After more than a decade and a half of serving the people of Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill at the State House, state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez will be exiting that role at the end of the year after losing a close election to Nika Elugardo earlier this month.
A son on Mission Hill, a parent in Jamaica Plain, Sanchez embodies what it means to be ‘a local’ and he never forgot where he came from as he rose through the ranks at the State House to become the powerful House Ways and Means chairman. Sanchez recently reflected on his time as state representative in a statement to the Gazette.
“It has been my honor to serve our community in the State House for the past 16 years,” said the representative. “Every day, I had the opportunity to work with great, caring people on our collective vision for a stronger, better community with a keen focus on helping the most vulnerable among us.”
He said it’s been “an exhilarating ride” since he left his job at Mayor Menino’s City Hall in 2002 after being elected the representative for the 15th Suffolk District.
“We’ve worked together to build foundational community principles of which we can all be proud, such as access to healthcare and the right to marry the person you love, no matter their gender,” said Sanchez. “We’ve accelerated renewable energy and improved education for English-language learners. We redeveloped Jackson and Hyde Squares into thriving, multicultural hotbeds of affordable housing, and rebuilt Mission Hill to be an inclusive neighborhood affordable to more people of all ages. We not only weathered two recessions, but we came out stronger as a result of our community spirit. And against all odds and expectations, we passed comprehensive criminal justice reform.
“But most importantly, we’ve had each other’s backs. I have had yours, and you have had mine. I can’t thank you enough for the faith you placed in me. Thank you to everyone who has emailed, called, posted on social media or spoken up at a meeting. Thank you to everyone who knocked doors for our beliefs, made phone calls, and participated in our democratic process. I admire you, your level of engagement, and your pride in our community.”
Sanchez congratulated Elugardo on her victory and wished her “the best of luck” as she embarks on her journey as an elected official, saying he will always be there to “help her and the community I love.”
He also thanked his campaign team, State House staff, and his supporters.
“Together we did our jobs and ran our campaign the same way we’ve done things for the past 16 years: by bringing people together to talk out differences; by engaging residents in public housing discussions, by working on practical solutions to everyday problems, and by partnering with each other,” said the representative.
Sanchez, who said he was “blessed” to call Jamaica Plain his home, went on to say that while there will always be more to do in the community, he was confident of its people to “rise to the occasion. I’m excited to see the conversation continue and excited for the future.”
The representative concluded by saying that, “My wife, Brenda, and my children and I are humbled and truly grateful by the outpouring of love and support from so many along the way.”