weather icon Clear

Presidential candidate Gillibrand hosts roundtable in Las Vegas

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand pledged to support organized labor Monday during an intimate roundtable discussion in Las Vegas, the latest stop in her campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

“I think the ability of a worker to be able to unionize, to be able to organize, to have (collective) bargaining is the greatest economic engine that exists,” she told a room of workers at SEIU Local 1107.

The senator from New York is part of a long list of Democratic candidates seeking to secure the party’s nomination.

For about 20 minutes, Gillibrand took questions about the minimum wage, institutional racism and the path toward universal health care, hitting all the progressive high notes along the way.

“I’m running for president because I want to reward work in this country,” Gillibrand said. “I want to make sure your voices are heard loud and clear.”

After the roundtable, Gillibrand told reporters she “vehemently” opposes legislation in the Senate that would expedite the development of Yucca Mountain.

Gillibrand said she wants to make it easier for workers to unionize and collectively bargain, and that she is committed to opposing right-to-work legislation.

She said she supports eliminating the lower-than-minimum tipped wage, as well as raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and indexing it to inflation.

Blanca Gomez, a home-care worker, asked Gillibrand what she would do to combat structural racism in the United States.

“It has to be addressed across every landscape,” Gillibrand said, adding that she supports legislation that would establish a commission to study reparations.

Gillibrand wants to legalize marijuana use and possession nationwide and eliminate cash bail, she said.

She also voiced support for enhancing access to higher education by offering free college to those who are willing to do public service, including in heath care, education and green jobs, and working as first responders.

Gillibrand supports “Medicare for All” and a single-payer approach to health care.

She said she would start by letting anyone buy in to a Medicare for All plan at a price they can afford and create competition with private-sector insurance companies.

Gillibrand said she would not be surprised if such a plan could attract some 90 percent of Americans to choose that option within four or five years, putting a single-payer option within reach.

“I would make Medicare just like Social Security, where everyone buys in across their lifetime, whether they’re working full time or part time, big companies or small companies, always being matched,” she said.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Russia becomes de facto power broker in northern Syria

Russia moved to fill the void left by the United States in northern Syria, deploying troops Tuesday to keep apart advancing Syrian government and Turkish forces.

Bolton called Giuliani a ‘hand grenade,’ testifies ex-White House aide

Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia, told House impeachment investigators behind closed doors that she had strongly and repeatedly objected to the ouster earlier this year of former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, according to a person familiar with the testimony.

Biden, Warren, Sanders face scrutiny as 12 Democrats debate Tuesday

A dozen Democratic presidential candidates will meet Tuesday for the most crowded presidential debate in modern history. But it’s the three leading candidates — Biden, Sanders and Warren — who face the most intense spotlight.

Controversial Las Vegas domestic violence law moves forward

A new Las Vegas city ordinance would carry the same penalties for people convicted of domestic violence as Nevada state law, but would eliminate the requirement for convicts to give up their firearms in order to avoid holding jury trials for each offense.

Census Bureau asking states for data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers’ license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.

Ex-National Security Council expert on Russia testifying to Congress

Fiona Hill, a former top National Security Council expert on Russia, was testifying to Congress behind closed doors Monday, the latest former Trump administration official to be subpoenaed as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

US pulls troops in north Syria, Trump threatens Turkey sanctions

The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos, cries of betrayal and signs that Turkey’s invasion could fuel a broader war.