Education - Dave for Vegas


Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Our community has an education crisis. No matter which side of the voting aisle you are on, all can see that our schools need proper funding and reasonable accommodations that will ensure our youngest population has access to top-notch resources. Sadly, a high percentage of Ward 1 students are considered “at risk” – some of these students are second language English learners, while others are struggling from poverty and homelessness; many are impacted by both. Per-pupil funding for our area is far too low and these scenarios need weighted funding, in addition to adequate funding for all students. I will partner with the School Board in helping address our children and parents’ needs. The City of Las Vegas and the school district overlap on several programs to support our children. Dave supports these programs and will be an outspoken advocate in supporting proper funding of our schools, our children, and our teachers.

In addition to more funding, Dave will be advocating for a forensic audit in order to demand more accountability and more transparency from the current system. The Nevada legislature passed a $1.5 billion tax increase in 2015 to fund education, yet the average per-pupil funding in the City of Las Vegas schools did not materially change. This shows that there is a large problem that needs addressing and fixing.

It seems that kids these days could use some more lessons that I learned as a child. I’d like to share one of those lessons with you.

As an Italian child growing up in New York, my father taught me many things. I knew that I was a firstborn Marlon because we had changed our name. When I asked why we changed our name from a clearly Italian ethnic-sounding name to Marlon, it was explained to me that Italians are expected to get low-end labor jobs, not white-collar jobs. It was also always emphasized that the way out of the lower class or lower middle class was through education. One thing you should know about me is that I have always enjoyed hard work and lots of it. Whether it was yard work, digging trenches, working on cars and pulling engines, or house work like painting and roofing, I always enjoyed it. However, I was always taught that the way to improve my life was through higher education.

When I graduated high school I was accepted into a state school. With the help of a Regents scholarship, some student loans, and a part-time job, I paid my own way through a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Several years after graduation, I enrolled in night school and earned my Master of the Arts in Business, Summa Cum Laude, at UNLV.  I noticed how my perspective improved and I got promoted at work. In addition, my network of colleagues in Las Vegas grew larger.

I worked my way up to COO, President and CEO of several insurance subsidiaries and then got another calling.
I left this work and these titles to open what became the largest drug rehab in Las Vegas. There I quickly learned that a degree in counseling would be helpful, so I again enrolled in UNLV and earned a Masters of Science in Counseling.  After becoming licensed as a counselor and moving towards becoming a counseling supervisor, I again saw the power of education.

Now middle-aged and having sold the company I founded to a NYSE public company, I began looking for more ways to serve my community.  As a life long learner, I enrolled in a doctoral program and again embarked on improving my education.

Whether you are upper class, middle class or lower class, improving your education is something that I strongly support. Part of my work to improve the Las Vegas community is to promote access to education and access to resources for students, teachers, and parents.

Read about some of the other issues facing Las Vegas, Nevada.

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