Candidate reaches out to Lansing's Latinos

2013-04-06T21:00:00Z 2013-04-06T21:58:04Z Candidate reaches out to Lansing's LatinosGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
April 06, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

LANSING | Village President hopeful Don Sciackitano used the weekend before Tuesday’s municipal election to offer up breakfast Saturday for potential voters – serving up plates of chorizo with eggs, along with chilaquiles, in an effort to swing more votes.

Sciackitano said the Mexican-themed breakfast is all part of his effort to appeal to all would-be voters in Lansing. According to the 2010 Census, 14.5 percent of Lansing's 28,331 residents listed a Latino background.

“There’s an emerging Hispanic population in Lansing, and we’re reaching out to it,” Sciackitano said. He's running for village president against incumbent Norm Abbot.

The two men ran against each other in 2009, with Abbott winning by a 336-vote margin out of 5,541 votes cast. But Sciackitano said he and his slate of candidates running for village clerk and trustee posts are reaching out to the growing non-white populations (the African American population in Lansing in 2010 was 34 percent, double what it was 10 years earlier) in ways he thinks his opponent is not.

“They seem to be waiting until the last 10 days before the election to reach out to people,” Sciackitano said, noting campaign workers connected to state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, were recently campaigning for Abbott. “I believe people will see through that.”

The crowd gathered at the Knights of Columbus Hall for the Saturday breakfast was a mixed crowd of a couple hundred people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Sciackitano also served pancakes, sausage and ham.

Humberto Rivera, a trustee candidate on Sciackitano’s slate, said he thinks the growing Latino population in Lansing is mostly concerned with being included within the village.

“We want to have an influence in our community,” said Rivera, a native of the South Chicago neighborhood in Chicago who has lived in Lansing for 12 years. “I believe (Sciackitano) is willing to work with us.”

Mary Angel, who has lived in Lansing for nearly 40 years, agreed with that sentiment.

“He has been working quite hard to reach out to people who haven’t felt included in the past,” she said.

“We’re interested in a candidate who wants to include us, because we all want to make Lansing into a wonderful place where we can live,” Angel said.

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