Culinary Union launches a ballot initiative campaign to win Neighborhood Stability in North Las Vegas



Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Culinary Union launches a ballot initiative campaign to win Neighborhood Stability in North Las Vegas

Press conference video here

Las Vegas, NV – The Culinary Union has launched a campaign to win Neighborhood Stability in North Las Vegas by working with North Las Vegas residents and community allies to advance a ballot initiative that would prevent rent increases in North Las Vegas from exceeding the cost of living. The Culinary Union will be gathering thousands of signatures in North Las Vegas to put a Neighborhood Stability Ordinance on the ballot for voters in North Las Vegas to vote on this November to enact. Supporters can go to to learn more about the campaign, read stories of North Las Vegas homeowners and renters who support the campaign, read the proposed ordinance, and sign up to receive regular text/email updates. 

“North Las Vegans are being pushed out of their homes by rent increases that are among the highest in the nation. On top of 8.5% inflation in gas and groceries, rising rents are a blow to working families who are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Neighborhood stability is good for everyone: Long-time residents, senior citizens, first-time homebuyers, parents with children, and local neighborhood businesses. That’s why the Culinary Union and community allies are advancing an initiative petition to ensure neighborhood stability by preventing rent increases in North Las Vegas from exceeding the cost of living. The Neighborhood Stability Ordinance, which would limit rent increases to at most 5% a year and tie rent increases to inflation, will be on the ballot in North Las Vegas this November.”

The Neighborhood Stability Ordinance is essential in North Las Vegas because:

*Long-time residents and senior citizens are being pushed out of their homes in North Las Vegas following an average of 28.5% rent increase since 2019 in Clark County.

*Senior citizens (whose rent increases exceed monthly Social Security payments) are forced to rely on taxpayer-funded assistance or are evicted.

*Saving up for a down-payment can be an impossible hurdle for first-time homebuyers when their rents go up faster than the cost of living.

*The loss of stable families in a community results in student turnover in our public schools (which creates more challenges for teachers).

*Local North Las Vegas neighborhood businesses suffer when customers need to move or cut back spending when rents go up faster than the cost of living. 

5 North Las Vegas residents comprise the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance petitioners’ committee: 

*Aretha Wilder, Culinary Union member for 26 years, shop steward, cocktail server (renter) –

“As a renter, a lot of things are out of my control and renting in this market means insecurity and instability. My monthly rent is more than most homeowner’s mortgages and that isn’t right! I feel like I’m being pushed out because I can’t afford to rent and every rent payment is eating into any money that I have been saving to buy a home. I have a good union job, but in North Las Vegas I’m facing this battle of huge out-of-town corporations wanting to keep me as a perpetual renter and it’s pushing me to the brink. If I can be pushed out then anyone can and that’s why something must be done. I’m proud to join the campaign to win Neighborhood Stability because it’s not just for me, I’m fighting for my two children who also rent and I want them to have better opportunities, and I’m also in this fight for my 300 relatives who live throughout the Valley. Something has to change and that’s why I support the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance and am asking other North Las Vegas renters and homeowners to join this campaign to make North Las Vegas a place where we can thrive and call home.” 

*Hadiza Sadiq, Bartenders Union member, shop steward (homeowner) –

“I decided to buy my home because as a renter, we were paying someone else’s mortgage and I wanted to own something that was my own and have more stability and security. Also, the rent increases we were facing every year was nonsensical. Just the thought of my rent and cost-of-living going up every year, and them not keeping up with the wages – it was too much. With the IRS Tip Allocation rates skyrocketing workers are making significantly less money every paycheck and that makes it harder to make rent. I also have noticed a lot of homes being built recently, but not for sale – they are only for rent and the prices are too expensive, and it makes me think that as my daughters grow up they will face limited options. As an immigrant from Nigeria who moved to the United States over 30 years ago, I’m proud to be a homeowner because it’s part of the American Dream. As a homeowner, I also am proudly supporting the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance because everyone is on the brink of housing not being affordable, whether you rent or buy. I urge North Las Vegas renters and homeowners like me to join this campaign to win Neighborhood Stability.” 

*Isabel Alejandra Saldana, cook at Station Casinos’ Boulder Station for 17 years (renter) –

“I am a single mother of three children. I have lived in North Las Vegas for the past 25 years and I am currently renting a 2-bedroom/2-bathroom apartment for $700 a month. My apartment was recently sold and even though there haven’t been any new improvements or renovations, they want to raise my rent to $1,200 – that’s a $500 increase! I am so nervous I don’t know where we are going to live. My mom says that we can move in with her, but there is not enough room for my children and I. The high cost of rent in North Las Vegas has really put us in a difficult situation. We need a solution to the housing crisis in North Las Vegas, and that’s why I’m here today sharing my story in support of the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance, we need something to change – we won’t be able to make it otherwise.”

