Straight-talking, sometimes to a fault, Cresent Hardy reaches out to unlikely supporters

In the lobby of a North Las Vegas senior center hangs a pair of black-and-white portraits: on the left, the center’s namesake, Martin Luther King Jr. On the right, the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama.

Run by the Las Vegas Urban League, one of the valley’s biggest poverty-fighting organizations, the center serves a predominantly black community of low-income and disabled seniors, as well as veterans.

It’s a place where a mention of Obama draws enthusiastic applause (even an “Oh yeah!” from a woman in the crowd). It’s a place where worries about Medicare, Social Security, education for their grandchildren and mass incarceration are at the forefronts of seniors’ minds. It’s a place where, when a white Republican congressman comes to visit and opens himself for questions, a black woman voices a healthy dose of skepticism about what a conservative can do for her and the other seniors at the center.

Continue reading at the Las Vegas Sun.