Paul Vallas Meets with Hispanic Ministers to Secure Latino Vote
Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas met with over 100 Latino ministers at the New Life Family Center on Thursday to secure the Latino vote. Vallas’ strategists have described his path to victory as relying on getting 60% of the Latino vote and boosting anemic turnout in Hispanic-majority wards. Speaking in Spanish through an interpreter, the ministers asked Vallas questions about improving school safety and fighting violent crime on the CTA and in neighborhoods. Vallas reiterated his plans to restore police officers to high school campuses, open school campuses through the dinner hour, on weekends and holidays, and hold night and day classes at the police academy to more quickly fill 1,700 police vacancies.
Ministers Tout Vallas as the Candidate with the Best Plans
The ministers took turns touting Vallas as the candidate with the most experience and the « best plans » to resolve the crime and education problems plaguing Hispanic neighborhoods. One minister said, « New York City has a lower crime rate than Chicago. That can’t be so. I’ve listened to Paul’s strategy. He wants to cover the whole city. He wants to protect all our children. He wants to protect all our businesses and protect all our communities. That’s the kind of mayor we need. » Another minister expressed concern about the safety of playgrounds and parks, saying, « Even the parks are not secure. We need to encourage our people to come out and vote. … We need to motivate our congregations, our people, to come out and vote as well. »
Can the Ministers Make a Difference?
The Hispanic vote is expected to play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of Tuesday’s runoff. Vallas’ meeting with the ministers shows his commitment to securing the Latino vote and addressing the concerns of Hispanic communities. However, it remains to be seen whether the ministers’ endorsement and efforts to motivate their congregations will make a significant difference in the election. With the race between Vallas and Lori Lightfoot neck-and-neck, every vote counts.
Keywords: Paul Vallas, Latino vote, Hispanic ministers, Chicago mayoral race, crime, education, police vacancies, voter turnout.
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