Far from removed from the experiences of the people, Massachusetts State Representative Jon Santiago has long worked directly on the ground, in dedicated service to others.
Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Boston after he and his family had moved in hopes of pursuing better opportunities. Growing up, however, Santiago quickly began to recognize societal inequities and disparities, particularly in healthcare after his uncle, who had been diagnosed with HIV, struggled to receive care despite residing in a city with numerous, top-ranked healthcare institutions.
Santiago graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, after which he joined the Peace Corps and volunteered as a community health specialist in the Dominican Republic. Santiago would then study in Paris as a Fulbright Scholar and continue to work abroad for communities in Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Following family tradition, Santiago joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2013, and is currently still serving as a Major.
After graduating from the Yale School of Medicine, Santiago chose to begin his work at the Boston Medical Center, where he recalls being able to access care growing up in a low-income family. Invested in assisting underserved communities, Santiago continues to work there as an emergency medicine doctor today.
Santiago has also served as the Massachusetts State Representative for the 9th Suffolk district after defeating the 35-year incumbent in 2018. This district includes parts of Back Bay, Fenway, and Roxbury, as well as the South End, where he currently lives with his wife and child. In his role, Santiago has not only fought to bridge the gap in healthcare access, but also worked on issues such as housing, education, and financial equity.