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
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)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Planned Parenthood looks for funding after leaving federal program

Planned Parenthood clinics are charging new fees and warning of more unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases after its decision to quit a $260 million federal family planning program.

Trump’s approval remains weak despite economy, poll shows

A new poll released Thursday by finds some support for President Donald Trump’s handling of the U.S. economy but gives him weak marks on other major issues.

Sanders’ $16T climate plan builds on Green New Deal

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has released a $16.3 trillion climate plan that builds on the Green New Deal and calls for the U.S. to move to renewable energy across the economy by 2050.