Everyday, Nevada’s teachers and educators work hard to educate our students despite Nevada being 48th in the nation for school funding. Nevada needs to reprioritize education and change the school funding formula to ensure that every Nevada student has access to an exceptional education. The school funding formula should be responsive to the different needs of our students on an individual level, while being cognizant of the needs of individual schools and communities. Successful school-based equity programs, like Zoom and Victory Schools, should not be compromised. The formula should also account for the higher cost of living in Northern Nevada.
Overcrowded classrooms should be eliminated through binding student-to-teacher ratios. Teachers should be provided the resources necessary to ensure that every children in their classroom has the supports they need to grow as individuals. Needless and repetitive testing should be eliminated to give teachers the freedom to use their expertise and enrich the lives of our students. Teachers and education support professionals deserve not only our respect, but also competitive wages and benefits to ensure that they can continue to serve our students without having to sacrifice their own futures.
Our schools need to focus on academic, as well as social growth, through an equity lens. Access to the arts, music, extra-curricular activities, and community support services should be available to all students regardless of zip code or family income. Every student deserves access to counselors, social workers, and mental health providers. Sufficient resources should be provided to ensure that these professionals can provide appropriate one-on-one support for every child. Every student should have access to career and technical training, as well as a rigorous, college preparatory education based upon their career goals.
Working with our K-12, community colleges, and traditional college system, I want to ensure that we have the ability to train Nevadans to be the workforce of tomorrow. In order to avoid the boom and bust cycles which have plagued Nevada, we need to diversify the economy of Washoe County and work to create jobs in STEM, renewable energy, and the skilled trades.
Recognizing that small businesses are central to the diversification of our economy, I support providing increased access to small business loans for Nevadans who wish to build or expand their businesses. Realizing that the dream of owning a home is becoming unattainable for many in Washoe County, I support expansion of existing affordable housing solutions and programs.
Because I recognize that there is dignity in all work, I support a living wage for all Nevadans, tied to inflation to ensure that wages grow along with our economy. I also believe all workers should have access to healthcare, paid sick days, and dignity in retirement.
As a union member my entire working life, I know the value of having a voice in the workplace. I have been a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and I am currently a member of the National Education Association (NEA)—the largest labor union in America. I know that collective bargaining empowers workers and provides them a needed voice in the workplace.
I support expansion of the right to collective bargaining in both the public and private sectors, including for our higher education employees in the NSHE system. I support use and expansion of Project Labor Agreements and prevailing wage laws for public and private work projects. Public money should be used to support good, high-paying jobs. I support an expansion of public sector collective bargaining to include all terms and conditions of employment. I support the right of every worker to form a union.
As the son of a retired Master Sergeant in the Air Force, I am aware of the strain that military service places on not only those who serve, but also their families. Military veterans deserve not only our utmost respect, but also easier access to the benefits that they have earned. I support increased funding for the Nevada Department of Veteran Services to improve access to housing assistance, education/training programs, and health services for all those who served.
Smoke from wildfires in California and Nevada blanketed our communities this summer. We know climate change is real, and time is running out to stop this crisis. Nevada needs our own Green New Deal to reduce our emissions while creating thousands of good, union jobs in the process.
Nevada’s public lands represent our greatest natural resource. These lands are held in a sacred trust for all Nevadans—present and future. The utmost care should be taken to preserve and restore the beauty of our public lands. The history of our Native peoples should be respected in how we administer our public lands. Development of our public lands should be safe and sustainable projects which focus on our state’s natural beauty, history, and outdoor recreation economy.
Nevada ranks near the bottom of states in investment in healthcare. In addition to underinvestment, Nevada’s low-income communities face fewer options and higher prices, and there is a significant health disparity in Nevada’s communities of color. Fortunately, we took an important step forward this year with the passage of SB420 to create a new high-quality, lower-cost healthcare plan for Nevadans. However, this plan will take years to fully implement, and I am committed to making sure the plan gets implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible.
In order to guarantee that access to healthcare is not dependent on income, I support public subsidies for low-income communities to access the full-range of healthcare. Such access must include the right to reproductive justice, including access to high-quality reproductive healthcare services for all individuals regardless of the ability to pay.
In exchange for their tax dollars, Nevadans deserve full accountability and transparency from their government at all levels. I support the creation of an Office of the Inspector General to monitor and audit state and local governments to ensure that public money is being spent in an effective and efficient manner.
Because the government is ultimately accountable to voters, I support voting rights reforms to ensure that all eligible Nevadans have easy access to the polls.