Coming to Vegas: “Come Together and Fight Back Tour”

— by William McCurdy II, Chair—Nevada State Democratic Party

I wanted to let you all know that we’ve locked in a date and location for the DNC’s Nevada stop for the “Come Together and Fight Back Tour.” I’m thrilled that Senator Bernie Sanders, Tom Perez and Cecile Richards are all coming to Las Vegas next weekend to share their vision for coming together and fighting back. I hope you can make it, and please encourage your friends in the Democratic Party to attend this event if they can.

RSVP now to attend this event.

I firmly believe that a united and more progressive Democratic Party fueled by grassroots activism will lead us to victory again here in 2018. From knocking Dean Heller out of the U.S. Senate to reclaiming our Governor’s mansion, Nevada will play a critical role in sending a message to Washington that the GOP’s priorities are wrong for working families.

Here are the details:

What: Come Together and Fight Back Tour — Las Vegas

Who: Senator Bernie Sanders, DNC Chair Tom Perez, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards

When: Saturday, April 22 at 11:30 a.m.

Doors open: 10 a.m.

Where: Cox Pavilion, 4505 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154

Archiving of the First Social Media Presidency

— by Joshua Miller

At the end of October, we shared our plans for preserving and passing on the digital history of the Obama administration, and invited the American people to “come up with creative ways to archive this content and make it both useful and available for years to come.” From the very beginning, our mission has been to reach Americans and people around the world on the channels and platforms where they already spend their time. The White House social media archive tells the story not just of how we’ve used these platforms to engage with people wherever they are, but also of how the digital landscape has changed over the past eight years. Citizens, students, companies, and organizations answered this call to action—and today we’re excited to share some of their innovative archival projects with you:

  • ArchiveSocial, a social media archiving platform, is hosting an open archive consolidating more than a quarter-million White House social media posts that are easily searchable by date, platform, and keyword. The open archive is now available to the public at
  • Rhizome, a digital art organization, is publishing a series of multi-media, digital essays that explain Internet culture associated with the Obama administration—starting with the history of the “Thanks Obama” meme, the First Lady’s Turnip Vine, and the #LoveWins hashtag on Instagram and Twitter. Learn more on Rhizome’s website.
  • MIT Media Lab’s Electome group and Derek Lieu, a programmer, both used topical analysis to understand what issues the White House was talking about most on Twitter. Electome’s interactive tool compares Administration tweets with a sampling of citizen tweets, and Derek’s analysis examines and how White House tweet topics fluctuated over the course of the Administration.
  • GIPHY, a GIF search engine, will launch a page that enables the public to view all of the GIFs that the White House has ever shared, as well as a collection of all of the White House’s Vines. The page will also include many other White House related GIFs that have been pulled together by GIPHY’s Editorial team. Check it out at
  • A new Twitter bot built by the Portland, Oregon-based studio, Feel Train, will republish White House tweets over the next eight years to mark some of the most significant moments of the Obama administration as experienced on Twitter. Follow along by visiting @Relive44 on Twitter.
  • Students will be diving into our social media data, too. At the University of Texas-Austin, students in Dr. Amelia Acker’s graduate seminar will be utilizing White House social media data in their final projects. And NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) Fellows are hosting an “Obamathon” on January 6th—a special hackathon to spawn the creation of new projects, like the ones listed above.
  • Internet Archive is making White House social media data available to download from their website—ensuring it’s publicly-accessible for years to come—and hosting a public hackathon this Saturday, January 7th.

The White House convened these citizens in the hopes that their creations would inspire people (like you) to dive into the archives themselves—to build research tools, art projects, and the like. That’s why, starting today, you can download the White House’s Twitter, Facebook, and Vine archives yourself. All of the tweets published by President Obama and the First Lady are available, as well. We can’t wait to see what you make.

Horton Ensley Sr.

I opened the Humboldt Sun dated  December 7, 2016, and noticed a “Death Announcement” for Horton Ensley Sr. who was a long-time Democratic Party member of our community, having made his home here for 16 years..  Horton passed away on  November 26th at the age of 87.

