Actor Sean Penn says Vallas has ‘everything we miss in politics today’

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Actor Sean Penn (left) donated to the Chicago mayoral campaign of Paul Vallas. The two met through their work on Haitian relief efforts. | File photos

Surprise, surprise.

Actor Sean Penn has offered strong praise for the candidacy of Paul Vallas for Chicago mayor, based on their humanitarian work together in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.

“People are thinking politically, and not in terms of service and solution,” Penn told an interviewer for greekreporter.com. “Paul is a service and solution man.”

“I have enormous respect for Paul,” said Penn in a video posted online Sunday. “What he’s got is that will of service. It’s everything that we miss in politics today.”

Penn gave $5,000 to Vallas’ campaign, the Sun-Times reported in June.

Vallas was working on education reform in Haiti after the devastating earthquake when he was introduced to Penn and invited to join the board of JP/HRO, a Haitian nonprofit created by the Oscar-winning actor known for his political and social activism.

The organization cared for 60,000 displaced Haitians over a three-year period that followed the earthquake and a subsequent outbreak of cholera.

Vallas told the Sun-Times last summer that the Sean Penn he knows is “way more Haiti than Hollywood” and a truly “heroic figure.”


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