Nonprofit Director, Cultural Transformation Consultant, Minister
Assembly District 13
How would you describe yourself to voters?
My name is Will Rucker, and I'm running to move Nevada forward. I've worn many different hats over the years: church minister, non-profit director, advisor and board member, small business owner, and husband. In all these fields, I've developed critical relationships that inform how I get things done.
I'm asking you to put your faith in me because I have the integrity and know-how to lead. I wasn't born into a wealthy or powerful family. I'm a double minority born in the city of Detroit. I've worked with people experiencing homelessness, chronic disease, and despair. I've waited tables, started businesses, and led organizations. I've spent my entire life advocating for a better life for all of us. Going into politics to be of service to my community just made sense.
Since moving to Nevada in 2014 with my husband and our three dogs, I have been able to help establish permanent funding for the State Office of Minority Health and Equity, launched an initiative to create awareness of the importance of sustainability, resilience, happiness, and well-being in our community, and worked with Mayor Goodman and the Las Vegas City Council to unanimously adopt Compassion as a key value for the city. In addition, I have hosted local health forums at barbershops, provided drug prevention programming at schools, and offered invocation prayer for School Board and County Commission meetings.
I'm running for Assembly to have an impact on a larger scale for more people. I'm an experienced leader with broad experience and deep values. I am a visionary who believes in the potential of our people and the importance of our past. I strive for excellence, but most importantly, I strive to impact the lives of others in ways that support the greater good. That is why I am asking for your vote.
What do you see as the top issues in this campaign?
The top issue in this campaign is transforming the way we approach government. Our lack of systemic planning and preparation has caused the water crisis, failed schools, and weakened our sense of trust and community. Our taxes are not being used to benefit us. Our quality of life is getting worse for the first time in several generations.
We have to fund our schools and increase teacher pay. It is critical to improve our healthcare system, require safer nurse-to-patient ratios, and make primary and mental healthcare accessible to all Nevadans. We must also get tough on the causes of crime and invest in the tactics that actually reduce crime, not just arrest and jail citizens.
This election is about choosing between fear and vision, getting better or going backward. As your Assemblyperson, I will lead our community forward into a brighter future we can all believe in.
In your opinion, how would you rate the state’s response to the pandemic? Why?
The pandemic was an unprecedented situation for everybody. I think that the leaders in the State did the best they could. But, I also believe that we can do better - much better.
I recognize that not everyone got the care they needed. As your State Assemblyperson, I will fight to ensure that no Nevadan's healthcare is left up to the goodwill of their employer. I will also work with the government to ensure our economy is resilient and that no Nevadan is forced to choose between safety and their job.
Healthy food, clean water, and clean air are routinely sacrificed in the name of short-term financial profit. Likewise, a stress-free lifestyle is sacrificed for corporate greed, forcing the typical Nevadan to work harder and longer for less money, leaving them without time and energy to participate in healthy activities.
Like other states, we reacted wastefully to the pandemic because we were not positioned to respond adequately. We need to transform the way our Government operates fundamentally. Nevada can be a leader in big, bold thinking and action. The COVID-19 pandemic was brutal for all of us. We face a water pandemic now, and we need to act now.
The pandemic proved that we can make big changes fast if we choose to. It's time for us to make big changes in our approach to healthcare and wellness, education, justice, and our natural resources. We can do better, and so we must do better. Instead of limiting our conversations to what is best for the "bottom line," we should expand our thinking to include what's best "down the line."
As a health promotion professional, I can attest that Nevada can save millions of dollars by promoting good health and preventing sickness. COVID-19 has demonstrated the long-ignored truth that we are only as healthy as our most vulnerable, and each person should be able to make their own healthcare decisions.
In the Assembly, I will work to add "Wellness Capital of the World" to Nevada's many prestigious designations.
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?
Taxes should be used to benefit the people of Nevada. Raising taxes while failing to change the way we spend them will only create the same unacceptable results we have now. The central problem now is that lobbyists for large corporations and industries use their influence through large donations to develop tax policies where they pay too little and working people pay too much.
Everyone should contribute a reasonable amount to ensure that we have a thriving community with exceptional schools, a solid social foundation where no one goes without the essentials, and the ability to withstand unexpected challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
As your State Assemblyperson, I will fight to ensure that taxes are used for the public good, not corporate interests. The question we should ask ourselves isn't, "Should we raise taxes?" Instead, we should be asking, "What do we want our state to look like?" Once we know what needs to be done, we can budget accordingly.