BlogHer reached out to women candidates running in tight races this election cycle -- here at BlogHer.com and on Facebook and Twitter. After collecting the questions, we sent six to each candidate. Dina Titus, running for Congress in Nevada's 3rd District, answered questions from the BlogHer community here:
1) What are your thoughts on how to make Nevada energy and water efficient?
It is crucial that Congress pass an energy bill that encourages the development of renewable technologies. Nevada is the sunniest state in the nation and also has tremendous potential for producing wind and geothermal power. We are poised to become a leader in renewable energy manufacturing, production, and distribution. I was pleased that NV Energy received $138 million through the Recovery Act to invest in smart grid technologies that will help lower energy bills and reduce consumption by empowering consumers to make smart choices about their energy use.
For decades, I have been pushing for significant actions to improve water usage in the West. As populations throughout the West continue to grow, we must institute polices that will lead to efficient water usage. We can achieve this through green building codes and by working with neighboring states to institute sensible and consistent regulations for water use and technologies. We must invest in technologies that collect and allow us to use the little rainwater we receive, while looking for ways to reuse our precious water resources, such as using “gray water.” I have also been working in Congress to ensure that we invest in research of clean energy technology that uses less water.
2) What is your view on how our national immigration problems would best be solved?
We need bipartisan, comprehensive reform that is tough but fair. Border security must be the cornerstone of that, with the latest technology and necessary personnel. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee I have been focused on this issue and supported efforts to strengthen the border. We need to examine and fix our current system for legal immigration to ensure that high tech companies are able to recruit the best and brightest from around the world, while the agricultural sector is able to build the workforce they need. A new system must be more efficient in approving those who belong in our country while denying those who do not. No longer should families be separated for years waiting for their loved one’s paperwork to be approved. Our nation must develop a commonsense solution to dealing with the current undocumented immigrant population including a potential path to citizenship for those who qualify with requirements such as learning English and paying back taxes.
3) Will you fight to further Health Care Reform (vs. repealing it)?
A major reason that I supported health care reform was because of the strong provisions to improve health care for women. In Nevada, more than 210,000 women are uninsured while more than one in five women report not visiting a doctor due to high costs. Thanks to this reform, health care will be more affordable and accessible. Being a woman can no longer be considered a pre-existing condition. Reform closes the prescription drug donut hole that so many Nevadans, and especially women, fall into. As a result of health care reform 30,000 small businesses in Nevada will be eligible for tax credits if they provide coverage for their employees. With women being more likely than men to work for small businesses that often do not offer health insurance, this will significantly benefit women across the country. I am committed to continue to fight to improve our nation’s health care system and ensure that this important legislation is not repealed.
4) How do you plan to help women via your legislative ideas?
I am proud that one of my first major votes in Congress was for the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act which ensures that if a woman is discriminated against she can hold her employer accountable. I believe it is imperative that Congress continues to focus on improving women’s lives both in the U.S. and around the world. In the U.S. we must continue to work to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace and have access to the same economic opportunities as men. Abroad, we must focus on strengthening women’s rights around the world by empowering women in the Middle East and Asia.
5) If elected, what would be the most important priority on your legislative agenda?
Since coming to Congress 21 months ago, I have been working to help the people of District Three keep body and soul together during these tough economic times. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate and the highest foreclosure rate. I will continue to build on my record of promoting job creation and helping families stay in their homes. We must continue our efforts to diversify our economy by investing in renewable energy that will create good jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. My office has held seven housing workshops around the Las Vegas Valley helping homeowners get the resources they need to avoid foreclosure. I have relentlessly called on the Obama administration to do more for the hardest hit states, like Nevada, resulting in more than $200 million in federal funds. I will continue to build on these efforts to lift Nevada out of this economic recession.
6) If you could tell all of the women voters in Nevada's 3rd District one reason why they should vote for you, what would it be?
Since I was first elected to the Nevada State Senate more than 20 years ago, I have been working tirelessly to improve the lives of women throughout Southern Nevada and the United States. I am proud to be endorsed by EMILY’s List and other organizations dedicated to electing progressive women to Congress. Women throughout Southern Nevada know that in Washington and here at home, I will continue to fight for them.