By Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez/The Nevada Independent

From the first female-majority statehouse in the U.S. to the nation’s first Latina U.S. senator, Nevada’s racial and gender diversity among elected officials drew elected leaders from other states who sought to learn how the state helps underserved community members.

New American Leaders, a nonprofit and nonpartisan national organization focused on recruiting and training people from immigrant heritage backgrounds to run for office, brought in leaders last month from Wisconsin, Texas, Arizona, Florida and California to learn about efforts in Nevada to support young English language learners, create an Office of New Americans and serve people who are unsheltered.

“Nevada is one of our priority states,” New American Leaders President Ghida Dagher said during an interview with The Nevada Independent. “We have a regional program manager on the ground who builds relationships with various community organizations and different groups that helps build some of our pipeline of folks wanting to be trained and have an interest in being plugged into this greater conversation.”

The national organization has trained more than 1,000 people in 10 years, with more than 200 members who have been elected or appointed to leadership positions across the country.

The diversity of Nevada’s Legislature made headlines in 2018 as it became the first and currently only state legislative body to have a female majority. After last year’s election, women hold more than 60 percent of seats in the Legislature. The state is also represented by two women in the Senate — Democrat Sens. , who became the first Latina to in the Senate when she was elected in 2016, and , who was elected in 2018.

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