Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.
Peggy Pierce works at The Desert Inn as a banquet server:
"I think Las Vegas is just like every other town. People go to work, they take care of their families, they do pretty much normal things. We don't spend money differently. We also have a very high per capita number of churches - I haven't gone to any of them recently, but they're here. Las Vegas isn't hugely different from Peoria, Ill., where I grew up.
"I agree that women are the backbone of union. Women have more of a sense of what there is to gain and to lose and I think tha it goes back to traditional roles women have in terms of holding the family together. Also, women are still at the bottom of the economic ladder. We don't make the same as men and so we're closer to poverty. That's a real motivator. I also think women have less of an investment in the whole individualism thing and more of a sense of the idea of strength in numbers that unions are based on.
"The union recently (helped) elect Maggie Carlton state senator - that was very exciting to elect her. She's a waitress over at Treasure Island. I guess when she went back to work all the cooks would tease her, they'd yell from the kitchen window, 'Your food's up, Senator.' "