More Spanish-language commercials have been fired into Philadelphia airwaves
MÁS EN ESTA SECCIÓN
Editor's Note: Carlos Nogueras contributed reporting.
Philadelphia voters can expect even more commercials promoting the surviving candidates of this year’s mayoral election in waning days of the primary campaign.
Only this time, the new advertisements feature Spanish-language pitches hoping to target the city’s growing Hispanic population.
Mayoral candidate Allan Domb, better known for his monikers donning him the ‘condo-king,’ is the second candidate to release his own commercial — and not via PACs — featuring his message in Spanish.
“The Latino community is important to me. They’ve always been supportive of me when I was on council,” said Domb, who toured the Kensington-Allegheny intersection on multiple occasions before officially announcing his bid for mayor.
“I want to support the Latino community. They have a tremendous work ethic. There's a tremendous opportunity for them to grow in our city, and play really important roles,” Domb told AL DÍA.
“And I'll be supportive in any way I can,” he continued. “I'm in every section of the city. I’m in Kensington a lot. I was there yesterday meeting with many Latino leaders and talking about affordable housing. I'm getting tremendously positive responses.”
Although Domb is the second candidate to release Spanish-language media, following Maria Quiñones Sánchez, who suspended her campaign, he is the third candidate to vie for Latino turnout in the primary election.
Cherelle Parker, another viable front-runner in this cycle, managed to coalesce the city’s old guard Latinos behind her. Her latest supporters — including State Representatives Danilo Burgos, José Giral, and former Reps. Ángel Cruz and Ben Ramos — serve as ward leaders in key neighborhoods driving Latino turnout.
Yet another viable contender also recently dropped a commercial targeting Latinos, though not by her own spending.
Helen Gym, the city’s foremost progressive champion, will also be seen on television ads by way of Make the Road Action, the immigrant advocacy group’s political arm, which spent five figures on ads supporting Gym.
“We feel she's the best candidate to represent our communities and what we need,” said Diana Robinson, political director at Make the Road Action.
Gym, a former school teacher and longtime community organizer, is one of few candidates with a demonstrated resume of supporting Latino and immigrant-led organizations, calling out covert medical deportation practices, and securing funding to support services for immigrants in the city.
Gym was also the only local official onsite when Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent his first bus as part of Operation Lone Star to Philly as part of a wider effort to overwhelm sanctuary cities with incoming migrants.
Her record certainly drew the interest of the city’s immigrant and Latino groups that have organized to deliver on her behalf through canvassing and campaign literature.
Will it make a difference? It’s hard to say.
A recent independent poll highlighting the race’s front runners showed Parker led the pack with the amount of Latinos that said they would vote for her, the survey found. But a large swath of undecided voters within that metric means support from Spanish-speaking communities could tilt in any direction.
Candidates may also grapple with poor turnout in Latino wards, known for low engagement and participation.
Robinson hopes the ad will shed light on how candidates view the issues dominating the race, among them, public safety, blight, and poverty.
“I feel that's important for the Latino community. Because we hear all the time how we feel that communities of color and Latino communities are forgotten. They're not seen as super voters, they're not seen as high-propensity voters. So oftentimes, campaigns do not reach out to them,” Robinson, whose organization endorsed Gym, said.
“I think this is an opportunity to engage those voters and ensure they have all the information they need to make the best choice on election day."