We have seen within the last year the multiplicity of challenges that Northern Nevadans face. Our economy has come back booming, yet we are still struggling with issues like funding education, the impending housing crisis, and a changing environmental landscape. Now is the time to act, and we must act together.
Image: Lines of code from a Polymerization Project - 05/13/2019
Growing up in Nevada, I understand firsthand both the success and failures of this state's education system.
Our teachers are some of the most dedicated, yet undervalued, people in today's society. It would take more than two hands to count the great and inspirational instructors I’ve had throughout my education. They have been continuously underpaid and overworked. I will fight to increase the base pay for teachers, ensure their hours are compensated for, and increase funding available for classroom resources.
We need to ensure that all of our children have fair and equal access to the best possible education to guarantee better and brighter futures for everyone. This starts with ensuring each and every Nevadan has access to reliable and fast internet. The world is interconnected, those on the outside are rapidly falling behind. Further, we must address the driver shortage and general bus access issue within the northern part of the state. Without more funding we will continue to lose drivers and access to drivers, which will continue to hinder our progress as a state and country. I will fight to increase education funding on a federal level to ensure the most resources are going to support our children and their futures.
Northern Nevada has a diverse and booming economy from manufacturing to hospitality. Yet, we are seeing the service industry and essential parts of our economy grow strained. The pandemic put a lot into perspective for us all. Who is essential? How much are they worth? Everywhere workers are suffering from burnout, with ever increasing workloads and expectations in the new evolving world. Many faced layoffs, others left the workforce, adding more stress to their economic burden. People are choosing remote work which renders traditional models obsolete. I will support work from home careers.
The world we live in is not cheap and the cost of living demands people make more in order to survive. People have shown they are willing to work when they are valued and treated fairly. I will fight for a raise to the minimum wage to $15 an hour, bringing our wages in line with economic productivity. The pandemic forced many economic issues for everyday Nevadans and Americans to the surface, now it's time our leaders work to address and alleviate them.
Health Care must be considered a human right by our government. Too many Nevadans are faced with the choice of medical care over basic needs due to the prohibitive cost and the lack of access. The pandemic has revealed many cracks in our healthcare system.
We learned the importance and difficulty of the work our health care providers offer. We saw the impact of individuals struggling to afford health care. Northern Nevadans faced issues ranging from access to medical providers for rural populations, rising costs of medications, and rising premiums. Our current leader has only worked with his party to scare the healthcare industry out of our state market, leaving most of northern Nevada with only two options: a single private health care option or none at all for health care on the state market. While Nevadans are increasingly struggling to stay healthy and alive, our leader was working against our public health care interests.
To help address this I fully support a single payer health care system to help alleviate these issues. I will fight to let Medicare negotiate for lower prescription medication costs. We need to improve our system to lower the cost of premiums while increasing our access to doctors. I am dedicated to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans across the county.
Better healthcare means better quality of life.
Northern Nevada is facing one of the worst housing crises in the nation with record breaking pricing, seeing a median housing costs ranging well over $500,000 and rent prices increasing a staggering 91%. The ability to find affordable housing, particularly in the urban areas, has become increasingly difficult--both supply and cost being the worst barriers of entry. The prices of affordable living have gone up while pay has stayed stagnant. Housing needs to be considered a human right in order to ensure people have shelter for the future.
The cost of living versus our average income is horribly disproportional. To combat this I propose the implementation of a renting cap on the amount charged per individual in a given area. This cap will be set based on the average monthly income of renters determined in given counties or parishes.
Finally, I will work to get access and provide the needed resources and spaces to live for our homeless populations. Regardless of why they are homeless, we must do everything we can to support and aid everyone.
Nevada has been deeply impacted by climate change whether we like it or not. Every year, we end the longest fire season on record and each year they report it as the driest one on record. We are in a megadrought where lake beds are drying, fish are boiling, and water is our most precious resource. Years and years of putting off the issues, as they would be problems of the future while blindly ignoring the facts have led us to “the future” being right now.
We are living through an unprecedented climate crisis. 71% of global carbon emissions are caused by 100 companies.We cannot put profits over the health of our planet any longer. I support the transition to a green economy by expanding our use of renewable energy and curbing our reliance on coal to power our lives. I support the transition away from fossil fuels by increasing our use of electric vehicles and offering incentive for both consumers and manufactures to create and purchase electric vehicles. Finally, I will support a policy which brings more green jobs and resources to Nevada.
We can no longer wait until tomorrow anymore, and as a scientist we cannot keep scoffing at the facts and truth. The time for action is now.
Criminal Justice Reform
While the U.S. accounts for only 4% of the world's population, it holds more than 20% of the world's imprisoned population. Nevada sits even worse with an imprisonment rate higher than half the country. I will fight to make our criminal justice system prioritize rehabilitation over incarceration. We must place a federal ban on the death penalty to both avoid more tragic cases like Ledell Lee and end the violent practice. Justice should be justice, not revenge. Likewise, we must reclassify the scheduling of marijuana and commute all sentences for prisoners of non-violent drugs offenses.
Nevadans face a disproportionately high imprisonment of people of color. Northern Nevada’s Latino population stands out as the main demographic for over policing. Despite being 13% of our population, Latinos are overwhelmingly faced with police encounters across Northern Nevada. I will work to ensure our agencies have the resources and training necessary to ensure equal and fair policing across the board, so every Nevadan can feel protected and secure.
Currently, our laws are meant to ensure weapons are legally in the hands of those who should have them. Considering what we see in the world, more can be done. We must work to close the gun show loophole once and for all. Further, we must end the allowance of ghost or kit guns from being purchased without regulation or tracking.
The current administration's recent call to ban assault rifles is inappropriate and sets a dangerous precedent regarding rights and freedoms. I fully support the ownership of assault rifles, but believe there needs to be greater restrictions on issuing of assault rifles compared to other firearms. The sale and ownership of kit guns and assault rifles should be monitored and tracked to ensure safe and proper ownership of these weapons. I support gun ownership under regulation.
In Northern Nevada we are witnessing firsthand the importance of our transportation workers and the key infrastructure they support. We need to increase our use of mass transportation to help with road congestion and reduce our carbon footprint. The investment in mass transit in Nevada will bring new jobs and support our local workforce.I have personally spoken to Reno bus drivers about their situation and went on to speak in support for Teamster Local 533 in Reno during the 3 month long stand off against the abhorrent management company Keolis. We as a state must do more to address the issues of management within our public transit system and provide more funding into the state to support our workers and their conditions.
Nevada needs a massive mass transit investment to increase both the scale and access to public transportation beyond the investment in road and bridge improvements we are currently receiving. Fixed roads are no good when they’re too congested to drive on. We need mass transit infrastructure to support our growing and commuting populations. We need more electric vehicles on the roads. I will fight to incentivize electric vehicle manufacturers to produce more of them and credit families for purchasing and using them.