51°F
weather icon Clear

6 stand between Las Vegas Mayor Goodman and final term

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is seeking a third and final term on the city council. Standing between her and re-election are six challengers who believe too many people have been left behind as the city has grown.

Although they are reluctant to criticize Goodman, her challengers have cast their candidacies as a return to community above glitz and glamour, reversing the direction of a role they view as having shifted into a figurehead.

“What I don’t want to have happened is, I don’t want someone to become mayor in this city because they say, ‘Hey, it’s a prestigious job to have and all I have to do is shake hands and drink martinis,” said Mack Miller, a small-business owner who has faced his share of scrutiny.

Still, Miller called Goodman a “wonderful lady.” Business consultant Amy Luciano said she “won’t trash Goodman,” and community advocate Vance Sanders insisted he had “much respect” for the mayor and her family.

“I’m not running against the Goodmans,” Sanders said. “I’m running for a seat that needs to be filled. This is not personal.”

But it is clear that candidates believe change is needed, and that they can enact it, although it promises to be a tough proposition, given that voters re-elected Goodman four years ago by nearly 5,000 votes over a sitting councilman.

The mayor, who announced in January she had breast cancer and said this week physicians have been “delighted” with how she has responded to treatment, has sent no mailers or commissioned any robo-calls during the campaign. There has been a television ad, electronic billboards and yard signs, which she said her husband, former three-term Mayor Oscar Goodman, is passionate about.

“Other than that, I’ve been trying to be low-key,” Goodman said.

Steadying force

If elected to a third term, Goodman, 79, said she wants to depart Las Vegas politics knowing the city is robust with job opportunity, fair education for all, quality health care and accessible parks — in other words, the qualities of a world-class city — while acknowledging, “we’re not there yet.”

“For me, it’s all about trying to stabilize what we have and improve upon it,” she said.

Her goals: a free transportation loop that moves people through downtown, transitional housing for the homeless and renewed cooperation with Clark County to solve the homelessness problem. Goodman said she has met two to three times with county Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick on the issue since Kirkpatrick became chairwoman in January, suggesting the wall between the two entities is being chipped away.

A homelessness action plan mentioned by several candidates involves refurbishing vacant buildings downtown for affordable housing.

Tina Rane Alexander, a nonprofit chief executive, said she would seek to add job skills training to the services offered in those buildings to assist the “hidden Vegas,” or those she said have not benefited from a tourist-focused economy.

Beyond creating new resources, Alexander, 47, said she wants to help the underserved access available aid, push the Legislature to bolster domestic violence laws and work to remove illegal weapons from the streets.

She said that in work for her nonprofit for at-risk youth, It’s OK 2B Different, she mentors young people whose parents are incarcerated and delivers free baked goods and toys on Christmas to low-income areas — the sort of community involvement she says is integral for city leadership.

“I’m just an ordinary person trying to do extraordinary things,” she said.

Opportunity knocks

Sanders, 24, a 6-foot-10-inch minister with the nickname “Stretch,” revels in being what he says is the youngest Las Vegas mayoral candidate ever. He began organizing rallies five years ago to protest police killings of unarmed black men and to push for a $15 federal minimum wage.

His campaign is rooted in unifying the city around community issues: combating racial injustice, advocating for a living wage and pushing for enhanced homeless services, calling the epidemic a “state of emergency.”

He said the city has shown it “does not care” about the homeless if it will ticket people who feed them. The issue becomes a public safety concern when individuals commit crimes to survive.

“I understand that this is a reality,” he said. “We don’t have to accept the reality.”

Navy veteran Phil Collins, 51, sees a lack of jobs, high taxes and crime. He says it’s “time to do something different.” His campaign is particularly focused on eliminating wasteful spending, such as when the city paid a homeless courtyard operator nearly $50,000 to end a contract, he said.

Those are funds that could have been directed to police and fire services, Collins said. He also wants to persuade owners of vacant downtown properties to either reopen them or sell them to someone who will.

Zachary Krueger, a marijuana industry worker, joined the race after searching for employment and finding the job pop up on his phone one day, viewing the role as a public servant and the opportunity as killing two birds with one stone.

“It’s a way to make money and to serve the community that’s allowed me to join it,” Krueger, 29, said.

He said he wants the marijuana industry opened beyond special interests to everyday entrepreneurs, a more transparent city relationship with the media and basic services returned to the city’s Historic Westside.

Gritty issues

While the addition of sports teams to

Las Vegas is a powerful economic driver, the city must diversify available jobs, ensure equal access to justice and attack the “gritty” issues that it faces, according to Luciano.

Luciano, 42, supports legalizing brothels in the city as an avenue to empower workers and decrease the hold that pimps and drug dealers have on the sex industry.

“That would absolutely make Las Vegas unique,” she said.

Luciano also called for more conscious growth and for the city and county to partner on improving an educational system that lags behind the rest of the country.

Miller, 42, said the mayor has the ability to attend education hearings at county and state levels and to be invested in ensuring teachers have the tools to do their job while encouraging more parents to be involved in their children’s progress.

