Press Releases

RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE ALEXANDER MARKS FOR SENATE DISTRICT 18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 8, 2016

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE ALEXANDER MARKS FOR SENATE DISTRICT 18

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford and the Nevada Senate Democrats announced their endorsement of local attorney and native Nevadan Alexander Marks for Senate District 18. Senate District 18 covers parts of northwest Las Vegas.

“Alexander has already proven himself as an advocate for middle and working class families through his work to expand access to education,” said Sen. Ford. “As Nevada’s economy continues to evolve, the people of Senate District 18 can count on him to be a fighter for their families.”

“Nevada is undergoing transformative economic growth, and I’m running for the Nevada State Senate to help ensure that all families get to share in those new opportunities,” Marks said. “That starts with access to a well-funded education system, including affordable options for quality higher education.”

Marks was born and raised in Las Vegas. After attending college and law school, Marks served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Arizona Students’ Association. In that position, he advocated on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Arizona university and community college students on issues related to access and affordability of higher education.

Marks currently serves as in-house counsel for David Saxe Productions, a large Las Vegas production company that operates two theaters in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. In that role, Marks works with over 300 employees and handles legal matters including labor and employment issues, contract negotiations, and intellectual property matters. Prior to joining David Saxe, his legal practice focused on state and federal gaming law, including appearances before gaming regulators in Nevada and California.

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS MARK LEDBETTER ACT ANNIVERSARY BY CALLING FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION IN 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 29, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS MARK LEDBETTER ACT ANNIVERSARY BY CALLING FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION IN 2017

LAS VEGAS - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats marked the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by calling on the Nevada Legislature to make strong equal pay legislation a priority for the 2017 Legislative Session. In 2015, Senator Pat Spearman (D - North Las Vegas) introduced Senate Bill 190, which would have strengthened protections against gender pay discrimination under state law.

SB190 would have incorporated the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act into Nevada law. The bill would have prevented employer retaliation against employees who share information about their pay with coworkers and allowed victims of pay discrimination to recover damages, including up to two years of back pay and benefits. Republican legislators weakened and ultimately killed the legislation.

“Despite the progress our society has made towards gender equality, the gender pay gap persists, both here in Nevada and across the nation,” Sen. Spearman said. “We must not give up this fight because equal pay is more than just a women’s issue. Closing the pay gap means middle and working class families will have more money to put aside for their children’s futures, to buy a home, to increase retirement savings, and to go farther down the road towards achieving the American Dream.”

Equal pay is particularly important to the economic security of middle and working class families. Not only does the gender pay gap affect women’s present income, but it also lowers long-term retirement savings and benefits. In Nevada, women make approximately $.85 per dollar that a man makes. Women of color face an even greater pay disparity. According to statistics, African-American women in Nevada make $.64 per dollar a man makes, and Latinas make only $.52 per dollar a man makes.

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE DEVON REESE FOR SENATE DISTRICT 15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 25, 2016

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE DEVON REESE FOR SENATE DISTRICT 15

RENO - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford and the Nevada Senate Democrats announced their endorsement of Devon Reese for Senate District 15 in Washoe County. Senate District 15 covers parts of western Reno and Washoe County.

“Devon understands the challenges that ordinary Nevadans face because fighting for working men and women is the centerpiece of his legal career,” said Sen. Aaron Ford. “Beyond being a highly-regarded attorney, he has also been a leader in the community, serving as a mentor, coach, and volunteer. Most importantly, he is a proud father who is invested in seeing all of Nevada’s children succeed. His deep ties to Reno and Washoe County will make him an excellent advocate for the people of Senate District 15.”

“We need legislators who understand what Nevadans from all walks of life are going through,” Reese said. “As a parent with three kids in the Washoe County School District, a businessman, and an advocate for working families, I believe that I can bring people together to build consensus around creating economic and educational opportunities for everyone. I’m looking forward to being a strong voice for our community in Carson City.”

Reese is a native Nevadan who was raised in Senate District 15. He is a graduate of McQueen High School, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and University of Kansas School of Law. As a young attorney, Reese clerked for Justice Cliff Young at the Nevada Supreme Court. He now specializes in commercial litigation, labor and employment matters, and other business disputes. He has represented labor organizations and their members before state and federal courts, arbitrators, and the Nevada Employee Management Relations Board.

Reese is active in the Reno community as a speech and debate coach at McQueen High School, a youth sports league coach, and as a volunteer for a variety of charitable organizations. He lives in Reno with his husband and three children.

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STATE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD’S STATEMENT ON PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION NET-METERING RULING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 13, 2015

 

STATE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD’S STATEMENT ON PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION NET-METERING RULING

LAS VEGAS - Today, State Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on the Public Utilities Commission’s denial of the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s motion for a stay of the commission’s recent net-metering decision. Senator Ford had previously submitted a letter to the PUC urging the commission to grant the stay.

