Latino Coalition of Haverhill Celebrates 2022 Successes; Plans to Organize Wards for Fall Elections

Sen. Pavel Payano, center, presents citation to Haverhill Latino Coalition board member Fermin de la Cruz for his work getting Community Action and Essex County Community Foundation grants to help hundreds of Latino families affected by COVID-19. Others present were, from left, Coalition President Argenis Marte, Reps. Ryan Hamilton and Andy Vargas and Sen. Barry Finegold. (Courtesy photograph.)

The Latino Coalition of Haverhill recently celebrated its 2022 accomplishments, including legislation requiring election of City Council and School Committee members mostly by ward.

Newly elected Sen. Pavel Payano, himself elected in 2022 to a newly reconfigured majority-minority state senate district, presented a Massachusetts Senate citation to the Coalition in recognition of its “steadfast commitment to the Latino community and the City of Haverhill.”

“We now can have representation from every neighborhood in our city on both the City Council and the School Committee. A voice for all,” said incoming Coalition President Argenis Marte.

Moving forward, the Latino Coalition of Haverhill plans to begin meeting with groups of residents in Wards 1 and 3 to encourage potential candidates to run for office this fall. Although the Coalition does not endorse individual candidates, officials said, it can provide guidance on navigating the election process.

The event attracted more than 200 people to the Haverhill Citizen Center. Besides Payano, among those officials in attendance were Sen. Barry R. Finegold, state Reps. Andy X. Vargas and Ryan Hamilton, Mayors James J. Fiorentini of Haverhill and Brian A. DePeña of Lawrence and Haverhill Police Chief Robert P. Pistone.

Sponsors included High Street Market, Jaqueline’s Convenience Store, D’Empanadas, Pollo Centro, Sebastian’s House of Toys, Canela Market, Raquel Quesada, Yonatan Quesada Leydi Diaz-Breton, Haverhill High School GEM program and MakeIT Haverhill.

The Latino Coalition of Haverhill is a non-partisan, nonprofit advocacy organization formed in 2019. With the motto, “Help ordinary people find power,” its mission is to empower and inspire Haverhill Latinos to be active participants in every facet of the community.

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