Mayoral Aide, City of Springfield, age 28
Jose Delgado says he cares deeply about Springfield. “There is so much potential here, and I want to highlight the positive, bring more jobs to the city, and help make it a destination where people want to live.”
Delgado told BusinessWest that his parents taught him the value of education, while President Obama inspired him to get involved in politics and the community. “I’ve had many mentors and feel the need to give back. A lot of what I enjoy is related to education and working with young people,” he said, adding, “my bachelor’s degree is very important to me because my parents never made it to college, and my 2-year-old son, Jonah, adds to my motivation to continue fighting to improve Springfield.”
Delgado is volunteer chair of the Buy Springfield Now program that provides services and incentives to potential homeowners. “We also show off beautiful housing and neighborhoods in Springfield and have started an Open House series,” he said.
Delgado completed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Springfield Department of Urban Studies Fellowship, which is focused on cultivating young area leaders. “It’s important to me to keep young professionals here,” he said, explaining that he understands the lure of large cities because, when he was in college, he obtained an internship in New York with Russell Simmons, who co-founded the hip-hop music label Def Jam and created clothing lines.
After graduation, Delgado’s volunteerism led him to become program coordinator for the Mass. Latino Chamber of Commerce in Springfield through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
Today, the mayoral representative is a committee member of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, the Puerto Rican/Latino Leadership Council, the Atwater Park Civic Assoc., and the Springfield Ward 2 Democratic Party.
In addition, he assisted with tornado-relief efforts in Springfield and the creation of a city resource guide for residents, is working to streamline the constable application process, and serves on the North End Counter Criminal Continuum.
“There is opportunity in Springfield,” Delgado said. “It’s a place where a kid who grew up on welfare in the North End can become a mayoral aide.”
— Kathleen Mitchell