Nevada Labor Mobilizes For 2018 Election at 62nd Annual Constitutional Convention

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen addresses delegates on day two of the 62nd Annual Nevada State AFL-CIO Constitutional Conference at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno

Reno, NV—Hundreds of delegates representing union affiliates from across the state gathered this week for the 62nd Annual Nevada State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno to mobilize members and to the drive home the message that the stakes are higher than ever for working families in this election.

The convention was the first statewide mobilization event for the labor federation’s aggressive general election campaign -- Labor 2018 (#NVLabor18). In Nevada, that campaign is focused on putting the labor community’s energy and muscle behind three primary goals: increasing turnout of union members and union household voters, preventing Question 3—the energy industry deregulation bill and related state constitutional language change—from passing in November, and most importantly, electing labor-friendly candidates to federal and state offices to help push forward pro-worker policies like raising wages, securing access to affordable health care, and protecting working people’s freedom to join together in unions.

Nevada AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rusty McAllister minced no words when calling union leaders, members, and political allies to arms:

“In 2014 we didn’t show up. We didn’t vote. And in 2015, we got our rear ends kicked. Then in 2016, we said ‘never again.’ We showed up, and we kicked butt. The equation is simple: When we show up, we win. Are you ready to show up?”

National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler made a special appearance at the convention to rally state leaders and remind them that despite being a right-to-work state, Nevada is one of the most active and critical states in the nationwide labor movement.

“In the darkness that was 2016, you were a bright light of hope,” Shuler said. “You sent the first Latina in history to the U.S. Senate. You swept pro-worker majorities into the state legislature. And you sent a message that when working people band together and mobilize together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. You have an incredible opportunity to build on that progress this fall.”

Also in attendance were local and state political leaders and candidates for office, including gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak, Congresswoman and candidate for U.S. Senate Jacky Rosen, former Nevada State Treasurer and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall, and others. Their messages, too, were unified: Anti-labor legislators and candidates are on notice. 

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who if elected will be Nevada’s first Democratic governor in 20 years, told labor leaders that they can expect him to stand with them in the fight to raise the minimum wage. ‪

“Other states are going to say, ‘They did it right in Nevada,’” he said. “They’re going to follow Nevada.” 

Nevada State Assemblyman and IBEW 357 member Chris Brooks took the stage and urged members not to rest or risk wasting the opportunity in front of them in November.

“We have an opportunity for a solidly pro-labor majority in the Assembly, a solidly pro-labor majority in the Senate, and a pro-labor governor,” he said. In my career, that’s never happened before. I can only imagine what we can get done.”

On the final day of the convention, the delegates—who represent more than 200,000 union members across the state—voted on endorsed candidates and resolutions. Delegates approved resolutions supporting: 1) Nevada ballot question 6, 2) promoting safe and local labor hiring practices in response to violations by Reno’s Eldorado Resorts, 3) contract labor disputes and a potential strike of the Culinary Union Local 226 in its pursuit of fair contracts, and 4) collective bargaining rights of workers at Station Casinos.

Approved endorsements for Nevada political candidates are available on the Nevada AFL-CIO website at http://nv.aflcio.org.

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Through political advocacy and leadership, the Nevada State AFL-CIO works to improve the lives, opportunities, and working conditions of Nevada's working men and women. We represent more than 150,000 union members and their families across the state. Visit our website at http://nv.aflcio.org.