JACKY ROSEN TALKS TO VOT­ERS ABOUT LIS­TEN­ING

Cam­paign for Se­nate has Rosen talk­ing about her abil­ity to lis­ten to con­stituents

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By Yvonne Gon­za­lez This story was posted on lasve­g­as­sun.com at 2 a.m. to­day.

Thump­ing bass and a mov­ing crowd are just some of the Ve­gas-style hall­marks of a church where Jacky Rosen be­came one of the lat­est Ne­vada politi­cians to ad­dress the con­gre­ga­tion.

The fresh­man con­gress­woman’s ap­pear­ance at C3 Church Las Ve­gas in Au­gust fol­lowed a string of past no­ta­bles, in­clud­ing for­mer Demo­cratic Sen. Harry Reid dur­ing his 2010 re-elec­tion cam­paign. While pas­tors Mario and Mayra Ro­driguez do not en­dorse any can­di­dates, they did lead their con­gre­ga­tion, num­ber­ing around 1,500 and al­most en­tirely Latino, in a prayer for Rosen, who is cam­paign­ing for the U.S. Se­nate against in­cum­bent Re­pub­li­can Dean Heller.

“I need all of the prayers I can get,” Rosen laugh­ingly told the pas­tors as they waited back­stage be­fore join­ing the sing­ing con­gre­ga­tion.

The stop at the church was one in a long day of cam­paign­ing for Rosen, who is jug­gling her of­fi­cial House du­ties while cam­paign­ing for an­other of­fice. Rosen’s cam­paign al­lowed the Sun to shadow the can­di­date for most of the day.

Here are some of the high­lights:

9:30 a.m.: She ap­pears at Tem­ple Si­nai Las Ve­gas for the Red Rock Dems’ “Blue Wave Beat the Heat” brunch. “One thing you do learn on the trail is you eat when­ever you can and you make sure you al­ways have a cold bot­tle of wa­ter,” Rosen said.

10:59 a.m.: Back­stage at C3 Church Las Ve­gas, Rosen tells the pas­tors that the rock con­cert-like at­mos­phere in the church re­minds her of the mu­sic in her faith, with a band called the Shab­ba­tones play once a month for Shab­bat, the Jewish Sab­bath. Rosen is the for­mer pres­i­dent of Con­gre­ga­tion Ner Tamid.

11:20 a.m.: Af­ter greet­ing some parish­ioners, Rosen waits for ser­vices to start in a seat to­ward the front of the con­gre­ga­tion, near the stage. A mes­sage vis­i­ble on a side wall says, “Know God; find free­dom; dis­cover pur­pose; make a dif­fer­ence.”

11:35 a.m.: Rosen takes the stage with Mario

Ro­driguez, who trans­lates for her while she gives re­marks fo­cused on the value of hear­ing, not just lis­ten­ing, to con­stituents and what they need, as well as how her grand­par­ents im­mi­grated to the U.S. 100 years ago. “We don’t know what the fu­ture holds, and we need to pro­tect it for ev­ery per­son who comes af­ter us. We stand on the ones who came be­fore us,” she said, draw­ing ap­plause from the crowd.

11:45 a.m.: Ro­driguez leads the con­gre­ga­tion in a prayer for Rosen.

11:55 a.m.: As the ser­vice wraps up, Rosen heads to her next event and eat­ing a quick lunch in the car.

12:44 p.m.: Rosen stands be­side Assem­bly Speaker Ja­son Fri­er­son at the Ne­vada State Demo­cratic Party Party’s south­west field of­fice open­ing. Also at the front of the room are Demo­cratic can­di­dates from up and down the ticket, stand­ing in front of an open garage door. It’s stand­ing room only as fans cir­cu­late air on a day with a high of 108 de­grees.

1:05 p.m.: Rosen gives a sim­i­lar speech to the one at the church, fo­cus­ing on hear­ing rather than just lis­ten­ing to con­stituents. She en­cour­ages sup­port­ers to make sure ev­ery­one they know is reg­is­tered to vote.

1:16 p.m.: Speeches end and the can­di­dates pose for a group photo be­fore the of­fice grinds into gear with phone-bank­ing and knock­ing on doors.

1:25 p.m.: Q&A with the Sun be­fore go­ing into meet­ings for the rest of the day. Here are ex­cerpts:

On hot and ex­haust­ing cam­paign days like this, what keeps you go­ing to the next event?

Reg­u­lar peo­ple. You look out, I mean, a few weeks ago I was at a woman’s home who does phone banks, and she does them all through the year. She opened her home, she dec­o­rated it, she cooked, she had all her friends and neigh­bors. She works in food ser­vice at the school dis­trict, and she does this ev­ery week be­cause it mat­ters to her com­mu­nity.

What should be done to im­prove health care?

