How Rise Nevada is Rebuilding After UNLV Shooting

How Rise Nevada is Rebuilding After UNLV Shooting

Hello, I’m Chris Solomon and I’m the Nevada State Director for Rise. Prior to undertaking this role in September, I was an administrator for the Clark County Democratic Party and started my community outreach career in fandom organizing through running the largest Star Trek fan club in Nevada, the USS Windrunner. Throughout my brief career, I’ve cultivated the best relationships with passionate people in all spaces and have learned that there is power within those who care enough about what’s happening around them. My community is my passion.   

On December 6th, 2023, Rise Nevada held its first Rise University organizing training in the student union building on the campus of UNLV. What started off as a fun and engaging training with 80 students, staff, and volunteers was tragically disrupted by an active shooter who killed 3 educators and critically injured another individual in the building next door. As a State Director of a political issue advocacy organization whose job is to train students on how to build student and youth political power in Nevada, I am infuriated that our nation’s culture of gun violence is one of many obstacles we face in building a progressive pro-democracy youth movement. However, the tragedy of 12/6 also gave myself and others on our team the sense of urgency we needed to mobilize more youth. 

In the immediate aftermath of the 12/6 shooting at UNLV, our team held a call to action press conference on 12/14 to urge elected leaders up and down our state to address one of our students’ most basic needs on campus… their safety. In attendance were several students who were with us on 12/6 who had the opportunity to share their stories with the media and engage with our partners on how we can take action. We had Assemblyman Max Carter from the NV Assembly Democratic Caucus, NSHE Regent Laura Perkins, representatives from Congresswoman Susie Lee’s office, Congressman Steven Horsford’s Office, and Attorney General Aaron Ford’s office as well as individuals representing our community partners Moms Demand Action, Indivisible, and ACLU of Nevada. The support for our Rise students who were present has been monumental for our State operation, and it encourages our youth who want to get engaged in gun violence prevention issue advocacy, and continue engaging with Rise.  

While our call to action has been effectuated through strengthening our relationships with elected officials, we’ve also partnered with the Youth Voice of Nevada to ensure that our students have access to emotional support spaces where they can talk to mental health professionals on a frequent basis, free of charge. These sessions were held on December 23rd, 30th, and January 7th. Because the nature of our specific issue advocacy work will require students to relive their experiences with us in Meeting Room 208 of the Student Union building, we will rely on partnerships in the Nevada mental health space to train our core team on Mental Health First Aid for Youth. 

We have also identified legislative leaders that have fought for gun violence prevention policies in Nevada’s recent legislative session and had their bills vetoed by Governor Joe Lombardo. They are Senator Dallas Harris and Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, and their bills are as follows: SB171, AB354, and AB355. Rise Nevada will look to these legislative leaders and help champion a safer Nevada for our youth. In tandem with our gun violence prevention work, we’ve kept engaged at all levels of government within our State to ensure we’re building the connections needed to address gun violence prevention, as well as higher education issues, and campus food insecurity. 

2024 is going to be a busy year for Rise Nevada, especially as we solidify the foundational elements that will supplement our organizing operations for issue advocacy  as well as get out the vote work for elections this year. We stand strong in our commitment to Nevada’s youth and will create a political organizing atmosphere that focuses on how macro-issues affect real and everyday people. Join us as we build student and youth political power in our great State!  


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