“While I am disappointed the PUC chose not grant the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s motion for a stay, I urge all parties to remember that this is not the end of the process. I am confident that the commissioners will carefully consider petitions for reconsideration of their previous decision, particularly as we learn more about the decision’s effect on existing solar customers. I am committed to working with all sides to ensure that Nevada can grow our solar industry and continues to be a national and global clean energy leader.”


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RELEASE: EMILY’S LIST ENDORSES WOODHOUSE, CANNIZZARO FOR NEVADA STATE SENATE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2016

 

EMILY’S LIST ENDORSES WOODHOUSE, CANNIZZARO FOR NEVADA STATE SENATE

LAS VEGAS - Today, EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed State Senator Joyce Woodhouse for re-election to Nevada State Senate District 5 and Nicole Cannizzaro for election to Nevada State Senate District 6.

"Through her 40-year career as an educator and two terms in the state Senate, Joyce Woodhouse has established herself as a leading advocate for improving Nevada schools, creating good jobs for Nevada's workers, and making sure Nevada provides for its seniors,” said EMILY’s List Vice President of Campaigns, Lucinda Guinn. “Nicole Cannizzaro will also be a fighter for everyday Nevadans because she knows Nevada does best when we invest in our working families.”

Joyce Woodhouse is a 40-year educator who has served two terms in the Nevada State Senate. As an educator, Joyce worked as both a first grade teacher and an elementary school principal in the Clark County School District. During her time with the school district, Joyce was a leader in educational innovation. She worked closely with the business community as the Director of CCSD’s School-Community Partnership program, which grew to include over 600 programs for students on her watch. As a legislator, she has been an advocate for educational opportunities for children, economic growth for families, and a secure retirement for seniors. Senate District 5 incorporates portions of Henderson, Nevada.

Nicole Cannizzaro is a lifelong Nevadan and Clark County Deputy District Attorney. Nicole’s parents moved to Las Vegas before she was born to work in the hotel and casino industry. She attended Clark County schools, graduated from University of Nevada, Reno, and then returned to the UNLV Boyd School of Law to pursue her law degree. As a Deputy District Attorney, Nicole handles a variety of misdemeanor and felony cases, including child abuse, sexual assault, and homicide. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Nicole was in private practice focused on business litigation. Senate District 6 is a Las Vegas-based district, including the Summerlin area.

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SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF APEX INDUSTRIAL PARK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 19, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF APEX INDUSTRIAL PARK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PACKAGE

CARSON CITY - The Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statement on the passage of the economic development package for the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas. The package includes economic incentives and infrastructure improvements for the park as well as a workforce development program to help train Nevadans for future job opportunities.

“Passing this legislation is a victory for North Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada,” said Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D - North Las Vegas). “We will finally have the opportunity to realize the potential of the Apex Industrial Park, and we will create thousands of jobs for Nevadans in the process. We’d like to thank our legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in the Governor’s office for their hard work to make this vision a reality.”

The legislation includes new workforce development programs to ensure Nevadans have the necessary job skills to take advantage of new opportunities at Apex. Included in that is a Democratic proposal that companies receiving economic incentives be required create a workforce diversity plan to ensure that Nevadans of diverse backgrounds benefit from new investment.

“North Las Vegas was one of the hardest hit cities by the recession, so we’re pleased to see that we will be investing directly in building Nevadans’ job skills as part of this economic development project,” said Sen. Pat Spearman (D - North Las Vegas). “North Las Vegas is also one of the most diverse cities in Nevada, and we are proud that everyone, including communities of color, our veterans, and people with disabilities, will be able to partake in a new era of economic growth in Southern Nevada.”

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SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS STATEMENT ON SPECIAL SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS STATEMENT ON SPECIAL SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding a special legislative session and potential economic development opportunity at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.

“Senate Democrats support sensible efforts to strengthen our economy, which is why we voted unanimously in favor of the education funding and reform package passed during the 2015 Legislative Session and supported bringing Tesla to Nevada in 2014,” said Sen. Ford. “Economic incentives are most powerful when they’re used as a tool to invest in Nevadans. We look forward to evaluating whether this new opportunity in North Las Vegas fits within our Nevada Blueprint to grow the middle class by creating high-paying jobs for local workers, expanding opportunities for other Nevada-based businesses, and further diversifying our state economy.”


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RELEASE: STATE SENATOR DAVID PARKS TO SEEK REELECTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 2, 2015

 

STATE SENATOR DAVID PARKS TO SEEK REELECTION

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, State Senator David Parks announced he will seek a third term in the Nevada Senate in 2016. Throughout his career, Sen. Parks has been an advocate for Nevada’s working families, a better healthcare system, improved funding for education programs, and fair and equal treatment for all of the state’s residents.

