By Jenna Pelletier
Not much larger than 1 square mile, Central Falls isn't a place that usually comes up on the national political radar.
So, why did Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton choose the densely populated, economically challenged city as the site of her Rhode Island rally Saturday?
"To have them pick Central Falls is huge," said Central Falls Mayor James Diossa. "I think they heard about the great comeback story of Central Falls after bankruptcy and corruption. There's a lot of energy in Central Falls that people are paying attention to."
It also has a large minority population. More than half of the city's residents are black or Latino. "We all know how important the minority vote is," added Diossa, who spoke at the rally in both English and Spanish.
Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, the first Latina to win statewide office, expressed similar ideas about why the campaign chose the city.
"I think it represents what Rhode Island is all about ... a place of hard work, of true grit, of determination, which I think speaks exactly for what the Hillary Clinton campaign is all about. It's for working people."
Rally attendee Lynn Loveday, of Warwick, said she thought selecting Central Falls instead of Providence, Cranston or Warwick made a "big statement."
"I think it's a genius idea, because isn't that what Hillary is all about — diversity?"
Turns out, Clinton was courting future Latina voters as well as current ones.
Claudia Cambero and her 15-year-old daughter, Yuvi, waited in line for more than two hours to get into Central Falls High School. Cambero, who emigrated from Columbia about 20 years ago and now lives in Providence, said she wanted her daughter to learn about American politics.
"I can't vote [because I'm not a citizen yet], but I want my daughter to know what's going on because she'll be able to vote soon," Cambero said. "Today Hillary, tomorrow Bernie."
Clinton's opponent, Sanders, is scheduled to speak in Providence's Roger Williams Park on Sunday.
Original article here.