Las Vegas, Nv. Jan. 11, 2020: As part of a get-to-know The Candidates effort, UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union 226 hosted Democratic Presidential Candidates Senator Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete Buttigieg in back to back town halls on Saturday. The union hall was standing room only with was hundreds of enthusiastic members in attendance.
Klobuchar Town Hall
Senator Klobuchar emphasized that she was raised in a union family, that her mother, father and grandfather were all union members. She has always been a union supporter.
Health care is a significant issue for the Culinary Workers Union. They are proud of the health care program provided for their workers. Klobuchar voiced her opposition to Medicare for all, stressing that 149 million American would lose their health care under that plan. Instead, Klobuchar proposed to remove the influence of pharma lobbyists from health care policy making; to address mental health and addiction; to improve long term care; to strengthen social security and to provide a public option while expanding the Affordable Care Act.
In response to an immigration question, Senator Klobuchar responded that she was a strong supporter of immigration reform. She shared her own family’s immigrant challenges explaining that her grandfather and grandmother were both immigrants and had to deal with citizenship challenges presented by World War II. As a result, Klobuchar recognized the value of immigrants. “Immigrants don’t diminish America, they are America,” she said.
UNITE HERE President D. Taylor wrapped up the Klobuchar town hall by asking if she was tough enough to beat Donald Trump in the general election. Klobuchar told her story, about growing up in an alcoholic family, struggling to pay for school and running successful campaigns against wealthier opponents. She highlighted her record of success in the Senate, passing over 100 bills, more than any other Democratic candidate. Klobuchar stressed that she has been underestimated every step of the way.
Buttigieg Town Hall
Mayor Buttigieg began the town hall by recognizing the contributions of Culinary Union 226 to the Democratic success in the 2018 election and the new Democratic agenda in Nevada. He presented his vision for America and the need to reunite our divided nation. The most enthusiastic response of the day came when Buttigieg shifted to Spanish to state that he will be the President to put together the pieces of our divided nation.
Buttigieg said he will do nothing to put health care in jeopardy. He proposes a quality public alternative for people who need health care coverage and that if it is a quality health care solution, everyone will choose it anyways. Buttigieg emphasized that each person should decide whether to keep their own existing plan or choose the public plan.
In response to an immigration question, Mayor Pete recognized the contribution of immigrant families to our communities. He promised to put an end to family separation programs, extend Temporary Protective Status and protect Dreamers.
UNITE HERE President D. Taylor also wrapped up the Buttigieg town hall by asking him if he was tough enough to beat Donald Trump in the general election. Buttigieg responded that Trump only knows how to go low and nasty, that he will stop at nothing and will find where you are vulnerable and also make up vulnerabilities. He said Trump is a bully. Buttigieg said he knows how to deal with bullies, as he grew up in Indiana and he is gay. Buttigieg said that he has served oversees and knows that that “there are worse forms of incoming than a tweet full of typos.” In order to beat Trump, the nominee must remember “the less we’re talking about him, the more we’re talking about you, and the more we’re talking about you, the more we’re going to win.”