Thank You

— by Zach Zaragoza

zachzaragozaServing as the Executive Director of the Nevada State Democratic Party for the last nearly 6 years has been a privilege and honor.  I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have helped lead this party with all of you, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together.  This party has been the central part of my life since I walked into a UNLV Young Dems meeting in 2002 and I look forward to continuing my involvement as we move forward.

However, it is time for me to move forward personally and professionally so I will be leaving my position as Executive Director as of December 31, 2016.  I am thrilled that I will be able to continue my service to Nevada as Senator-elect Catherine Cortez Masto’s State Director.

We have a lot of work to do in the next month to continue the shut down process from our successful 2016 elections in Nevada.  I will also work with Chairwoman Lange on ensuring a smooth and orderly transition through the officer’s election in March.

I want to thank each of you again personally for everything you have done for this party and for me.  I look forward to continuing to work with each of you as we move forward.

R.I.P. Senator Debbie Smith

Rest in Peace and Strength, Senator Debbie Smith — Our thoughts and prayers, from Democrats all across Nevada, go out to Senator Smith’s family in their time of sorrow.


Smith was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. She had successful surgery to remove the tumor before returning for the final six weeks of the session.

A memorial service will be held Sunday in Sparks. ​The service will be at noon Sunday at the Sparks High School gym. Parking is available at the lot behind the school.  Child care will be provided at Sparks High during the service in a classroom adjacent to the gym for children who are diaper-trained.
Should attendees choose to wear a particular color in honor of Debbie, gray is the color representing brain cancer.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Smith’s name to the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, which supports brain tumor research. Donations can be made online at the following link:

Official Statements honoring Senator Smith:

Senator Harry Reid:

“Debbie Smith was the epitome of an ideal neighbor, friend and public servant. A believer in the good of government, Debbie’s advocacy for adequately funding our education system will be felt in Nevada for a long time. Northern Nevadans, no matter what party, had a fighter in the Legislature. Despite her difficult year, her positive outlook on life was admirable to all. She was my friend and I will miss her.”

NV Dems Chair Roberta Lange

“Debbie Smith was a giant in the Nevada Legislature who fought tirelessly for Washoe County and Nevada’s working families. No one knew the state budget more or fought harder for more education funding than Debbie. Last session, when she was courageously fighting cancer, Debbie still made sure to get to the legislature to vote for the historic increase in education funding. No one in this state cared more about improving education for our kids than Debbie. I am proud to have called her a friend. On behalf of every Democrat in Nevada, I extend my thoughts and prayers to her family.

Mayor Geno Martini

“Today is a sad day for the City of Sparks and the State of Nevada. Senator Smith was an effective and principled leader and a champion of education, as well as a number of important human causes throughout our state. She was also a champion for her City, and I was always grateful for her strong partnership and advocacy on behalf of the citizens of Sparks. She fought for our citizens every day. She was so brave and strong as she battled her illness publicly. Senator Smith is a great Nevadan who will be missed but will never be forgotten.”

“On behalf of the Sparks City Council and the citizens of Sparks, I offer my deepest condolences to Senator Smith’s husband Greg and their family. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with Debbie and her family for many days to come.”

Mayor Hillary Schieve

“I was incredibly saddened today to learn of the passing of Debbie Smith. A Nevada resident for most of her life, Debbie was one of our state’s strongest advocates for public education. Her work in the Nevada Assembly and Nevada Senate was marked not only by her dedication to bettering education policy, but also by her support of wildlife and conservation issues. I, along with my fellow Reno City Council Members, extend our sympathy to Debbie’s family and friends during this difficult time. She will be missed.”

Chair of the Board of Washoe County Commissioners, Kitty Jung:

“Debbie Smith was a champion for Washoe County and I was heartbroken to hear of her passing,” Jung (Dist. 3) said. “Her dedication and collaboration in the State Assembly and State Senate to supporting children, seniors and adults was exemplary. We were lucky to have someone of her caliber care so deeply about the people of Northern Nevada. On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, we send our thoughts to her family during this very difficult time.”

