Senate Democrats

Reid Names Melendez to Civil Rights Post

Chairman of Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Appointed to Commission

Washington, D.C. - Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has appointed Arlan Melendez of Reno to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Melendez, who has been the chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony for the past 14 years, will become the second Native American ever named to the prestigious post.

“Arlan is an active leader in Nevada and a forceful advocate for the interests of Native Americans,” said Reid. “I know he’ll serve the Commission well, and be just as strong an advocate for people around the country.”

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigates charges of civil rights violations and reports to Congress and the White House about the state of civil rights in America. It may be best known for investigating charges of racial bias that affected voting during the Presidential election of 2000 and the subsequent recount. The Commission has also called for an end to the use of Native American images and team names by non-Native schools.

The Commission has 8 members, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. The President appoints 4 members, and House and Senate leaders appoint the other four. As Senate Democratic Leader, Reid was able to make one appointment. Commissioners serve 6 year terms.

Arlan Melendez is a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran. He graduated from Truckee Meadows Community College. He was elected Chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in 1991. He also serves as Vice-President of the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, is a Board Member of the National Indian Business Association, and serves as the Western Region Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians.

Arlan Melendez lives on the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony with his wife Joyce. They have four grown children.

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