Physician, attorney, and professor
Assembly District 20
How would you describe yourself to voters?
My background is in medicine and law. I earned both degrees at Harvard and practiced in each field. Currently, I teach health law and constitutional law at the UNLV Boyd School of Law. As a scholar in health policy, I have testified before Congress, had my writing cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, and served as a health policy adviser to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama in 2008 and Joe Biden in 2020.
In this year’s primary election for Assembly District 20, I am the only true Democrat, with a life-long record as a champion of Democratic Party values, including reproductive choice, universal access to health care, and equality for all persons.
What do you see as the top issues in this campaign?
Housing costs and homelessness, education quality, climate change, and health care costs.
In your opinion, how would you rate the state’s response to the pandemic? Why?
As a country and state, we have under-invested in public health and that left us inadequately prepared for the challenges of COVID. Once the pandemic hit, state government was appropriately careful in the steps it took to protect the public health. We also benefited from state policies that reflected the best scientific understanding of COVID.
Education and local government officials have long asked lawmakers to change the way the state assesses property taxes. That includes raising the current tax threshold. Should lawmakers consider raising those thresholds? If not, what is the best way for governments to raise money for local programs?
As we consider property taxes and public funding, reforms should reflect two important principles: It is essential to have an equitable property tax system, and the best way to raise revenues is by growing our economy. With regard to the latter principle, we need to continue our efforts to diversify the state’s economy. We can do more to draw on the expertise at our state universities to expand our health, science, and technology sectors. Importantly, education quality and economic growth are closely linked. As we grow our economy and improve our schools, we will become even more attractive to new businesses and industries.