This exceptionally divisive election cycle has prompted much criticism of the current political climate. The racial and sexual vulgarities expressed by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in particular, have spurred protest from voices on both sides of the aisle.
Nevada is one of the country’s most contentious swing states during this presidential election. The state also has a tight open Senate race which can dramatically affect party influence in Congress.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Nevada organized a rally and precinct walk on Saturday, October 15 in Las Vegas as a part of the National Week of Action to encourage more Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senate hopeful Catherine Cortez Masto, former attorney general of Nevada.
“I want to remind you all that a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Catherine Cortez Masto is the right choice, the right vote and those are the folks that will fight for us,” Gloria Caoile, national political director of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), told a fired-up crowd.
“The choice [voters] make will make a difference in the lives of our children and families and seniors and all workers. Let us tell our families, friends and neighbors that every vote counts. In fact, their vote will make a difference in the direction of this country,” Caoile added.
Amid the controversy surrounding Trump’s recent blunders —particularly the leaked audio footage of his comments making light of sexual assault towards women — the overarching theme at the rally focused on the dangers of a Trump presidency.
The speakers discussed the possible outcomes from a Trump presidency, which will dramatically shift the control of Congress towards the conservative. To counter, they offered their projections for a Clinton presidency: benefits in health care, economic security, education and immigration policy.
In addition to SEIU members from the Nevada chapter, more than 300 union members from Los Angeles traveled to Las Vegas to join the rally. The group warned that a Trump presidency has the power to divide Americans and undo the social progression Americans have worked hard for.
“I want my kids to grow up in a world where our differences are valued, and our hopes and dreams are embraced,” Yesenia Gonzalez, a member of the SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, said. “Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that is poised to move America forward and represent the rights of all working people.”
SEIU Nevada is a chapter of the international organization SEIU which represents more than two million union members all across the United States. Members include residents in Clark County — the 12th largest county in the U.S.— who work in public health, transportation, family services, public works, housing and other public sectors.