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Shelley Berkley

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 1st district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1999
Preceded by John Ensign

Born January 20, 1951 (1951-01-20) (age 59)
New York City, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Larry Lehrner
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada
Alma mater University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
University of San Diego
Profession attorney
Religion Jewish

Rochelle "Shelley" Berkley (born Rochelle Levine January 20, 1951) is a politician from Las Vegas, 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 School of Law, 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.

Her mother is of Greek Jewish descent.

Elected to the House in 1998, she serves in the Committees on Foreign Affairs, and Ways and Means. As a representative, Berkley views her top priorities as to fight for affordable health care coverage for all Americans, veteran's rights, and alternative energy. She is also strongly opposed to the building of a nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out that among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Berkley has the 12th-highest amount of investment in oil stocks.[1] 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 Frist's 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.

According to the Haaretz correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya, in its online edition of 3/5/09; "Berkley, a Jewish politician well-known for her support of Israel, backed the Israeli operation in Gaza during December and January, and even told Haaretz that Israel may have been too tolerant."[2]


2010 election

Republican candidate and small business owner Craig Lake has announced that he will be running against Democratic incumbent Shelley Berkley.[3]

Committee assignments


Caucus memberships

  • After-school Caucus
  • Bipartisan, Bicameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Center Aisle Caucus
  • Coalition on Autism Research and Education
  • Congressional Arts Caucus
  • Congressional Automotive Caucus
  • Congressional Automotive Performance and Motor-sports Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
  • Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
  • Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues
  • Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans
  • Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Americans
  • Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine
  • Congressional Climate Change Caucus
  • Congressional Fitness Caucus
  • Congressional Friends of Canada Caucus
  • Congressional Gaming Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Human Rights Caucus
  • Congressional Humanities Caucus
  • Congressional Intelligent Transportation Systems Caucus
  • Congressional Kidney Caucus
  • Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus
  • Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus
  • Congressional Osteoporosis Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Pakistan Caucus
  • Congressional Recycling Caucus
  • Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus
  • Congressional Stop DUI Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Taiwan Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Taskforce Against Anti-Semitism
  • Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Congressional United Kingdom Caucus
  • Congressional Waterways Caucus
  • Congressional Zoo and Aquarium Caucus
  • Democratic Israel Working Group
  • Friends of Kazakhstan Caucus (co-chair)
  • Future of American Media Caucus
  • General Aviation Caucus
  • House Veterans' Mental Health Caucus
  • Iran Working Group
  • Law Enforcement Caucus
  • LGBT Equality Caucus
  • National Landscape Conservation System Caucus
  • New Democrat Coalition
  • Nuclear Issues Working Group
  • Public Broadcasting Caucus
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
  • US-China Working Group


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Ensign
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 1st congressional district

1999 – present


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