Last week, El Conquistador interviewed Angel Sanchez, a candidate running for the 8th Assembly District located on the south side of Milwaukee. Sanchez, the son of Mexican immigrants, is currently vying for a seat held by Pedro Colon, who announced earlier that he would not seek re-election.
To win, Sanchez must battle against fellow Democrats JoCasta Zamarripa (a Planned Parenthood Coordinator endorsed by SEIU) and Laura Manriquez (a board president of Esperanza Unida). The winner of the primary will go up against Ramona Rivas, an Independent.
School Choice is an innovative program that gives children in poor communities an opportunity to receive a private school education. Since the School Choice program began, St. Anthony's School in Milwaukee has tripled in attendance making them the largest Catholic grade school in the county. 98% of the kids who attend St. Anthony's are Latino, many of which use English as a second language. This makes St. Anthony's academic achievement all the more impressive since their students score above the national average in both reading and mathematics.
On the flip side, it is no secret that MPS is struggling. A few years ago, their graduation rates dipped to 46%, ranking them 38th out of 50 school districts around the country. But in Catholic schools, 91% of blacks and Hispanics in urban areas graduate. If the School Choice program partners up with Catholic schools, it means a better education for our children.
We asked Sanchez if he supports lifting the caps on School Choice and providing school vouchers to more parents. He said he believes the caps should be removed and that more schools outside the Milwaukee area should have the opportunity to participate. Sanchez put it this way, "St. Anthony's has the winning recipe, so why change it?"
In this regard, Sanchez stands apart from his democrat colleagues Laura Manriquez and Jocasta Zamarripa. Manriquez does not support lifting the cap on choice schools like St. Anthony's while Zamarripa believes that public dollars should go for public schools. It appears that Manriquez and Zamarripa would rather Hispanic children go to a failing MPS. It's my bet that well over a thousand Hispanic students at St. Anthony's, including their parents, would take exception to their views.
Obamacare is a term applied to a recent law passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress that experienced a rather cold reception from the nation as whole. As of last week, Rasmussen polling showed that 60% of Americans wanted Obamacare repealed. Among "mainstream voters", 76% favor a total repeal of the law. Recent reports from Politico also show that White House strategists, due to a number of problems with the bill, are now abandoning their initial claims that Obamacare will reduce health care costs.
We asked Sanchez if he would support a repeal of the law. Although he believes that all Americans should have health care, we need to be smart about how we invest in our future. Sanchez would like to see Obamacare amended, not necessarily repealed.
Arizona's immigration law has been the focal point controversy in the Hispanic community. The law provides officers the right to question people about their legal status after an arrest or a Terry Stop is made. Sanchez believes that local law enforcement officials in Arizona should be concerned more about city ordinances than trying to enforce the nation's immigration laws.
Sanchez also believes Arizona's law is unconstitutional. And his opinion has good support among many experts in law, including Judge Andrew Napolitano.
A closer look at Sanchez' resume reveals that he has three distinct advantages over his opponents. And with the primary less than three weeks away, it's good to have extra feathers in your cap.
First, Sanchez has the most experience in the public sector allowing him to hit the ground running when elected. Second, he is a businessman who understands how budgets and deadlines are supposed to work, something important for cumbersome bureaucracies like government. And third, he is an advocate for children in poor communities. By supporting choice schools, some would say that Sanchez is best candidate in the race on issues of secondary education.