Gilberto Perez, Jr. • The Good of Goshen

Gilberto Perez, Jr.

Goshen City Council Member

“I entered the City Council conversation in part because I admired and respected the people who approached me to consider this particular opportunity. I also thought, ‘Wow, if these individuals who have served well and have done amazing things in our community see that in me…’ I felt humbled. I felt honored.

I saw, and continued to see, the many good things happening in Goshen. The City Council’s done good work on issues of inclusion. It’s done good work on issues of trying to help better traffic flow. It’s done projects on helping the community think about how it lives together, community conversations.

There are three things I really kind of talk to community residents about. One is youth development. I think it’s really more about sitting with young people to think about what they would like to do for the future, and how they actually see the city as a destination for becoming an employee, serving on a board, potentially running for office.

The second is, how do we work at economic growth through the minority business community? We have seen a surge of more Latinx entrepreneurs in our region. These are individuals who are in our community who are stimulating the economy through their small business, or through their entrepreneurial ideas.

The third is really thinking about how do we become more of a welcoming community, specific to the Latinx community, of their place within this community.

I lived here in 1984, ’85. We moved here in the summer and I got on a bicycle and I rode all around town and I saw all the different places. I went to school, and I helped my sister at Walnut Hill Daycare Center. I got to meet a lot of people. I also know that there weren’t a lot of Latinos at that time in Goshen in the mid-’80s.

Moving here in 2001, the city was really sort of in the middle of a new arrival of immigrants. 2001 to 2010, you really saw a boom where people entered into the RV and agricultural sectors. What I liked about Goshen was I felt comfortable. I felt at home.” Gilberto Perez Jr.

Perez is the first Latino to ever serve on the Goshen City Council. In the coming months, the Good of Goshen will profile all the Goshen City Council members.

Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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