Read about my initiatives that will drive change for many issues.
As Commissioner, I am going to push two agendas heavily:
1) Clark County needs to adapt for a new future, and
2) Clark County needs to strengthen partnerships with locals and local nonprofits/community organizations.
These two will facilitate change with respect to many issues.
Answers to Questions about Specific Policies
The following questions were asked by an organization that was compiling profiles on all candidates. I liked my responses to their questions and wanted people to find those responses here. Enjoy!
With casinos closed and tourism down, I don’t expect Clark County’s population to experience net growth in 2020 or 2021. However, we need to engage in urban planning now to prepare for our next growth spurt. Manipulating zoning, incentivizing infill development, and promoting use of public transportation can work together to benefit Clark County with more efficient commutes, stronger sense of community, and cleaner living environments.
The decrease in tourism has resulted in lower revenues of Clark County and a likely higher demand for affordable housing. Unfortunately, this means Clark County cannot throw money at the problem if we don’t have money. The best option is shifting as much of the responsibility of supplying affordable housing onto developers through inclusive zoning. Developers will rightfully be upset by this burden shift, but Clark County can offer them shorter, more predictable response times when they need approvals and inspectors to appease them. The special treatment is justifiable because Clark County has an interest in quickly providing more affordable housing.
Clark County needs to expand the Outside Agency Grant to support the local nonprofits helping the homeless. Charities like Churches not only feel a calling to assist the homeless, but also do the work cost efficiently by using volunteers, donations, and their goodwill. For example, it might be difficult for Clark County to find a homeless transgender youth because s/he is couch surfing after being disowned by parents. Trans kids find other gender diverse kids and eventually connect to an LGBTQ+ group. That LGBTQ+ group has a few huge advantages over Clark County: 1) the client was connected to the group through a friend, so there is an extended trust for that group; 2) the group has a good reputation around the factors that led to the homelessness; and 3) that group has a membership that can understand the client’s needs and help the client connect to the appropriate services. These are true whether the group is an LGBTQ+ group, Veteran’s group, or any other social affinity organization. Effectively communicating Clark County’s needs can allow applicants to tailor their proposals to those needs so that Clark County can provide the homeless with better service while lowering their costs.
Because Clark County will have reduced revenues due to the stopped tourism, I don’t see funding for many programs or causes going up. With respect to mental health, the problem is that demand for mental health services exceeds supply. Our solution needs to either increase supply, which will be difficult without somehow creating or attracting more mental health professionals, or decrease demand. To decrease demand, Clark County can offer (or support an organization through the Outside Agency Grant that can offer) preventative mental health programming, like classes on anxiety, depression, mental/emotional abuse, and other common issues to help educate people about mental health as a prophylactic. Understanding mental health and coping mechanisms and local resources will allow Clark County residents to prepare for tough times and get through tough times without as much professional support. Such a program could be both inexpensive and highly impactful.
Clark County, indeed the whole world, is at a unique point in history. Right now, no one can ignore the benefits of conservation because the 6+ week lockdown has created cleaner air, quieter neighborhoods, and thriving local flora and fauna. We MUST capitalize on this deeper awareness to create cultural change in Clark County by getting new people to try using public transportation. If they experience a reliable, efficient system; if they convert time spent in a traffic jam into time spent catching up on texts/emails; if they feel like their efforts are making a difference, they’ll change. As we get more people to use the system, we should expand it according to riders’ demands. People will support an expansion that makes their life better by purchasing tickets.
There is a correct order of operations. First get people to use public transportation while we can exploit the heightened awareness, then improve the system based on rider demand and with rider financial support. Let’s not do it the other way around.
Local governments should have very limited ability to regulate firearms. Clark County cannot ban guns, for example, when gun owners from other counties pass through Clark County on their way to Front Sight, Arizona, Utah, etc. However, it is okay for Clark County to restrict gun purchases in Clark County, though.
Beyond common sense gun laws, like requiring someone to pass a background check in order to purchase a gun and prolonging the time period between purchasing a gun and receiving a gun so as to create a cooling off period, I’m not convinced that gun laws would reduce gun violence.
Yes. As a teacher for Clark County School District, I was a public sector employee who was directly affected by changes to Teacher’s Health Trust, not getting raises, etc. Luckily, I never had to deal with Corona virus, which creates an invisible hazard in all work environments. Our public sector employees need PPE/safe working environments and wages that reflect their contribution to society.
The HUNDRED Plan lays out a detailed transformation of the Historic Westside. This plan is on the order of a Downtown Project and is really impressive. Over the last four years, we’ve steadily made progress to implementing the vision in the HUNDRED Plan, with the most recent major milestone for the Historic Westside being a $3.5M allocation by a Clark County-City of Las Vegas partnership to develop the Historic Westside Leaders Park. That funding should hopefully support this effort through the current economic downtown, and I’ll further support it by pushing progress and maintaining momentum.
Police brutality is wrong. All people in power should be held to a higher standard than civilians, and I think cops who abuse their power should be punished more severely than civilians to show the public that no one is above the law.
I’ve been vocal about the need for systemic, cultural change with law enforcement in Clark County since I declared my candidacy. I was quoted in the Law Vegas Review Journal on May 14, 2020 (before George Floyd) as saying, “Cops have, at best, an image problem right now. There’s a lot of people who will find fault with police, for good reason.” See the article at this link if you subscribe to the LVRJ or this link if you do not.
My plan for police reform involves strategically eliminating 25% of the cops, rebuilding the culture, then adding back new cops into a system built around respect and integrity. COVID-19 stopped tourism, and stopped tourism led to revenue losses affecting More Cops, a program that provides about $150M to police departments in Clark County, adding almost 1,000 extra officers. Without intervention, Clark County will lose about 25% of the police positions across five police departments. I simply won’t intervene, letting the financial struggles play out their effect. When the money comes back, I’ll reward the police departments that have successfully instituted changes in recruitment practices, training programs, implementation support, and maintenance procedures that ensure all cops hold themselves and their fellow cops to higher standards. That way, the new cops come into an unbroken system, and they will know the exact timing and punishments for nonconformity to our expectations.
This rebuilt system is good for the people AND the police. Good officers suffer from a bad image because their fellow cops literally get away with murder. This we-have-each-others’-back my-friend-right-or-wrong culture understandably creates a sense that the badge and uniform are a license to bend/break rules. The new culture will allow the public to view cops favorably, something most cops should appreciate.