Name: Sean D. Lyttle
Office: State Assembly, District 37
On-Air Interview Summary: Sean’s impetus for getting into the legislature is the adult guardianship program, which he says is fundamentally broken. His father was a retirement home director, so issues affecting seniors are of utmost importance to him. People in his district tell him that public safety and access to services are most important to them. Parents in his district tell him they’re watching the Clark County School District reorganization closely. Lyttle says that recalculating the secondary caps on property taxes is the issue that is “the elephant in the room.” The unexpected consequences of those caps in the economic downturn has left less money for public schools. Sean is in favor of the background check ballot measure, which he sees as an incremental step “towards common sense gun reform that may save some lives.” He thinks background checks will mitigate against violence against law enforcement and against women in domestic abuse situations. He favors legalizing recreational marijuana, and he is looking at what states like Washington and Colorado have learned from regulating legal marijuana.
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Biography provided by candidate:
“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Sean D. Lyttle grew up in the American South. Born in Tennessee, in the first decade following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sean and his family spent time in Nashville and New Orleans before landing in Memphis. The son of a school teacher and a retirement home director, Sean spent a great deal of time after school hours conversing with both educators and seniors, learning lessons both academic and practical. Perhaps most importantly, he grew up learning from his parents and all these other mentors that everyone – regardless of his or her background, experience, or station in life – is worthy of respect, dignity, and compassion.
Thanks to scholarship money, support from his parents, and his own hard work, Sean was fortunate enough to graduate with honors from the prestigious Memphis University School, and then from Rhodes College, one of the premiere liberal arts institutions in the South. Shortly after completing his undergraduate studies at Rhodes and earning his BA, Sean relocated to the Midwestern metropolis of Chicago, and then later back to Memphis. When the time came to pursue a law degree some years later, Sean chose to attend a Top 25 law school just 85 miles or so from his previous Chicago home: the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. While in law school at Notre Dame, Sean was selected to the Mock Trial team, elected Vice President of the Student Bar Association, published in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Critical Race Perspectives, and appointed as a Representative to the University Academic Council. At commencement exercises, Sean was honored with the Barrett Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of Trial Advocacy.
Sean has never before sought political office. Prior to attending law school, he worked professionally in the theater, as well as in the nightclub and restaurant industry, quickly becoming a top executive in the food, beverage and nightlife field. While still in law school, Sean was recruited to work at the Las Vegas office of a national law firm, and Las Vegas has been his home ever since graduation. At the very beginning of 2014, Sean became a Nevada small business owner, opening the doors of his very own family law and estate planning firm. In addition to his law practice, Sean has served on various non-profit volunteer boards and has donated hundreds of hours of free legal work to citizens and charitable organizations in need, earning recognition from the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada for his commitment to pro bono work. Sean is a proud member of the Nevada and Clark County Bar Associations, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, ProNet of Las Vegas, and Infinity Networking Group.
Sean is committed to earning a spot in the Nevada Assembly this November, and he is proud to be self-employed as a family lawyer, but first and foremost, Sean is a dedicated husband and father. Sean’s wife Apryl was born and raised – by her proud, culinary-union-member grandmother – right here in Las Vegas, and she is Sean’s indispensable partner in life, love, and business. Together, they are raising two wonderful daughters: Bella, a rising fourth-grader at Lummis Elementary School, and Harper, who will celebrate her first birthday just after Election Day. Animal lovers all, they currently share their home with two rescued dogs, a hamster, and several pet fish. The Lyttles have lived in Assembly District 37 for three years now, and they spend much of their time – working, playing, going to school, and worshipping – right here in their beloved community of Summerlin.
Question: In a 140 characters, introduce yourself as if you are introducing yourself to a neighbor.
After years of advocating for seniors, families, and small business owners in the courtroom, I am ready to be Your Advocate in the Assembly.
Question: Last legislative session, the major initiative was a tax increase to support education in the state. What should the major accomplishment of 2017 legislature be?
I would like to think we can achieve more than just one major accomplishment! The three major accomplishments of the 2017 legislative session should be: 1) extending to higher education the sort of progress that was made in 2015 with respect to K-12 education; 2) reforming our state's adult guardianship system so that it adequately protects our seniors and other vulnerable members of our community; and 3) putting Nevada on a specific path toward being the nation's renewable energy leader.
Question: If recreational marijuana is legalized by voters in this state, do you want revenue from it to fund health initiatives, research and/or youth awareness campaigns?
I believe that recreational marijuana is the future all across our country, and, as such, I would like to see Nevada lead on the issue rather than follow. While I will respect the will of the voters as a legislator, I personally support Question 2. However, I don't necessarily think that state funds (or, more specifically, revenue derived from recreational marijuana sales) should be used, in particular, to fund public health initiatives, research, or youth awareness campaigns; there are many other public and private sources for such things. Instead, I would like to see state recreational marijuana revenue applied toward some combination of public education, infrastructure renewal, and/or community policing programs.
Question: Many elected officials in Clark County say they’d like to see the property tax cap changed – that it's time because tax revenues aren’t meeting budgets. Is that an idea you want to see the legislature tackle?
It's not really a question of wanting to tackle the property tax issue, but rather that we will absolutely have to address it in the next legislative session. The projected shortfall is massive and therefore demands our prompt attention. The important question is precisely how to go about fixing the problem, specifically with regard to the secondary cap. As a legislator, I will put equity first when it comes to the property tax formula, so that the concerns of all stakeholders are properly considered, and seniors on fixed incomes and small business owners are adequately protected. We need to find a solution that not only avoids a disproportionate impact on any one community, but also prevents large, overnight increases to property tax bills. It is a daunting task, to be sure, but one in which I am ready to participate.
Question: Do you support the construction of a taxpayer-funded NFL stadium?
I would personally love to see an NFL team in Las Vegas, and I think our citizens deserve -- and are in fact long overdue for -- a major sports franchise of our own. I also believe that, should an NFL team choose to locate here, that franchise would deserve public support. However, I think that public support should come primarily in the forms of ticket and jersey sales; large, vociferous crowds of supporters at every home game; and infrastructure improvements and accommodations around the stadium site. NHL hockey is coming to Las Vegas without a taxpayer-funded arena, and NFL football can and should come here without requiring taxpayer funding for a stadium.
(Editor's note: The candidate's biography and answers were not edited for content or length)
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