Vasquez leads CRLS civics class debate on path to election as youngest councillor
From the Luis Vasquez campaign, Oct. 5: City Council candidate and 2006 Cambridge Rindge & Latin School graduate Luis Vasquez returned last week to his old stomping grounds to tour the renovated facility and speak in a seniors civics class.
“First off, I’m jealous. You guys are spoiled. The renovation left you with a beautiful school to enjoy and to feel even safer in than before,” Vasquez said. “CRLS is packed with resources driven by people that have ‘been there done that’; I urge you to use them. I didn’t, and that’s my only regret. What I got by with was adults seeking me out to push me ahead because they believed in me. We can taste success quicker once we realize our own potential. That didn’t happen for me until I was 18 and I found out I would be a father – the biggest blessing of my life to date.”
Students submitted questions beforehand that were intertwined into the conversation with Vasquez. Topics ranged from why students should care about the City Council, the structure of local politics in Cambridge, how their community is changing, advice for achieving goals and Vasquez’s motivation for running. He told students:
Don’t view me as a politician, because to me the role of a Cambridge city councillor is to be a community leader. A city as unique and as supportive as ours deserves authentic leadership. Whether I become a city councillor or not, I can continue to be a community leader and, more importantly, a role model for you. That is what I value the most – and I encourage you to ‘give’ throughout your own careers.
To conclude the hourlong visit, Vasquez divided the students into two groups and moderated a friendly debate discussing the police station moving away from Central Square; if term limits should be applied to the council; and whether deciding the mayor should be a public voting process.
“Luis should be a teacher. He connected with us. It was incredibly fun to learn from him. I’ll be more aware of how my city operates,” said a student from the class.
Vasquez had visited during the beginning phases of renovation in 2009, when he brought World Series trophies and Wally the Green Monster to the high school as part of his community-focused work with the Boston Red Sox. “Whatever great things I get to be a part of in my life, I want Cambridge to be a part of it too. It’s an ode to the incredible support system here that gave me hope and opportunities to reach positions where I can do then do the same for others,” Vasquez said of respective visits to the high school.
At 25, Luis Vasquez is the youngest council candidate on the ballot, and if elected he will become the youngest to have ever been elected to the council.
Municipal elections will be held Nov. 5.