Everyday I talk with neighbors about issues important to Nevada’s future. Those who don’t already know me ask me what I stand for and what my priorities will be as the Assemblyman for District 8. As I recently told one neighbor, I believe there are several things voters should know as we all examine our candidates.
First, I am a lifelong public servant, committed to advancing principles important for our district, and for Nevada. I have lived in Nevada for over 22 years, and remember when I first found my calling to lead in a representative role. As a student at UNR, I became frustrated when students had to wait for hours in the student health center for something as simple as a cold. I was driven to become elected student body president in college and facilitated an increase in funding so that additional nurses and staff could help reduce wait time. Making change on even this small of a scale ignited my passion for helping to make positive change to policies affecting people’s day to day lives.
Throughout the past 22 years, I have been an active participant in the political process to actually make change. I was asked to go to Carson City on behalf of Clark County in 2007 and 2009 during the legislative session full time so I learned how the process works first hand. I think that will be key to hitting the ground running in 2011 since we only have 120 days to get work done.
JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
I’m committed to helping to diversify our economy so that we can weather bad times more effectively. I believe it is key that we change the way we provide public services so that when we have to make cuts, our most vulnerable aren’t hurt the most. We need reasonable representatives with an ability to work with people across the table in order to come up with changes that help us get over this short term budget crisis, but also work with those same people to help develop a system for long term stability. I am committed to getting people back to work right away. We must reduce the number of foreclosures that are resulting in plummeting home values. I will also work hard to achieve economic diversification and development because it is essential for a brighter future for our state. We must continue efforts to fund road and building projects and provide incentives for renewable energy development that would create new jobs in Nevada. I believe we can make Nevada a manufacturing, distribution and transportation hub for the Western United States.
I have always worked hard to strengthen our judicial system, especially when it comes to gangs and juvenile crime. In 2007 and 2009, I worked with various law enforcement organizations to help come up with laws to address crimes like copper theft and I actually helped draft legislation to increase the penalties for graffiti crimes, so my commitment is more than just words. As your Assemblyman, I will continue to work to make our neighborhoods safer.
While diversifying our economy, we need to keep kids in school and train them for today’s jobs. We need to make a real commitment to improving both academic programs and career and technical education. We can’t convince businesses and professionals to come to Nevada unless we have a quality education system in place for their families. This means we must protect education from devastating budget cuts in these tough economic times and provide more stable funding for our schools. I will work to help recruit and keep the highest-qualified teachers in every classroom. I believe we must also Improve transparency and accountability for education spending so we are sure every dollar possible goes directly into the classroom, with more decision making at the local level.
GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
I believe we must work diligently for greater transparency and accountability for state spending. Taxpayers deserve to know how every dollar is being spent. I will work for reforms to the budget process to ensure transparency for how tax dollars ar being spent, consolidating government services to avoid costly duplication, and budgets based on priorities and performance.