ROBUST EXPERIENCE IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND SUSTAINABILITY
I have more than 25 years’ experience in construction, urban development, strategic planning and project management. Trained at Brown University (BA in Urban Studies) and Harvard (Master of Architecture), I have led affordable housing developments at Just A Start Corporation and served as a senior project manager and land use planner at Massport, helping shape agency priorities. I now work for a major hospital, managing large, complex building and infrastructure projects with significant public engagement and community benefits.
Throughout my career, I have been passionate about sustainability. I created a green committee to bring together architects to explore green building practices, and helped identify green funding resources and green specifications for affordable housing developments that went on to win Excellence in Green Affordable Housing and Energy Star Homes Builder Achievement awards. I am accredited as a LEED (Leadership in Energy, Environment and Design) professional, and am now working on a LEED Silver project that will include the fifth-largest solar array in Boston, generating enough power for 121 homes.
A PROUD LATINA FROM A DIVERSE FAMILY
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, a daughter of educators: my mother was a high school chemistry teacher, and my father, a university physicist. They instilled in me a thirst for knowledge and a hard work ethic.
My paternal grandfather, abuelo Nolo, was a doctor who had studied in Mexico because he was denied opportunities in the U.S. My abuela Lucila was a social worker before becoming a stay-at-home mother. She was raised Catholic, but believed that no faith had all the answers. She taught me religious tolerance.
My abuelo George, a Syrian immigrant, moved to Puerto Rico to work in the garment industry; he had only an eight-grade education. My abuela Amparo was a seamstress who started making dresses when she was in elementary school, so she could get fabric for her own clothes. She taught me to persist through adversity and to always lend a helping hand.
I cherish my family and the values and resilience they instilled in me. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I drew strength and courage from my abuela, my aunt and my sister, all survivors. I feel fortunate to have found a community that embraced me like family here in Somerville as well, with neighbors who taught me how to garden, offered advice, and provided enormous support during hard times.
I have long been active in this community. I have served on the City’s Design Review Committee as well as the review committee for Maxwell’s Green. I have served on the boards of Groundwork Somerville, the Somerville Community Corporation and Somerville Youth Soccer League. And as a citizen and mother, I have regularly advocated for safer streets, open space, better infrastructure, and the needs of students in our schools.
In 2017, I brought together state and local officials to address the lack of repairs to Foss Park, stressing the state’s obligation to mitigate the impacts of I-93. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, I have fought to improve school building management, communication and transparency. Collaborating with a diverse network of residents, I worked to identify social inequities as well as language barriers that particularly harm immigrant and Latino families.
I am proud to be part of Padres Latinos de Somerville, a group formed during the pandemic to help connect Latino parents in the Somerville Public Schools and ensure their voices are heard and their children’s needs are met. Now counting almost 100 members, Padres Latinos has connected families with city resources, including after-school and summer programs, and helped them overcome technological barriers and navigate the system.