Diversity is a key to Cicero’s success

Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013 2:46 p.m. CDT

Cicero has a predominantly Mexican American population, but it also has a strong commitment to diversity.

Each ethnic group in our community makes a significant contribution to the success of our programs and our services to residents. 

My administration is therefore committed to diversity and ensuring that all communities are engaged and represented. For example, in the past, I was proud to appoint Maria Punzo-Arias – the first Mexican American to the post of Cicero clerk. In the past eight years, nearly 70 percent of the town’s new hires have been Hispanic, reflecting our region’s ethnic mix.

I also was proud to have been able to appoint others to key, groundbreaking positions including the first woman to serve as a Cicero’s police chief, Lori Lelis. Before her, I appointed our first African American police commander, Wesley Scott. And I am proud to have launched the region’s first training program to help disabled individuals find work. Cicero employs more than two-dozen disabled people.

Recently, I was proud to endorse a slate of candidates for the Morton High School District 201 that included, for the first time in the district’s history, an African American candidate, Kal Lwanga.

Morton High school has students of all races, ethnicities and nationalities in its attendance. I know that Kal will perform with the highest level of commitment to serve all of the students.

Kal Lwanga was born in Chicago, but his parents are immigrants from Uganda and Tanzania in Africa. His parents, Joseph and Koku, came to this country for the same reasons that hundreds of thousands of immigrants have made the journey to our shores of freedom for education and a chance to build a better life. 

That is what America is all about.

I asked Kal to share a quote in this space about what he hopes to achieve on the high school district board.

“My commitment to diversity also means that I respect the rights of other ethnic and racial groups, especially our Mexican American and Hispanic  community,” Kal Lwanga said on election night. 

We’re proud of Kal, and I am very proud of our voters who put quality and experienced leadership at the forefront of their voting choices.

Larry Dominick is the president of the town of Cicero

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