Public service

Salem’s Manny Cruz: State House Win Peaks in Public Service

SALEM, MA — While the campaign isn’t quite over for Manny Cruz, the Salem School Board Vice Chairman’s thoughts are already focused on the many ways he can better serve the city of Beacon Hill.

Cruz won the Democratic nomination for the Essex 7th District state representative seat with a decisive victory on Tuesday night. With no Republican challenger on the ballot, he told Patch on Wednesday he looked forward to seeing the race through November, as well as working with incumbent State Rep. Paul Tucker (D-Salem ) – who won the nomination as the next Essex. District Attorney Tuesday — on how he’s likely to take Tucker’s seat in January.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to continue to engage with residents and constituents,” Cruz told Patch on Wednesday. “It will be a different kind of engagement with voters. I look forward to supporting my friends and colleagues as they come through and welcoming them to my community so they can be victorious come November.

“But I don’t consider myself the elected representative of the state until November.”

Cruz certainly knows his way around the State House well as a former member of Gov. Deval Patrick’s Statewide Youth Council, as a legislative aide to State Representative Juana Matias (D-Lawrence) and most recently as a as Tucker’s district manager.

He has also served on the boards of LEAP for Education, Plummer Youth Promise, MA Alliance for Early College, and Northshore Community Action Programs, and was a member of the Salem Racial Equity Task Force, as well as his four years on the Salem School Board. during a time of intense COVID-19 and fiscal challenges.

“I think my role on the school committee was formative,” he said. “I worked on policy every week on the policy committee and I’m proud to have been a member of the school committee for the past four years as someone who tries to dive deep into all the problems.”

Cruz, who was re-elected to a four-year term on the school board last November and elevated to vice president at the start of the current term, said he intends to hold on to his position until at least next year’s election, at which time he will make a decision he believes is in the best interests of Salem students and families.

“I definitely plan to finish my term,” he said. “I mentioned at the start (of the State Representatives campaign) that I was committed to completing my term and making sure the needs of our community were met.”

He added that he will not be seeking re-election to the school committee after his current term ends.

Once he is likely to be sworn in at Essex’s 7th seat in January, Cruz said his top priorities would be to develop and introduce legislation to benefit Salem residents in the areas of climate change and public transport. – he is a strong supporter of the South Salem suburban project. station — public education and affordable housing policy.

“This victory was the culmination of my journey in public service,” he said, “in which I have always been focused on how I can improve the lives of our people in Salem and ensure that they are well served”.

(Scott Souza is a Patch field editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @Scott_Souza.)