African-American women voters in Chicago could flex their muscles at the ballot box later this month and help to make history by electing the city’s first Black woman mayor.
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Dorothy Brown, who’s no longer in the race, endorsed Amara Enyia for Chicago mayor on Jan. 31, which was expected to help climb in the polls.
Enyia also has some star power behind her. She has received the support of Chance the Rapper and Kanye West, both from Chicago. Chance the Rapper announced that he planned to hold a concert for Enyia on Feb. 9, WGN-TV reported.
But crossing the line first in a crowded field of candidates could depend on getting the support of Black women voters.
With Mayor Rahm Emanuel not seeking re-election, this is a wide-open race, according to a poll released on Jan. 25.
It started as a huge 21-candidate competition during the November filing period. The field has narrowed to 14 candidates, which is still crowded. Several women of color are in the race. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who is Black, has been among the candidates leading in the polls. She is the first black person to chair the Cook County Democratic Party and the first woman to head the county board.
Enyia, a community activist, polled at 3.1 percent. But with about 25 percent of voter still undecided, things change if Black women decide to rally behind Enyia.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has sung the praises of Black women as an important voting bloc in the party.
“Let me be clear: We won in Alabama and Virginia because Black women led us to victory. Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period,” he told The Post in 2017 after big election wins in those two states.
In a Democratic-dominated city like Chicago, the Black women bloc could have a huge impact.
Enyia believes she brings real-world experience to the table, which she has gained as a resident and community organizer in the city’s West Side neighborhoods of Austin and Garfield Park, the 35-year-old candidate told the Washington Post, adding that she views herself as another Stacey Abrams or Ayanna Pressley.
“We definitely connect with that movement. The links that connect all of us is we are not viewed as the same old,” she told the Post.
Out of the 100 largest cities in the nation, seven of them have Black women mayors, according to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women in Politics.
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