Why We Should Know Our Local Government | Hillary Schieve | TEDxReno

we're recording this talk with mayor

Hilary CV of the City of Reno on June

8th 2020 Mayor CV thank you so much for

being here with us today thank you for

having me so first how have you how are

you personally holding up in light of

the events of the past few months well

I'm doing well you know I'm very much an

optimist so I never like to focus on the

bad or the negative those kinds of

things obviously it's been an incredibly

trying time not just for our community

but our entire country

the last jeez what a I'd say four or

five months now so yeah I'm doing okay

it's you you have to take it one day at

a time and a lot of listening is is

really important I've learned to listen

really well because people have really

great ideas and sometimes government

does not do well with innovation or

forward-thinking or things like that so

I've learned a lot to listen which is

great but it's it's been very very

stressful I mean when you literally have

your entire world and your business shut

down and people around you're becoming

sick and then obviously having to pivot

into a situation that you know I think

was probably something of great change

but at the same time you know obviously

the events that have happened with mr.

Floyd and and watching what took place

across the country you know I really

believe this is our moment this is our

moment to get it right I'm not so sure

our generation will get another chance

to lay the foundation for you know our

minority communities moving forward and

it's time to have very very difficult

conversations that we're not typically

used to having so it's

really a time to also look at compassion

and how we treat one another I think we

took a lot for granted

I can certainly state as say that I mean

little things that you know certainly

during this time of a pandemic that it's

it's even the little things that I hope

that people realize that we should have

gratitude for and that could be having a

beer with a friend or you know being

able to go out to a great restaurant or

you know something to that magnitude

right just the little things and I and I

do think that we sort of lost our way

for a long time with you know certainly

in the last you know four or five years

it seems that there's been a lot of

disconnect between communities and

people and compassion and I think you

know that's what I hope that comes out

of all of all of this whether it's a

situation that we've been in in the last

week you know looking at so many

different facets of our just rebuilding

a community when it comes to our culture

and when it comes to our minority

communities and investing in them and

it's you know community care and

compassion and I think we're really

taking a different look when it comes to

local government of what that looks like

so opinion poll after opinion poll shows

the public trust local government

instead of federal government why do you

think this is the case well I honestly

think it's because within local

government we we know each other I've

known you for many years right and I

shop at the same grocery stores that you

do a lot of our local government and

even our state government is very very

accessible certainly in Nevada we are

probably one of the most accessible but

we are just like you know everyone else

we you know are everyone's kids play

together and

it's just a small community here but I

think that local government has we can

really impact your life and I don't

think people realize that they typically

tend to focus on federal government they

always you know when it comes to the

presidential elections and those are

incredibly important but if you really

think about how your community is

affected it really comes from your local

government and I think we're much more

transparent certainly we have something

at the local government you know

structure what we don't have at the

state government structure but one of

the things we have is open meeting law

and so I think that also helps with

government transparency it can also

hinder certain conversations that need

to be had as well because you can't have

you know more than three people or as

considered a walking quorum but to your

point I think local government affects

so much change about what we do I mean

just look at the situation I had to go

and you know shut down local businesses

and that was one of the hardest things

I've ever had to do so at that moment so

so many people in our community realized

hey our local government can really

affect the my outcome in life right but

I think at the local level we are

incredibly transparent

we're very accessible and and especially

I think when I was elected the the

biggest change I wanted to see was

opening the doors to City Hall and

making sure our community was shaping

our community it's not so much your

elected leaders it's really listening to

your community bringing their ideas and

and hearing them and saying what kind of

community do you want to see and I think

that's really critical all right mayor

Seavey's so building on that why should

we know our local government I think

because they have so much impact on your

daily life but also in your business

whether it's infrastructure whether it's

lasting impact its policy that we can

make sometimes we do things that have

unintended consequences

and if people are not at the table and

our community is really not sitting down

we can we can do some things that can be

pretty drastic and not realize the

unintended consequences of them for

instance for me one of the reasons I I

ran for office is the city wanted to

charge me five thousand dollars to move

my sign two feet and instead of

complaining about it I got activated and

went to City Hall and sort of you know

fought some of the bureaucracy and and

the red tape that we just love to put

into government and we do and that's

very challenging and so I think for me

people need to really realize the impact

that we can have on your life like I

said whether it's your daily life or

whether it's in in your business so

that's why people really should be at

the table certainly like especially with

kovat seeing different industries right

I think watching that unfold we're very

different than Southern Nevada I really

I really believe that our population is

different everything about north and

south is very very different and so I

think you know I really as a as someone

that lives and was born and raised in my

community knew that we have different we

have a different sort of standard up

here in the north and the south and I

felt like we need to pay attention to

some of the numbers that are happening

obviously with with the you know the

coronavirus but we need to pay attention

to you know how many numbers do we have

appear in the north versus the south and

also in a lot of the rural areas they

did not have any cases at all so maybe

they roll out first and then some of the

other counties follow but you know just

sort of putting us into one pot I think

you know it it kind of it sort of

