This week on MALN Opinion+ we spoke with Roberto Jimenez-Rivera who is running for State Representative of Massachusetts in the new 11th Suffolk District.
Jimenez-Rivera said that watching his mother, a former teacher, and his father, a funeral director, dedicate their careers to helping people in vulnerable positions taught him the importance of building community and valuing servicework. It essentially planted the seeds that would eventually sprout into the transition from a career in education to running for office.
“I kind of grew up knowing that caring for people and making sure that you’re there to help and support is one of the most important things that you can do,” he said.
His career in politics started in 2018, as a volunteer for Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s first congressional campaign.
“That was really the first time that I was able to see politics as a way to build the movement that’s ultimately gonna bring people together, to help us achieve what we know that we need for our people to move forward and have the opportunities that they need,” he said.
He decided to run for Chelsea School Committee in 2019, was elected and currently serves on the board. He says that if he was chosen as State Representative he would continue to vouch for better education for the children of Chelsea through funding, more minority representation in teachers and diversifying school curriculum to better reflect the lived experiences of students.
Being inclusive to Chelsea’s diverse citizens is important to Jimenez-Rivera who says that he has worked to ensure that his campaign is completely bilingual and accessible to multilingual families as well.
“Sometimes you have a couple where one of them speaks Spanish and the other one speaks both languages, and then the kids only know English, but then maybe the grandma lives there and she only speaks Spanish and so I think it’s really important to me that we’re prepared to engage with whatever household, whether it’s all English, all Spanish or somewhere in between, to make sure that we’re able to approach everybody,” he said.
Jimenez-Rivera speaks on the importance of candidates being both inclusive and hands-on in their attempt to reach people. He says that during his last campaign he personally knocked on one-thousand doors out of the two-thousand his team reached. He says that he hopes to double his outreach this time around and shares his excitement to speak with people face-to-face, listen to the issues that matter to them and let them know that he wants to help.
“I might not have the solutions to everything but together we can work on finding those solutions and I’m more than happy to do the homework and make sure that we are finding the solutions and advocating for them together with the people of this community, but also together with other communities that will want to partner with us, because they know that the solutions that we find will be good not just for this district but for everybody in Massachusetts.”
Resources mentioned in this video:
Campaign Website: https://electroberto.org
Roberto Jimenez-Rivera’s Twitter:https://twitter.com/hashtagRoberto
More information: https://malatinonews.com/roberto-jimenez-rivera-the-candidate/