Q: How have the LV Golden Knights, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the LV Lights coming to Las Vegas benefited the community so far?
A: The excitement created by these teams choosing Las Vegas as their home has already had high impact. The Golden Knights are off to such an amazing start in the NHL. Bill Foley and the team have invested in Downtown Summerlin by building their own private rink open to the public for watching practice sessions. They continue to beat the top teams in the NHL and their fan base continues to grow. While they have done some amazing work in the community, including hosting their own youth hockey programs, what they did to recognize the victims and first responders of the Oct. 1 shooting was beyond sensitive and appreciated by all. The city is rabid for soccer and the Las Vegas Lights are delivering. Hundreds of local players have been trying out for the team, and team owner Brett Lashbrook is really involving the community every step of the way. As for the Raiders, they have already placed a team of people on the ground in Las Vegas who have been appearing in local schools and donating to worthy charitable endeavors. The excitement continues to build for the NFL. In addition, I had the pleasure of speaking at the celebration of the announcement of our new WNBA team, the ACES, in December, and we believe that the NBA is not going to be far behind.
Q: Looking forward to the 2018 year, do you have any resolutions for you or Las Vegas that you would like to share with readers?
A: I think that 2017 was such a tough year for so many, and I just want to pass along good wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2018. The city is moving ahead with programs and services to benefit the community, and I think our overall resolution would be to continue working together for the common good. We saw this community come together in the wake of the tragedy Oct. 1, and we need to keep that drive moving forward. We can certainly accomplish more when we are together and with strong common goals.
Q: With your recent acceptance of the Small Business Advocate Award for the City of Las Vegas, what are some of the benefits that Las Vegas offers to local small businesses?
A: One of my favorite parts of being mayor is attending the various ribbon cuttings around the city, many of which are to welcome new small businesses. You may not realize this, but the city of Las Vegas welcomed in over 1,700 new business ventures during 2017! We must be doing something right. Perhaps it is because Las Vegas is still a city where anything is possible and where anyone can be successful if the time, energy and effort are part of the process. We have several incentives at that the city to help small businesses come in and improve their facilities: the Visual Improvement and Quick Start programs. We also have a great tax climate and beautiful weather. Our downtown has seen an amazing renaissance over the last 15 years and much of the success gained in this time can be attributed to our small business owners. We have seen Fremont East become a-must-visit attraction because of the proliferation of restaurants, bars and shopping options.
Q: In light of the recent October 1 tragedy, does Las Vegas plan on heightening security measures for any outdoor festivals, sporting or public events?
A: Our law enforcement and public safety agencies never stop assessing and working on improving safety and security throughout our entire community. Our private partners are included in that assessment as is training, and preparation for natural or manmade disasters. Together we do our best to make Las Vegas one of the safest cities on the planet. Unfortunately, when you have a lunatic who is willing to die to kill others without any regard for humanity, tragedies occur. The Oct. 1 shooting was horrific but will never define who we are or how believe in and act on behalf of pursuing the greater good.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden and was there any specific reason the location in the Arts District was chosen?
A: The creators and builders of the garden wished for a centrally located, utility-accessible, specific size of property and one that could be free of charge. The city owned such a piece at Casino Center Boulevard and East Charleston, and in just five days after 400+ volunteers of all ages worked the project, the Community Healing Garden opened. To follow soon thereafter, the city launched the Community Healing Fund, a fund that is a 501(c)(3) and is being managed by the Outside Las Vegas Foundation. This fund will be used for three purposes;
Q: With Valentine's Day right around the corner, what are some of you & Oscar’s favorite ways to spend the day?
A: Together and usually quietly but absolutely with a nice dinner out somewhere where I do not have to cook or clean up afterwards! Without any doubt, I know I’m one lucky lady who has been so very fortunate to have found and shared a great and terrific life with a wonderful, honest, kind, thoughtful, creative, brilliant, loyal, hysterically funny person who has made every day a Valentine’s Day for me.