Sanchez urges Latino pols to engage with all communities

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Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, at a gathering of newly-elected Latino officials, advised them to learn the issues effecting their entire constituency and not just focus on issues effecting Latinos.

“Get engaged with everyone. Just because you’re Latino doesn’t mean you stick to your Latino community. You’re a part of a larger community,” said Sanchez, who spoke to the News Service during a Latino elected officials networking event he hosted Thursday in the House Members Lounge.

The Jamaica Plain Democrat said he organized the event as a way to celebrate the victories of newly-elected Latino officials, introduce them to Latino state office holders, and acquaint them with issues being debated on Beacon Hill.

Haverhill City Councilor-elect Andy Vargas, who is 22-years old and the first Latino to hold that office, said he’s looking forward working with state leaders in his new role.

“I think that’s what I’m doing here today as well, in terms of networking with our state delegation to be able to take a look at the vision we have for Haverhill. How can we work together to make that happen at the Legislature and enhancing what we’re doing at the local level together?” said Vargas.

The two hour event included presentations by the National Association of Latino Elected Appointed Officials (NALEO), The University of Massachusetts, the UMass Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

— Written by Antonio Caban

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