Rep. Dina Titus

“Senator Debbie Smith was a dear friend, a valued colleague, and a genuinely good person. She always put Nevada’s children first and never sought any credit or personal attention. Her last fight was her toughest, but the angels will now be fortunate to have her on their team.”

Congressman Mark Amodei

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Senator Debbie Smith. Debbie was a respected colleague and I will always value our time serving together in the Nevada Assembly and Senate. As a dedicated public servant with a huge heart for children and families, Debbie fought tirelessly to ensure every child in Nevada received a great education. Nevada will undoubtedly benefit from her courageous leadership and unwavering devotion to her constituents and state. Her work has touched the lives of many and she will be sorely missed. I send my deepest condolences to her husband, Greg and their three children.”

Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis

“Sen. Debbie Smith was an extraordinary champion for children,” said Superintendent Traci Davis. “She waged courageous, sometimes lonely, battles to improve education in our state. She was instrumental in improving education policy and safety measures in schools. She introduced and helped pass legislation to put epi-pens in every school, a measure which saved the lives of two of our students who suffered life-threatening allergic reactions within the first month after the devices were placed in our schools, and many more lives since. For years, she fought for increased classroom funding, capital funding to relieve overcrowding and repair older schools, and established family engagement as a priority for school districts across Nevada. In Carson City during the last session, she helped pass legislation to combat bullying and abuse. She fought the good fight, both in the public forum and in her final, personal battle against cancer. I will miss her leadership, her commitment, and her devotion to education. This is a profound and painful loss for all of us in the Washoe County School District, and for the children of Nevada.”

Washoe County School District Board President Angie Taylor

“I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Sen. Debbie Smith. She was a fierce and selfless advocate for education and for our children, and the effects of her tireless dedication will be felt in this state for decades to come. Through her work with the Nevada State Senate, Nevada State Assembly, Education Alliance of Washoe County, Nevada PTA, and a host of other agencies, she established herself as a powerful defender and supporter of children, families, and public education. This is a tremendous loss for Nevada, but her legacy will live on through all of the lives she touched. I offer my condolences to her wonderful family and friends. It was a privilege and an honor to know her.”


Here’s What President Obama Said

Last night, President Obama delivered the final State of the Union address of his presidency.  If you missed our SOTU Watch Party, you can watch his final State of the Union address here:

He wasn’t focused on our past — he was focused on our future. He spoke about how America’s unique strengths as a nation give us everything we need to build a better future for generations to come.

“That’s the America I know. That’s the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Undaunted by challenge. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That’s what makes me so hopeful about our future. I believe in change because I believe in you, the American people.”

Read the full speech.

You can read the full text of President Obama’s speech on, Medium, and Facebook. For more, check out past annotated State of the Union addresses to see the progress we’ve made over the past seven years.

The President’s Preview of the SOTU Address

The State of the Union Address falls on January 12, 2016, the date of our next Humboldt Dems meeting.  Roger & Vickie Rock will be hosting the meeting as a SOTU Watch party and will provide a modest meal of Hot Dogs, Macaroni Salad and Beans.  Please take the time to RSVP (623-1029) to insure they have enough food for all.  After the SOTU address, we’ll take a bit of time to work on preparing for the upcoming Democratic Caucuses scheduled to take place on February 20, 2016.



— by Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff

I’ve had the honor of working for President Obama since the day he took office. For nearly three years now, I’ve served as his Chief of Staff, where I’ve seen the challenges he’s faced and the progress he’s made in working with the American people to move our country forward. Together with the American people, we’ve accomplished a lot. But I can honestly say, in all my time here, I’ve never seen him more optimistic about the future.

You’ll see it yourself on Tuesday, January 12, when President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address. He took a few minutes to give you a look at how he’s thinking about this year’s address. Check it out:

After all this time in the White House, here’s what I know to be true:

We still have work to do, but there’s no question: Together, we’ve brought America back.

