Here's some simple info:
Nevada is 50th in the nation for educational funding (that means per pupil, per teacher, per county, resources, etc.)
Nevada has some of the lowest graduation rates for both high school and post-secondary school, and some of the highest drop-out rates for secondary school in the nation.
Our state has a fiscal problem, but the solution to this problem is not to destroy the people and services that keep our state functioning. Compromises are always necessary, but giving up rights to collective bargaining is not compromise it is surrender.
I know, I know... this isn't a political blog. But politics have always played a big part in my life and my art. Now is a great time for people to find out about our Propaganda in Print Exchange at Oxbow Press. Submissions don't have to be political, but those ideas are a strong source of inspiration for many people.
You must understand several things about me to see my point of view - I grew up in the back yard of Washington D.C., my father worked for the government in the Library of Congress and Foreign Affairs reporting for many years. Both my parents are now public school teachers (as are seven other members of my local family) who are union leaders in their local chapters. My aunt Joni Kaiser is a huge proponent for women and children's rights here in Nevada and the founder of the Committee to Aid Abused Women as well as a lobbyist and former City of Sparks legislator.
Even if you take my family's input on my political views out of the equation you are still talking to a poor, educated female who relies on public services.
Art allows me to explore how the complicated emotions of politics can be focused in the visual crucible of my work. Many great artists were inspired extensively by the politics of their day, the Russian artists during the Soviet Union (both supporting and in protest) are magical in their simplicity, the same can be said of World War II American propaganda art. These are not just images to be admired, they take hold of strong ideas and values and force the viewer to take a stand on a popular issue. One of the most famous examples of propaganda contributed to widespread change throughout American culture in a way the artist and government never intended - Rosie the Riveter.
This image was originally intended to get women to support the government's efforts in World War II by filling in for their soldiering husbands as engineers, assistants and laborers far outside the customary positions that women were accepted in at the time. This image liberated women in a new way by empowering them to take physically demanding jobs, jobs with expectations of power and responsibility.
Today I held a sign at the rally which read "Education is essential to economic recovery." I hope this is a sentiment that can be agreed upon by everyone regardless of personal political leanings. If you educate people they improve their own quality of life by getting better paying, safer jobs. Better paychecks allow people to better care for their children, and also allow them to give back to their government and community. It is not just in my best interests to protect the rights and dollars invested in state employees like public school teachers - it is in your best interests too. The better the schools are, the better equipped the students are, the better the teachers are, the better the education your children receive, the better services can be rendered, the better quality of life can be achieved - by everyone!
Most important to recognize is that if you give local students good educational opportunities they will STAY HERE! Without those opportunities most of the best candidates for jobs that will influence you and your children (through teaching, government or legal work, etc.) there will be fewer people who are less qualified for those needed positions. If the government encourages better and more extended education our workforce will be more employable and better at their jobs!
Think about it.
Also, Rocky Mountain Print Alliance info will be coming soon. I am gathering info on the Symposium to be held in April. And whatever your opinions are, I hope you are at least open minded enough to listen.