 

“I’m proud of the work my Democratic colleagues and I have done to make Nevada a better place for families. This past session, we took historic steps to improve our state’s education system, but we need to keep building on those gains," said. Sen. Parks. "We must continue to improve our higher education system, grow wages for middle and lower income families, and ensure that all our laws treat all Nevadans fairly, regardless of their backgrounds.”

 

During the 2015 Legislative Session, Sen. Parks introduced several pieces of important legislation, including anti-bullying legislation, help for local and state governments to hire more law enforcement officers, and a revision of Nevada’s anti-discrimination laws. Sen. Parks served on the Government Affairs, Natural Resources, and Finance Committees.

 

Sen. Parks represents Senate District 7, which includes parts of Henderson and unincorporated Clark County. Prior to his election to the State Senate in 2008, Sen. Parks served from 1996 to 2008 in the State Assembly.

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RELEASE: STATE SENATOR JOYCE WOODHOUSE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF TEACHER LICENSING TO EASE TEACHER SHORTAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 11, 2015

 

STATE SENATOR JOYCE WOODHOUSE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF TEACHER LICENSING TO EASE TEACHER SHORTAGE

 

LAS VEGAS -  Today, State Senator Joyce Woodhouse called for a review of teacher licensing in Nevada. Specifically, Senator Woodhouse called for the Legislative Committee on Education to begin a study of potential legislative changes that could be implemented during the 2017 Legislative Session in order to expand flexibility for local school districts, attract more qualified teachers to Nevada, and better equip teachers to provide a high quality education to students.

Senator Woodhouse made the following statement regarding her proposal:

“The teacher shortage in Clark County is a crisis that is putting students and their long-term educational success at risk. Modernizing our approach to licensing teachers could help us put more teachers in classrooms, reduce class sizes, and improve educational outcomes.”

“However, we should also be mindful of the fact that teacher licensing is a complex issue that deserves a thorough review. It will require us to draw on the expertise of our teachers, school administrators, and local communities, while also taking a look at the experiences of other states. That’s why I’m calling on the Legislative Committee on Education to begin this process now so that we will have at least a year to complete this important work.”

 

As part of its review of Nevada’s teacher licensing practices, Senator Woodhouse proposed that the committee should consider the following areas:

 

1. Exploring potential options for reciprocity in teacher licensing so that qualified teachers who are currently licensed in other states can more easily move to Nevada. This would include a review of the experiences of other states that already grant reciprocity.

2. Examining the process for out-of-state licensure applications to look for possible areas of improvement that would expedite the review and reduce the burden on applicants. The current process has been criticized for being too tedious and for taking too long to complete.

3. Reviewing possible regulatory adjustments that would be required at the Department of Education in order to implement any changes to existing licensure requirements.

4. Ensuring that any changes are made in a way that preserves Nevada’s ability to ensure that only qualified teachers are licensed in the state.

Joyce Woodhouse has served on the Senate Education Committee during four legislative sessions, including as the committee chair in 2013. She also chaired the Legislative Committee on Education during the 2013-2015 interim. Woodhouse spent 40 years working for the Clark County School District as a first grade teacher and an elementary school principal. Throughout her career, she also held leadership positions with the Nevada State Education Association.

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE NICOLE CANNIZZARO FOR SENATE DISTRICT 6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE NICOLE CANNIZZARO FOR SENATE DISTRICT 6

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford and the Nevada Senate Democrats announced their endorsement of Clark County Deputy District Attorney Nicole Cannizzaro for Senate District 6 in Las Vegas. Senate District 6 covers parts of northwest Las Vegas, including the Summerlin area.

“Nicole is tough, fair, and a dedicated public servant. In the courtroom, she has proven time and time again that she fights for those who need it most,” said Sen. Ford. “No other candidate in this race can match her record of service to our community, and we are proud to endorse her for State Senate.”

“Growing up, I attended Clark County Schools, went to college on a Guinn Millennium Scholarship, and earned my law degree here at UNLV,” Cannizzaro said. “I’m living proof that when Nevada invests in Nevadans, we give people a fair shot to make their own lives better. In the State Senate, I’ll fight to make sure we give even more Nevadans that same opportunity to succeed.”  

Cannizzaro is a lifelong Nevadan. Her parents were Culinary Local 226 members who worked in the Las Vegas hospitality industry. Cannizzaro attended Chaparral High School and earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. Following college, she earned her juris doctor from UNLV Boyd School of Law and was admitted to the Nevada State Bar.

