*Candidate responses were not modified or altered.

Candidate Questions

Q1. How would you increase funding and incentives to develop affordable housing for low and middle-income communities?

Q2. How would you support the growing number of renters in our state?

Q3. How would you increase the resources needed for our students and teachers to be successful?

Q4. How would you address economic and racial disparities in our schools?

Q5. How would you create a welcoming and supportive environment in Nevada for immigrants and their families?

Q6. How would you increase healthcare access and affordability in Nevada?

Q7. How would you increase community capacity around mental health and substance abuse?

Partisan races with only one candidate per political party will not be included in the Primary Election ballot

Catana Barnes

A1. I would initiate/support legislation that requires businesses with 500 or more employees to contribute a percentage of their revenues towards affordable housing. I believe that businesses have a responsibility to invest in the communities they operate in to help compensate for the resources they use.

A2. I would initiate/support legislation that protects renters/tenants from abusive and/or neglectful landlords. I would also initiate/support legislation that caps rental costs at no more than 30% of the renter’s/tenant’s monthly income.

A3. I would initiate/support legislation that restructures our education system so that the student’s and teacher’s needs are met first. I would also initiate/support legislation that incentivizes businesses, particularly big businesses, to partner with our schools and provide support where necessary.

A4. To address the issue of economic disparities, I would initiate/support legislation that provides for equal distribution of funding to the schools regardless of their districts. To address the issue of racial disparities, I would initiate/support legislation that directly addresses racial disparities in our education system by forming a research team to find out where our schools rank with other schools nationally on this issue, and how our schools can improve to come in line with, or exceed, the other states on this issue.

A5. I would initiate/support legislation that establishes state sponsored cultural centers that embrace the diversified communities of Nevada. The cultural centers would also be partnered with our schools and museums to promote embracing all cultures and how those cultures contribute to the richness and strength of our state.

A6. I will initiate/support legislation that guarantees access to affordable and quality healthcare for all Nevadans. I will also initiate/support legislation that bans any pre-existing condition clauses by any medical insurance company.

A7. I will initiate/support legislation that establishes and funds a mental health trust fund for the state. The mental health trust fund could also be used to help those with substance abuse issues as the two issues are oftentimes related.

Heidi Gansert (Incumbent)

No responses or photo submitted

Wendy Jauregui-Jackins

A1. The affordable housing crisis has deeply impacted our local community here in Reno. The housing that is available simply cannot meet the demand for it. In my current job at the Washoe County Assessor’s Office, I see first-hand every day the lack of affordable housing options available. I’m grateful for the efforts to tackle this issue by so many in our community. I believe that we can only solve this problem in partnership with our local governments, affordable housing advocates, and developers. I plan to work with local leaders here in Reno to address this issue, while building on the work done during the 2019 legislative session to incentivize more affordable housing options coming online.

A2. I believe this ties into the issue of affordable housing. The lack of inventory available greatly impacts affordability of rental units. To solve this issue, we must work together with our local partners here on the ground in Reno and build on the work the legislature began in 2019 to incentivize more available affordable housing options.

A3. Improving our public education system is my top priority. Growing up, I was part of English Language Learner and free/reduced lunch programs. Having access to these programs and a quality public education set me up for success, and I believe that everyone in our community deserves to have access to those same opportunities. I will work to secure more funding for our schools here in Washoe County in order to increase teacher pay and reduce class sizes by capping the ratio of students to teachers so that our kids get the individualized attention they need to be successful. I also want to create more vocational training programs in our schools to prepare students who don’t plan to go onto college for skilled jobs.

A4. Every student in our community should have access to a world-class education regardless of zip code. I would like to work towards funding and support of educators in low-income areas to provide equal opportunities for all students. I also would like to expand programs like ELL and Free and Reduced Lunch that helped set me up for success and that I know help so many students in our community who already have access to them.

A5. This is an issue that hits close to home for me as I am a first generation American. My parents came here to pursue the American dream. They worked hard, and my dad eventually built up a successful small business. My parents always instilled in our family an appreciation for the many opportunities this country provides. I supported the legislature’s efforts last session to create the Office for New Americans to provide assistance to those who are new to our county and Nevada. I know that such an office would have been helpful to my family when they first came to this country in learning how to navigate state systems in place. Ultimately, the state legislature does not have the power to pass any comprehensive immigration reform. Those changes will have to happen at the federal level. I believe the federal government needs to figure out how to fix our broken immigration system — starting with passing legislation that protects the many DREAMers in this country, including many right here in Nevada.

A6. The rising cost of healthcare is a major problem in our community, and addressing this issue one of my top priorities. We need to do more to offer the people that live here in Reno good insurance coverage options. There is currently an interim legislative study taking place to look at the feasibility and design of a public option for Nevada. I am eagerly awaiting the results of that study because I believe it could provide Nevada-specific answers to providing people in our community with more affordable health care opportunities.

A7. I am very supportive of the work the legislature has done in the creation of mobile mental health units. The mobile mental health units provide access to services to people by meeting them where they are in their communities, and I support the expansion of programs like these. I also support the use of diversion programs and drug courts for nonviolent offenders to help tackle the issue of substance abuse for those who are clearly in need of treatment.

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