Adelante’s Board announced their endorsements for 12 candidates ahead of the Spring 2020 Election.
“We have a few people that we will be focusing on and supporting moving through the November election,” Adelante Co-founder Gloria Reyes told Madison365.
Adelante’s Spring 2020 endorsements include Savion Castro for Madison School Board Seat 2, Yogesh Chawla for District 6 Supervisor on Dane County Board, Loreen Gage for Monona Grove School Board, Anthony Gray for District 14 Supervisor on Dane County Board, Joe Maldonado for Fitchburg City Council District 1, Seat 2, Maia Pearson for Madison School Board Seat 6, Teran Peterson for District 19 Supervisor on Dane County Board, José Rea for District 5 Supervisor on Dane County Board, Kristie Schilling for Monona City Council, Wayne Strong for Madison School Board Seat 7, Laura Valderrama for Trustee for the Village of Shorewood Hills, and David A. Virgell for Sun Prairie City Council District 4 Alder.
“A lot of people who I’ve talked to who have stepped in recently that said although, taking that step to run for office is scary knowing that there’s a support system like Adelante doesn’t make them feel like they’re alone,” Reyes said.
Adelante is focused on recruiting, training, and supporting candidates of color in running for an elected office. Reyes founded the organization after winning the election for Madison Metropolitan School District President in 2018.
“I was amazed by how many people came out of the woodwork and said I’ve always wanted to run for office and didn’t know how to do it,” she said.
In January, Adelante held a presentation for their largest cohort of folks running for office city, school board, county board and senate. The political action group placed their support in candidates of color from all over Dane County.
“Most of them who attended were either right in the middle of their races and had decided. Some of them brought their campaign managers,” Reyes said.
In the last few months, Adelante has prepared for the upcoming April 7 election. She said the group has a long list of individuals running for local office. Reyes said the group intends to help build stronger representation on the Dane County Board and within the state of Wisconsin.
“Our current political leaders have paved the way for many of us. Those elected officials of color really paved the way for many of us and they were very supportive,” she said.
Adelante not only trains people on how to run for office but helps candidates build capacity within their campaign among their team. Reyes said the community was already at a point of wanting to participate in politics. This includes discussing financing, endorsements, outreach, and other components of running a campaign.
“So now as we are growing, we’ve gotten to the point we are able to support candidates of color by endorsing them,” she said.
Reyes said Adelante offers candidates of color different levels of endorsement. She also said the financial piece is critical and now the group has the ability to support based on fundraising efforts. Eventually, the group would like to help sustain and support people of color who become elected officials to help them focus on issues, make policies.
“We are starting from grassroots and I totally see in the future that Adelante will be able to support elected officials as they move through their career,” Reyes said.