We need to think outside the box with Healthcare. We must make sure access to the doctor and general wellness is part of the conversation. We must stop criminalizing addiction and deal with it through compassion. We must hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable while also understanding individuals who suffer from chronic pain must not be ostracized.
Our first step in Nevada will be to pass Medicaid for All; a cooperative based system that cuts out the insurance company is an idea that may work for individuals who cannot afford insurance, but do not qualify for Medicaid and in our rural communities.
Educating youth about mental health and providing well-funded and staffed services within our schools will have a long-term positive outcome. Laws being enacted in some states incorporate mental health into school curriculum, so that children themselves can understand their own mental health and if they are experiencing a crisis.
Nevada has one of the highest incarceration rates of people of color per capita and one of the lowest rates of voting rights restoration. Our communities of color are not proportionately represented in our state and local government and many of our politicians have resorted to dog whistles and outright racism.
My vision for Nevada includes reforming our criminal justice system with a move towards restorative justice rather than retributive. We are morally obligated to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and provide an education system that is equitable for all. For meaningful, lasting reform, consistently marginalized communities (including communities of color, immigrants, LGBTIA, and the poor) must have an equal seat at the table.
The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing issues. The criminalization and incarceration of individuals who suffer from addiction has not led to a positive outcome. We must hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic and guarantee services for individuals who seek treatment. However, we must not ostracize individuals who suffer from chronic pain and rely on pain management pharmaceuticals—including veterans. Additionally, we must provide relief to individuals who have marijuana convictions.
The death penalty must be abolished in Nevada. Regardless of the moral debate regarding the death penalty, it is fiscally irresponsible.
Housing affordability has very quickly become an issue in Northern Nevada. Rents have skyrocketed after Tesla and other corporations opened headquarters. The number of affordable units constructed have not kept up with demand. I support rent control and legislation to require affordable housing for individuals with regular income.
Nevada currently lacks strong tenant rights; however, protecting tenants from arbitrary evictions and rapid rent increases would help stabilize the shifting housing market.
Further, no individual should be homeless. I support a housing first model—stabilization and consistency without conditions.
Nevada is a state rich in natural resources and opportunities to move to clean energy. In 2017, Assembly Bill 206, which would have moved Nevada towards renewable energy and a more sustainable future passed, but was subsequently vetoed by Governor Sandoval. Renewable energy in Nevada is not only a means to achieve environmental protections to ensure a healthy sustainable planet for future Nevadans, it is also an opportunity to diversify our economy and create jobs.
Additionally, we must protect our public lands and resources to ensure that we do not continue to repeat disasters like the one currently unfolding in Yerington with the Anaconda Copper Mine, which is polluting the drinking water.
We can balance the economic needs of Nevadans with environmental regulations if we are willing to think and act boldly using scientific facts.
Economic Justice & Living Wages
Some politicians say our state has recovered and rebounded from the recession, but as someone who has been deeply involved with our community, I know firsthand that this recovery has not trickled down to many Nevadans. Like many of our neighbors, my family lost our retirement savings, are dealing with inflation and stagnant wages, and we continue to struggle to make ends meet. I also know that this does not have to be the story of Nevada or America.
I support a minimum wage of $15 an hour as a starting point in ensuring that working people are able to thrive in Nevada. Fair workweek scheduling, paid family leave, sick leave, and ensuing pay equality would benefit many low wage workers, especially in Nevada’s service industry. These workplace protections will have a long term positive impact on the health and well being of families and the entire community in which they are enacted.
Furthermore, strong unions and the right to collectively bargain provide the answer to combat stagnant wages and create economic growth. The recent teachers’ movement validates the power of individuals to work together to achieve a common goal. The teachers demonstrated that unions have a positive impact on the whole community not just their members. In many states, teachers fought for and achieved more than a fair wage and benefits for themselves but also protections and progress for their students.
The importance of a public education for Nevada’s future leads me back to my own family history. In 1910, my great grandmother, Laura Dickinson, entered the College of Education at the University of Nevada and in 1912, she started her career as a teacher in Wellington, Nevada. I know that Nevada does not only have an obligation to our children to provide exceptional public education, but believe that our continued growth and success in this state will only be possible if we do.
This means we provide the financial resources and support our teachers. Overcrowded classrooms, understaffed supportive services, and school infrastructure can be remedied when we are willing to provide the funding.
Nevada needs qualified teachers that remain in Nevada, which requires our support of programs that guarantee new teachers do not graduate with insurmountable student loan debt.
I support providing free education so that we have educated teachers and a well-trained workforce throughout the various sectors of Nevada’s economy.
I am running because I feel that working families like my own do not have a voice in our local board of supervisors, city offices,
Legislature, or even Congress.
Many of the individuals in these positions have just cycled to different elected offices using these roles as a way to occupy
their time in retirement versus being champions of the people.
We make the claim that this gives them experience, but I feel that the majority of these career politicians have lost touch with the struggles and concerns of their constituents.
If elected, I will give voice to your concerns in the Nevada Assembly and create a Nevada that lifts up all Nevadans for a happier, healthier, sustainable future.
Carson City Democratic Party
Northern Nevada Working Families Party
Power of the People
Had the pleasure of speaking with PDA Reno members last night. Here is a clip from my short talk. Thank you to Laura for recording. Our campaign believes in the power of the people.Posted by Autumn for Nevada on Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release: June 19, 2018 THE NEVADA SIERRA CLUB ENDORSES DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE AUTUMN ZEMKE (ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 40) CARSON CITY — The Nevada Sierra Club’s Toiyabe Chapter endorsed Autumn Zemke, the Democratic Candidate for Assembly District 40. “It’s an honor to be endorsed by the Toiyabe Chapter of the Nevada Sierra Club. I will stand with the Read more about Sierra Club Endorsement[…]
We have some BIG NEWS! I am so honored to announce that Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) has endorsed my campaign. As an advocate for Nevada’s educators and education professionals, I will work to ensure that our educators feel respected, appreciated, and have the resources and funding they need to educate all of Nevada’s children. Read more about NSEA Endorsement[…]