Davenport organization holding caucus for people to ask presidential candidates questions

Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 10:16 PM CST
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We’ve all heard of caucus being held for members of a specific political party or movement. This weekend a Davenport social service organization is redefining what that means. Quad Cities Interfaith is holding a caucus designed for the people to ask political candidates about issues that

matter to them.

Gloria Mancilla is getting her hands-on experience as a Patient Care Tech at Genesis. The mother of two works hard but behind her smile is hardships she’s faced to get where she is.

“I was nine years old when I moved here to the United States. The reason we moved here is because of drug cartels that were happening,” she said.

Her parent’s crossed the border from Mexico to give her a better life. She didn’t learn she wasn’t a citizen until she was in high school. Eventually, she went to college, finished her nursing degree but because of her situation, she couldn’t take her nursing board exam.

“I won’t be able to take my boards because I don’t have any documents, I don’t have a social security number,” she said.

That didn’t stop her from continuing to pursue her passion in the medical field.

Every Sunday, pastor Dwayne Hodges sings his praise. His church on 306 Cedar Street, Davenport is still growing. Hodges who was once incarnated uses his story to be a testimony.

“I’ve been in a similar situation with being locked up at one time and being able to come back out and get that second chance,” Hodges said.

Second chances for Isaac Carr are reflected through his family photos. The Rock Island resident moved to the Quad Cities as a refugee from Liberia, West Africa because of the war in his country. He’s now going to college to get his masters despite the financial burden that comes with it.

“We who went to school in this country. The student loans are skyrocketing,” he said.

Gloria, Isaac, and Dwayne all have stories to tell. Stories they will share at the “people’s caucus” this Sunday at North High School. The event is designed for the people created by community members at Quad Cities Interfaith.

“We wanted to give the community an opportunity to have the political candidates hear them first instead of the other way around,” said Tony Wells, Quad Cities Interfaith, community organizer.

Issues like immigration will be touched on. Gloria who is now a permanent resident will share being separated from her two kids.

“My five-year-old son could not understand what was going on. To him, mommy was being mean, mommy was letting him suffer,” she said.

For Dwayne, he will discuss the voting rights of people who have felonies.

“In the state of Iowa as soon as you are convicted of a felony you lose the right to vote. You have to petition the governor to get your voting right back,” he said.

Isaac wants to know what will be done when it comes to student loans increasing.

“We want to know what these candidates can do to change our world to make it better than what it is today,” Carr said.

A better Quad Cities and nation that starts with people using their voices for a change. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and the event will go from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Organizers have reached out to current and dropped out presidential candidates.

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