“Real civic change is power building,” one organizer shared in their interview. “It is in deep, intimate relationships that come together over time.” And if one thing is clear it is that Las Vegas organizations have taken minimal resources and applied maximum physical and emotional labor and sweat into developing the relationships that lead to transformative change beyond just one electoral cycle or blue/red map.
A Las Vegas model enshrined in the Culinary Workers Union and other labor organizations was best explained by one organizer as “a no short-cuts, no bull- style of organizing - back to basics, working class people organizing working class people in their workplace, doing the hard work of learning and connecting with members.” The real measure of progress shows up in house visits, knocking doors, building power, creating relationships, and in labor, building worker organizing committees.
Part of what defines deep-base Las Vegas organizing is the fact that the movement infrastructure is erected in such a way that makes room for conflicting positions and for dialogue across issues. In many ways, this has meant an ability to confront the complacency of institutional Democratic politics with corporate power.
Again and again, interviewees stressed just how much the core model of the organizations featured in this report centers Black, indigenous, migrant, women, and other directly-impacted workers and residents in Las Vegas (and more broadly). “Members are our north star,” one interviewee stressed. And many organizations are deepening the kinds of projects – like Make The Road NV’s Community Leadership Academy making communication and data training accessible and offering critical skills on leading campaigns, which organizers also hope could mean potential employment opportunities on political campaigns.