Clinton campaign registers voters at taco trucks

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Tacos and tostadas weren’t the only items on the menu Friday at several food trucks in southwest Detroit. Patrons of the tasty fare also had the opportunity to register to vote in an event held by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Rafael Munoz, volunteer, works the Tacos El Rodeo food truck on Vernor Highway.

The effort, in a neighborhood with a largely Latino population, comes two weeks after a Donald Trump supporter remarked there would be “taco trucks on every corner” unless Mexican immigration was regulated, a comment that gained national attention.

The comment by Marco Gutierrez of Latinos for Trump on MSNBC sparked criticism and the use of taco trucks in voter registration drives and political protests.

Clinton’s campaign placed volunteers Friday at eight southwest Detroit taco trucks on Vernor Highway, Dix Avenue, Springwells, Olivet and Michigan Avenue.

“Our organizing events are part of a statewide effort to make sure that Michigan residents are registered to vote ahead of the October 11 deadline, and to highlight Hillary Clinton’s message that we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” said Mitchell Rivard, Michigan communications director of Hillary for America. “Our coordinated campaign to elect Democrats up and down the ballot has hired a team of committed organizers that are focused on recruiting volunteers, registering voters, and turning out the vote on November 8.”

With clipboards in hand Friday, Clinton campaign volunteers asked patrons if they were registered to vote. The responses varied. Some seized the opportunity to register as they waited for their food orders.

Rivard declined to release the results of the voter registration drive.

Pamela Miramontes (left), volunteer, works the Loncheria El Parian food truck and registers Francisco Sanchez, of Lincoln Park, along Dix Avenue.

Among the newly registered voters Friday was Lazelle Morris, 47, of Livonia, who filled out paperwork as he waited for a plate of tacos and burritos from his favorite taco truck, El Parian on Vernor.

Morris, who travels frequently, said he likes the idea of the voter registration drive at the taco trucks.

“It gives people the chance, people who can’t get to the Secretary of State, to register to vote,” he said.

Morris said he plans to vote for Clinton. He said he prefers her over Donald Trump.

“I used to like him in the past as a businessman,” he said. “His views, and what we’ve been seeing (that’s) been (happening) on the political side, and on the social side, as far as race relations and everything that’s going on in this country right now, he’s the wrong person to be in office.”

Andrew Thompson, 24, of Auburn Hills took a break from work at a nearby car wash to buy a can of soda. He also registered to vote.

“It’s nice,” he said. “I’ve gotten something taken care of I’ve been meaning to take care of.”