Roberta Lange

Roberta Lange

Roberta Ann  Lange 

Democrat for Nevada State Senate District 7


Candidate contact information:

Email address:

Phone number: 702.530.8557

Facebook: Roberta Lange for Senate District 7

Twitter: @LangeforSenate






Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.:


My entire life has been dedicated to making a positive impact on the community in which I live. I served as Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party for three terms, ensuring the state went blue for President Barack Obama in 2012, and again in 2016 for Hilary Clinton. The same year we defeated Trump in Nevada, we also elected Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, flipped two U.S. House seats from red to blue, and regained control of the state legislature. I couldn’t be prouder of the work we did, and I’ve been so inspired by the work the legislature has been able to accomplish with those majorities. This year, I decided it was time to step off the sidelines, run for office, and be a more direct part of policymaking. I began my career as a teacher, and was elected President of my local teachers’ union, serving two terms. I also served as Chief Negotiator for a decade. In that role, I worked to allow teachers to manage their health care, reduced class sizes, and created a cutting-edge teacher evaluation process which received national recognition. I also worked to secure block grant money for teachers to compensate them for extra time spent grading papers at home, making parent calls after hours, and buying school supplies out-of-pocket. I want to bring my experiences to the Nevada Senate, and fight to improve our public schools, increase access to affordable health care, and, as someone who currently works for a small business, ensure that we do all we can to achieve a quick economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.


What policies would you pursue to diversify the state’s economy and create new jobs that pay a living wage?


We need to continue to protect Nevada’s business-friendly climate in order to attract new business to the state and ensure that we are a great place to start a small business. I also want Nevada to continue to invest in green industries like wind and solar to diversify our economy and create more cutting edge, good-paying jobs.


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 have been an advocate for raising the minimum wage for years. I am happy steps are being taken to help that happen. I am supportive of the work done on AJR10 by the legislature, and I will vote in favor of AJR10 in 2021. However, the ultimate goal for me is to see our workers making $15 an hour as the set minimum wage.


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?


As a result of actions taken by Democrats in the legislature and Governor Sisolak, we now have a baseline understanding of what sectors of our economy are emitting greenhouse gasses (GHG), and how much. I will work with the Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE), Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DCNR), and all of the State’s agencies to help implement their recommendations. That will include increasing the use of renewable energy, energy conservation, investments in public transportation/mass transit, the implementation of smart growth policies, introduction of vehicle efficiency standards, transportation electrification, etc.

We should continue to monitor and adjust our renewable portfolio standard (RPS) as necessary to make sure we exceed the mandates for clean energy we have created. Nevada should make solar, wind, geothermal, and energy storage a priority above and beyond the RPS, sending a clear message to utilities, regulators, and ratepayers that we need to adopt as much renewable energy as we can as soon as possible. We should look at closing all of the remaining coal fired power plants in the state ASAP.


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?


Nevada is facing a homelessness and affordable housing crisis. I want to increase funding for emergency shelter and housing opportunities for our homeless populations. I am also opposed to any efforts to criminalize homelessness and find such laws abhorrent. I believe that the state should bring together our municipalities to address this issue as opposed to cities adopting laws that don’t deal with the problem and cause a domino effect on other municipalities. There are different reasons why people are homeless, and so there is no one-size fits all solution to the problem. Some individuals have lost their jobs and can be retrained and may need temporary housing, others have lost everything and need a safe environment and a meal to survive. We need to build on the work done by the legislature last session to incentivize more affordable housing options coming online, and we also need to invest in more drug addiction treatment programs and mental health services.


If elected, do you support bold enhancements to the existing paid sick days law?


I support building on the work done last session to expand earned paid time off for employees so that we can ensure all Nevadans have access to this policy. Our workers shouldn’t have to choose between staying home from work because they are sick and a reduced paycheck. I also believe that the recent COVID-19 crisis has only underscored the need for such policies.


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?



The most pressing health care concern currently facing our state is the coronavirus crisis. Donald Trump has put our state in danger with his slow and inadequate response to the crisis. I will go to work to make sure Nevada has the equipment, capacity and health care staff to contain the coronavirus, and ensure that we are prepared for any such crisis in the future. We must do all we can to protect Obamacare from Trump and right-wing Republicans, who have jeopardized the progress we made protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance longer, and blocking insurance companies from putting lifetime caps on insurance coverage. I’m not afraid to stand up to special interests, like big drug companies and health insurance companies, to get our health care costs under control. I believe access to quality, affordable health care for all is a right, not a privilege, and that’s why I am supportive of research currently underway to create a Nevada-specific public option to bring down health care costs in-state and provide more affordable insurance options for Nevadans.



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 am interested in the findings of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee in order to come up with Nevada-specific solutions to addressing this problem. That said, I think a huge piece of this issue is the skyrocketing costs of health care and the lack of access to that care that many women face. We need to expand access to affordable health care to everyone, especially our expectant mothers, and we need to ensure that every insurance policy is required to cover maternity health care costs so that women receive the proper care and reduce risks associated with pregnancy and birth.


