Alumni Spotlight: Bostonia Features State Rep. Andy Vargas

July 18, 2018

Andy Vargas (Pardee ’15), the first Latino elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the Third Essex District, was the subject of a recent profile by Bostonia, the alumni magazine at Boston University. The profile highlighted Vargas as a rising star in the state’s political scene.

The profile, entitled “Rising Star in Massachusetts Politics,” was published as part of the Summer 2018 issue of Bostonia

From the text of the article:

Andy Vargas got his first taste of State House life at 16, as a Haverhill High School student working with a Massachusetts coalition called Teens Leading the Way.

He went with the group to Beacon Hill to lobby for a bill that would make civics education a requirement for high school graduation. And while the bill died in committee, Vargas’ interest in politics took hold.

Eight years later, in November 2017, he was sworn in at the State House, the first Latino elected to the House of Representatives from the Third Essex District, which includes much of Vargas’ hometown of Haverhill.

“Democracy is a promise,”Andres X. Vargas(CAS’15) told the packed chamber that day. And to watch the 24-year-old keep that promise on one of his regular Friday district days, a reporter risks sore feet and a caffeine overdose. State reps aren’t given a budget to rent a local office, so Vargas meets constituents and local pols in the hip coffee shops that are popping up in this mill city. On this January day, he also grabs a quick working lunch with a state development official at a new Dominican restaurant, then heads off to a downtown parking lot to hand out bag lunches to the homeless.

“Young guy, very energetic, very passionate about public service,” says Joe D’Amore, founder of theMerrimack Valley Hope Mission, organizer of the food distribution.

He is also pragmatic, says Michael McGonagle, a Haverhill city councilor who served on the council with Vargas before the BU alum was elected to the House. “He didn’t come in to the council trying to know everything and be everything,” McGonagle says. “For his first six months, he listened.”

You can read the entire profile here.

In a December 2016 alumni spotlight with the Pardee School, Vargas discussed his time serving as a Haverhill City Councilor, being honored by El Mundo Boston as one of the Latino 30 Under 30 most influential young Latinos in Boston, and advice for current Pardee School students interested in pursuing careers in politics. 

“Don’t be afraid to jump!” Vargas said. “There will never be a perfect time to run for office. The public sector may not pay you as well as the private sector, but I can assure you that the public sector needs you more. Go where you are needed. Jump!”

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