Cannizzaro began her legal practice in civil litigation before moving to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in 2011. As a prosecutor, Cannizzaro has had an active and varied case-load, ranging from overseeing juvenile matters to handling cases of child abuse, sexual assault, homicide, and other violent crimes.  

She and her husband reside in Summerlin.

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STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD ON CLEAN POWER PLAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 3, 2015

 

STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD ON CLEAN POWER PLAN

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan:

“I am proud to say that Nevada is ahead of the EPA on curbing carbon pollution from our electricity generation infrastructure. Through development of an aggressive state plan addressing the EPA’s carbon pollution restrictions on existing power plants, Nevada continues to lead the nation in renewable energy development and use.

Due to Nevada’s foresight, we are in a good position not only to comply with the rule, but also to prosper from it. Nevada has been on the forefront of clean energy through a rigorous Renewable Portfolio Standard, an aggressive tax abatement program, and the 2013 passage of Senate Bill 123, which schedules the closure of most in-state coal-fired power plants. This leadership has helped place Nevada among the top states in clean and solar job creation, attracted more than $5.5 billion in renewable energy investment and positioned our renewable energy industry to take advantage of the Clean Power Plan by supplying clean energy to neighboring states.”


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SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD STATEMENT ON 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 8, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD STATEMENT ON 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding the race for the 3rd Congressional District.

“I would like to thank the many people who encouraged me to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. While I deeply appreciate the support, I can best serve my friends, neighbors, and fellow Nevadans by running for reelection in Senate District 11. Raising four boys, I know how important it is that Nevada’s state senators focus on the kitchen-table economic issues that families all across the state deal with every day.

Unfortunately, Republican leadership killed important bills in the 2015 Session that would have guaranteed a parent time off work to care for a sick child, helped our graduates refinance their student loans, and ensured that women earned equal pay for equal work. I’m committed to helping my party retake the State Senate majority in 2016 so that we can renew our focus on the issues that will help grow Nevada’s middle class.”

Sen. Ford was elected to represent Nevada Senate District 11 in 2012. He has served as Senate Democratic Leader since December 2014.

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STATEMENT OF SENATORS PARKS, SPEARMAN, AND ATKINSON ON SUPREME COURT MARRIAGE RULING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2015

 

STATEMENT OF SENATORS PARKS, SPEARMAN, AND ATKINSON ON SUPREME COURT MARRIAGE RULING

 LAS VEGAS - Today, Sen. David Parks, Sen. Pat Spearman, and Sen. Kelvin Atkinson released the following statement with regard to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court ruled that under the 14th amendment states may not deny marriage rights to same-gender couples.  

“As members of Nevada’s LGBT community, we are overjoyed that all of our fellow citizens across the country will finally enjoy the same marriage rights that we recently won in Nevada. The road to marriage equality has been long, but through the courage of so many activists from diverse and faith-based communities, civic leaders, and ordinary citizens, we have achieved this historic victory. We hope that all Nevadans and all Americans will join us today in celebrating equality.”

 

In 2013, the Nevada Senate Democrats voted unanimously in favor of SJR13, a resolution that would have put marriage equality on the ballot. In 2014, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals legalized same-gender marriage in Nevada.

 

Senate Democrats continued fighting for LGBT Nevadans in the 2015 Legislative Session, including with legislation introduced by Sen. Parks to expand Nevada’s anti-discrimination protections and to ban conversion therapy for minors.

 

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RELEASE: Nevada Senate Democrats Announce Executive Director Transition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2015

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TRANSITION

CARSON CITY - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats announced changes in caucus staff for the 2016 election cycle. Effective June 15, 2015 Executive Director Michelle White will transition to her new role as State Political Director for the Hillary Clinton for Nevada campaign. Peter Koltak, who currently serves as the Communications Director for the Nevada Senate Democrats, will serve as Executive Director. 

Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford made the following statement:

“Michelle is one of the finest political operatives in Nevada. While we are sad that she will no longer be with our caucus, we are excited to support her in her new role with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I am confident that Peter’s extensive battleground state experience and his stellar performance as Communications Director during the legislative session make him the right person to help lead the caucus for the upcoming election cycle.”

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF HISTORIC EDUCATION FUNDING PACKAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF HISTORIC EDUCATION FUNDING PACKAGE

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democrats voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 483, a historic revenue package that will dramatically improve education in Nevada.

Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford made the following statement:

“This is a historic day for the people of Nevada, and the Senate Democrats are proud to have done our part to finally fund education in our state. Today, we are one critical step closer to funding the programs and initiatives that my Democratic colleagues have championed for years. On behalf of the Senate Democrats, I want to thank Governor Sandoval and our Republican colleagues who came together to make today a victory for Nevada’s kids.”

 

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