Latino State News
Candidates to use Mayor’s Office to Promote Diversity, Immigration Reform, Bilingual Education
Six candidates for Chicago’s next mayor—Gery Chico, Miguel del Valle, Rahm Emanuel, Carol Moseley Braun, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, and William Walls, III—have shared their plans to tackle tough issues affecting Chicago Latinos, a community that represents 27 percent of the City’s population, and an estimated 320,000 members of its electorate. Candidates’ complete, unedited responses will be available on the Latino Policy Forum website homepage, www.latinopolicyforum.org, at 10am on Thursday, February 10.
“Latino voters will play an important role in this historic mayoral race—and these voters must understand candidates’ plans for their community to make a well-informed decision at the ballot box,” said Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum and co-convener of the Agenda. “But beyond the Latino voters, it behooves all Chicagoans to understand how each candidate is prepared to invest in such a large portion of the City’s residents.”
The Latino community represents more than a quarter of the city’s population and 17 percent of its electorate. Given that nearly 37 percent of Chicago’s under-18 population of US citizens is Latino, the community’s political clout will grow considerably in future years.
Agenda members built the 18-question survey to offer priorities for a Mayor that will cultivate Latino political, economic, social and cultural potential. Survey questions query candidates’ plans for Latinos related to city governance, education, workforce and economic development, community safety, immigration, housing and health.
“We see this questionnaire as an opportunity to place our community’s concerns on each candidate’s table,” said Virginia Martinez, Legislative Staff Attorney with MALDEF and co- convener of the Agenda. “Chicago’s next mayor must be a mayor for all of Chicago – and appropriate investment in the city’s Latino community is imperative for all Chicagoans to continue to enjoy a world-class city in coming years.”