03 Oct Patricia Spearman
Democrat for Nevada State Senate District 1
Candidate contact information:
Email address: SenatorSpearman@gmail.com
Phone number: (702) 706-5785
Facebook: Senator Patricia "Pat" Spearman
CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.:
This will be my 3rd term in the Senate and I still have work to do in Renewable Energy, Criminal Justice Reform, Improving the quality of life for Veterans, and working to get more diversity in the area of mental, emotional and physical health. We need more women and people representing emerging majorities. I also want to work to diversify our economy and work on equality and equity issues within our state and nation.
What policies would you pursue to diversify the state’s economy and create new jobs that pay a living wage?
Renewable Energy is our BEST HOPE to diversify our state's economy. The jobs building, maintaining, and repairing RE infrastructure will bring "GOOD PAYING" jobs and the industry is just beginning to grow.
The 2019 Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Joint Resolution 10 (AJR 10) to amend the Nevada Constitution to remove the two-tiered minimum wage system and ensure a set minimum wage of $12. What are your views on passing AJR 10 in the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session to put it on the ballot in 2022?:
I will support that bill AND work to get skills training for workers who will be displaced by technology and innovation. We've seen more kiosk installed in fast food restaurants, grocery stores and airline counters. As we fight to increase the minimum wage, we must also work to ensure displaced workers, especially our "Seasoned Citizens" will have viable employment options with more AI, computerized, and innovation bring "disruptive technology" to the work place.
In 2019, Nevada joined the US Climate Alliance and took aggressive steps to address climate change by increasing our Renewable Portfolio Standard and encourage a shift to clean energy sources such as solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind. What policies do you support to continue this effort, particularly in the transportation sector?
I would like to see us increase our geothermal opportunities. California is the only state with more geothermal than Nevada, yet we use less than 10% of that renewable energy resource. Building more geothermal energy plants will also increase opportunities for advanced manufacturing jobs to the state. look at ways to phase in electric School Buses, build the infrastructure for highway charging stations, and develop a plan for parity fees between electric and combustible engine automobiles.
How can the State work with localities to address the housing and homelessness crisis we are currently facing? Specifically, what measures or policies can we enact to make housing more affordable for all Nevadans?
We have to look at the escalating housing cost and find a solution for people for whom their pay will not cover housing needs. I believe we also should look at options of converting abandoned "Big Box Stores into multifamily housing units and look at re-purposing shipping containers as single homes for veterans much like Dr. Stalk has done at Veterans' Village. In 2019, I had a bill that would allow those living in public housing and children in foster care to have a separate escrow savings account so they could save to purchase a home or start a small business. Children "aging out" of foster care could save so they would have a financial cushion when they turned 18 years old. If we support ways to improve access to capital for people to purchase their own home, it helps build generational wealth, they are less dependent on rented or public housing, and it helps to stabilize our communities. These are not the only viable suggestions, I'm sure, so I'm willing to work with others to develop a [workable] plan that we can implement as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery.
If elected, do you support bold enhancements to the existing paid sick days law?
Yes, I will.
With the possibility of the Affordable Care Act being repealed by the Supreme Court, including the Medicaid expansion and protections on coverage for preexisting conditions, what should be done to address the way in which Nevadans get access to affordable health care?
I believe we codified many parts of the ACA into state law. We will need to go back and look at where we are in the decrease in the federal funding percentage of Medicaid to ensure we move judiciously in light of the economic challenges we will have in 2020 and beyond. I think our BEST chance is electing candidates, up and down the ballot, that believe health care is a right not a privilege. At some point we will have to revisit our revenue structure because our financial resources are not keeping pace with our population growth. Although we expanded access to Medicaid the federal governments portion decreases annually. One of the ideas we might consider is establishing some type of medical co-op to help those in under-served communities learn more about healthy eating, expanding preventative services, and insurance plans offering rebate/decrease in premiums when someone moves toward a healthier life style (i.e. smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.) Money saved by reducing co-morbidity could go back into the medicaid budget.
The United States has become the most dangerous place in the world for a woman to give birth, especially black women. For every 100,000 live births, 42 women die. What policies would you support to protect pregnant mothers?
I supported Assemblywoman Monroe Moreno's bill to get data on this and develop specific policies for this demographic to help them with safe pregnancies. We also need to have more OB GYN doctors in the state especially those specializing in high risk pregnancies. I have also heard from some constituents that some doctors don't listen to them or take their concerns seriously during medical examinations. Not sure how to deal with this aspect of medical treatment without the opportunity for patients to complete "Quality Questionnaire".
