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Following the announcement by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that he would not be seeking another term, the door has opened for a new incumbent to lead the city. One candidate, Amara Enyia, has recently filled the headlines of many Chicago publications as she has received endorsements from Chance the Rapper, and a sizeable donation from Kanye West.
Amara Enyia is the daughter of Lewis professor Dr. Samuel Enyia of Radio and Broadcasting. As her father has a background in education, Amara also has degrees in Journalism, Political Science, a Master’s in Education, a degree in International and Environmental law and a PhD in Education Policy. Since completing her education, Amara has been focused on community activism.
“She comes from a family of political activists who are always concerned with helping people,” said Dr. Enyia. “I think that was her primary reason to run and her passion to help people.”
Some of Amara’s goals as mayor would be to bring reform to many of the cities struggling communities, to provide jobs to people in those neighborhoods and to bring about education reforms. Amara is currently a resident of the Garfield Park neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. Her policies caught the attention of Chicago native and owner of Chicago Magazine, Chance the Rapper, who openly endorsed her at city hall on Oct. 16.
“This is who I believe is the correct person,” said Chance in his announcement. “I think that you are looking at the future mayor of Chicago here.” Chance expressed his support for her work as an activist, her work as an educator and her government policies.
“We’re not worried about the names with the most recognition… we’re worried about the individual votes, and so we will see the largest 18-25 (year old) voter turnout in Chicago’s history,” said Chance.
The line about the largest 18-25 year old turnout is in reference to his own successful rap career, being that most of his fans fall into that age demographic. Along with having policies that would directly affect people of this age group, an endorsement from a celebrity like Chance greatly boosts Enyia’s chances of winning the election.
Adding to the list of celebrity endorsements, Enyia also received a donation of $73,540 from rapper and Chicago native Kanye West. The donation was the exact amount that Enyia needed to pay off campaign fees and other outstanding fees from her previous run in 2015. With the fees paid off, Enyia is now officially on the ballot for mayor.
At a campaign rally on Oct. 23, Chance the Rapper and Kanye West stood alongside Enyia as she explained her campaign policies. The event took place in the Woodlawn neighborhood of the city’s South Side, and many people in attendance were students of the University of Chicago. The students fall in line with the age demographic of 18-25 that Chance predicted would be her greatest source of votes.
With the election for mayor set to be Feb. 26, 2019, the early support from some of Chicago’s most iconic public figures may be exactly what she needs to win the race.
“I’m proud that she is doing what she is doing,” said Dr. Enyia. “More importantly, I want to thank God, because we are a family that believes strongly in God and what he can do through her. We believe that the cause she is fighting for is worth it.”
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