A week after stoking controversy with an erratic Oval Office visit to support President Trump, Kanye West has donated $73,540 to Amara Enyia, a progressive Democrat running for Chicago mayor.
Enyia, a 34-year-old municipal consultant who holds a law degree and Ph.D. in educational policy, is part of a crowded field to replace current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2019 election. But she’s attracted two big doses of the spotlight this month: Last week, Chicago native Chance the Rapper endorsed her.
West grew up in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, West and Enyia spoke on the phone last month, discussing police brutality, stop-and-frisk, the need for more mental health clinics, and attracting investment to underprivileged neighborhoods.
“A specific conversation was warranted with Kanye, to make sure there was alignment on the policy platform and issues I’ve advocated for,” said Enyia. “So, we definitely had a conversation, and when we talk about what Chicago needs and what it will take to get us there, he sees this campaign as a vital part of that, and that is what prompted him to support us and get over this financial barrier we have had.”
On Monday, West donated the exact amount of a fine levied against Enyia for not filing campaign finance reports during her 2015 mayoral run. Her campaign released a statement thanking him.
It might seem to be a curious alliance: West is unabashed about his support for President Trump, who has been accused of empowering white supremacists and abusing women. But Enyia said she’ll work with West because he hasn’t voiced support for any specific Trump policies, and that she will be “unequivocal” with him about her positions.
“I have some very strong feelings about Trump and some specific policies coming out of the administration,” said Enyia, adding that West “believes there always has to be room for dialogue and people should be able to have a conversation and at least be aware of other points of view. That’s fine.”