Las Vegas Review-Journal
Newcomer to bring ‘unique’ background to Assembly floor
RENO — Although he’s a political newcomer and first-term lawmaker, Assemblyman Duy Nguyen is excited to bring his “unique” background to the Assembly floor.
Most recently a commissioner on the Clark County Planning Commission, Nguyen is also an immigrant from Vietnam and a parent of two.
“I am very excited because I’m looking forward to my perspective, bringing it into the Legislature,” he said.
Nguyen, who represents southwest District 8, has experience in corporations, small businesses and nonprofits, including involvement with the Asian Community Development Council and One APIA Nevada nonprofits.
Despite his background, juggling both work and the demands of the Legislature can be “overwhelming,” he said.
“You really have to be able to juggle your day job, this job, your family life and whatever else you got going on,” he said. “It could get really overwhelming for many that go through this process. I have a whole new respect for my colleagues that have been doing this for a while.”
The staff at the Legislative Counsel Bureau and the other members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus have been helpful with the transition, however.
“The training has been amazing.
The staff for the LCB has been very knowledgeable, to really get us on board in a very short period of time,” he said.
The father of two said education is a top priority for both his constituents and himself.
“I look forward to see how we can really improve our education in the school district, not just K-12, but also higher education because we have to get our young people ready for the innovation of our workforce so that we can thrive as a global destination,” he said.
Nguyen also raised concerns about Nevada’s part-time Legislature, a system that usually sees legislators take leave from their jobs during the 120day session occurring every other year.
“I think there are things that we definitely need to look at in terms of modernizing our Legislature,” he said. “Everyday people cannot give up four months out of their lives or (go to) their employers and say, ‘Hey, by the way, I got this other job that I gotta be at for four months. Can I still have my job when I come back?’ Which employers are gonna do that? It definitely excludes the types of people that can be part of the Legislature.”
Despite that concern, Nguyen said he hopes he’s able to make an impact during his first session.
“I think the one thing that I hope to really, truly do my freshman session is truly make an impact by passing bills that will not only benefit Nevadans, but benefit the constituents of my district,” he said.
Nguyen will serve on the Assembly Committees on Government Affairs, Health and Human Services and Revenue.