Hi, I'm Jonathan Paz
A community leader, former educator, and experienced public servant. I'm running for Mayor, with a vision to make the city more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable for all its residents
WALTHAM, BORN AND RAISED
Born and raised in Waltham, I have deep roots in the community and understand the challenges and opportunities that face the city. Growing up, I attended Plympton and Fitzgerald School while spending my weekends reading at the Waltham Public Library. I was raised by Bolivian immigrant parents, who fought to provide a better future for their children.
In 2007, my family was separated. My father was deported, and my family was divided across continents. Despite the pain and turmoil, I worked hard and went on to the University of Pennsylvania where I majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
A COMMUNITY ORGANIZING CAREER
As a young professional, I worked on international development projects and research. I worked with “UN Women in Bolivia”, conducted research in Brazil, helped manage a vocational program in India, and assisted microenterprises across Peru.
Upon moving back to Waltham, I materialized my passion for education at the Boston Language Institute. As one of the youngest educators, I taught Spanish and Portuguese and was given the opportunity to develop culturally relevant courses for my students. I also managed the budget for the Institute's cultural immersion programs.
My dedication for community organizing and advocacy led me to become a union contract organizer and advocate. As a Field Representative at SEIU Local 888, I represented hundreds of union members across a range of industries. From custodians to paraprofessional educators, I negotiated major contracts, won important concessions, and ran successful campaigns to save jobs.
I then worked as a Contract Organizer for SEIU CIR, representing over 1,200 medical residents and fellows during the outbreak of COVID-19 when there were PPE shortages at Boston Medical Center and Cambridge Hospital.
Political Advocacy and Involvement
My experience and commitment to public service led me to run for City Council in 2019, where I was elected as the youngest City Councilor defeating a 30-year incumbent. As a City Councilor, I acquired over $600,000 in improvements in public housing in partnership with the Waltham Housing Authority. I will always continue to fight for stable rents, and advocate to protect tenants in the eviction process.
I've also put my legal strategy and grassroots organizing tactics to use on the state level. In 2022, I was instrumental in the successful defeat of the anti-worker, Uber ballot initiative. As the Field Director for the Mass Not For Sale campaign, I worked alongside hundreds of Uber, Lyft and other gig workers to ensure workers had basic job protections and higher wages. Despite being outspent by millions, Our team defeated the anti-worker ballot initiative as it was ruled unconstitutional by the Massachusetts State Judicial Court.
Today, I continue to work as a Policy Advocate for the Massachusetts Immigrants & Refugees Advocates (MIRA) Coalition.
Engaged in My Community
I always strive to help wherever I can. I currently am a Board Member of Waltham’s YMCA and am an Advisory Board Member of Waltham Family Schools. I am a member of the Labor Council of Latin American Advancement, and a founder & member of Black & Latinx Municipal Caucus.
In my spare time, I enjoy running the Charles River and can be found running in many of the community 5Ks. I practice salsa and bachata dancing, and play chess. I'm excited and dedicated to giving back to, and participating in the city that gave so much to me.