Mercedes Krause is a mother of 3 daughters, and has been an educator and union activist for over 20 years. A proud dual-citizen of the Oglala, Lakota Nation born and raised in Nevada, Mercedes has continuously stood-up with community members working to make a more just and equitable Nevada. Mercedes is an Emerge Nevada graduate and a graduate of Advance Native Leadership. She also currently serves the state in several capacities: as a commissioner on the Nevada Minority Affairs Commission (Education Committee Co-chair), co-founder of Indigenous Educators Empowerment which serves Indigenous educators, educators, and students in Nevada, Chair of the Nevada Native Caucus, she was an inaugural member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Cabinet for the Nevada Department of Education, and is on the board of the Nevada State Education Association, the Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition – Native American Steering Committee, the ACLU of Nevada, and the Nevada Democratic Party.
Her education background includes her current work toward a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Administrative Leadership with a focus on American Indian Education.
Mercedes has lobbying experience in D.C. to support domestic diplomacy and won the National Council for International Visitors Phyllis Layton Perry Educator of the Year Award which celebrates the work of outstanding educators who have helped increase global awareness in their classrooms and communities. She also consistently lobbies and rallys for improved education and safe learning in Nevada.
She is also a tireless advocate for pushing forward initiatives that benefit Indigenous peoples and all communities. Representation matters, Krause aims to uplift the platform issues important to diverse communities, including the 18 of our state’s 27 tribal communities housed in CD2. She hopes to highlight several issues identified by the community as strategic priorities during her run so that more in our state are aware of issues facing their Indigenous neighbors. These include: 1. Expansion of the Native Tuition Waiver To Include Citizens and Descendants of All Federally-Recognized Tribes, 2. The Building of Equitable Educational Facilities For Nevada Tribes, Bands, and Colonies, 3. Funding for Data Collection on Cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2P), 4. Indian Education For All, 5. Creation and Funding of a Native Languages Budget, 6. Tribal Appointments in All Governmental Bodies and Government-Funded Bodies, and 7. Upholding of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ principle of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent In all Decisions and Projects Affecting Public Lands.
My family instilled a respect for the inherent dignity of every person, but it is hard for many to carry themselves with dignity when they are unable to care for their families despite working hard. 1 in 7 Nevadans live in poverty. We need to support living wages, wages that afford a safe home, healthful food, healthcare, and the ability for Nevada families to care for their children. Enough is enough. We must demand that Nevada rise from its position of 48th in the nation in our education ranking. It is time to stop talking and fund our education system so that students can learn safely, and so that EVERY STUDENT IN NEVADA has the same opportunities. We are better than this. I am passionate about creating a safe, healthy, dignified life for ALL Nevadans. We must protect our rights while balancing caring for our neighbors’ rights. We need to create a strong educational foundation for our youth and afford everyone the opportunities a strong, thoughtful community creates by working together. Public policy issues that touch on this relate to the protection of our water supply, closing the opportunity gap for students, access to health care services, affordable housing and supporting Nevadans striving for a dignified life by pushing for a livable wage and working to control rising costs.