He said the city should subsidize facilities for homeless services and support the nonprofits already performing outreach, adding that he will also seek to delay business license fees until after a year in order to entice more entrepreneurs and enable small operations to grow.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Henderson allows immediate sale of alcohol with curbside pickup - VIDEO
The city of Henderson decided Thursday evening to allow alcohol to be sold by restaurants as part of their curbside pickup service during the COVID-19 crisis. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak signs order banning any gathering of 10 or more people - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday signed a new order banning any gathering of 10 or more people in Nevada in another step the state has taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Takeaways from the president's daily briefing on coronavirus - VIDEO
RJ Washington correspondent Debra Saunders talks about today's daily White House news conference regarding the coronavirus outbreak, Friday, March 20, 2020. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judicial Department 5 Debate - Video
The Las Vegas Review-Journal hosts a debate between the 3 candidates running for Department 5 in Clark County District Court. Participating are Veronica M. Barisich, Terry A. Coffing and Blair Cowan Parker.
Trump cancels Las Vegas trip because of ‘coronavirus outbreak’ - VIDEO
President Donald Trump canceled planned travel to Las Vegas ‘out of an abundance of caution’ amid virus outbreak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump signs $8.3 billion coronavirus package - VIDEO
President Trump signed a bill providing $8.3 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreaK, Friday, March 6, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sen. Rosen supports Judge Togliatti - VIDEO
Sen. Jacky Rosen shows her support for Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti to be appointed to the federal bench. (Sen. Jacky Rosen)
Sen. Cortez Masto shows support for Judge Togliatti - VIDEO
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto shows her support for senior state District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti to be appointed to the federal bench in Nevada. (Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto)
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews resigns following series of controversies - VIDEO
The "Hardball" host announced his departure Monday night, March 2, 2020, effective immediately. The anchor recently came under fire for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucasus to the Nazi conquest of France in 1940. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Candidates file for office in Clark County - VIDEO
Amy Klobuchar drops out of 2020 presidential race - VIDEO
On March 2, campaign officials announced Amy Klobuchar’s decision to suspend her presidential bid. The news comes on the eve of Super Tuesday and just one day after Pete Buttigieg also announced his decision to depart from the race. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Activist shouts warnings at Nevada Democratic chairman's home - VIDEO
A Southern California activist and supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders spent nearly an hour shouting warnings and condemnations of the Democratic Party through a megaphone at the home of Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II on the eve of last week’s presidential caucuses, prompting him to call the police. (Maria Estrada)
The Nevada caucus in photos
Best shots from the Review-Journal photo staff's coverage of the Nevada Caucus, Saturday, February 22, 2020.
Bernie Sanders announces his Nevada caucus win to supporters in Texas
At a rally in San Antonio, Texas, Bernie Sanders announces winning the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Joe Biden addresses supporters in Las Vegas
Joe Biden energizes a crowd of supporters at the IBEW Hall in Las Vegas after the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Tweet highlights from the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucus
Confusion, flaring tempers and misinformed volunteers highlighted Review-Journal tweets during the Nevada Democratic caucus.
Voters comment on Nevada Democratic caucus - VIDEO
Nevada caucusgoers comment on the process from locations across the Las Vegas Valley, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Doolittle Community Center hosts caucuses - VIDEO
The Doolittle Community Center hosted six precincts in one room for the Nevada Democratic caucuses, and voters engaged in debate and discussion about who to lead each precinct, Feb. 22, 2020. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Desert Oasis High School has wait for caucus check-in - VIDEO
James Strange has been waiting in line to caucus for the first time for 45 minutes and some said they have been waiting for an hour at Desert Oasis High School for the Nevada Democratic caucuses. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Conservative guru encourages Republicans to vote in Democratic caucuses - VIDEO
Republican activist Chuck Muth encourages his fellow GOP members to change party affiliation for a day to elect Bernie Sanders. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada Congresswoman Susie Lee at Desert Oasis High School - VIDEO
Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., stopped by the Nevada Democratic caucus at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus day in Summerlin - VIDEO
Out-of-state caucus observer Ken Valz speaks about the Nevada Democratic caucuses at Palo Verde High School, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Doors open for Nevada Democratic caucuses - VIDEO
Caucusgoers are lining up Saturday morning to take part in the Nevada Democratic caucuses across the state (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus day at East Last Vegas Community Center - VIDEO
Registration begins at the East Las Vegas Community Center for the Nevada Democratic caucuses, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It’s caucus day in Nevada - VIDEO
Democrats will gather at over 250 locations across the state to declare their presidential preferences in the Nevada caucuses, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic caucus-goers lined up to register at Liberty High - VIDEO
Democratic caucus-goers lined up to register at Liberty High in Henderson, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren holds rally with Julian Castro
Elizabeth Warren held her Get Out the Caucus Block Party with Secretary Julián Castro at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater.
Trump caps western swing with campaign rally in Las Vegas
President Trump speaks to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center during a tour across the western United States.
Anti-Trump Protestors at LVCC Rally - Video
President Trump speaks at a Keep America Great rally as a small group of protesters gather outside the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Thousands gather for Trump rally
Thousands showed up for President Donald Trump’s rally Friday morning, forming a line that stretched nearly a quarter mile around the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Trump supporters camp outside the Las Vegas Convention Center
Trump supporters camp outside the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, where President Trump will held a rally on Friday in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
President Trump lands in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Donald Trump landed in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, as part of a four-day western state swing. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Long lines during early voting in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The final day of the Nevada Democratic Party’s early presidential caucuses wrapped up Tuesday, as thousands of Democrats lined up at 55 locations around the state for their last shot at filing an early preference card before the traditional caucuses on Saturday. Long lines were seen at CSN Charleston in Las Vegas. (Alexis Egeland/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer talk pay for child care workers - Video
Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer talk to care in action about the importance of Medicare for All, paid leave and child care. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus and Early Voting - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus discussion with Steve Sebelius about the Nevada Caucus and early voting.
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus Discussion with Steve Sebelius. Join us as we discuss the Nevada Caucus process.
Las Vegas ready to enforce homeless camping ban - VIDEO
Las Vegas police will begin enforcing a controversial camping ban on city streets on Saturday, but officials say they expect to impose the penalties available under the new ordinance only in rare instances. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yvanna Cancela Speaks on Supporting Biden - Video
The RJ Politics podcast crew sits down with Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss why she is supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
THE LATEST