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Senator Spotlight: Mark Manendo, District 21

Every week the Senate Democratic Caucus will highlight one member on our blog. We want you to get the chance to know our senators a little better, to learn about the issues they’re passionate about, and to see what they’ll be working on during the 2015 Session. 

Senator: Mark Manendo
District: 21
Hometown: Las Vegas
Senate Committees: Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy, Transportation and Natural Resources

When did you first run for office? What year did you first join the Nevada Senate? What inspired you to get into politics?

Wo4O4D5nI served 8 terms in the Nevada State Assembly before running for the Nevada State Senate in 2010, I am now into my second term. Running for political office was just a natural extention of my community service and volunteer work that I have done since I was a kid. My parents always instilled in that everyone has the reponsibility to participate and give back to your neighborhood and community.

Tell us one fun or interesting fact about your district: 

Part of Senate District 21 covers Lake Las Vegas, it is so beautiful out there! 

What is something you hope to accomplish during the 2015 Legislative Session?

I will continue to work on public safety related issues, along with those related to our senior and veterans who we should honor daily, not just when the Legislature is in session. Also, as many of my constituents know, I am passionate about animal welfare and will have legislation in that respect. 

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Black History Month Part 2: Recognizing Local Leaders

Black History Month Part 2: Recognizing Local Leaders
By Senator Aaron D. Ford
February 19, 2015

kelvin atkinsonLast week, I wrote a blog reflecting on Black History Month. I concluded by urging all Nevadans of all backgrounds to take the time to learn more about African-American history. As I reflected on my statements from last week, I realized I missed the opportunity to make a crucial point. It’s not enough to just celebrate African-American history by looking at the past. We must also make an effort to celebrate the accomplishments of African-American leaders who are creating history TODAY. 

With that goal in mind, I want to applaud my colleague, Senator Kelvin Atkinson, who just recently made history when he was elected as the National Chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG) at their 2014 Annual Conference. The position runs in a four-year rotation: Vice Chairman in 2015, Chairman Elect in 2016, Chairman in 2017, and Immediate Past Chairman in 2018. This is a tremendous accomplishment – not only because he will be representing Nevada on the national stage, but also because he is the first African-American to be elected to this position since CSG was founded in 1933. 

The importance of Sen. Atkinson’s milestone accomplishment cannot be discounted. This is not only a personal achievement for Kelvin, but it’s also an indication of progress towards greater representation for the African-American community. As the father of four sons, I am personally grateful that my boys now have one more local leader they can look up to.

To that end, I offer one more challenge for my fellow Nevadans.  As you learn more about Black history this month, and every month, I urge you to pay close attention to our local African-American leaders in Nevada who are blazing the trail and creating history TODAY. 

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Senator Spotlight: Mo Denis, District 2

Every week the Senate Democratic Caucus will highlight one member on our blog. We want you to get the chance to know our senators a little better, to learn about the issues they’re passionate about, and to see what they’ll be working on during the 2015 Session. 

Senator: Mo Denis
District: 2
Hometown: Las Vegas
Senate Committees: Education, Transportation

When did you first run for office? What year did you first join the Nevada Senate? What inspired you to get into politics?

Mo Denis Nevada SenateI first ran in 2002 for Assembly District 28. I lost by 62 votes. I ran again 2 years later and won. I served 3 terms in the assembly, and I ran for the Senate in 2010. My Government teacher in high school taught me that we all have a responsibility to be informed about our government and to get involved. 

When my daughter started kindergarten I got involved in the PTA. I also was appointed to the Las Vegas / Clark County library board. I had the opportunity to lobby the legislature and congress on education and library issues. When the opportunity to run for the Senate came up I decided that I couldn't complain about things if I wasn't will to do something about it so I ran. 

Tell us one fun or interesting fact about your district: 

My district actually has not only downtown Las Vegas but also has parts of the North Las Vegas downtown. I have lived in the boundaries of my district for over 40 years. 

What is something you hope to accomplish during the 2015 Legislative Session?

I’m looking forward to doing some great things for education, including revising the funding formula and expanding the Zoom Schools. I have a technology bill that could put Nevada on the cutting edge. I'm optimistic that we will redo our tax structure to position Nevada for the future. 

I will also continue to look for solutions to the prescription narcotic abuse problem that we have in Nevada. Also, I hope to create more jobs in the recycling industry. Lastly I wish to redefine obesity as a chronic illness to help find solutions to this pervasive problem especially in the Hispanic community.   

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Black History Month: A Refelection

By Senator Aaron D. Ford
February 11, 2015

Fifty years after the passage of a Voting Rights Act that guaranteed African-Americans’ right to vote, forty-eight years after the first African-American was appointed to the US Supreme Court, and six years after the first African-American was elected President of the United States, it seems unusual to some to have February designated as “Black History Month.” 

After all, for many younger people in our country Black History is known simply as “history.” To many, the importance of race or ethnicity as an overt force in society has begun to fade. 

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Upholding the Legacy: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

By Senator Aaron D. Ford
January 19, 2015

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to consider the work we continue to do to uphold his legacy. 

6a00d834525f2869e200e550790fb18834-500wiFifty years ago, the American Civil Rights Movement scored an important victory with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. This landmark legislation helped put an end to some of the most egregious violations of a cherished, fundamental right: the right to vote. Central to its passage were courageous activists who stood tall in places like Selma, Alabama to defend the rights of African-Americans and others who had been oppressed. Some of those activists paid for their courage with their lives. As we remember their sacrifice, we are obligated to consider our own duty to protect the legacy of Dr. King and the men and women who stood with him.

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Senator Woodhouse Attends Cheeburger Cheeburger Grand Opening

By: Senator Joyce Woodhouse

Last week my friends Jahed and Dali invited me to attend the grand opening of their newest restaurant and most recent edition to Henderson’s small business community: Cheeburger Cheeburger. If you enjoy cheeseburgers and milkshakes as much as I do, I strongly suggest stopping by this new local spot!

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Welcome to our Website

By: Aaron Ford, Nevada State Senate Democratic Leader

aaron fordI’m excited to announce that we have updated our website and launched our new blog section! Our blogs are designed to keep you updated on new and important developments that will occur during the 2015 Legislative session and beyond.

During the upcoming legislative session we are expecting to see intense debates on improving our education system, strengthening the safety of our communities, and upgrading the state of our mental and physical health care services. You can be assured that the primary focus of the Nevada Senate Democrats will be to work across the aisle to resolve these issues and make sure that our working families get a fair shot.

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