Briefings: Aiding Springfield’s Representatives in 2015…
Springfield Representative Jose Tosado announced his district office location and his aide this week, rounding out the staffing for the area’s new legislators. Tosado, like fellow freshman rep Carlos Gonzalez, hired one individual to assist with constituent services and legislative matters. Most members of the House, especially junior only have one aide. Leadership and committee staff provide (in theory) additional assistance as needed.
Tosado hired Ernesto Cruz, a 2013 candidate for City Council at-large and longtime political activist, as his aide. Cruz, who will turn 30 this year, has been active in several Latino and other communities of color initiatives ranging from public health to cultural events. Cruz was also a field organizer for US Senator Ed Markey’s 2013 special election.
Tosado’s district, the 9th Hampden, runs from the Atwater Park section of East Springfield across Pine Point and into 16 Acres, covering no fewer than four of the city’s eight wards. It also includes a single Chicopee precinct wedged between East Street, the Chicopee River and the Springfield border.
Tosado also announced his office would be located at 640 Page Boulevard, which incidentally is also the home of the Pioneer Valley AFL-CIO. The local labor council owns the building, but does rent its excess space out to union locals and interested parties.
While organized labor almost universally backed one of Tosado’s primary opponent Ed Collins—one of their own—Tosado has had a generally good relationship with unions over the years. The local AFL-CIO’s has not always been pleased with their own representation in the Massachusetts House and like view Tosado as a tremendous improvement.
Selecting Cruz as his aide was long expected. Speculation existed that Cruz might try for Council again after placing seventh in 2013, but sources say this is unlikely as long as he is Tosado’s aide. Still, access to the State House could prove invaluable should Cruz seek elected office again.
Gonzalez, whose 10th Hampden district hugs Springfield’s western edge from the North End to Forest Park, announced his aide, Yaitza Monge earlier this month. At the time Gonzalez did not announce his district office, although he lists 1655 Main Street in downtown Springfield as his district office. That building is owned by 1655 Main Street LLC for which Gonzalez is listed as a manager.
Neither Gonzalez or Tosado have permanent offices in the State House yet. Both are temporarily housed in Room 437 off the Grand Staircase, the place the House typically holds freshman for the first few weeks of the session until more formal space is available.