Education — Stop raiding the public education fund and finally commit to fully funding our schools.  This includes raising teacher pay and health benefits, making sure teachers don’t have to go out of pocket for basic supplies, equipping our classes with up to date computers, printers and copiers and encouraging more public-private partnerships.  For example, key businesses can adopt a school/class room — we do it for highways.  Lets do it for schools.  We should encourage more programs like Junior Achievement that teaches financial literacy to kids, and Leaders in Training that provides after school programs that encourage at risk youth to apply to and go to college.  We have a lot of work to do in this area.  The answer is not privatizing our public schools; it’s fixing them so that they work for everyone!

Economy — Nevada was one of the hardest hit states in the nation during the recent recession because it depends so heavily on gaming revenue.  When times are tough, people are less likely to vacation in Las Vegas or to gamble.  The key to making Nevada strong is to make sure it has enough income from a variety of different businesses that are not as vulnerable to economic downturns so that income continues to maintain our state even when gaming and tourist revenues decrease.  This would include incentivizing technology and medical companies to move to Nevada.  Another key component to growing our economy is to get our education system out of last place in the nation.  It is hard to attract new companies to our state when new workers we want to attract have to worry about paying high prices to put their kids in private schools, and when our own schools can’t turn our good and productive workers.

 

Mental Health — The best mental health services in Nevada are presently in our jails/prisons.  That’s unacceptable on a humanitarian and on an economic level.  Families are torn apart when someone in the family has a drug abuse or mental health issue that is unaddressed.  As someone who represents abused kids in court through the Southern Nevada Legal Aid Center, I see first hand how these issues affect and destroy children, who then often become wards of the State.  This drains our resources, as does the fact that those with mental health issues often end up in a revolving door of jails.  They go into jail, get the treatment they need, get out of jail and have no access to treatment, end up back in jail, and so goes the revolving door.  This unnecessarily costs Nevada millions of dollars that can and need to be used elsewhere.  We need to improve our mental health services and make them more accessible.  We also need to expand the use of alternative court programs such as Mental Health Court, Veterans Court and others that get to the root of the problem by offering treatment and heavy court supervision so that our residents do not end up in the revolving prison door.  We will give people a fair chance to return to being productive members of our community, which helps all of us.
Health Care — Everyone should have access to quality affordable health care.  Period.

Government Transparency — Government transparency is the key to a democracy.  Without it, the people simply cannot trust that our government is being run honestly and fairly, according to our laws.  I will support efforts to increase transparency at every level, including in Courts, the State Bar, Candidate filings and financial reporting, the applicability of open meeting laws, and other areas.  I believe that having fair and transparent government is one of the best ways to honor our veterans.  They did not fight for our democracy only to have it hijacked by corrupt systems and officials.