Amy Vilela

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Amy Vilela


Amy Vilela is a member of the Las Vegas branch of the Democratic Socialists of America. In her 2018 run for Congress, Keenan Korth was listed as "campaign manager" for Amy Vilela.[1]

Cori Bush with Amy Vilela and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Cori Bush with Amy Vilela and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Cori Bush Tweeted from SXSW Conference & Festivals held March 8-17, 2019:[2] March 11 2019: "It was great to have this moment together @sxsw with my lovely sisters @amy4thepeople Amy Vilela and @AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! But it wasn’t the same without @paulajean2020 Paula Jean Swearengin, we missed you! #KnockDownTheHouse"

American Health Care Act press conference

Amy Vilela with Rep. Dina Titus in Las Vegas, May 2017

The day after the U.S. House Trumpcare vote, Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus came home to Las Vegas. She had plenty to say about the rushed health care vote, and so did a few of her constituents. This was not the usual Friday in Downtown Las Vegas.

Rep. Titus held a press conference at her Las Vegas office Friday to break down what she witnessed in D.C. the previous day. She began with a simple explanation of why she voted against the American Health Care Act (AHCA, aka Trumpcare).

She then handed the microphone over to constituents who are at risk of losing health care. Amy Vilela, whose daughter died at Centennial Hills Hospital due to the hospital’s denial of care, had a very clear message on AHCA: “This bill is inhumane.” I later asked her why she feels so strongly. “My fear is more families will have to feel the unimaginable pain we endured.”

At least 390,000 Nevadans stand to lose coverage if AHCA were to become law. For Vilela, “This is based on greed.” She expressed doubt that it’s meant to help consumers at all. “This bill, when you read it, is helping insurance companies increase their profit margins. They get to go back and remove any additional costs for covering people with pre-existing conditions.”

Justine Harrison is an aviation attorney in private practice. During the press conference, Harrison said she would have to shut down her business if AHCA were to become law.[3]

Running for Congress

In 2018 Amy Vilela ran for U.S. House, 4th District.

Amy Vilela’s bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Ruben Kihuen seemed like a long shot last summer; Kihuen won his 2016 primary race by about 14 points, and the general election, in a purple district, by 4 points. But in December, Kihuen announced he wouldn’t run again, after a lobbyist and a former staff member accused him of sexual harassment. Vilela, 43, with the backing of progressive groups, became the frontrunner in what is now a crowded Democratic field. Her platform is detailed and robustly progressive. On foreign policy, for example, Vilela calls for “replacing the war on terror with a Marshall Plan for the Middle East.”

Medicare for All has become a rallying point for progressives. For Vilela, it’s a crusade. In 2016, her oldest daughter, Shalynne, died from a pulmonary embolism after she couldn’t provide proof of insurance during a trip to the emergency room. Politically radicalized by that tragedy, last summer she decided to challenge Kihuen, who supported the Affordable Care Act but not Medicare for All. In her campaign kickoff video, she denounced the “barbaric, profit-driven” U.S. healthcare system.

This emphasis makes her stand out in the Democratic field. One of her strongest opponents is Steven Horsford, who held the seat before Kihuen. Horsford has been vague about his position on Medicare for All, offering that he isn’t “one who’s going to come out and say I’m for or against” it, but that he is “for healthcare for all of us.”

Endorsed by Brand New Congress, Justice Democrats, National Nurses United, Our Revolution.[4]

Campaign Staff

DSA member

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Amy Vilela is a member of Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America.

Peoples Summit report back

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Hermon Farahi, June 29 2017;

Hosting the LV #PPLSummit Activist Review, in collaboration with the Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America, Draft Bernie Nevada for a People's Party & Nevada for Healthcare-Now! — with Keenan Korth, Amy Vilela, Tisia Stemp Kristofer DiPaolo and Manuel Arizala.[6]

Closed Facebook group

San Antonio Democratic Socialists of America closed Facebook group members, as of April 7, 2017, included Amy Vilela.[7]

Justice Democrats

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Amy Vilela was endorsed by Justice Democrats for 2018.

Indivisible

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In 2018 Indivisible endorsed Amy Vilela.

Single Payer Leadership Meeting Agenda

Las Vegas, NV Sep. 30 – Oct. 1, 2017. The Longhorn Room, Binion’s Gambling Hall 128 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV.

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2018 Single-Payer Strategy Conference

Healthcare-Now! Agenda: 2018 Single-Payer Strategy Conference Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24 Minneapolis, Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown.

Agenda for Saturday, June 23

  • Panel: Medicare for All as a Political Campaign Theme – Facilitator: Donna DeWitt, former President South Carolina AFL-CIO; Amy Vilela, candidate for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District; Randy Bryce, candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. Respondent: MN State Senator John Marty.

TOP

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In 2019 Amy Vilela and Sofia Sepulveda were working with the Texas Organizing Project.

References