*Melanie Arizmendi, college student and North Las Vegas resident - 

“Before the pandemic, I was renting a 3-bedroom apartment with two other roommates for $1,800. Then the pandemic hit. We all had to move back in with our parents. My hope is that one day I will be able to graduate, become a nurse, move out of my parent’s house again, find an affordable apartment, and become a homeowner one day, but right now this path is not possible for me because rent is so expensive in North Las Vegas and I can’t find an affordable apartment. I support the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance because something has to be done to ensure young people like me can move out and be able to save up enough money for a down-payments towards our first-home without every paycheck going to (high and constantly rising) rent. Other young Nevadans and I deserve a chance to have a successful future.”

*Ender Austin, III – Pastor at Bethesda Church of God in Christ in North Las Vegas (homeowner) – 

“As a homeowner, I want to know who I am living next to and as a pastor, I want to know how I can support them and be a friend to them. In the conversation about rising rents, we have to be honest about the spirit of greed that is running rampant and it needs to be addressed. I certainly believe in prayer and the power of God, but I also believe that it can be addressed by legislative means. We can pray and vote for the legislative means that brings us in alignment with justice and what that looks like for people who are marginalized. Rising rent suffocates and deteriorates families – primarily Black, low-income, and communities of color where you have folks working multiple jobs just to make rent. It’s a moral issue. If your entire paycheck is going to rent then you can’t afford to have the balance in your life that hard working folks deserve. North Las Vegas residents should be able to go on vacation, send their kids to college, spend money in our community, and to one day purchase a home – the inability to do that is not good for a moral state of this country. Isaiah 32:18 says: ‘My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Our community deserves all of that and more, that’s why I am here today to support the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance so that North Las Vegas residents can have the economic justice we need.’”


From the end of 2019 through March, 2022, rent prices have skyrocketed in North Las Vegas: 47% for one-bedroom apartments in North Las Vegas (Zumper); average 25% rent increases in 2021 in North Las Vegas (Zumper); 38% for all apartments in North Las Vegas (Yardi Matrix); and 38% in North Las Vegas’s most populous ZIP code of 89031.

Nationwide, the burden of rising rents falls heaviest on Black and Latinx renters: A majority of Black (57%) and Latinx (52%) families rent their homes (Washington Post, April 2022). The Culinary Union represents over 7,300 members who live in North Las Vegas. 63% are Latinx and 18% are Black. In a 2022 survey of Culinary Union members, 21% of respondents said that their rent had gone up $500. 

In Southern Nevada, median hourly wages rose only 5% from 2019 to 2021 according to the BLS. Low-wage workers are also disproportionately impacted. There is not a single state, metro area or county in the United States where a typical minimum-wage worker can afford a two-bedroom rental, according to a recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Home prices are up 23% in the Las Vegas Valley year-over-year.Especially given 8.5% inflation (March 2021-March 2022), that makes buying a home is extraordinarily difficult for working families. Since 2020, the average monthly asking rent for apartments in the Las Vegas area has risen 30% (Nevada Independent, February 2022). Rent has gone up 3 times faster than inflation and local rent hikes have far outpaced cost-of-living increases. Social Security’s cost-of-living increase was only 5.9% for 2021. The CPI-U consumer price index rose 7% in 2021. According to the Washington Post, the average rent in Clark County is $1,376, which is up an average of 28.5% since 2019.

Along with rent increases, the community has also seen home prices escalate. In North Las Vegas, median home price rose 43% from February 2020 - February 2021. Buying a home extraordinarily difficult for working families. In North Las Vegas as elsewhere in the country, huge out-of-town corporations have started building “single-family rentals” targeted at families who “typically do not have enough savings for a down payment on a home” (Entrata). The top 10 apartment owners in Nevada own 26.4% of total available units, the largest owner in state is the Westland Real Estate Group which is based in Long Beach, California. In March 2022, 39% of Nevadans had difficulty paying for housing-related expenses according to the federal government’s survey data.

Top 10 apartment owners in Nevada and their headquarters: Westland Real Estate Group (Long Beach, CA), LivCor (Chicago, IL), Ovation Development (Las Vegas, NV), Olen Properties (Newport Beach, CA), Bridge Investment Group (Salt Lake City, UT), Cicerone Real Estate Group (Altamonte Springs, FL), Ties Equities (Los Angeles, CA), TruAmerica Multifamily (Los Angeles, CA), (Nevada H.A.N.D. (Las Vegas, Nevada), and The Calida Group (Las Vegas, Nevada).

Top 10 apartment management companies in Nevada and their headquarters: Cushman & Wakfefield (Frisco, TX), FPI Management (Folsom, CA), Greystar Management (Phoenix, AZ), Westland Real Estate Group (Long Beach, CA), Stout Management (Las Vegas, NV), ConAm Management (San Diego, CA), Ovation Property Management (Las Vegas, NV), WestCorp Management Group (Las Vegas, NV), Picerne Real Estate Group (Altamonte Springs, FL), and AMC (Salt Lake City, UT).  


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 Latinx/Black/AAPI/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 which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting and winning for working families in Nevada for 87 years. / @Culinary226 


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