Jennifer Fawzy is a proud second-generation Nevadan who has set her sights on public service by running for Senate District 8 (SD-8) as a conservative Republican. If she wins the crowded primary, she will challenge Democratic incumbent Marilyn Dondero Loop.
Her first run for office occurred in 2016 when she ran in Assembly District 7 knowing that she would likely lose in a Democratic majority district. Yet, she also knew that she would gain the knowledge needed to run another campaign. Fawzy referred to her run for Assembly as a “humbling learning experience.”
Running for SD-8, Fawzy says, is a “different and beautiful experience” adding, “The beautiful part of my district is that it is diverse. We have a large number of conservatives and moderate Democrats. I am in a crowded field as there are eight Republican men running against me in this primary. But, I am a hard worker and I knew two years ago that I was running. I filed early in 2020, and since that time I have been in the community volunteering, canvassing, hosting events and talking to constituents. I am the only female and black female in the race. It would be historical if I win this race. I am not afraid. Healthy competition is good for democracy,” Fawzy told The Globe.
When asked what compelled her to run for office, Fawzy replied:
Growing up in Nevada, I studied at Clark County School District (CCSD) and private school. After I returned to the states to start a family, after living abroad for 5 years, I saw that things were getting worse in CCSD.
I never wanted my child to go to CCSD due to their reputation, but we did send my son to public school and then we pulled him out and put him into private school a couple years ago. We were having issues with violence in kindergarten! Parents were bringing weapons to school, common core education was in place, nothing was being taught that would help him later in life. Private school was so much better and also allowed us to exercise our faith, which is important to us. I attended CCSD board meetings to voice my concerns, but I felt dismissed as a parent and I wasn’t being heard. I felt disrespected. I realized that no change is going to happen unless I push for that change.
I think the response to the failures in CCSD is a trifecta–parents, CCSD, and the Nevada legislature. All of us combined have to make a concerted effort to improve the schools. Nothing will be achieved if we don’t work in synergy. We also need financial transparency for the district so there is accountability.
In 2002, Fawzy became a Republican. “I was tired of how black people were portrayed by the media as a people who were deficient, classless, and as victims,” Fawzy said. “This never-ending negative light caused a lightbulb to go off in my head and I realized that my views ended up being more closely associated with conservatism and the Republican Party.”
In 2008, her family became victims of a violent, home invasion robbery in Summerlin. In the middle of the night, three men with guns kicked her front door off the hinges, beat her husband to the point of hospitalization, and stole everything they owned including her car. After neighbors wouldn’t answer their door, she was forced to go to a nearby 7-11 to use the pay phone to call LVMPD. It took them 45 minutes to respond.
The very next day, she purchased a handgun and enrolled in CCW classes and realized why the 2nd Amendment must be protected and police need to be supported and funded. “We cannot defund the police. We need to support law enforcement and make sure they have the resources to patrol and respond so that we have safer neighborhoods. Criminals are on the loose and we are suffering from a crime wave, primarily caused by the pandemic. When people get desperate, they will do anything to survive. I knew then that a women needs to defend herself, her family and her property and I chose to do that by exercising my Second Amendment rights,” Fawzy stated.
Her personal experience as a mom and a victim of violent crime has provided her with the opportunity to find creative ways to solve the many issues facing Nevadans. The top three issues Nevadans are facing, according to Fawzy, are the economy, education and crime. Fawzy contends that these main issues are mainly related to social to socio-economic problems:
We have Americans who have not achieved the American dream. It is frustrating for those who are struggling. There is loss of self esteem and low morale with unemployment. With a bad economy, we have crimes of desperation. I intend to change the bureaucratic process by making it easier to access assistance to ensure that benefits are available to those that need a hand up. Our family structure is damaged. We are a transient community and the need for financial security is heightened as people enter and leave the workforce. We have to look back into the past and use what works. I would like to propose bills that offer rebates and tax credits to businesses that provide on-the-job training. If the employers are willing to give a practical education, why not incentivize it? Whether that e education is provided to millennials or to older people who are transitioning careers. I will also reduce the red tape to open new businesses and reduce taxes to allow companies to pay a decent salary.
Nevada does not have public transportation as other metropolitan areas do. Therefore, we should consider four day work weeks by employing technology to expand people working from home. Women are falling out of the workforce. If we can expand upon technology to assist working mothers and others displaced by pandemic, we can produce economic stability.
The workforce is expected to be built from education. I want to promote trade schools which provide good paying jobs, work readiness, and is relatively recession proof. Many subjects are taught that have no bearing on employment. I think it is important to Nevada that education includes job training. We need to diversify our economy. As a millennial myself, I know that millennials are suffering too and we have many challenges that our parents, necessarily, didn’t have.
When asked how her life experiences have prepared her to run for office and solve problems, Fawzy answered:
We have to have public servants that know how to deal with these issues. I am of the millennial generation. I have had to reinvent myself. I dealt with many issues and rose from the challenges. My experience can be used to overcome obstacles. You can be a conservative black woman and make it in this life. I have learned from great people and it only takes one person to make a positive change. I can be that person that creates positive changes for all Nevadans.
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