This opinion column was submitted by Jodi Raut, the candidate for mayor of Reno. Her campaign website is voteforjudirought.com.
I grew up in a neighborhood near Oddie and Montello in the ’80s and ’90s. My parents bought a new house in 1980 and were hoping this building wouldn’t end up as scary as the neighborhood around it. I always wondered if I could hear the sounds of fireworks or gunshots. I remember we were grilling dinner and suddenly there were several police cars that were quietly arriving in front of the house two doors down. The police had hoped to arrest the tenant, who regularly sold drugs and worked as prostitutes from his home. This was the neighborhood I grew up in.
My parents made a lot of money for us to get free lunches, but it’s not enough for us to buy lunches at school. For several years I “volunteered” in the cafeteria to eat 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 a stable job, things changed, and we were able to move to a better neighborhood.