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?



I strongly believe that a woman’s decision about her body is hers and hers alone, and I will do everything in my power to protect every Nevada woman’s right to make her own decisions. Every woman should be able to decide for herself if, when, and with whom to start or grow a family. Trump has attempted to endanger women’s freedom to choose their own paths, particularly with his Supreme Court nominations, but I will always stand up for the rights of the women of our state.
I am proud of the work the legislature did in 2019 funding a $6 million family planning grant, and I support increasing those investments in family planning services. We need to make sure that women have access to critical preventative measures like breast and cervical cancer screenings. I also support the efforts to make birth control more accessible through a standing prescription from the state’s Chief Medical Officer that will allow pharmacists to dispense birth control with women having to go to their gynecologists for a prescription first.



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 believe the most important issue facing Nevada is our education system. I would look to create systemic change through innovation. I am interested in making sure all schools have solid infrastructure to ensure everyone has the same opportunities with technology and academics, as well as extra-curricular.

I taught school for 13 years and understand the issues facing educators. Our state grew so fast and our education system did not keep up. We must find sustainable funding so our children have the same opportunities with other students in the best school districts.

We must bring together the leaders in education to brainstorm ideas and bring legislation forward. Education should be at the top of the priority list.

Changes were made in the last session but it isn’t enough. I will continue to fight to raise the per pupil funding and to raise salaries to be competitive with neighboring states. We have done some but we must do more to fund public education.



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?



I am committed to working collaboratively with community-based partners, as well as the legislature, to continue and expand criminal justice reform efforts. We have to do more to end the schools to prison pipeline. I believe the best place to start is through decriminalization of poverty through eliminating cash bail, increasing diversion programs and accountability courts (like veteran courts, drug courts, etc.), and transitioning to civil penalties rather than criminal penalties for traffic offenses not related to driving under the influence. We should also expand re-entry and transition programs by improving the coordination of services with state agencies like the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision. I am also interested in developing strong public-private partnerships with employers, housing providers, and educational institutions and protecting people from unfair discrimination based on their criminal history.



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 am the grand-daughter of a Mexican immigrant. My grandfather came to the US through El Paso. He helped build the railroad and later settled in southern CA and worked at Lockeed Martin. I believe there should be a path to citizenship and that children born in the US should be citizens. Our country is built on immigrants, and we should not abandon our values that make us stronger. We need common sense immigration reform.

I am not in favor of our state using resources to support ICE.



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?



I commend the work done by the legislature to allow same day voter registration, expand early vote, and implement automatic voter registration. We have truly done so much to expand access to the ballot box, but I think we must continue to look at ways to make it easier to participate in elections. States who have switched to a vote by mail system have seen an increase in turnout in their elections. The upcoming primary will give us some good information on what the expanded use of vote by mail will look like here in Nevada, and I’m in favor of exploring that as one potential option.



What are your positions on legislation to address gun violence prevention?



I am in favor of common sense gun reform to create safe communities and schools, including the work done by the legislature in 2019 to implement universal background checks, Red Flag laws, safe storage, and the banning of bumpstocks. Our state is on the right track in finding common sense solutions to so many bad gun policies that have allowed for the surge of gun violence in our country, and I’m in favor continuing on this path to do more. We need to make sure that there is never another October 1, here or anywhere else.



What are your views on regulating marijuana within the state of Nevada?


There should be sensible regulations that are applied fairly with equal access to licenses. I will continue to work to improve current regulations, and I am interested in learning more about the work being done by the Cannabis Compliance Board during this interim period.


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?


We should have the strongest protections for our public lands in all state laws. We should support the state agencies tasked with creating regulations and enforcing them. I want to ensure we protect the beauty of our state for generations to come, including protecting Red Rock and other designated parks and historical areas. The Nevada Legislature should also send a strong message to our delegation and to the Federal government that we support setting aside public lands for future generations.

Nevada also needs to look at all impacts to every species when we are planning any developments or mineral exploration in our state. Climate change is the #1 threat we face. Once these habitats, animals, and species are gone, we can’t get them back. Nevada should have policies that recognize and accept that when projects use disturbed land or mitigation procedures to protect wildlife and habitat that have additional costs, those costs are necessary.


Nevada is experiencing a more than a decade long drought. What is your position on addressing climate change and protecting Nevada’s water supply?



Climate change is the #1 we face. Drought, wildfires, and pollution are all environmental dangers that we as Nevadans are confronted with. We have to do as much as we can as a state to address climate change. As a result of actions taken by Democrats in the legislature and Governor Sisolak, we now have a baseline understanding of what sectors of our economy are emitting greenhouse gasses (GHG), and how much. I will work with the Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE), Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DCNR), and all of the State’s agencies to help implement their recommendations.
The roll back of environmental protections at the federal level has been one of the worst consequences of having the Trump administration in power. We must do everything we can to ensure strong water quality standards at the state level. Las Vegas has long been a leader in water conservation, and I think we need to continue to be innovative in those efforts and look into options such as desalination as we try to address this issue in the future.

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