Robert Van Strawder is an entrepreneur, filmmaker, and community activist running to represent Nevada’s 1st Congressional District. Strawder is a walking success story who aspires not only to fight corrupt politicians, but to broadly change urban culture to improve lives in Las Vegas.
From the Streets to the Studio
Strawder was born in Los Angeles and raised in North Las Vegas. The crack epidemic and War on Drugs tore his family apart, and he suddenly became the head of household at 16. Robert got caught up in a life of dealing drugs to be able to support his younger siblings, and that criminal lifestyle took years of hard work to escape. The War on Drugs and the federal government’s failed programs turned North Las Vegas into a poverty factory.
After entering the hip hop music scene, Strawder (a.k.a. Tha Vegas Don) got his break at a celebrity lineup show in Reno when he was noticed by Digital Underground founder Shock G. Under Shock G’s mentorship, Strawder built his own record label, DBlocc, which was one of the most successful independent record labels on the west coast. He’s also credited for bringing the first hip hop acts to the Las Vegas Strip. His first film, Checkmate: Tha Movie debuted in 2017 at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival.
Enough is enough
Robert Van Strawder is highly active doing philanthropic work in his community. He works directly with at-risk youth who are already exposed to gang life, striving to get them out of that life and onto a better path. Often times it requires simple actions like coordinating for kids in rough neighborhoods to get rides to school.
These inner city teens listen to him because unlike the administrators/counselors/police officers talking to them on a regular basis, Vegas Don the hip hop artist came from that pit and climbed out of it. Strawder’s story is the story of America. Anyone can succeed and fail and succeed again.
“That’s why I’m a Libertarian,” Strawder says. “That’s why I want other black and Latino men to be Libertarian too. Opportunity has to be created. Success has to be earned. It requires a long quest.”
His passion project, DBlocc Records, was highly successful for several years until his major investments were wiped out when the housing bubble burst in 2008. Between the government-fueled economic recession in 2008, the war on drugs’ direct impact on his childhood, and the complete failure of our lawmakers to provide real solutions to America’s worst issues, Robert has had enough.
Robert Van Strawder is running for Congress to hold our leaders accountable. He knows first-hand how government policies hurt working class families every day. In 2018, the Democrats and Republicans won’t be ready for a principled black Libertarian to put them in his sights. “I’ve been listening to the two parties for 40 years,” Strawder says, “I’m done with that.”