In a joint press conference outside of City Hall, Amara Enyia Wednesday withdrew from the crowded mayoral race and announced she is endorsing Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) because he best mirrors her vision for Chicago.
A lawyer and community activist, Enyia said, â€œWe pursued every option to go as far as we possibly could. The most important thing for us is to make sure that the vision that we carried moves forward even on a bigger platform that we were able to present.
â€œIt means us continuing the fight. We could not let this go. We had to continue to fight.â€
Explaining, Enyia, who was embroiled in a petition challenge fight, said, â€œWe are at the point where the distraction of going through the petition process would have diminished our ability to carry our message forward at a very critical time.
â€œWe pursued every option to get through the petition process, and when it became clear that it was going to hurt our ability to continue our campaign, that is when we made the decision to say how do we continue to get out even if it is in a different format,â€ she said.
Referring to Fioretti, Enyia said he is a candidate who â€œviews are aligned closely to ours. It is also important to have a candidate who has been at the forefront of the issues consistently speaking out on same issues weâ€™ve been speaking out on and a candidate that allows our voice to be heardâ€¦a message similar to ours. It makes sense for us to be able to do that.â€
In accepting Enyiaâ€™s endorsement, Fioretti said, â€œAmara is a woman of commitment and of action who cares deeply about Chicago. Her presence in this race is testament to the widespread understanding that we need a change at City Hall, that we need a mayor who embraces all of our city and all of its people. I am happy to have her supporting this campaign.â€
When asked how many signatures did she have, Enyia said, â€œWe have a good amount of signatures. Weâ€™ve not said anything about the number of signatures. The challenge was going through the challenge process with limited resources knowing that the longer it continued, it would hurt our fundraising capacity.
â€œIt would hurt our ability to continue to spread our message and campaign by going through the process. We took the campaign as far as we could, and then we made the decision how do we make sure our message continue to get out. It was a very difficult decision, but we believe it was the right decision,â€ she stated.
â€œI have never been the type of person who start something that I donâ€™t finish, and I needed to be able to finish this message, and this allows us to finish and continue the fight,â€ she stated.
When asked why didnâ€™t she choose mayoral hopeful Robert Shaw, Enyia said, â€œWe have some very clear and strong policy positions, and we wanted to make sure that we are aligned with the campaign that is able to articulate a clear vision for all of Chicago.
â€œItâ€™s also about the present and the future of Chicago, and we cannot engage in old-style politics or individuals who have played in old-style politics because that is not what the future represents. That is not what the future holds for usâ€¦.
â€œWe talked about change and we have to live that out. That is the reason why we didnâ€™t go that way,â€ she said referring to Shaw.
When contacted, Shaw said, â€œShe is entitled to her opinion. I guess that is why she is dropping outâ€¦not too many people bought her opinion. I guess she is going to try to sell her opinion on another stage. They didnâ€™t buy it from her; so I guess sheâ€™s going to get somebody else to sell her opinion,â€ he said referring to Fioretti.
â€œI donâ€™t think they will buy it from a third party. The people were not buying what she was selling. People want something about the red light camerasâ€¦about educationâ€¦that she was not discussing and those issues involved the future of Chicago,â€ said Shaw. â€œMy campaign is offering all of those things.
â€œItâ€™s unfortunate that young people can get involved in the campaign and end it before it gets started. She is on the wrong side of history with Ald. Fioretti,â€ Shaw stated.
According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Enyiaâ€™s objectors were voters named Bernette Barnes and Elaine Shaw and were represented by Frank Avila and James Skyles. â€œBecause the candidate withdrew, the hearing will not move forward,â€ said Jim Allen, a spokesperson for the board. He said there were 10 mayoral candidates and now there are 9.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.