24 Aug ***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Wednesday, September 7, 2022 6:00PM PT Commissioner Michael Naft Honored at Battle Born Progress Annual Fundraiser in Las Vegas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2022
CONTACT: Will Pregman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 702.752.0656
All press MUST RSVP
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 6:00PM PT
Commissioner Michael Naft Honored at Battle Born Progress Annual Fundraiser in Las Vegas
Nevada progressives gather at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort for annual awards gala, Celebrate Progress
NEVADA – Battle Born Progress’ annual fundraising event, Celebrate Progress, will be held on Wednesday, September 7th at 6:00PM PT, both in-person and virtually, at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Each year, Celebrate Progress recognizes the tireless work of Nevada’s progressive leaders, activists, volunteers, and community organizations in their efforts to build a Nevada where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Delivering a keynote address during the event will be Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressNow. Following her tenure as Executive Director for Progress Virginia, the Virginia based affiliate of ProgressNow, she assumed the role of leading the national network of progressive communications across 25 states nationwide. ProgressNow is the national network of which Battle Born Progress is a proud member.
This year, Celebrate Progress will be Co-Chaired by Assemblywoman Natha Anderson, activist Leigh Aurbach, and Native Voters Alliance Nevada Executive Director, Taylor Patterson.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be held in a well-ventilated venue, with masks and proof of vaccine required for entry. The event will also be streamed for guests to attend virtually. Tickets for the event and sponsorship opportunities can be found here.
*DISCLAIMER: Battle Born Progress (BBP) is a 501(c)4 nonpartisan organization, and does not make endorsements. Celebrate Progress is a fundraiser for BBP, NOT for any candidate or party.
For 2022, Battle Born Progress will recognize the following honorees:
- Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft will receive the Progressive Legacy of the Year Award.
- Commissioner Michael Naft was sworn into his first full four-year term on Jan. 4, 2021. During his time on the Commission, Naft has championed traffic safety for all road-users along with several initiatives to modernize Clark County’s departments and agencies. Prior to joining the Commission, Naft served the residents of Clark County as District Director to Congresswoman Dina Titus from Jan. 3, 2013 until 2019. In that role, he worked with hundreds of federal agencies, departments and commissions overseeing outreach and constituent services for more than 700,000 Nevadans.
- Alan O’Neill and Gavin Goorjian will each receive the Progressive Legacy Award.
- Alan O’Neill’s career in conservation has spanned over 56 years, including 34 years with the National Park Service and 10 years as founder and Executive Director of the Outside Las Vegas Foundation (now rebranded as Get Outdoors Nevada). He served on the National Park Service “Restructuring and Reengineering Task Force” which developed and implemented a major restructuring plan resulting in a more decentralized organization with leadership vested more in field managers. Alan is the recipient of numerous awards from federal, state, and local governments and nonprofit organizations for innovative program development and leadership and as a tireless advocate for conservation and sound stewardship.
- Gavin Goorjian is honored posthumously after his passing earlier this year due to complications with COVID-19. Throughout his life, Gavin was a staunch community advocate and treasured partner for numerous causes, such as serving on the Board of the Las Vegas LGBTQ+ Center.
- André Wade and Christine Saunders will each receive the Progressive Activist of the Year Award.
- André Wade is the state director for Silver State Equality. André has worked in human services for nearly 25 years in a variety of public and nonprofit contexts working on issues such as developmental disabilities, child welfare, youth experiencing homelessness national policy advocacy, diversity, equity and inclusion, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. André is a two-time appointee to Governor Sisolak’s Advisory Task Force on HIV Exposure Modernization for the State of Nevada. Additionally, he is a member of the Nevada Coalition to Prevent the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Nevada’s Interagency Council on Homelessness Legislative Committee, and a board member of the Equality Federation.
- Christine Saunders joined the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada in 2018. Over the past four years she has worked on a variety of campaigns at the state, local, and federal levels including the expansion of voting rights (you may know her as Nevada’s biggest vote by mail fan), mining tax reform, access to affordable housing. She has had a passion for economic, racial, and gender justice since her first rallies and lobby visits in Oregon at age sixteen. When not working, Christine also serves as the Board Secretary for the Wild West Access Fund of Nevada, Nevada’s only statewide abortion fund.
- Chairman Amber Torres and Tom Wellman will each receive the Community Service Award.
