Downtown’s Post-Election Reaction

xtreme_politics_illo_by_cierra_pedro_HOMEPAGE-1170x500After a long and grueling election process, the shock of last night’s outcome was amplified on both sides of the fence. Downtown represents both of those sides and everything else that falls on the Facebook feed of political opinion. We asked Downtowners what they thought about the result. Here’s what to community had to say.

Paul Murad, president of Metroplex Realty, moved from the Soviet Union where “political dynasties were and are the norm” when he was 16 years old in pursuit of something different. It took him 10 years to become an American citizen. A registered democrat, Murad says, “My choice was not based on political ideology but strictly on the principles and fundamentals upon which America was founded…yearning to breathe free.” He adds, “I believe that we should not elect career politicians but private citizens who desire to serve the people. My faith and hope in America was renewed last night as I watched the election results.”

Some express that they wouldn’t have been affected much either way. Jonathan Kermani, owner of the Arts Square and Downtown developer says, “You will never hear me complaining. As long as we have our health, everything else will work itself out.”

Some are already ready for the next step. “It is time for us all to pull together and move into the future,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman says.

“[I’m] disappointed but hopefully it will raise awareness so we can regroup [and] focus on positive change and move forward,” says VegeNation chef Donald Lemperle.  

Others have concern for what’s to come. Michael Dimengo, CEO of The Center, says, “I believe that many of us, half of the nation at least, woke up stunned and wondering what bodes for us in the future. It’s hard to determine at this early stage how a Trump presidency will impact The Center or the LGBTQ community. There will be policy discussions, nonetheless, that will emerge from yesterday’s election.”  Dimengo says The Center’s work is sustained by their vision of a diverse and inclusive world and doesn’t begin or end with a presidency. In that respect, he says it’s time to regroup.

“We cannot make America great if we seek to exclude specific people and we cannot prosper unless we are one people,”  says founder of the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, Bernard Gaddis.

Meanwhile, Councilman Bob Coffin is outright pissed. “President-elect Trump is a fool with obvious signs of acute mental disorders. I only hope and pray that any damage he will cause is limited to areas beyond our city limits. I hope he has a nice day because I am not,” he says. “The only thing I can be thankful for is the certain knowledge he was not born within our city limits.”

And of course, the presidency wasn’t the only ballot measure that affects our city’s future.  

“Yesterday Nevada joined other states across America in saying that marijuana is not a ‘gateway drug,’” says Locq Fortune, the officiant of Cannabis Chapel. ”It has a useful place in our society. This vote will not only give adults in Nevada the freedom to choose, it will also help strengthen our tax base and help provide a better education for our children. This is a good thing for our great state.”

Writer and actress Jillian Austin says in a Medium post that she has no interest in moving to Canada like many have suggested. “I don’t have hate in my heart. Neither should you. What I have is a DEEP concern. A concern that we should all have. Replace your fear with vigilance. Replace your blame with the powerful weight of responsibility.”

Despite artist and owner of Skin City Gallery Robin Slonina’s disappointment with a Trump presidency, she maintains a positive outlook. “I truly hope that Americans voted based on their desire to shake up the political status quo, but I’m afraid they also let fear and bigotry control their votes. My only glimmer of hope for this country is this: the pendulum swings left and right, but it also moves steadily forward… Love your neighbor, even if you disagree with their religion, lifestyle—or their vote. If we teach children love and tolerance, then eventually everyone worldwide will win.”

And co-owner of the new Evel Pie restaurant Branden Powers encourages unity. “I’m an old-school punk. I don’t put faith in any party. I believe in people. Now more than ever we need to come together. Pizza is the most shared food on the planet. It’s communal. I’d like to invite everyone to share a pie and raise an ice-cold mug of PBR to our future!”

Vegas Seven