Assemblyman Felipe Rodriguez Shares His Values on Improving Nevada’s Way of Living
Felipe Rodriguez seeks to represent the people of Nev. State Assembly District 19, making Nevada a better place to live. Creating new jobs, stabilizing the economy, supporting unions, small businesses and education is the goal.
In the upcoming general elections, Rodriguez, 55, said he’s representing the Democratic Party. His opponent is Republican Cresent Hardy who is currently the State Assembly for District 20.
According to Rodriguez, he was born in Havana, Cuba in 1957 and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967. He has three children named Phillip, Adrian and AlexandraRodriguez. The family lived on the island of Manhattan for more than 15 years.
Residing in Nev. for the last 14 years and enjoying the city of Las Vegas, is an advantage because of the job opportunity that’s offered, said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez believes that the turning point that led his life into politics was when he realized people he knew were facing unemployment. That’s when he decided to think about what he can do to help instead of just sitting on the sidelines.
“It’s interesting that when someone views or reads something in the news, unless it becomes personal, we tend to disengage from anything that’s going on,” Rodriguez stated. “It’s when things start to hit home and someone you care dearly for has tears in their eyes, that is when it becomes real,” he added.
“I started walking the neighborhoods and talking to people and the biggest concern was job creation,” he said.
Rodriguez said creating green energy jobs, which include bringing different industries that are capable and willing to come to Nev. and give us a chance to use renewable and alternative energy, is the future for job creation.
The federal government has $30 billion in weatherization funding and Nev. is a one of the most qualified states in receiving those funds, Rodriguez said.
“We have a lot of wind, altitude and most importantly we have the space. There’s a lot of empty space and we need to start doing things with and start putting people back to work,” he said.
Rodriguez believes that Nev. has the talent and manpower that are qualified to start working immediately.
“Nev. has been big in the service industry for so many years and a lot of people don’t have a proper education. Creating news jobs can allow them to pick up a trade instead of working in housekeeping, cleaning or valet services. This might give people the incentive to change careers,” he said.
“I would like to see mining contribute a small percentage and help us close the budget gaps that is always lingering or at least move the state forward, particularly in education,” he added.
Some people say they don’t want to go to college and aren’t college material, but to give people the alternative to choose and define what they want and how they want to be, versus a job market that chooses for you what you’re good and aren’t good at, isn’t right, Rodriguez said.
“We are people who work hard and are custom to the 24-hour, seven-day grind and are extremely qualified,” he added.
Times are changing, new economies and corporations are opening and that makes Nev. a unique place. The union can train people for new jobs and there are people who are ready to work, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez wants to convince corporations to come to Nev. because companies are leaving California and aren’t coming here when the state is so close.
“We have to look at the big picture and see what’s working what isn’t working and what can help us to bring new industries into the states. We don’t have an ocean, but California is nearby. Why not try to make this place another hub for a free trade zone for countries out on the Pacific,” he said.
Education is going to be the main player in attracting corporations to come to Nev. and especially new technology coming into the state. The brain power to provide companies with the intelligence in order to function is here, Rodriguez said.
“We have to start looking at different industries and also give thanks to gaming because it has been extremely well to Las Vegas. We can’t just depend on gaming because when the economy crashed many people lost their jobs, but it’s time to start looking at new sources of income and revenue,” he added.
“The only jobs people could go back to was gaming and construction, which was really good when big casinos were being built, but I don’t foresee those major projects coming back to Las Vegas anytime soon,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez believes that the state has to start looking at what they’re building next. “I’d like to see a much more business friendly environment making it more feasible to start a small business in Nev. Small businesses are the true engine of this American economy because that’s what gets a lot of people thinking about what they want to do the rest of their lives.”
Rodriguez said, “If we want to have a voice in government, then we must become that voice and do it right away. Do not depend on anyone else to do that for us. Commit yourself, commit your vote.”
Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, who represents District 28, said she is familiar with Rodriguez’s campaign and states, “I do not know him very well personally, but my interactions with him lead me to believe that he is deeply committed to education and to being a good representative to the people in his district.”
According to Flores, “The unemployment rate in Nev. is a result of poor education investment and a poor effort to diversify our economy. When our state depends almost entirely on the disposable income of the rest of the country, then it’s pretty obvious that we are going to run into trouble when the national economy takes a turn for the worse.”
It can become difficult for one single person to create jobs and change a state. “I don’t know if Mr. Rodriguez can change that, but I do know that a team of like minded individuals can create necessary change,” Flores said.
Flores believes that a change is possible and stated, “The times I have spoken with Mr. Rodriguez, he seems to agree that he is ready to head to Carson City to work with as many Democrats and Republicans who are willing to finally commit to properly funding education and creating the change necessary to create a diverse and vibrant economy for Nev.”
Assemblyman Steven Brooks currently represents District 19 located in Clark County and was first elected in 2010. Campaigns take up most of his day during this election time, but with his busy schedule, he wanted to share a few words about Rodriguez. “It is a very important time in my campaign, but I do support Felipe for the record.”
Rodriguez said as long as people want him in politics that is how long he will still stay. “When the people say I no longer have a place in politics, I will step out. This can all end on Nov. 6 so we’ll see what happens, you never know.”
“Unless we take responsibility for ourselves, our actions and issues that are going on in our lives, no one else is going to take care of it for us,” Rodriguez said.
“Life is always about moving forward, there is no sense in moving backwards. Take your lessons and learn them well,” he added.
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