- Chairman Amber Torres is a tribal citizen of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Schurz, Nevada. She has been elected to serve on the Walker River Tribal Council since 2010, and held the role of the Tribal Chairman since 2016. She worked for the Walker River Tribal Health Clinic in Purchased Referred Care for thirteen years prior. She currently represents Nevada tribes by serving on the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada Executive Board, Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona Steering Committee, National Indian Health Board, Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee for IHS/SDPI, Tribal Interior Budget Council for BIA, IHS Director’s Workgroup on Improving Purchase Referred Care, Native Farm Bill Coalition, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Chairman USDA Tribal Leaders Consultation Workgroup, a Co-Chair for Indian Health Service National Budget Formulation Committee, and the National Congress of American Indians Executive Board.
- Tom Wellman is a concerned citizen and a progressive partner who has worked for the Clark County School District for 32 years. As a result of the things that he experienced and seen within the school district he knew that he had to get involved and do his very best to try and change things. Tom retired from the school district 11 years ago and is still working for change at the local, state and national level.
- Mathilda Guerrero will receive the Rising Progressive Leader of the Year Award.
- Mathilda Guerrero most recently has become Battle Born Progress and Institute for a Progressive Nevada’s Digital Manager. Prior to this role, Mathilda served as Silver State Voices’ Democracy Manager. As the Democracy Manager, Mathilda coordinated the Let Nevadans Vote coalition and spearheaded their nonpartisan Election Protection program. Prior to joining the movement, Mathilda dedicated herself to public service and empowering young upcoming professionals during her time with the City of Henderson. Mathilda graduated early, Summa Cum Laude, from UNLV with a B.A. in Political Science and is currently working on earning her MPA from Purdue University.
- April Corbin Girnus will receive the Voice of Reason Award.
- April Corbin Girnus is deputy editor of Nevada Current, a nonprofit online publication focused on exploring how policies, institutions and systems make life harder for Nevadans than it needs to be. She reports on a range of important topics and issues, including the Nevada State Legislature, K-12 education, labor, and elections. Before helping launch the Current in 2018, Corbin Girnus worked for Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Weekly and the Louisville Courier-Journal, among other publications and organizations. She is a graduate of Clark County School District and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper. In addition to editing and reporting, April is an adjunct professor who enjoys teaching future journalists.
- Wild West Access Fund and Gender Justice Nevada will each receive the Progressive Partner of the Year Award.
- Wild West Access Fund began in June 2021 from a small group of recent college graduates looking to make abortion accessible in Nevada. While Nevada is not subject to many of the recent restrictions introduced on abortion throughout the nation, abortion care has not been accessible due to lack of providers, Medicaid coverage, and blockage of federal funding for abortion care. In their first year, they distributed over 40K in funding to abortion seekers and connected with over 300 people seeking abortion care in Nevada. Since Roe v Wade was overturned, their team has quickly been adapting and responding to the changing climate of abortion funding. The award will be accepted by President Macy Haverda.
- Gender Justice Nevada is a nonprofit created by LGBTQ+ persons for LGBTQ+ persons, providing outreach, education, and advocacy addressing the identities and issues faced by Nevada’s diverse communities. Established in 2011 Gender Justice Nevada provides direct services, education and policy advocacy addressing the identities and issues faced by Nevada’s LGBTQ+ communities. The award will be accepted by Executive Director Sy Bernabei.
- AFSCME Local 4041 will receive the brand new Labor Partner of the Year Award.
- AFSCME Local 4041 The American Federation of State County Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has 1.6 million members nationwide, and in Nevada, represents more than 17,000 state workers. They include workers such as corrections officers, nurses, social service workers, sanitation workers, engineers, administrative support, snowplow drivers, park rangers, and so much more that Nevada communities depend on each day.
Photos and Biographies are available for all honorees.
Who: Battle Born Progress
Keynote Speaker: Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressNow
What: Annual celebration to recognize the unstoppable work of progressive leaders, advocates, and organizations in Nevada.
When: Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at 6:00PM PST
Where: Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort
10325 Nu-Wav Kaiv Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89124
Designated spokespeople are available for interviews in Spanish or English.
Celebrate Progress is open to the media.
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About Battle Born Progress: Battle Born Progress, through strategic communication efforts, empowers, engages and mobilizes Nevada voters to build a state where everyone has a fair opportunity to succeed. We support, engage, and mobilize the progressive community through bold leadership, strategic communications, accountability, and education. We are on the cutting edge of new media and are the go-to source for progressive issues and advocacy for traditional media. Learn more at https://battlebornprogress.org/.