Posted on Tuesday, January 29 2008 by Heather Brandon
Hartford City Councilperson Luis Cotto (pictured) announced his support for presidential candidate and Illinois Senator Barack Obama at an event last Sunday, hosted, ironically, in a facility on Clinton Street.
A statement from Cotto today noted that other members of the Latino community in the city gathered “to counter the assumption that the Latino vote automatically belongs to Clinton.” (Pictures forthcoming.)
Cotto mentioned being impressed with the high voter turnout in other Democratic state primaries. He said he wants to encourage the local Latino community to come out and vote in the state primary on February 5, even as he will be unable to vote that day, as a member of the Working Families party.
When he decided to run for City Council, Cotto stated, “I did so because I felt that the establishment wasn’t doing enough to help the residents of this city. Looking out from the microcosm of city government at the nation as a whole, I see the same problems.”
While local city politics for Puerto Ricans started out grassroots and organic, he indicated in a phone call, with people urging others one-on-one to engage in civic participation, today’s political landscape for Puerto Ricans is dominated by what Cotto termed a political machine.
Leading up to last fall’s municipal election, he wanted to get back to a grassroots approach that included individual outreach and a spirit of involvement. He said, “We went door to door; we really worked for our 3,000 votes.”
Seeing a parallel between the political climate at the local and national levels, Cotto said in his release, “Washington’s status quo is not providing working people with the necessary tools to thrive any more. Instead, it feels like the Washington establishment is taking advantage of working people for its own goals. We need a change in this country, and that agent of change is Barack Obama.”
“This country needs fresh ideas,” Cotto concluded. “The White House needs to be the source of inspiration and hope again, not the source of despair.”
Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez is said to be neutral on the subject of his support for a presidential candidate. Further north, so far, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has likewise been neutral in anticipation of Super Duper Tuesday.
Springfield City Councilor Jose Tosado, attending yesterday’s rally in the city with New York Senator Hillary Clinton, spoke with MassLive.com senior producer Kristen Beam for an audio piece about his support for Clinton. City Councilor Kateri Walsh was also present to show her support for the candidate.
Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell endorsed Republican John McCain yesterday, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has endorsed Obama.
Mark Pazniokas of the Courant‘s Capitol Watch blog reported this afternoon that McCain is expected to announce later today a likely trip to the state, possibly to take place at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, where he also appeared leading up to his 2000 state primary win. Pazniokas added that Rell will probably attend.
Tomorrow from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, Patrick is expected to participate in a standout in support of Obama at the corner of Homer and State Streets in Springfield. A phone bank in support of the candidate will take place simultaneously in the cultural arts center at American International College.
Casey Ross at the Boston Herald Daily Briefing blog reported this afternoon that Patrick is holding a strategy session today with Obama supporters, “making a full-throttle campaign push” to get out the vote.