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Legislative Watch

Bernie Anderson

 Bernie Anderson

District: Washoe, No. 31
Political Party: Democrat
Current Job/Position: Retired Educator
Born: 1942
Hometown: Sparks, NV
Family: Wife, Clyda Hooper, Children, Cairn Louise, Natha Clyde
Education: Bishop Manogue High School; University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) B.S., Education
Interviewed By: Lea Moser
Interview Date: 4/27/2008
Bernie Anderson has represented the Washoe Country Assembly, District No. 31 which covers various parts of both Reno and Sparks.  Anderson graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he majored in political science and history, and is a retired educator.

Q & A

Q - How did you get to where you are?
 “I’ve been involved.  I’ve been active in Nevada Education Association.  I was an American government teacher for 32 years, in 1990, I ran for the open seat.”

Q - What other jobs did you have leading up to this one?
 “Many various ones.  I worked my way through college as a keno writer.  I have also been a teacher.”

Q - Did you always want to be doing what you're doing now?
“No, I wanted to be a Catholic priest.  I ended up going to college and majoring in political science and history.”

Anderson discussed how his work on student council in high school helped prepare him for the Assembly. Anderson stated he helped get his friends elected in high school, and this prepared him for his own future campaigning where he goes door to door and talks to the citizens in his district.

Q - What are your goals for your regular career or personally?
“Personal goals, well, I’m 66, I try to find things to work on, issues that are important to me.”

Anderson stated that he focuses his attention usually to such programs that deal with justice, child advocacy and drug treatment.

Q - How do you think the budget deficit will affect education, coming from a former teachers perspective?
“Dramatically.  There will be an inability to fund programs.  College costs are going up, along with the price of gasoline, and the buses to schools are getting more expensive to fund.  I am afraid programs such as advanced placements and (special needs) might get cut.  It is also hard for the district to balance the budget and to get teachers.”

Q - What are your hobbies or interests?
“I am an avid reader, one of my favorite author being James Michener.  I also like to read biographies and histories.”

Anderson discussed the current John Adams series on TV, stating that he was also an avid watcher of interesting bio’s on film.

Q - What unusual event have you been involved in, or unusual or memorable people have you met?
“I have met all the Democratic candidates on the presidential ticket, as well as John Kerry. I’ve met all the governors of this state, and I consider them interesting people.  I have also met everyone of the (state) Supreme Court.”

Q - How did you become successful at what you do?
“I’ve stayed involved.  I try to listen rather than talk. I like people, I care about what people are thinking and how they see solutions to problems.  This is why I walk door to door when campaigning.”

Q - What are your favorite causes?
“The Committee to Aid Abused Women, Big Brothers Big Sisters and diabetes assistance.”

Q - Who or what are your inspirations?
“I was inspired by my parents.  They were hardworking immigrants that instilled involvement in us to make a difference.”

 Anderson also talked about how when getting out of high school, John F. Kennedy was president, and he greatly inspired him.  As well as biographies of great people show Anderson inspiration, and his older brother, who Anderson stated was a determined individual

Q - What are your legislative goals next session?
“The budget deficit, dealing with funding, and finding solutions for drug courts and foster care.

Anderson discussed how he does not agree with taxing.  He states that fees should be raised for groups lacking for additional services.  Anderson stated that some taxes would be fine, but most of the budget needs to come from reallocation.

Q - What issues facing Nevada do you think are most important?
“Besides the budget, health care and transportation.  I want more mobility for the public.”

Q - How do you view the slim Republican majority in the Senate?
“It’s been a benefit for Washoe County.”

Q - How do you view the large Democratic majority in the Assembly?
“I want to maintain it, and possibly expand it.  It will aid with the ability to talk to the governor.  The governor will have to listen to the people.”

Q - On what issue will you not budge?
“I don’t draw a line in the sand because you end up having to budge.  I remain concerned about the death penalty.  I am pro education and supportive of labor.  But I was the best thing for the people, what the people want.”

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