ISSUES

Uber and Lyft

Why Do I support UBER and Lyft?
I’ve met several Uber and Lyft drivers over the last few weeks and have learned most of them have at least 2 jobs.  They’re working very hard to support their families; giving them the opportunity to continue to live in Las Vegas and pay their bills.
Several are from other countries, some single mothers and others retired and trying to supplement their income. They’re hard-working individuals, trying to live the “American Dream”; driving tourists to The Strip and locals to their errands, Doctor appointments, and daily activities.  Not to mention, delivering food and packages when they’re not carrying people around Clark County.  It was inspiring to see people working so hard to achieve their financial goals.  I’m invested in their success because it is a positive action; literally driving the economy to new heights.
It’s my belief we should be able to use our private property any way we choose as long as we are not harming another.  The basic ideas of protecting private property use, self-determination and the pursuit of prosperity are protected by our beloved constitution.  The government should not be able to exclude individuals from using their private property to increase their incomes, fill hours of boredom with conversation and productivity or protect an industry because they have expensive lobbyists or make campaign donations. That’s just not the way capitalism works.
Some politicians in Nevada are against Uber and Lyft, ( read that as ALL rideshare ideas!), simply because it takes away revenue from their big donors – the taxicab companies and their unions.  Sacrificing objectivity on issues to protect big donors is beyond ridiculous; it should be criminal.  Protecting a market from new disrupting ideas simply protects old, antiquated methods and practices.  It does not improve the market, it does not protect consumers and it does not inspire trust from the market.
I respect the licensing requirements and background checks for all drivers. BTW, the standards for UBER and Lyft drivers are substantially higher due to the ratings individual riders leave for their drivers. Not to mention the other hoops they must jump through in order to become a rideshare driver in Nevada.  I want to keep our tourists and locals safe.  Above all, I want to maintain the relationship of trust of our rideshare public.  Our current policies governing taxi cabs, Uber and Lyft drivers are adequate for this purpose.  Allowing the free market, technology and the laws of Supply and Demand to govern transportation is the best practice.
Obviously, Uber and Lyft AND taxies can share the road and the market space, to all of their benefit and to the benefit of the public.

The people’s right to earn income and use their private property as they see fit is constitutional. Supporting people who are trying to earn a living by doing an honest day’s work is simply common sense.

Airbnb

Should Nevadans be able to rent rooms or even our entire homes for short periods of time to tourists?  Moreover, who does it help?  Harm? Frankly, I believe renting rooms to tourists for a few nights, enabling people to earn extra income – income used to help pay bills, offset rising property taxes and to help maintain their homes to attract customers, (short-term renters want safe, secure and sanitary places to stay!).  These are all good things for our neighborhoods.
Millennials are looking to immerse themselves, “local experiences”. They are willing and able to spend the difference between the cost of a sanitary hotel stay and a comfortable homestay in restaurants, shopping as well as ‘experience’ costs. ie. movies, galleries, local artesian works of art and crafts. These spending habits and trends are wonderful for local, neighborhood economies.  It strengthens neighborhoods by encouraging homeowners to maintain properties to a higher standard.  Their dollars help small business, local boutique industries and as well,  having great experiences, ensures they will return, equaling repeat business.
Essentially, the argument against Las Vegas AirBnB centers around “party” houses that disrupt neighbors with their loud, sometimes raucous assembly of large groups of people.  I’m under the assumption there are plenty of laws that could and should be enforced to keep the peace in the small number of cases of disturbance.  Noise ordinances, parking enforcement and if violence occurs, the crimes should be addressed in the courts, against the perpetrators, not the “landlord” or homeowner. Government deciding how people can use their property is not constitutional.  Assessing huge fines and misdemeanor criminal cases against homeowners is RIDICULOUS! Enforcing the laws already on the books makes more sense than the current status quo of punitive justice. By the way, if you host a family reunion at your home which gets out of hand, and your neighbors complain, the police can and do enforce the laws already on the books relative to the behaviors that are disruptive and criminal, without punishing fines and court cases relating to the use of your home. Why are there different standards of enforcement and prosecution for basically the same issues?
So digging a little deeper, I found what is perhaps the real objection to short-term rentals…THE HOTELS OBJECT!  The hotels in the “Resort Corridor”, want proprietary control of the tourist dollars.  They control the local elected with campaign contributions, the use of expensive lobbyists and the use of P.R. Firms to control the Nevada messaging and want to control where tourists and how tourists spend their money.
Essentially, I believe you have the ability to determine how your private property can be used.  You can make the choice to rent a room or your whole home.  You should be able to make these choices without the fear of fines being levied, criminal charges being filed against you or the government digging into your private life.  There are plenty of REAL criminals out there for the government to round up…..They need to stop harming homeowners and most of all, they need to STOP being beholden to the hotels.