The budget agreement we reached helps avoid senseless cuts and will unlock critical investments in our national defense as we battle terrorism.

We have verifiably cut off Iran’s paths to a nuclear bomb and fundamentally changed a policy in Cuba that failed to induce change for over half a century.

We are producing more oil than we import, even as we develop more clean energy and continue to reduce harmful carbon pollution.

Our high school graduation rates are the highest they’ve ever been, and last year, incarceration rates and crime rates both went down.

All the while, unemployment is down to 5% while health insurance coverage is up to 90%, even as health care inflation has continued its historically slow increase.

But what we have left to do is bigger than any one policy initiative or new bill in Congress. This is about who we are, where we’re headed, and what kind of country we want to be.

That’s why, in his final State of the Union Address, President Obama’s doing something different. There’s a lot we have accomplished over the last seven years and plenty we can tackle in the year ahead — but this year, the President will do what is rarely done in Washington: Think beyond the next election.

Look for him to focus his address on the challenges — and opportunities — that will impact America for generations to come. Together, as a nation, we face some critical choices. If we make the right ones that build on the best of what our nation has to offer, we will leave our kids and grandkids an America that’s never been stronger, fairer, and more prosperous.

Caucus 101

The Democratic Caucuses across Nevada will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at various precinct locations.  Conducting the caucuses are the responsibility of Democratic Party members and we’re still looking for folks from a number of precincts to help lead their precinct caucus sessions throughout Humboldt County. If no one from a given precinct steps forward to lead a caucus for your precinct, and we’re unable to bring in someone from out-of-state to help make that happen, you may or may not be able to caucus for the candidate of your choice.  If you would be willing to help conduct your precinct’s caucus session, please contact Vickie Rock at (775) 623-1029 or email Vickie at

Once we’ve identified Precinct Chairs, we’ll be arranging a couple of Saturday training sessions in late January/early February to help you learn how to determine candidate viability and the number of delegates for each candidate who will go on to attend the Humboldt County Democratic Convention on April 2, 2016.  Delegates determined at the County Convention, will then go on to the NV Democratic State Convention on June 3-5, 2016 in Las Vegas.


Are you ready for the February 20, 2016 Democratic Caucuses? Do you know your precinct number? County precincts will be held at different locations throughout Humboldt County. If you’re not sure what your precint number is, you can determine that by checking your registration on the NV Secretary of State’s site:

The Fourth Quarter

—  A note from President Barack Obama

Q4Back at the beginning of this year, I made a point to tell folks to pay attention to what we do in the time we have left in the White House — that interesting stuff tends to happen in the fourth quarter.

And I like to think that 2015 has proven that point to be true. We’ve seen our hard work over the years pay off for the American people in a big way: The longest streak of private-sector job growth on record, the unemployment rate down to just 5 percent, and wages growing faster than at any time since the recovery began. The Affordable Care Act has helped drive the rate of uninsured folks in this country below 10 percent for the first time on record. Our American delegation working to reduce carbon emissions brought China to the table, and earlier this month in Paris, nearly 200 nations joined us in forging a historic climate agreement.

And though it wasn’t easy, Congress has also done their part to help end this year with some progress, too. They came to the table and passed a bipartisan budget deal, and in doing so averted a government shutdown for at least another nine months.

My hope is that as we go into my final year in office, we can see even more of this — people deciding to come together to get important things done on behalf of the American people. Because we still have some unfinished business.

I’ve got 12 months left to squeeze every ounce of change I can while I’m still in office. And that’s what I intend to do.  In 2016, I’m planning to leave it all out on the field — and I hope you’ll be there alongside me. I’ve never been more optimistic about a year ahead than I am right now.

We’ve done a lot of remarkable things together this year, and it’s because of committed citizens like you that this country keeps moving forward.  Thanks for being part of this work— these are your accomplishments.  That’s what I want to celebrate with you on January 12, when I make my last State of the Union speech. Make sure you tune in. Let’s squeeze the best yet from the second half of this fourth quarter.