SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield City Councilor Adam Gomez is making history as the first Latino from Hampden County to be elected to the Massachusetts Senate.
We see it in the city, we see it in the state. We have no or very little representation for the Hispanics.Gumersindo Gomez, Vietnam Veterans of America
That’s what Gumersindo Gomez had to say during an interview with 22News back in 2011 when asked about the lack of Latino representation in Massachusetts politics.
A void that’s now being filled by his own son, Adam Gomez, who on September 1st became the first Puerto Rican to be voted into the Massachusetts State Senate.
Gumersindo is one of the founding fathers of the annual Puerto Rican Parade which is now one of the biggest Puerto Rican celebrations in New England. He also serves as the director of The Veterans Outreach Center in Springfield and is highly regarded nationally among veterans activists.
Gumersindo had his own run at politics decades ago running for city council following a tour in Vietnam and many years of military service.
“I knew we had talent within our community. I was putting myself out there as the talent to make a run at city council, which I did three times and needless to say, I was very much rejected by that leadership,” he recalled.
“When he last ran, it hit me that we had to make a difference at that moment,” Adam told 22News. “I guess the political atmosphere happened by mistake or maybe it happened just the way it was supposed to. We just wanted to hold people accountable and in 2015 we ended up winning.”
Adam went on to be a leader in the community for social justice and affordable housing when he became city councilor. His win for state senator in 2020 was something years in the making for the Gomez family.
“That gave me an opportunity to prove all along what I have worked for. When I heard that night Adam had won. I said to myself the job has paid off,” Gumersindo said.
Adam knows in order to make a difference senate he’s going to need everyone’s support no matter what color, creed or background.
“For the Latino community and my Latino brothers and sisters, it’s time we’re not forgotten, it’s time we stand up,” Adam said. “We’re on that blurred line and we’re here and ready to work but we need to understand that we’re not going to do it alone.”
Though the Gomez family agrees that the Statehouse could still use more Latinos, the Spanish population in the first Hampden District can be proud that there is now a Boricua on Beacon Hill.
Adam says, “I’m looking forward to be able to bring a different flavor, put a little of Adobo on it now.”