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With $400K from Chance, Enyia hits the airwaves with first campaign commercial

Chance the Rapper at the October 2018 City Hall news conference at which he endorsed Amara Enyia (right) for mayor of Chicago. | Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

With early voting starting Tuesday and a month until Election Day, Amara Enyia is finally hitting the television airwaves with her first commercial tailor-made to boost participation by young voters notoriously indifferent about mayoral elections.

The 30- and 60-second spots, titled “All of Us,” will air on cable and network television stations as well as on radio and social media.

As the video shows a rainbow of young voters, Enyia’s voice is heard describing herself as a change agent unlike the other candidates with deep ties to the political establishment that has so disillusioned Chicago voters.

“I know it’s hard to believe it can be different—that your vote even matters when other candidates are part of the corruption and system that got us here in the first place,” Enyia says in the commercial.

“I’m not here because I’ve spent years chasing power in an unjust system. I’m here doing what I’ve been doing all of my life: challenging those in power. Fighting to build systems that are equitable, just and put people first with innovative ideas and tested solutions based on years as a public policy expert. I’m here to finally help us make the real change that we’ve been waiting for.”

The spot concludes with Enyia standing in front of the diverse group amplifying her campaign slogan: “All people. All voices. One city.”

Video by Amara Enyia Campaign

“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. We all deserve a high quality of life because there’s more than enough for all of us when you have a leader with a vision for Chicago that includes you,” she says.

Enyia openly acknowledged that her first commercial of the mayoral campaign would not have been possible without the $400,000 donation she got last week from Chance the Rapper.

“That was a huge help for us. It was a huge part of helping us get our first ad out,” Enyia said.

She laughed when asked whether there’s more where that came from when it comes to Chance, a Grammy-award winning rapper whose celebrity endorsement instantly elevated Enyia in the crowded race to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“We are very satisfied with what he’s been doing. He’s [shown] his support for us on a number of fronts. Not just financially. Our big push is early voting, starting in a matter of hours. We’re using all of our resources including him to help get people to the polls. He’s expressed a lot of support in helping us to do that,” Enyia said Monday.

“Financial support helps. But it’s also assistance in getting people to come out to the polls to actually vote. We’re gonna be using a lot of his support there as well. … And it’s not just about him. It’s other people in his network … who are looking to contribute to a campaign that is really galvanizing voters.”

Enyia noted that young people and millennials “outnumbered seniors in the mid-term elections” and there’s no reason they won’t do it again on Feb. 26.

That’s particularly true, she said, given the mushrooming political scandal surrounding Aldermen Edward Burke (14th) and Danny Solis (25th) that has dragged down two of the frontrunners: County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and State Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

“No matter what they say now in the heat of election cycle, they all tacitly accepted business as usual in Chicago. They all accepted when Burke was chairing the Finance Committee. They all accepted when he had almost unilateral control over City Council. They all accepted the many conflicts of interest,” Enyia said.

“He was part of Mendoza’s wedding. Toni Preckwinkle hired his son for a job. … You can give his money back once it comes to light. But people recognize that so many of these other candidates are tied to the baggage and corruption. People are rejecting that. We’re the only campaign that doesn’t have any of those ties.”