Top immigrant advocacy group backs slate of passionate community leaders with strong progressive values
ALLENTOWN, PA — Make the Road Action in Pennsylvania (MRAPA), the grassroots advocacy organization representing immigrant and working-class communities of color in Allentown, Philadelphia, and Reading, today released its endorsement of Cheryl Johnson-Watts for Allentown Mayor, Josh Siegel and Ce-Ce Gerlach for Allentown City Council. MRAPA, the sister organization of the 10,000-member non-profit Make the Road Pennsylvania, has emerged in recent years as a strong progressive leader in local, state and federal elections and policy campaigns affecting immigrant, Black and Brown, and LGBTQ Pennsylvanians.
MRA leaders chose to support Johnson-Watts, Siegel, and Gerlach in the upcoming special election because of their proven track records for immigrant rights and their commitment to fighting for the rights of workers
“To implement the change Allentown needs, we need leaders that are dedicated to that change. We are no longer accepting run-of-the-mill politicians that are uncritical of the mismanagement of our city,” said Ashley Velasquez, Allentown Member of Make the Road Action in PA. “Allentown’s residents are backing up those who not only have the experience, but the politics and heart to drive this city forward without leaving anyone behind. That is why we enthusiastically support Cheryl Johnson Watts, Ce-Ce Gerlach, and Joshua Siegel in the upcoming primaries and the November elections. These are candidates who value Allentown’s residents before power or profit and are capable of enacting lasting change in the right position.”
“It is a great honor to be endorsed by Make the Road Action in PA. They are at the forefront of empowering people to find their own voice so they may speak for themselves,” said Cheryl Johnson-Watts, Democrat for Allentown Mayor. “I have benefited from the work they do, educating people on the issues that impact their access to a better future. If elected Mayor, I will continue to seek their insight on the needs of our people and how to have a more inclusive process to address concerns, because doing so will improve our city and the well being for all.”
“I’m glad to have the endorsement of Make The Road Action in PA. The injustices in Allentown have gone unchecked for too long,” said Joshua Siegel, Democrat for Allentown City Council. “I firmly believe it is time to enact policies to ensure affordable housing, encourage community involvement, welcome and protect new Allentown residents no matter where they’re from, and help every neighborhood in the city thrive – not just downtown.”
“Allentown is a city of working class people and neighborhoods. Each section of Allentown has its own strengths, challenges and opportunities,” said CeCe Gerlach, Democrat for Allentown City Council. “We must pass policies on City Council that will protect our neighborhoods and ensure that regular folks have a seat at the table. There is incredible talent, intelligence and compassion in Allentown and it’s up to people in positions of leadership to harness those skills. Together with Make the Road Action in PA, it’s time to build a more inclusive and Allentown!”
The primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 21st.
Make the Road Action in PA builds political power rooted in immigrant and working-class communities, promotes progressive policy solutions, and strengthens the movement for justice through electoral and grassroots organizing.
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