Washington, D.C. – Today, Latino Victory Fund announced the endorsement of Jon Santiago for Boston mayor. If elected, Santiago would be the first Latino mayor of Boston.
Statement from Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund President & CEO:
“Dr. Jon Santiago is an effective legislator who has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life for all Bostonians. His efforts in the Massachusetts Legislature led to groundbreaking work to improve healthcare access, educational opportunities, and in the fight against the opioid epidemic, and now he’s ready to take his vision to the next level. Jon’s top priority is to steer Boston out of the Covid-19 pandemic with a plan centered on equity, which is critical for communities of color, including the Latino community, who have been the hardest hit by the pandemic and continue to face economic, health care, and education disparities.
“At a time when more Latinos are breaking ground in elected positions, Jon’s historic race is a testament to the fight for representation in diverse cities across the country. Latino Victory is thrilled to support Jon’s candidacy for mayor of Boston.”
A long-time supporter of Jon Santiago, Latino Victory Fund endorsed his campaign for the State House of Representatives in his reelection in 2020.
Meet State Rep. Jon Santiago
Representative Jon Santiago is running to make history by becoming the first Latino mayor of Boston. Santiago has spent his life in service to others. Whether a Peace Corps volunteer, captain in the Army Reserves, or an emergency room doctor at Boston Medical Center (BMC), Santiago has committed his days and nights to work for the greater good.
Santiago was first elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 2018 after an upset victory, defeating long-time incumbent Democrat Byron Rushing to win the Ninth Suffolk seat. He was recently appointed vice-chair of the new Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness. Now, he wants to lead the City of Boston through the Covid-19 crisis to a recovery rooted in equity and opportunity with a focus on housing, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston economy.
Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Boston when he was in elementary school. Although his family had come to Boston in search of greater opportunity, the city was in crisis when they arrived as the AIDS and gun violence epidemics were at their peak. Santiago’s earliest memories are of the daily struggles his family faced while growing up in subsidized housing in Roxbury. When he was 10, Santiago learned that his uncle had been diagnosed with HIV, a disease that would claim his life and leave his son an AIDS orphan. This family tragedy and his experiences in Roxbury would spark a lifelong interest in medicine and service.
After college, Santiago joined the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, where he organized sugarcane workers and immigrants. He later won a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Paris and ultimately spent almost five years abroad working and traveling across Europe, Latin America, and Africa. He returned to Boston nearly 10 years ago with a plan to study medicine and give back to the community. A graduate of Yale School of Medicine, Santiago now works and cares for underserved communities as an emergency medicine doctor at Boston Medical Center, the city’s safety-net hospital. He is a member of BMC’s CIR/SEIU Union.
Santiago remains heavily involved in the community. He is an active participant in neighborhood meetings, has knocked on thousands of doors for progressive causes, and sits on the South End Community Health Center, Friends of the South End Library, Friends of Titus Sparrow Spark, and the Puerto Rican Veterans Park boards. Besides his community activism and clinical responsibilities, Santiago has worked to address health disparities and combat the opioid epidemic through policymaking. He led an effort to increase access to the state’s opioid prescription monitoring program, which played a role in reducing overprescribing in Massachusetts. Santiago lives on Tremont Street with his wife, Alexandra.
The Latino Victory Fund is a progressive political action committee with the mission of growing Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government – from the school board to the Senate to the White House.