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April 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Feature

‘I am very excited’

Newly appointed State Senator Marcia L. Washington.

On March 15, the Clark County Commission unanimously voted to appoint longtime Las Vegas resident Marcia L. Washington to the State Senate seat for District 4, which had been vacated by Kelvin Atkinson following alleged ethics violations.

Washington will serve out the 80 days left in the term, and has decided not to run for the office once her term of service is complete. Washington has an extensive background in Clark County and has live in Las Vegas for more than 50 years.

She is a graduate of Valley High School and attended UNLV, where she concentrated her studies on medical records and medical assisting. Washington worked for Clark County School District for nearly 25 years as an administrative secretary, and later worked as a fire inspector with the Clark County Fire Department. Also, she is the past president of the Nevada State Board of Education and member of the City of Las Vegas’ Community Block Grant Board along with being the former vice president of the NAACP.

We sat down with her for an exclusive interview about her newest adventure.

Senator, how do you feel about your recent appointment? How did it all happen?

Senator Marcia Washington is congratulated by her

First, I am very excited. The appointment came about because there were alleged improprieties by former State Senator Kelvin Atkinson. So, the seat became open because he had to step down. I was asked to put my name on the list as a potential candidate to be appointed to the seat — so I did. Initially, I was going to take my name off the list because I heard that Assemblywoman Dina Neal wanted the appointment, but I was told she was not going to get it. Therefore, I left my name on the list. I also received a few calls from people who told me that it was a good thing that I put my name on the list of potential appointees, and that they wanted me to represent them in District 4. Honestly, I had second thoughts about taking myself off the list, but God told me to leave my name on the list and to leave it alone. I received another call from one of our County Commissioners who told me he would be supporting Dina Neal for the appointment. We are really good friends, but he thought Dina Neal should have the appointment. I told him, “Well, you know what — maybe I should take my name off the list.” But again, God told me to not take it off. I texted the Commissioner back the next day and told him, ‘Whatever God’s will is—the appointment will happen. If it is meant for me or Dina Neal I will be happy for her. If I don’t get the appointment I will go back to my line dancing and spending time with my family. I then went to the County Commission meeting and went to fill out a card in order to speak at the meeting. I overheard a man outside of the Commission Chambers saying he was there to support Marcia Washington. I told him, “Excuse me, I am Marcia Washington.” He looked surprised and excited to meet me. He said, “I’m here to support you for State Senator.” He indicated that he was representing the Culinary Union and there were over 25 members there at the County Commission meeting supporting me for the appointment. I had no idea they would be there rallying for me. Many of them got up at the County Commission meeting and spoke up on my behalf. When I saw Assemblywoman Dina Neal enter the Commission Chambers I wished her good luck and I told her if she receives the appointment I would be happy for her. Commissioner Weekly nominated Dina Neal and Madame Chair Kilpatrick seconded her nomination. Then Commissioner Brown motioned to nominate me and I was appointed unanimously. Yes, so that is what happened and it was God in the midst of it all. I am ready to serve and do the best for my community. So He made it all possible.

What has been your first order of business?

I had to go to Carson City and meet with lobbyists. I had to inform all of them that I am not here to play any games. I am only her to do the best job for my community. Things that I morally and religiously believe in will never be compromised. There will also be times that I will not support the Democratic Party based on my personal beliefs. There will be time I will not vote with the party. There was a lobbyist that I met with about a bill for marijuana that is used for industrial purposes. I said wait a minute — I have never done drugs, drank alcohol, or smoked. I am a goodie-twoshoes and that is what I am. So, I can’t support anything that has to do with hemp or marijuana. Now, I know there are some of our veterans who need medical marijuana. But this lobbyist told me that he was told I was introducing a Bill 209 on the legislature floor about marijuana. I asked him, “Who told you that? I promise you I won’t be introducing that bill and I will never introduce something I don’t believe in.”

What would you like to see in your District 4?

I would like to see more economic development for the area. I know downtown is growing and it’s probably going to expand into the area. But, I want some opportunities for some of the people who live here who want to be entrepreneurs. I am hoping that something like that happens.

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