defeats the purpose of what we're trying

to achieve right so I

again I think when you have access to

your local government you can really

affect change I would just say even with

the tattoo artists many of them already

have some really stringent guidelines in

place right and I think you know even at

our level or at the state level not

hearing their voices can affect their

business right and so that's really

where we have to do a better job of

bringing everyone in our community and

but I really saw it whenever you know

these businesses were shut down and as a

local government we didn't know enough

about their business and how they

regulate them and those types of things

so we have to educate ourselves but we

need them at the table because they know

their business better than we do and

that's something we should be listening

to and making sure that we help those

businesses so mercy be many people have

lost jobs been forced into a new normal

for work had their lives totally upended

that has to take a toll on mental health

you're an open advocate for talking

about mental health challenges how do we

cope with this right now well that's a

great question because even people I

know that are mentally really strong are

finding themselves struggling with

talking about how they feel and

certainly we have so many different

emotions going through a pandemic and

sort of there's been a loss on you know

on every sort of facet of our lives in

some way and and I will tell you this

people would say to me you know this

isn't fair mayor CV this you know this

isn't fair that we're you know our

business is shut down and they're not

shut down and and it's true it's very

hard to sort of digest what's happening

right and so a lot of emotions happen

and certainly you could just hear the

fear and also the unknown especially

thinking government we've been so used

to dealing with fires and floods and

things like that this is a pandemic we

can't see it we can't wrap our head

around it I can't

send my fire department to go and fix it

right so I think people are having a lot

of emotions and especially people that

typically you know don't think about

also taking care of their inner self

first and I think a lot of people have

had to learn how to do that how to cope

with that stress a lot of people have

lost their jobs look at our unemployment

rate incredibly high and now you know

more than ever with the with the death

of George Floyd I think that people are

really trying to examine how they feel

and that's a really hard thing because

mental health in our country we don't

talk about it enough it's a stigma I

mean look at how how we deal with mental

health and addiction I mean if you are

arrested for using drugs we put you in

jail we've got to stop thinking of that

kind of mentality and think about you

know our community and how we put invest

in them and and services services are

really really critical in getting them

help but we have to start talking about

it and it's really hard I will tell you

even for me with mental health I have a

sibling that suffers from bipolar and

depression and it's something that I

didn't talk about for a very long time I

was ashamed of it

and so I I kind of have been there

firsthand to know what it's like to not

want to talk about it and I think that's

the first and foremost thing to let

people know we've got to start having

these tough conversations but again it

comes back to getting people services

and the way that we we handle this this

challenge throughout our country but

it's also got to start at a very very

early age from you know are right down

to our kindergartens right talking about

how we feel and if you're not okay today

let's say it typically if I say to you

how are you doing today what's the

response you're gonna give me I'm okay


fine thank you yeah you know we're

programmed to just say I feel fine thank


instead of saying yeah today's a tough

one today's been a tough one and really

breaking it down with our emotions and

how we feel and it's okay to admit

you're not okay and I think that's

something that we need to recognize

especially in this country we are afraid

to fail and failure is not something

we're even allowed to talk about and I

actually looked at failure is something

it is a good thing we need to start

embracing those failures that's how we

get better

okay so you've used the hashtag the

mayor made me do it on your Twitter

account in the last few months what do

you want for our residents and neighbors

to do moving forward since you're making

them do it mayor made me do it I think

this is a really pivotal time certainly

with the events from kovat to now

looking at our minority populations and

watching you know George Floyd and how

people are feeling about that and again

starting to talk about it having these

difficult conversations but coming

together as a community to change it I

think this is our moment and I think

this is the moment to get it right and I

think that if we don't take this moment

I really don't think that we will we

will get it back and this is the time to

really be able to focus on our future

and and certainly for our you know our

black children that are you know going

to struggle for a long time if we don't

if we don't take the responsibility for

you know our entire community and really

again having those difficult

conversations because this is the moment

to do it and to change it so it has long

lasting impact throughout our community

and investing in those areas that we

haven't been good at investing in

whether it's infrastructure or

affordable housing or even in our police

departments of making sure that they

have the resources that they need when

it comes to sort of de-escalation and

dealing with mental

I mean that's that's a big one again so

much of that comes from that we have not

we haven't addressed it and we haven't

it's we've sort of had this culture that

it's not okay to to feel weak right and

so I think there's a lot of different

things that we can be doing as a

community but what I want everyone to do

is come together have the difficult

conversations and be a part of that

process but this is the time to do it

this is our now this is our moment

what's the most unexpected thing you've

learned from the events of the past the

most unexpected thing I would say is

that life can change in a moment right

it can certainly change overnight and I

think we have to show a lot of

compassion for one another and be there

for for one another I think that that is

really important that we reach out to

our community but and and make sure that

we are shaping things in a way that our

future will be better so I think for me

it's again having difficult

conversations things that we haven't

talked about in decades so I think

that's going to be critical and I think

it's important for especially elected

leaders to be listening you know first

seek to understand then seek to be

understood right miss Evie thank you so

much for being here today with us we

appreciate your time thank you for

having me