Victoria Seaman, Las Vegas City Councilwoman (Ward 2) is running for reelection this year. Although she was between meetings, campaigning, and computer issues, she sat for a bit of time with the Globe to share her story about her political journey in a state that she moved to 17 years ago from Los Angeles, CA. Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and people before and after her, many Californians choose Nevada due to the low tax, business friendly environment and Seaman, as a former business owner herself, quickly learned that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
The Globe: Tell us about your personal journey prior to entering politics and the genesis of your political aspirations.
Victoria Seaman: I have been in Nevada for 17 years. I created a bath and body manufacturing distribution company when I lived in Los Angeles and built it to be a global business. I moved my family and the business to Nevada because it was a business-friendly state, but in 2009, after Barack Obama was elected, I sold it. I knew the administration would not be friendly to small businesses. When Obama said to small business owners “you didn’t build that,” I thought, my husband and I worked seven days a week, 12 hours a day to build our business. That is when I knew Obama’s ideology was not business friendly.
What is happening right now in Nevada and DC is that those in power have no concept of the people who sign paychecks. They are destroying businesses and the middle class like they started to with Obama. Inflation and shortages? It is hard to believe we are in the USA with what is happening today. Their ideology is not business friendly. We have empty shelves, empty orders, many people can’t get parts or supplies for their businesses and every business has to have supply to fill the demand.
After selling my business in 2009, I intended to volunteer for fiscally conservative candidates who had business experience. Because unfortunately, there was no business representation in government. I also realized that if I wanted something done right, I would have to do it myself, so I ran for office, won, and became a state assemblywoman in 2014, where I served one session. Next, I ran for state senate in District 6–but Governor Sandoval and other Republicans at that time wouldn’t support me because I voted against the Commerce tax, which was the largest tax in Nevada history. I won the primary and lost the general race to Nicole Cannizzaro by only two points
Did you think that you lost that race fairly?
Well, I ended up working on election irregularities in my district. We found plenty of anomalies and returned campaign mail from empty and vacant lots having registered voters and addresses. I sent the FBI all our findings, but I am unsure where the investigation ended.
After I lost, I went back to work and got my business brokerage license but decided to run for Congress in CD-3 in the summer of 2017. I withdrew because Danny Tarkanian jumped into my race and decided I didn’t want to go against a family friend. I helped Danny after he won the primary.
I also formed a PAC to help conservative women get elected. In late 2018 I was approached to help with the recall of Las Vegas Councilman Steve Seroka and then asked to run for his seat. He resigned, and I won the special election, swearing in to office in July of 2019.
How do you like serving as a Las Vegas Councilwoman and what are you most proud of?
I have been able to accomplish so much and help the community and make Las Vegas better place to live. I am most proud of the camping ban we put in place which means we will never turn into Los Angeles. I do go back to LA from time to time and I see how encampments have taken over city streets, parks, sidewalks, beaches, everywhere you go, there seems to be an encampment. You can’t come to Las Vegas and camp on a public or private property. When we do clear the encampments, we provide services to those in need. So our efforts work as a form of triage. Not everyone takes us up on our services, but we have helped many people find a way off the streets and into housing and rehabilitation.
I am also very proud that there was no talk about defunding the police in our city because we have three solid Republicans and Democrats on the council and an Independent mayor. While we were watching other cities and political leaders calling to defund the police, we were standing by the LVMPD and funding them so they can do their job to keep our city as safe as possible and keep the peace on our streets.
My Small Business Saturdays are something I created to highlight and showcase small businesses in my ward. Up until Covid, we were doing this every Saturday so we could connect our constituents to the community. Covid obviously impacted small businesses the most and it’s sad that when I look back on some of the footage we had taken, some of these small businesses didn’t survive.
Businesses should have never been shut down. It should never happen again. You should be able to choose if your businesses remains open and consumers can choose to shop where they want to shop.
Major corporations were open while small businesses were forced to close. But what I love about our community is that they are resilient and many new businesses are opening. I was surprised that they will take a chance and open new businesses and that is who I am excited to promote next on my Small Biz Saturdays.
Also, during the shutdown, we were able to have Easter Drive-in at the International Church of Las Vegas. I did a press conference with pastors, and we fought against the government for an Easter drive-in service. Thankfully, Sheriff Joe Lombardo gave us the OK to do it, and we did it.
Lastly, I am very active in creating or changing ordinances to take care of animals. We need to put more teeth into the laws regarding the abuse of animals. I have made it a priority to meet with legislators to develop and have relationships with them before the legislative session. So much of what they do in a biennial session affects the city. We saw animal abuse all year round when our legislature was closed during the pandemic. I will be meeting with legislators at the end of July to ask them to change the category of animals, not categorizing them as property; they are living entities. I can be a voice, and I will be a voice for those who don’t have one. An animal doesn’t choose its owner, so we must ensure that the animals are treated humanely.
What new ideas or plans do you have for Ward 2?
I have worked with private entities to bring a children’s hospital to Ward 2 in Las Vegas. We have children’s medical wards in both UMC and Summerlin Hospital, but we need a hospital specifically dedicated to children for a city as large as ours.
Also, Vegas is becoming a world-class sports city, and many parents told me when I was first elected that we need more pools and an aquatic center. I am happy to say that we acquired SNIPLA money and will be adding another Aquatic center to Pavilion Pool in Ward 2. Four of our Las Vegas Sandpiper athletes went to the Olympics, and nearly all of them medaled in aquatics. We also have a park given to the city by the Howard Hughes Corporation, and we will have several acres. I am working with private partnerships to raise money for another aquatic center.
Many projects will be good for the city and community that I want to continue working on. We have handled over 2,300 different issues since I was sworn in, and that is because I have a fantastic staff.
I am excited about my reelection and this midterm election. I think people are ready for change again, and we will see a red tidal wave in November.
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