Yvanna Cancela represents Nevada’s 10th district in the State Senate. She was appointed to the seat and became the first Latina to ever serve in the Chamber. During the 2017 session, she had eight of her sponsored bills become law including first in the nation drug transparency legislation, and a bill expanding Medicaid CHIP benefits to immigrant children. As a first term legislator, she chaired the Natural Resources committee and served on the Commerce and Labor committee.
Yvanna’s career has been dedicated to community engagement and mobilization. Her passion is empowering people who are often left out of political discourse to have a loud voice.
When not in session, Yvanna works as the executive director of the Immigrant Workers Citizenship Project. She leads the state’s only organization to offer free help with naturalization applications. She is also currently in her second year at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.
Previously, Cancela worked as the political director at UNITE HERE’s Local 226, the Culinary Workers Union; the state’s largest labor union with 60,000 members. In her role, Yvanna developed the political training, strategy, and mobilization programs. Her work led the union to victory in some of its most competitive campaigns.
Through her work at the Culinary Union, Yvanna was and continues to be an outspoken advocate for immigrant rights. In 2013, she was named a Champion of Change by President Obama for her work in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
Yvanna moved to Las Vegas to work as a field organizer for Senator Harry Reid’s re-election campaign in 2010. What began as a three-month temporary job has blossomed to an almost decade long commitment to her Las Vegas community.
Yvanna graduated from Northwestern University in 2010 with a degree in communication studies. She is a first generation college student and the proud daughter of Cuban immigrants.