We must also look ate increasing health food options in neighborhoods with high density and very little access to full grocery stores. Diet has a lot to do with healthy pregnancies. Looking at this issue comprehensively includes decreasing environmental stress (reducing crime, stronger gun safety laws, access to treatment for emotional well being, and creating partnerships with community and faith based organizations to support expecting/new mothers.
In 2019, Nevada state family planning grant funding was increased by way of legislation. What additional measures do you believe are still needed to ensure families have equitable access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care?
We need a full review of all of our statutes related to reproductive health and repeal those that outdated. We also need to make sure women and children living in economically distressed communities have FULL access to healthcare, including Tele-health options for those without transportation. Continue to oppose ALL legislation to restrict women's right to have full autonomy over their body, repeal laws that allow employers the right to deny medical coverage under company health plans, and look for ways to partner with community groups like Planned Parenthood to maximize financial resources for women and families.
What do you believe is the best approach to ensure all of Nevada’s children have equal access to a quality public education? How do we address the significant education funding shortfall?
I think the changes to the education delivery system necessitated by COVID-19 have given us some opportunities to use more technology and reduce the amount of paper used by students, teachers, administrators, etc. If we continue the paper reduction post COVID, the money saved can go back into teacher salaries, increasing teachers to reduce class size, and again, we will have to look at our revenue structure to make sure it gives us every opportunity to fund education at optimum levels. This includes in school [emotional well being] counselors, nurses, and other adjunct staff to support classroom teachers. I do not believe we should take money from public schools.
The majority of Nevada’s children are children of color, and many families have been affected by current immigration policies, incarceration, and criminal sentencing policies. How would you work to address these issues to provide opportunities to all Nevadans?
This will have to be a "Village" effort. Working with faith based and community organizations to help get information to formally incarcerated individuals, massive voter registration and GOTV campaigns, and use social media as dissemination vehicles. We also need access to training and apprenticeship opportunities to help with workforce development. We cannot allow ICE to terrorize immigrant families and do everything in our power to reform immigration policies to 21st century standards. We still have work to do on criminal justice reform, incarceration awaiting trial, cash bail, rights of the accused when they are on programs such as house arrest, kiosk check in, and holding those in law enforcement who abuse their power accountable with a "zero tolerance" policy. We must also work with emotional wellness professionals to help those formally incarcerated address any trauma they experienced, especially those who were placed in solitary confinement and/or wrongfully imprisoned. Helping our neighbors move beyond those experiences will also help families in re-unification.
What are your views on the use of Nevada’s financial resources to support the deportation efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency?
I do not think we should use our resources to assist ICE, especially now when the federal policy is informed by xenophobic ideology. FULL STOP!
In 2019, Nevada significantly expanded voting rights and accessibility to voting locations. What additional measures, if any, are needed to improve the efficiency, accessibility, and integrity of elections?
We should make sure our system includes paper ballot back up AND during the COVID-19 response, I believe we should strongly consider making mail in ballots accessible to all eligible voters as another way to ensure everyone has an opportunity to exercise this fundamental right in our democracy.
What are your positions on legislation to address gun violence prevention?
We need to close EVERY LOOPHOLE in gun safety legislation, remove the option for civilians to purchase assault weapons, every county must enforce existing laws as part of their oath of office, include the provisions of the Lautennburg Amendment that governs gun ownership by members of the military. Elect more people who understand gun safety is not synonymous with infringing on personal rights.
What are your views on regulating marijuana within the state of Nevada?
I think it should be regulated and the tiered system of medical patients and recreational use must stay in place. We also need to address inequities that exist for those living in public housing, review sentences of those serving time for possession, push for taking the plant off the schedule 1 list. I am also concerned that the current laws governing dispensaries, reduces opportunities for members of emerging majority communities to get a license. We have work to do.
Nevada has one of the largest shares of public land of any state in the country, providing access for a variety of recreational and commercial uses. How would you address the issues related to public lands and their continued future uses?
Public lands should remain public.
Nevada is experiencing a more than a decade long drought. What is your position on addressing climate change and protecting Nevada’s water supply?
We need to increase creation and use of renewable energy, adopt sustainable development goals, and look for ways to re-purpose grey water for industrial use