October 12 2018,  Revere

First person of color to run for elected office in Revere wins Latinx award

By Tara Vocino

Revere resident Juan Jaramillo was awarded the Latinx award on Columbus Day this week. (Courtesy photo, Juan Jaramillo)

A statewide organization has recognized Senator Joe Boncore’s Legislative and Budget Director and Revere resident Juan Jaramillo for his contributions to the community, awarding him the Latinx award on Columbus Day.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States with the goal of recognizing Latino/Hispanic contributions to American society. Juan Jaramillo has lived in Revere since 2000, when he and his parents emigrated from Colombia. Amplify Latinx is a statewide organization that works to connect, engage, train and empower Latinos to become leaders in their respective fields. This year, they have chosen 30 Latinos to recognize during the month for their leadership in their fields.

A graduate of Revere High School in 2012, Jaramillo graduated from UMass Boston on a housekeeping job. “It’s the job my parents have been doing since we moved to the states, and I am proud of that work,” Jaramillo said late Tuesday. “It’s honest, honorable and needed, and I wanted to do it during college, so I did.”

In 2016, Jaramillo was recognized by the Colombian Festival in Boston as a distinguished Colombian contributing to the Latino community in the Boston area. He worked with Revere CARES on drug and alcohol abuse–prevention. As Program Director of Revere Youth in Action, he organized civic engagement and voter education efforts around issues such as paid family leave, raising the minimum wage, and youth development and justice issues.

Currently, he coaches Pop Warner football and serves as Secretary of the Revere Democratic Committee and as a state committeeperson to the Democratic State Party.

Jaramillo explained a few projects that he worked on in his capacity as Legislative and Budget Director for Senator Boncore (D-Winthrop). “I worked with the Senator on the criminal justice reform bill signed by Governor Charlie Baker (R-Swampscott), which will ensure that less people are going to prison for non-violent drug offenses and instead have an opportunity to get into diversion programs that will help them recover from substance use,” Jaramillo said. “That reform package also included important issues that I had worked on in Revere Youth in Action like expungement to ensure that young people and people who committed a crime that is now legal didn’t have to wear it on their records for life. This helps many people who are looking to positively contribute to society attain employment and educational opportunities.”

Additionally, their office worked on a $1.8 billion housing bond bill that will be investing in housing that is affordable for working families. This year, during the budget process, their office ensured an increase in Chapter 70, which funds public schools and unrestricted local aid funding for Revere for the 2019 Fiscal Year.

Boncore congratulated Jaramillo on winning the award and thanked him for his hard work. “As my Legislative Director, Juan works diligently on policy and is dedicated to bettering my whole district, especially his hometown of Revere and the Latino community,” Boncore said on Wednesday afternoon. “He is a champion for inclusivity and bring people from all backgrounds to the table.”

 

Tara Vocino may be reached at printjournalist1@gmail.com.

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