Politicians flock to CHIP’s Candidates’ Night
By Antonio Barrios for La Prensa
Lorain: The Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues & Progress managed another successful Candidates’ Night on Oct 17, 2012, commencing at 6pm at the Gould Auditorium located on the 2nd floor of the St. Joseph’s Community Center on Broadway Ave in Lorain. Even though the surroundings of the recently damaged theater were less than ideal most attendees did not mention the unsightly conditions of the theater, but appeared more concerned with what the candidates had to say.
Joel Arredondo, President of CHIP, welcomed the members of the audience and the candidates vying for their respective positions in the coming elections of November 6, 2012. Arredondo explained the format for the evening, advising the audience that the event was not a town hall meeting therefore there would be no dialog with the audience.
The questions were selected by the CHIP Political Committee, co-chaired by Mary Santiago and David Arredondo, in charge of the evening moderation from community leaders, law enforcement officials, members of CHIP, and residents of the local community. David Arredondo has stated that one of the reasons that almost all of the candidates attend the CHIP hosted event of questions and answers is that the evening is videotaped by Joe Bach of Lorain City Schools and then broadcasted a week or two before the elections on Lorain County Community College Channel 19 and Lorain City Schools Channel 20. Bach informed La Prensa that soon the Lorain City School Channel 19 will be streaming on the Internet so the evening candidates night will be seen on the World Wide Web.
This evening I was called upon as a member of the political committee to help moderate the event along with Mary Santiago. David Arredondo would not be moderating the evening event. One of the most anticipated encounters was that of US Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur with Samuel Wurzelbacher or as he is commonly called by the media, “Joe the Plumber,” both campaigning for the newly revised 9th District.
Earlier in the week Republican candidate Wurzelbacher was a “No Show” at the scheduled debate at the City Club of Cleveland, but he did attend the CHIP Candidates’ Night. A similar situation occurred when US Congresswoman Betty Sutton was scheduled to debate the then candidate Tom Ganely at the City Club of Cleveland and was also a “No Show” but did attend the CHIP candidates’ night. The CHIP organization has always maintained that their event is one of service and information for the local communities and not a battleground where the candidates are attacked, civility and mutual respect is the order of the day for the Q & A evening.
On a side note another interesting aspect of the CHIP Candidates has nothing to do with the candidates but is all about a family of two brothers, the Arredondo’s that are both avid political leaders in the community. Joel Arredondo wears many hats in the community as he is the current president of Lorain City Council, president of CHIP, president of the Mexican Mutual Society, and a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party while his older brother David works at Lorain County Community College and as head of the International Students. David is also Co-Chair of the Lorain County Republican Party. In other words, David and Joel work together for the benefit of the local community but sit on opposite side of the political fence.
Commissioner Ted Kalo, Antonio Barrios,
Phil Van Trueren
Sheriff Stamiti, Mary Santiago, AJ Torres
CHIP staff; L-R: Pablo Senquez, Joel Arredondo, Juanita Senquez,Elizabeth Soto, Antonio Barrios, Mary Santiago. This photo by Miriam Rosa. not pictured
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur,Joyce Healy Abrams