Ellen Spiegel: Nevada Assemblywoman and business owner

Ellen and Bill Spiegel in Carson City.

By Debbie Hall

A four-term legislator, Ellen Spiegel is the assemblywoman for Assembly District 20, which includes portions of Henderson and Paradise Township. She is also president of Strategems Consulting, a company specializing in workers’ compensation claims services, where she works with her husband, Bill. But Spiegel entered politics to make a difference.

A resident of Southern Nevada since 2001, Spiegel and her husband fell in love with Henderson when they visited the area. Spiegel graduated from Cornell University and worked in corporate America for 15 years before starting her own business.

As for entering politics, “I was raised to give back to the community and to make the world a better place,” she told LVInformer.com. “I have always been active in the community and I realized I was complaining about so many things. I was also raised that I could not whine about something unless I could offer a solution. That is what motivated me to run for office.”

Spiegel ran and won her first election in 2008 but lost her first re-election bid after that term. It was during the term she did not serve in the assembly that she worked on redistricting. “I became a force during that period to make certain that women were not adversely affected during the redistricting process,” Spiegel stated. “I was in a unique position to do this since I did not have a vested interest in the outcome.”

This could have affected women in both parties, and Spiegel is proud to say that no woman serving was drawn out of her seat.

Ellen Spiegel making brisket for a Passover Seder she helped plan in Carson City in April.

Her fight continues for residents of Nevada and those whom she calls “those with the smallest voices” because they are not represented by highly paid special interests.

This session Spiegel is working on her bill for nursing mothers that will require employers to give them breaks and places to pump. She also is working on two bills that are related to women and pay equity. Spiegel is proud of the bill that will protect an employee or staff member from getting fired because they disclosed what they are earning in their position. This is especially important for women since Nevada is a right to work state and one can be fired without cause. If women don’t know what employers are paying men in a similar or same position, women cannot demand equal pay.

Pay equity has been in federal statutes for over 50 years but women are still earning 78 cents on the dollar across the board. Part of the problem, according to Spiegel, is that no one can have the conversation about salaries to see if women are being paid equitably.

Another bill she is working on is to set up a pilot program in state government to give recognition to companies that pay women equally.

Spiegel emphasizes “I am extremely accessible by phone, emails, Facebook, Twitter and even if you see me in the supermarket.” Last session she worked with constituents, Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator David Parks on groundbreaking anti-bullying legislation.

She encourages everyone to get involved, reach out and even testify at the Grant Sawyer Building. People can let their representatives know their thoughts by social media, phone calls and email and stay informed through social media and websites.

Other ways Spiegel is involved include serving as a board member for Easter Seals Nevada, national board secretary for the National Association of Jewish Legislators and as an active alumna of Cornell University. She received the Urban Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Politics award in 2016.

“I love being a representative and being in a position where I can actually make things happen to improve the lives of Nevadans,” Spiegel stated.

To reach Ellen Spiegel:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EllenBSpiegel

Twitter: @EllenBSpiegel

www.EllenSpiegel.com

Phone: 702.577.2167

Email: ellen@ellenspiegel.com

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