National Tribal Organizations Partner with Tribal Nations in Nevada to Host Presidential Candidate Forum
By Native News Online Staff
LAS VEGAS — A collective of national tribal organizations and several tribal nations located in Nevada are proud to announce the second Native American Presidential Forum, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) campus on January 14-15, 2020. Four Directions, Inc., a national voting rights organization, is continuing this effort in partnership with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Native American Rights Fund, Native Organizers Alliance, and several Nevada tribal nations.
“Native American voters can influence election results in seven major swing states in 2020: Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. Presidential candidates understand the importance of Native voters and that’s why our first event in Sioux City, Iowa was a success. There were 11 candidates who participated, including four of the current first tier Democratic candidates who have qualified for the December Democratic debate, and a large livestream audience of nearly 200,000 viewers online," OJ Semans, Co-Executive Director of Four Directions said.
When asked what separates this event from the August 2019 candidate forum, Semans stated, “We’re adding caucus training to the Las Vegas forum. The training will show our folks what to expect at their local caucus and give them the skills to fully participate and perhaps take on a leadership role in their communities.” Semans also said participating candidates’ campaigns will have an opportunity to make their case for support to the caucus attendees.
NCAI Chief Executive Officer Kevin Allis said his organization did not hesitate to sign on as a returning partner for this event. “The success of the first forum was a great learning experience for candidates and Native voters alike. NCAI and the partner organizations saw the power of collaborating on critical issues and want to continue the momentum of introducing Indian Country as modern communities and a critical voter bloc. Similar to the Sioux City forum, candidates from both parties who attend this forum will face tough questions from Native voters who expect and deserve real world answers and solutions,” said Allis.
Candidates from all major political parties were extended invitations to participate in this event. Discussions continue with several campaigns and additional candidates are expected to confirm attendance.
Panel topics are as follows: Climate Change, Environment and Sacred Sites; Education and Economic Development, Nevada Tribal Nations Issues; Native American Political Engagement and more. More information on confirmed panels, candidates, and how to purchase tickets are available now at https://www.nativevote2020.com.