Representing Senate District 13 requires a keen understanding of the issues that residents in this community face. In addition to the 3 Changes for a Better Nevada, issues that I will continue to champion on behalf of Nevada’s families include:
The effects of the affordable housing crisis in Northern Nevada has affected nearly all residents across every race, gender, and most socioeconomic backgrounds.
We need to work with housing advocates and all relevant stakeholders to produce creative solutions around housing, build upon what is working, and fix what isn’t.
Eliminating Food Deserts
All Nevadans, children, and adults deserve easy access to fresh produce. Far too many Nevadans live in food deserts where it is difficult to access affordable nutritious food. We can work together through state programs and mutual aid groups to address this issue.
Opioid Crisis/Substance Use Disorder Treatment
Nevada, like much of the country, is feeling the effects of the nationwide opioid epidemic. According to the Office of the Attorney General, Nevada reported a 55% increase in opioid-related deaths between 2019 and 2020. This is not an issue we can arrest our way out of, nor is it an issue that further criminalization will solve. We must eliminate the stigma around people who use drugs and around seeking treatment and expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
Currently, the State Opioid Response Grant enables community mutual aid groups and treatment centers to distribute life-saving Naloxone to anyone who asks for it. This should be expanded to harm-reduction community instruction efforts and availability of Naloxone at community centers, public schools, libraries, state office buildings, and anywhere else people congregate.
Reproductive care in Nevada and access to abortion are health care issues. Every pregnant person has the right to access safe, legal, and on-demand abortion, as well as gender-affirming reproductive care. I will work with my colleagues to protect these rights in the Nevada State Senate and to require health care providers to implement policies in support of inclusive reproductive care. Abortion access and reproductive justice are issues that impact peoplewith uteruses and we must talk about this issue in a way that is inclusive to all people. I am honored to be endorsed by both Planned Parenthood Votes Nevada and EMILY’s List and will continue fighting for these rights.
Nevada recently passed protections for LGBTQ+ people in regards to parenting rights, preventing harassment and discrimination in the workforce and correctional facilities, and expanding the definition of “disadvantaged businesses” to include those owned by LGBTQ+ individuals. However, we must go further. I support bringing back a bill introduced in the 2021 that, if passed, would have required insurance companies, including Medicaid, to provide medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria, including hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgeries. I will forcefully defend against any attempts to pass legislation mirroring bigoted measures in Florida and Texas which endanger the lives of LGBTQ+ children. I’m proud to be endorsed by Victory Fund because no one should ever face being targeted or disempowered because of who they are or who they love.
Currently, Nevada is a right-to-work state, which may be better defined as “Right to Work for Less.” We must establish strong state protections against the firing of workers for any reason other than “just cause” and do away with harmful, antiquated “right-to-work” laws which reward bad employers and intimidate workers as a whole. The right to unionize should be protected in state law for ALL workers, including workers historically excluded from labor protections, such as temp hires, farmworkers, and domestic workers, and for unions to organize through a majority sign-up process. We must deny any state contracts to companies who pay poverty wages, outsource jobs, and engage in union-busting practices. I’m a former member of IBEW Local #2320, the union through which the staff of the 2020 Warren for President Campaign unionized.
Transparency is integral to the building of trust in government. According to the United States Public Interest Research Group, Nevada received a B score in their online access to government spending data. I am committed to ensuring government dollars are spent and tracked in a transparent, equitable way. By improving on the progress built already, and addressing online access to government documents and bills in process during the legislative session – not to mention public records requests – we can create a more open and accessible Nevada for all Nevadans.
Public Lands & Conservation
Nevada is known for its sprawling desert and public lands. 85% of Nevada is federal public land, and so preserving these areas is of great importance for the protection of ecosystems, wildlife, agriculture, and sacred sites in the state. I support investment in conservation but specifically where we can invest and uplift local tribal communities in local land management. Consulting local tribes over sacred sites and other regional areas is an important step in ensuring that their voices are heard in how the environment and other lands are treated to prevent the privatization of these areas. I oppose policies that seek to transfer management of federal lands to the state as this can lead to the sale of precious federal resources and parks to land developers and unscrupulous farming and ranching practices. We must allocate more money toward conservation by working with the Nevada Grant Office to procure more federal funding for conservation efforts. The State of Nevada should be an equal partner in land management with the BLM and tribal governments.
Nevada can’t stall when it comes to addressing climate change. We must come together to propose and implement bold solutions that center on those most directly affected by climate change, including Black, Brown, and low-income communities, who are already disproportionately targeted in the crisis due to decades of redlining. Redlined communities face higher levels of pollution on average, leading to excessive rates of cancer and respiratory illnesses worsened by exposure to environmental toxins.
We must recommit ourselves to decarbonization by prioritizing green energy technologies and reducing vehicular emissions. It’s vital for Nevada’s legislature to work with state, local, and tribal agencies and governments as well as partners in the energy sector to get us back on track to meet the standards set forth by Ballot Question 6 in 2018. Northern Nevada has amazing potential for increased growth in wind and solar energy can infuse our economy with sustainable green jobs.