On Tuesday, the uniformly Democratic and undeniably powerful Clark County Commission declared August 22, “Cheech and Chong Day.” The iconic comedy duo was at the Planet 13 marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas on Monday for the announcement. Commissioner Tick Segerblom, arguably the father of legalized marijuana locally, posted a photo of the occasion on Twitter.
Cheech and Chong Day in Clark County pic.twitter.com/tAD64uX8Bo
— Tick Segerblom (@tsegerblom) August 22, 2022
I reached out to Segerblom’s office requesting to view the proclamation, hoping to answer my question, “Why is Aug 22nd Cheech and Chong Day in Las Vegas?” Without an immediate answer, I am left to hypothesize that Cheech and Chong Day could be to drive tourism in a state that thrives on it or to bring attention to marijuana consumption lounges. Consumption lounges are much needed in Las Vegas where tourists staying in hotels are left without a proper space to use legalized marijuana products. Issues such as patio seating and smoke odors are currently being ironed out by the Clark County Commission.
Maybe the proclamation is simply because Segerblom’s politics are mostly pot with a side of Bolshevism, for those who want to use their property as a short-term rental in Clark County. The rationale behind Cheech and Chong Day remains a mystery, but I don’t particularly take issue with it in itself, due to an understanding of the industry in our state and… I attended Oaksterdam and know a thing or two about decarboxylation.
I almost brushed off 4/20: part two as par for the course with stoney Segerblom, until he tweeted that a proclamation for Bad Bunny Day is coming next. Admittedly, I didn’t know what a Bad Bunny was until the government official alerted me that I should, via Twitter. Bad Bunny is a popular Latino musician. (I don’t have an issue with any-bunny, and I don’t want no smoke.)
Alas, I found clarity through the hazy rationale as to why Segerblom has turned the commission into the Grammy Awards:
This isn’t about cannabis tourism, it’s about the highly sought-after Latino vote.
Bad Bunny is next https://t.co/0KLpPAivub
— Tick Segerblom (@tsegerblom) August 22, 2022
Las Vegas wouldn’t be the first city to give Bad Bunny his own day; Boston already did. Just this month, Bad Bunny was given an official proclamation, Fenway Park put his name on the sign above the baseball field, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu posted photos with the artist at his concert.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 18, 2022
— Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@wutrain) August 19, 2022
It seems that the implied political surrogacy of Bad Bunny or other Latino pop-culture icons are prized pseudo-endorsements. Democrats are dodging President Joe Biden on the campaign trail for fear his unpopularity won’t win them any public favor, but a selfie with Bad Bunny… that ought to do it.
It is no secret that Hispanic voters are being courted in Nevada, having the power to swing elections in the state. In fact, the race for Senate between incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Adam Laxalt (R) is among the most watched in the nation and expected to come down to the Latino vote.
Segerblom, representing District E, is the most vulnerable of the all-Democrat commissioners vying for re-election, particularly as he faces off with his former primary opponent from 2018, Marco Hernandez. This 2018 primary drew big money and after a recount, 183 votes decided the race between the two Democrats. Now, Hernandez is on the 2022 general ballot running as a non-partisan.
Unlike Segerblom’s taxpayer-funded office, Hernandez wins points for answering the phone. Next, he tells me he is just leaving a “Dad’s in Schools” event, which scores more points in my book for volunteerism and student safety. Those are grade A+ priorities.
I picked Hernandez’s brain about the proclamations and why his opponent turns the county commission into the Hollywood Walk of Fame; tapping Latino star-power for unexplained public splendor. Hernandez, as you may have guessed, is a bonafide Latino-American. He is the Vice President of the Laborers Union, Local 872.
Local 872 is the kind of blue-collar union where people aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and break a sweat to build something great. They built Las Vegas and still do. It feels like what a union was intended to be by putting projects, working conditions, benefits, and local interests at the forefront. No rampant ideologies, just opportunities. And, they aren’t afraid to endorse Republicans, either.
There’s something sharp about Hernandez, like the guy was forged from iron himself. He’s serious about his endeavors, even when it’s volunteering with dads on campus, but light with laughter as if he would always welcome a good punchline. He’s immediately likable.
Hernandez says it’s a priority to him to collaborate with the other commissioners. Addressing Latino voters, Hernandez tells RedState:
“I will not stand back and watch our neighborhoods continue to be ignored and fall through the cracks. I will work hard for each of you as I have done my entire life. Working toward safer neighborhoods by continuing neighborhood cleanups, ensuring more jobs by voting for good projects, pushing for smart growth while acquiring needed amentities and localizing social services so they are more accessible.”
Now, my conservative readers might be wondering why I’m highlighting the former Democrat and union organizer who just said something about social services. Yes, there is a Republican in the race, Johnathan Rider. My answer is because he can do it. Hernandez earned his chops in the 2018 race. Local 872 is the best union ’round these parts. And, he picks up his phone.
Here’s one of my best kept-secrets: I vote for people I can call. It’s a really easy rule of thumb. How can anyone represent me, if I can’t ever communicate with them? Before anyone screeches about “privilege,” let me remind you they don’t give out a Rolodex as a door prize at political events; it’s all networking.
If Segerblom’s policies weren’t bad enough, his office never returned my call to assist me in viewing the public declaration for Cheech and Chong Day. I guess that was too much to ask of our government, to view a near-meaningless document. It’s not like I asked for financial reports, just the hokey proclamation. To top it off, as the daughter of a Cuban immigrant, I just don’t like the idea of politicians latching to Latino cultural figures to butter up voters. Or, using arguably the most powerful institution in the state for clout-chasing.
Hernandez sums up my sentiments by telling RedState,
“Most importantly, unlike our current leadership, I will be transparent and accessible to all of the people in our community.”
As the kids these days say: “…checks out.”