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Shelley Berkley

Date of Birth: 1/20/1951

Occupation: Politician
Rochelle "Shelley" Berkley (born Rochelle Levine January 20, 1951) is an American politician, and has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999, representing the First Congressional District of Nevada, which includes most of the city of Las Vegas as well as the Las Vegas Strip. She is the first Jewish woman and second member of the Jewish faith elected to Congress from Nevada, the other being "Chic" Hecht. She is also the second woman elected to Congress from Nevada, and the first elected as a Democrat.

Born in New York City, Berkley moved with her family to Nevada when she was a junior high school student. She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and earned a degree in political science and served as the UNLV Student Body President. She then entered the University of San Diego, graduating with a degree in Law. Berkley practiced law for several years, mainly as a member of the legal counsel for several Las Vegas casinos. She also served as the national director for the American Hotel-Motel Association. She served in the Nevada Assembly from 1982 to 1984 and was involved in civic affairs locally. While in the state legislature, she advocated consumer safety laws, campaigned against drunken driving, and founded the Senior Law Project. Berkley was also appointed vice chair of the Nevada University System Board of Regents, serving at the position from 1990 to 1998.

Elected to the House in 1998, she serves in the Committees on Veteransí Affairs, and Ways and Means. As a representative, Berkley views her top priorities as to fight for affordable health care coverage for all Americans, veteranís rights, and alternative energy. She is also strongly opposed to the building of a nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. She is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

Berkley is known as one of the supporters of the drive to regulate online gambling. She was one of the few congressional members to stand up against Bill Fristís addition of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, to the unrelated SAFE Port Act.

On October 10, 2002, Shelley Berkley was among the 81 House Democrats who voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

On September 29, 2008, Shelley Berkley was among the 95 House Democrats who voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.


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