Student Spotlight: Yvanna Cancela

Friday, October 11, 2019
Yvanna Cancela

You are a state senator and a law student. How does each role inform the other? 

When I was appointed in 2016, I didn't realize just how valuable a legal education would be for policy-making. I remember sitting in my first legal writing class and being introduced to the role statutes and statutory language play in our legal system. I recognized the relationship between the law and the legislature, but it was in that moment where it became salient. Since then, I consider Boyd to be my home base as a senator. I've worked with professors and students to develop legislation, honed my statutory interpretation skills, and found an invaluable support system.

What is your proudest accomplishment in your political life so far?

I've gotten to work on a number of bills that I'm really proud of. In 2017, I worked with patients, unions, and advocates to pass the country's first comprehensive diabetes drug transparency legislation. I still consider that to be one of the most significant things I've done while in office. In 2019, I passed a bill to create a payday loan database that will significantly increase consumer protections for some of our most vulnerable Nevadans.

And how do you hope the career long game plays out?

I want to continue doing meaningful work to make Las Vegas a community where everyone has a shot at leading a life of opportunity and dignity. I'm well aware that can take on all sorts of forms, and I'm open to possibilities. I'll stay in the State Senate as long as voters want me there.

Is there time for fun, and, if so, what do you do with it?

Yes! I make fun and "me time" a priority. I spend time with friends and try to get outside as much as possible. My family is in Miami, so sometimes, fun means jumping on a plane to spend a weekend with them.

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