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Who I'm Fighting For

This opinion column was submitted by Judi Rought, candidate for Reno mayor. This is reposted from the Reno Gazette Journal opinion on May 13th, 2022

I grew up in a neighborhood by Oddie and Montello back in the '80s and '90s. My parents had bought a brand-new house in 1980 and hoped that block wouldn’t end up as scary as the neighborhood that surrounded it. I always wondered if I was hearing fireworks or gunshots. I remember we were grilling dinner and suddenly there were multiple police vehicles that had quietly arrived in front of the house two doors down. The police were hoping to catch the tenant who was regularly selling drugs and working prostitutes from his house. This was the neighborhood I grew up in.

My parents made too much money for us to get free lunches, but not enough for us to buy lunches at school. For several years I “volunteered” in the cafeteria so I could have hot lunches. We didn’t always get what we wanted, but we always got what we needed, and that included having a safe, supportive and happy home. When my mom started working a stable job, things turned around, and we were able to move to a better neighborhood.

Our City Council is a dysfunctional family, and I want to help restore the functionality so I can fight for those who are in situations like I had growing up. I don’t want to be known for who I’m fighting with, but for who I’m fighting for.

I’m fighting for the family who just had their rent increase and can’t afford to live in their current home, but also don’t have the deposit they need to move to somewhere smaller.

I’m fighting for the child of a single parent who needs a mentor in their life.

I’m fighting for the senior citizen on a fixed income who can’t afford their medication.

I’m fighting for the student who only makes $1,000 a month and $665 of that goes to rent in her shared apartment.

I’m fighting for the disabled friend who uses public transportation to get to their doctors’ appointments.

There are a number of amazing organizations in our area that can and do fight for our community. I’m not here to reinvent the wheel, but I want to make sure those organizations are well-funded, and their wheels have the best spokes possible and fully aired-up tires. I’m going to hire a grant writer so we can get more grant funding to support the city, and pass along to local organizations.

As Reno mayor I am going to lobby Nevada’s Legislature to give us the autonomy we need to govern ourselves. Then we can do things like putting rent caps in place. Then we can make internet a standardized utility. Then we can improve our infrastructure. Then we can control our future and support our community.

I grew up as an underdog. I’ve had to fight for everything I have. I’m the dark horse in this race, but I’m also the horse to bet on.

Reposted from Reno Gazette Journal

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