Q&A: Nelson Araujo on the new job

The Spectrum caught up with Nelson Araujo, who is the state director for Sen. Jacky Rosen. We wanted to know how he was doing in his new job and what political insights he had for us.

First of all, congratulations on your new job as state director for Sen. Jacky Rosen. Can you tell us what Sen Rosen’s focus is for this year in Washington?
Thank you. I am thrilled to work for such an incredible Nevada leader. As Sen. Rosen’s director, I look forward to helping her serve Nevadans here at home, whether it is though outreach or by providing direct assistance to constituents with a federal agency. The senator is going to work tirelessly in Congress to defend our access to health care, supporting our veterans, keeping public lands in public hands, protect our LGBTQ community, and much more.

The Supreme Court has upheld the ban on transgender troops. How do you think this will affect our LGBTQ community as a whole?
We have already seen the terrible impact this ban has had on our heroes, in Nevada and throughout the country. This ban and so many other efforts waged against our community should serve as a reminder to everyone that our work to fi ght against hate and prejudice is far from over. Now, more than ever, we must stand and support our transgender troops.

Your parents fled the civil war in El Salvador and migrated to Las Vegas. So, you must know, personally, the challenges new immigrants face. The current political climate is diffi cult for new immigrants, especially LGBTQ immigrants. What are the biggest issues in this complicated subject?
This current administration has focused its efforts of separating families, instead of working across the aisle to pass a comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for hardworking families.

What is your greatest concern for Nevada’s LGBTQ community?
We still have a lot of work to do in order to reach full equality. This is our time to expand on the work that so many LGBTQ members and allies have worked on for decades. My hope is that our entire community will work – in a united front – to combat many of the challenges we are facing today. We have made a lot of progress over the years, but we have also had setbacks. Let’s keep pushing until everyone can live in a country free from hate.

Growing up in Las Vegas, you have seen a lot of changes in the LGBTQ community. What is the biggest change you have observed?

Over the years, I have seen our community grow in so many ways. I am so proud of the progress we have made as a state and as a community; and am especially proud of every single trailblazer in Nevada that has made this progress possible.

Why did you want to go into politics?
As a Nevada native, my passion is serving my state. I decided to go into politics because I believe in the power of good public service. I believe that when there is a problem impacting our neighbors, we need to stand up and help address the issue at hand. I believe that we need good people in government who are invested in helping their community, their state, their country will prosper and thrive.

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