Minimum-wage bus tour coming to Las Vegas

A national group pushing for a hike in the minimum wage will take its campaign today to Las Vegas with its “Give America a Raise” bus tour.

The group Americans United for Change will be asking U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Joe Heck, both R-Nev., to support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

The bus, emblazoned with the group’s message, will be parked starting at 9:30 a.m. at the offices of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada at 708 S. Sixth St. in Las Vegas.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. In Nevada, it is $1 higher at $8.25 an hour. The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009.

Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, said the bus tour has traveled 3,500 miles and made stops in 11 states seeking support for a minimum wage increase.

The bill from Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, was introduced last month. It would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in three increments of 95 cents. It then would provide for automatic annual increases linked to changes in the cost of living.

Woodhouse said the increase would not only lift families out of poverty but also create jobs as the additional income is injected into the economy.

— Sean Whaley


A national nonpartisan organization working to improve civic participation by the Latino community has praised comments by a Las Vegas Sands Corp. executive who spoke in support of national immigration reform efforts.

Mi Familia Vota Executive Director Ben Monterroso praised the remarks made recently by Michael Alan Leven, president and chief operating officer of Sands, at Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.

In an interview with the Spanish language television network Mundo FOX, Leven said he did not understand how “the United States of America can have 12 million people sitting here and disregard them” and urged immigration reform with path to citizenship.

Leven said that anyone who does not have a criminal record and who is working and paying taxes should earn citizenship.

“Let them be a citizen. What’s the problem? I don’t understand the problem,” Leven said.

Monterroso said the group supports Leven’s stand, which “come at a time when our political leaders in Congress refuse to take a human approach to the issue and instead use it for political posturing.”

“It is wrong for Congress to do nothing while new Americans live in fear that they will be separated from their families,” Monterroso said.

— Sean Whaley


The Washoe County Republican Party has a new chairman.

Sam Kumar was picked during a regular meeting of the Washoe County Republican Central Committee last week. He takes office immediately.

Kumar previously had served as the first vice chairman of the Washoe County Republican Party.

“I am humbled by the trust placed on me by the Washoe County Republican Central Committee,” Kumar said. “It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to lead the county party through a critical midterm election year.”

Kumar ran on a platform of uniting the party and reaching out to independents and “soft” Democrats.

The former president of the Northern Nevada Mensa organization is also a nationally ranked masters track athlete and a city of Reno Corporate Challenge track champion.

He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Montana State University and an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno.

He replaces Tom Taber, who resigned in January.

— Sean Whaley

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter @seanw801.