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About Kelvin

Kelvin Atkinson was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the second of three children. 

Both natives of Chicago, Kelvin’s mother was a union worker in a mill for over twenty years and his father was a railroad worker. 

At the age of ten, Kelvin visited his fraternal grandparents who had moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and he found that he loved the city so much that he asked his parents’ permission to remain there with them. 

Kelvin finished junior high school and high school in Culver City, California. After graduating high school, Kelvin attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he began doing community service. During his second semester of his junior year, Kelvin received a horrifying telephone call from his mother early one morning notifying him that his father had just been murdered. Kelvin was devastated and left school that semester to return to Los Angeles to be with his family. He was very fond of his father, as Kelvin states "he was the best father any child could have, he was my best friend".

Kelvin’s grandparents decided to move to Las Vegas in 1991 not wanting to live in Los Angeles any longer after their son was murdered. Kelvin followed and enrolled in UNLV where he continued to study Political Science.

Kelvin always knew that he wanted to help people and in 1992 began working for local government. Throughout his employment he was tireless in his efforts and was promoted several times as a result of his commitment and loyalty.  He is still a county employee and has been with them for over 23 years now.

In 1996, Kelvin received the greatest blessing of his life when his daughter Haley was born. Haley was in the Clark County School system from K-12th grade, excelled in her studies and is proud to be a product of the Clark County School system.  Haley no doubt is the highlight of Kelvin’s life and is the number one reason he decided to run for the State Assembly years ago. Kelvin’s goal was to improve educational opportunities for his daughter and all other children of Nevada and he decided that the only way to do so was to "get involved". Kelvin became a part of the process believing that the Assembly was the best place for him to affect change and stay involved.

Elected as our representative:

First elected to the Assembly in 2002, Kelvin has proven that he is a true leader. He received a grade of "B" from his peers after his first legislative session and is proud that during the session, which lasted 157 days, he never missed a vote. After his freshman legislative session, Kelvin was chosen from a field of 125 candidates, as one of 40 new legislators to attend the Western Legislative Academy (WLA). The goal of the WLA is to help newer legislators become more effective and to build stronger state institutions. Kelvin was such a standout at the academy that at the conclusion of the five-day training, he was elected as the 2003 Class President. After serving a decade in the Nevada State Assembly, Kelvin decided to run for the State Senate and in 2012, Kelvin was elected into the Nevada Senate by almost 80% of the votes.  Elected by his peers in the West, Kelvin is presently the Council of State Governments Vice Chairman and will become the Chairman in 2017.  He will become the first African American to ever lead this organization in its 83 year history.

In October of 2014, after the 9th Circuit Court of Nevada struck down the prohibition of Same Sex Marriage, Kelvin and his partner/best friend of 7 years, Sherwood "Woody" Howard made history by becoming the first same sex couple to get married in the state of Nevada.


Legislative Accomplishments:

76th Legislative Session Assembly Leadership and Committees:

Chief Majority Whip
Commerce & Labor Committee (Chairman)
Ways & Means Committee
Transportation Committee

78th Legislative Session Senate Leadership position and Committees:

Assistant Democratic Leader

Commerce, Labor and Energy

Government Affairs

Legislative Operations, Elections and Procedures


2013 Council of State Governments Chairman

2005 Henry Toll Fellows Graduate

2016 National Council of State Governements Chair Elect


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