By Ryan Montes
[Editor’s Note: This article, though written by a frequent contributor to San Eli News does not constitute an endorsement, nor does it reflect the views and opinion of San Eli News or its editorial staff]
It was a packed house at St. Roger’s Depot on Wednesday evening. While on his campaign trail in Texas, Democratic candidate and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to add an additional stop. Despite Bloomberg not having as much popularity as Sanders or Biden regarding the Iowa Caucus, which is only five days away, he is slowly gaining traction from his supporters and he figured a visit to El Paso would be a great idea. He wanted to address our borderland community about outreach efforts, as well as his plans to invest in Latino communities all over the country.
It was exactly what you would expect of any rally for any party, lots of supporters. One of the most notable attendees was former Democratic candidate for both Senate and President, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke. He attended alongside his wife Amy. While O’Rourke didn’t speak at all, he was interested to hear Bloomberg speak.
While attendees waited for Bloomberg to arrive, they were entertained with music from Alicia Keys New York, Imagine Dragons Believer, and U2’s Beautiful Day. Once he arrived, the crowd gave him a warm round of applause. One of his campaign volunteers stepped to the podium and began speaking about why he stopped in the Sun City before introducing Democratic House of Representative in Texas Cesar Blanco.
Once Blanco stepped to the podium, he then began to share his views on current president Donald Trump, as well as the mass shooting that occurred here in El Paso at a Wal-Mart last August. His speech was passionate and when he introduced Bloomberg, the crowd erupted in an enormous round of applause.
As expected, Bloomberg had multiple topics under his belt that he about which he wanted to speak. These ranged from gun control to immigration. He touched on not just physical security, but also economic security and affordable housing for the 60 million Latinos in the United States. Economic security, as seen by Bloomberg, is the first step in his proposed path forward by extending the earned income tax credit and raising the minimum wage to $15.
Regarding immigration, he plans to enact a comprehensive reform and create a path to legalization and citizenship for what he calls, the “eleven million people living in the shadows.” Bloomberg also spoke about the situation with kids in “cages” noting that they have chicken pox, rabies, lice, and Scarlet fever. He states that he’d like to put an end to that if he is elected president.
Moving onto hate crimes and gun control, Bloomberg strongly said that he’d treat any hate crime as a domestic terrorism case and that he’ll “finally enact common sense gun laws to keep guns out of the hands” of people who don’t need them. He then echoed Beto O’Rourke by adding the removal of military style weapons. After the gun control and reform, he stressed how much he wants people in El Paso to go out and vote, mentioning how “Texas ranked 50th in voter participation.” El Paso and the entire state of Texas are critical help to him in the election.
He closed out his rally with support to the LGBTQ community and added other reasons why El Paso voters should cast their ballots for him. There was no mud-slinging, name calling, or other unprofessionalism shown by either the supporters or Bloomberg. On a more personal note, I feel this is what any rally, regardless of party or candidate, should be like.