Fanny Villerreal gives up her job just to run
Fanny Villerreal brought a political consciousness with her from her native Peru to her adopted home in the Syracuse community. "In Lima, Peru we learned all about politics in high school," she recalls. "In my country you must vote." Reflecting that failure to vote there results in fines and limits on education and travel opportunities, she has compiled a significant behind the scenes political resume in her new country, especially working on issues impacting the Hispanic community. Outspoken and not afraid to engage in controversy, she had a rocky tenure as Executive Director of la Liga (the Spanish Action League).
While she spoke often of aspiring to public office, her work in social service agencies, supported by public funds, ran against legislated prohibitions on running for office. When the opportunity for a Republican Party designation for an at-Large seat on the Common Council got real, she was faced with a daunting decision. To get on the ballot she would have to quit her job at PEACE, Inc.
She approached her family for help in making the decision. They told her to do what would make her happy. Confident of that degree of family support, there was only one real choice for her.
Is there an allegiance toward the Republicans or the Democrats in the Hispanic community?
I can tell you from my own perspective why I'm a Republican. I'm Republican because when I make a phone call, they return my phone call. When I ask for help, they come out and help me. They don't take me for granted. They work along with me. They are very open to learn about why we do certain things in a different way.
What are some of the differences?
For example, most of the people from South America, when they talk to you, they talk to you straight to your eyes as a respect.