STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding the Clark County emergency ordinance



Thursday, June 8th, 2020


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088 

STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding the Clark County emergency ordinance:

The Culinary Union does not support the emergency ordinance that would ban backpacks and other common items at protests that was presented to the County Commission on Tuesday, June 3rd. Although our name was frequently mentioned during the presentation of the bill, the Culinary Union was not involved in the drafting of this ordinance and is in opposition to the bill as written. The presenter from Metro was referencing discussions they had with Culinary Union officials about banning weapons, like guns and knives, from large events a few years ago, not banning common items like backpacks, purses, and strollers. 

We believe that banning backpacks, purses, strollers, camera bags, and other common items would have a chilling effect on the ability of all people in Clark County to peacefully protest, including workers. The people that bring backpacks, purses, and strollers to peaceful protests are not outside agitators looking to cause chaos. They are workers that fill their backpacks with extra water in case someone needs it, a guest room attendant who just left work with their purse, and families that bring their young children in strollers to rallies and protests. Although supporters of this bill claim that they don’t want to interfere with peaceful protests, this bill as written would do just that by banning common items that the vast majority of people use every day.

As written, this is a bad ordinance that should be scrapped altogether. Instead, the Culinary Union urges the Clark County Commission to instead work with all interested parties in finding a solution that will keep people safe at protests without infringing on Nevadan's First Amendment rights.


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.  

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.   

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project. 

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 85 years. / @Culinary226 


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