. NNIC also has the full support of the University of Nevada, Reno.
The Reno-Sparks economy is well known for its hospitality and leisure sector, with seven large casino-hotels employing 9,500-13,000 people. It is also home to the University of Nevada, the single largest employer in the county (after the school district), employing over 4,500 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs). The Truckee Meadows Community College also employs 1,250 educators and staff. Two major hospitals (Renown and St Mary’s) and other large healthcare providers in the areas employ over 3,500 healthcare professionals, technicians, and staff. The location – four hours by highway to San Francisco, and seven hours to Salt Lake City – is also logistics hub, hosting many warehousing and fulfillment establishments including UPS (1,000 employees), and Amazon.com (650 employees). Tesla is slated to open its “Gigafactory” outside of Sparks in 2017. By 2020, the Gigafactory will be at full capacity, employing 6,500 FTEs and producing more lithium ion batteries annually (for electric cars, for example) than were produced worldwide in 2013.
Average apartment rental prices in Reno are very affordable, and well maintained units are readily available. NNIC has worked with Board members and University contacts to build relationships with area property managers. Housing will be sought primarily (but not exclusively) in areas where the school district has established ESL for newcomer and intake centers. Two middle schools and three high schools are currently designated to assist immigrant children to more easily phase into regular classes. The Reno Housing Authority (RHA) provides affordable housing to clients in seven different locations in Reno and Sparks. Public housing units are available for both singles and families and the majority are handicapped accessible.
Here is a page indicating the tiny bit of private money that NNIC is offering up for its share of the supposed public/private partnership. It is offering $133 per refugee and that includes volunteer hours counted as cash!
Then get this, there are many letters of support attached, but the one that caught my eye was this one from the Northern Nevada Muslim Community. So, why is their endorsement so important?
So, for citizens who might be forming a ‘Pocket of Resistance’ in Reno, first call the mayor, Hillary Schieve, and ask her to produce (for the public) the FY 2017 R & P Abstract for Reno.
Then if you live in Nevada and want to tap into the national ‘Pocket of Resistance’ movement, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put ‘Reno’ in the subject line so I can find your e-mail in my messy inbox. I will put you in touch with leaders of the national movement.
For our readers nationwide, keep hammering your local refugee offices (click here) for these R & P Abstracts—clearly they aren’t so secret if they are in the hands of friendly reporters! (By the way, R & P stands for Reception and Placement.)
If they turn you down be sure to complain to your elected officials in Washington—make them do some work!—even if you think they are useless! Tell them this is your money and they are changing your community and you have a right to know what the plans are!
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