We need to mend it and not end it. The Af­ford­able Care Act, it’s like a pa­tient and it’s sick be­cause Re­pub­li­cans have been sab­o­tag­ing it all along the way. Ev­ery sin­gle thing they’re try­ing to do is to weaken it. So what we need to do is be sure that we strengthen it, be sure that we strengthen those pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions (pro­tec­tions). I just ac­tu­ally led a piece of leg­is­la­tion to al­low the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives onto that fed­eral law­suit to de­fend the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions in the Af­ford­able Care Act, be­cause no­body wants to go back to that time.

The most im­por­tant thing you have is your health. We can’t af­ford to let any­one to fall through the cracks, so we need to mend it. We need to boost up our com­mu­nity ex­changes, boost up our in­sur­ance pro­grams, think about what we can do for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. I’ve also led a bill that caps pre­scrip­tion drug costs for fam­i­lies, $250 for an in­di­vid­ual, $500 for fam­i­lies per month. It’s re­ally im­por­tant.

Then, once we get that sta­bi­lized, then we can move for­ward and see what the right di­rec­tion is to go. But un­til we do that, we can’t let any­body fall through the cracks; we need to mend it.

Do you sup­port calls by some Democrats and pro­gres­sives to abol­ish Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment?

No, I don’t sup­port abol­ish­ing ICE. We have to re­spect the men and women who work very hard to pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties. ICE does other things, they do cy­bert­er­ror­ism, coun­tert­er­ror­ism, drug and hu­man traf­fick­ing. So what’s wrong right now with ICE is this ad­min­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies have been reck­less and mean-spir­ited, and they’ve been aw­ful. What’s hap­pen­ing now, this ad­min­is­tra­tion can stop this in a sec­ond by the stroke of a pen. They started it, and they can stop it, and that’s what they need to do.

What we re­ally need to have, what ev­ery­one is talk­ing about, is we need to have com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form that pro­tects our Dream­ers, gives a path to cit­i­zen­ship, keeps our bor­ders safe and se­cure. We don’t want vi­o­lent crim­i­nals here, of course not, but we have to have a plan to al­low peo­ple to come, to work in sea­sonal jobs, high-tech, med­i­cal — there are so many things, and what’s hap­pen­ing right now is all the reck­less agenda of this ad­min­is­tra­tion. Ev­ery cri­sis is made by them, and we can fix it by bring­ing com­pre­hen­sive re­form to the table.

As a fresh­man law­maker, what has pre­pared you for a seat in the Se­nate?

I am the grand­daugh­ter of im­mi­grants. I have a daugh­ter who’s 22. So I’m go­ing to honor my her­itage of where I came from — I put my­self through col­lege as a wait­ress, I was a woman in tech­nol­ogy, I raised a fam­ily, I did com­mu­nity work. Life isn’t lin­ear. I stepped off my ca­reer path to take care of my par­ents and in-laws as they got ill, so it is very sex­ist for some­one to say why does a woman think that her whole life doesn’t mat­ter and that you are more than the sum of your one-page re­sume. I’m here to fight for Ne­vadans who have built their life just like I did. … What makes me qual­i­fied is be­cause I know that the dig­nity and de­cency of our democ­racy is at stake. I’m will­ing to lis­ten to Ne­vadans, ev­ery­day Ne­vadans like my fam­ily is, and I’m go­ing to be the per­son that fights for them ev­ery sin­gle day.

What do you have to say about crit­i­cism over whether you ac­tu­ally earned your cre­den­tials and built a busi­ness?

I built my ca­reer as a com­puter pro­gram­mer, sys­tems an­a­lyst, work­ing for big com­pa­nies, writ­ing large main­frame soft­ware. I tran­si­tioned to be an in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant. I worked for my­self, writ­ing com­puter soft­ware, de­sign­ing com­puter soft­ware. That’s a long time ago, over 20 years ago some of it, and I think, again, Dean Heller can’t stand on the is­sues. He doesn’t want to talk about pol­icy, he doesn’t want to talk about how he switched po­si­tions on health care, on Planned Par­ent­hood, how he has a 0 per­cent rat­ing from the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers last year, how he votes with this ad­min­is­tra­tion 96 per­cent of the time no mat­ter what peo­ple here in Ne­vada want him to do. And so if I were Dean Heller, I wouldn’t want to talk about the is­sues ei­ther. And so I think it’s base­less, again, some­thing that they don’t do to a man. I think it’s very, very much what they do to a woman, those kinds of those at­tacks, and I’m go­ing to ask him to talk about the poli­cies. I chal­lenge him to talk to us about his votes.

Ed­i­tor’s note: In­cum­bent Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., Rosen’s op­po­nent in this fall’s elec­tion, de­clined to par­tic­i­pate in this project with the Sun; his cam­paign spokesman has not re­sponded to a re­quest for a one-onone in­ter­view.

MI­RANDA ALAM / SPE­CIAL TO THE SUN

U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., can­di­date for U.S. Se­nate, speaks along­side Pas­tor Mario Ro­driguez at C3 Church in Las Ve­gas on a Sun­day this sum­mer. The con­gress­woman is jug­gling her House du­ties with cam­paign­ing for the seat now held by in­cum­bent Re­pub­li­can Dean Heller.

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