Two mayoral candidates will face each other on the April 4th election and making the City of Waukegan a possible sanctuary city could be a key factor in the election.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 20, 2017
Waukegan, Illinois – On Monday, Raúl Ventura Ortiz, the radio host for Radio Latina 5.0/WPJX 1500 AM and journalist indicated during an interview with Diana Serna that the Latino vote could determine the next mayoral electon in the City of Waukegan. One key issue would be, if Waukegan could become a sanctuary city, but in a recent debate, mayoral candidate Lisa May, a current alderwoman who is running as an Independent admitted that she would not support for Waukegan to become a sanctuary city. Another mayoral candidate, Sam Cunningham, a current alderman as well who is running as a Democrat didn’t make it clear during the debate whether he would support for the city to become a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. The population in Waukegan is about 53.45% Hispanic, according to the last U.S. Census and about 9,700 Latinos are registered to vote, but during the last Primary Election not even 8% (776) of Latinos voted in the election, according to Ventura Ortiz.
City aldermen/women could get elected to office with about 200 to 300 votes due to a very low voter turnout, Ventura Ortiz told Serna during the interview. Ventura Ortiz says that May who happens to be White is backed by conservative Republicans and Cunningham who is Afro-American is a Democrat and is most likely to get elected, if progressive Whites, Afro-Americans and Latinos come out and vote for him.
Ventura Ortiz says, that the Latino vote is up for grabs, but doesn’t expect for May to attract the Latino voting block due to her strong stand that she won’t support for Waukegan to become a sanctuary city. May told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that she supports a safe city and will not work with ICE to detain and enforce immigration laws under Trump’s Executive Order for local law enforcement agencies to partnership with ICE’s 287(g), which allows for police officers, county sheriff deputies and state police to enforce federal immigration laws. According to May’s campaign literature says, that she “will fight to defend Waukegan’s DREAMers and their families because they are our community’s future.”
The Latino voters in Waukegan and Latino business owners could have the deciding advantage of who will be the next mayor of Waukegan, if they mobilize the Latino community to get out the vote. If May is elected, Waukegan will become a safe city for immigrants, but if Cunningham gets elected, most likely he won’t support a partnership with ICE to implement the 287(g) program either, since years ago, he did opposed the 287(g) initiative.
Ventura Ortiz has confirmed to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that both May and Cunningham have accepted Radio Latina invitation to debate and speak live on the air on Friday, March 24, 2017 beginning at 5:00 p.m.
The candidates will mostly focus on the 287(g) enforcement, sanctuary city status, a proposal to make Waukegan a safe and secure city for immigrants and other issues affecting the Latino community, which the majority are of Mexican decent in population.
Radio Latina 5.0 interview with Raúl Ventura Ortiz by Diana Serna at: http://goo.gl/8lVNBT
In other elections, four Hispanics are running for a four-year term in the Waukegan Community School Board District 60:
• Margaret Carrasco
• Porfirio Garcia
• Michael Rodriguez
• Victoria Torres
According to the U.S. Census in 2010
Waukegan had a total population of 89,078, 100%
• Hispanic population was 47,612, which made 53.45% of the population
• Mexican descent at 38,636 or 43.4%
• Puerto Rican descent at 2,918 or 3.3%
• Cuban descent at 136 or 0.2%
• Hispanic registered voters were 11,675 or 35.18%
In 2000, the U.S. Census reported:
Waukegan had a total population of 87, 901, 100%
• Hispanic population at 39, 396 or 44.82%
• Mexican descent at 30,717 or 34.94%
• Puerto Rican descent at 2,976 or 3.39%
• Cuban descent at 103 or 0.12%