Monday conversation: State Sen. Adam Gomez wants to make sure western Mass. is seen
This episode is rebroadcast from July 19, 2021.
The new Massachusetts state senator representing West Springfield and parts of Springfield and Chicopee brings experience of trying to persuade lawmakers to make change with him to Beacon Hill. Senator Adam Gomez is the first Puerto Rican and first Afro-Latino state senator in the state’s history.
On Mondays, And Another Thing features in depth interviews with just on person. This is a rebroadcast, which has been edited for timeliness, of a July conversation with Senator Adam Gomez.
The son of a political organizer, Gomez was an activist who worked with such groups as Neighbor to Neighbor and Raise Up Massachusetts. He also was elected three times to the Springfield City Council.
He recalls the challenges of growing up in poverty in the north end of Springfield.
“I was arrested in school with 10 bags of marijuana. I was going to spend two years in jail. My first criminal offense, I was charged as an adult when I was 17,” Gomez recalled to And Another Thing.
He entered a plea bargain to avoid two years in jail and then became politically active for the first time, joining a coalition that was pushing for passage of a major criminal justice reform bill. The law, approved in 2018, eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for low level drug offenses.