We sat down with Julio Guzman to talk about his role in the local Latino community, and his message for the community this Hispanic Heritage Month.
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a time for us to come together as a community and celebrate our culture, history, and achievements. From poets to politicians, sports people to scientists, Latinos have made an indelible mark on the world. And while we celebrate their accomplishments this month, we also remember that there is still more work to be done. We must continue to fight for equality and justice for all Latinos.
This is a sentiment shared by Julio Guzman, Vice Mayor of the City of Homestead. Born in Jersey City to Dominican parents, and a Floridian for more than four decades, Guzman is the city’s first vice mayor, and he has the needs of Homestead’s residents and particularly its Latino community – 65.3% of the population according to the 2020 census – in the forefront of his mind.
As a family man, Guzman wanted to create a better future for his family by making Homestead a more vibrant community with opportunities for all. “I got involved because I didn’t like the way things were going in the city, I wanted to make some changes, because I’m raising a family here,” he said.
Driven by the belief that everyone deserves access to valuable information and resources, he became involved with various civic organizations, including Kiwanis, Rotary, and the Chamber of Commerce. Of his work with the Chamber of Commerce during the pandemic, Guzman said, “I tried very hard to keep valuable information flowing to the people in the business community, so they could get help with the PPP loans, and just to be moral support, because they were all going through a very difficult time.”
When the opportunity arose to run for public office, Guzman met the challenge head on. “I campaigned, I was visible out in the community telling people how I want to help. And lucky enough, God blessed me, and I was able to become the Vice Mayor of the City of Homestead.”
Guzman believes that every person deserves the same opportunity to succeed, regardless of their circumstances, and so he has dedicated himself to creating opportunities for all residents of his city. Through his public service, Guzman is working to improve schools, increase access to parks and recreational activities, and create a better overall quality of life for everyone in his community.
When asked for a message to the community this month, Guzman said, “Fight and continue to fight. If you fall, get up again, try again and you will be successful. Together, we will come up and we will rise as a united team.”
Vice Mayor Guzman is proof that one person can make a difference. So this Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s work together for the common good and strive to create communities that are thriving and vibrant places to live.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Celebrando la cultura y la comunidad en la Ciudad de Homestead