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Short bio

Andy's story begins with a historic milestone when he was elected to the Haverhill City Council at the age of 22, becoming the city's first Latino elected official. 


With a heart dedicated to the welfare of his community, Andy's passion for education and economic development shines through in his roles as Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. A firm believer in the power of education to empower youth, he passed legislation to mandate civics education for all public school students, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.


Another key priority for Representative Vargas is addressing childhood hunger. He successfully passed legislation providing universal free school meals for all students, as well as prior legislation to expand school breakfast participation. This groundbreaking move not only alleviates the burden of hunger but also removes the stigma associated with meal assistance and boosts academic outcomes.


In the realm of housing and zoning, Andy's vision has brought about a transformative change. With his leadership, he championed a housing and zoning code overhaul that mandates multifamily zoning in transit-oriented areas, the most significant zoning reform in a generation.


He has also been at the forefront of the fight against gun violence, spearheading a groundbreaking program on gun violence prevention through a public health lens. This initiative, now backed by an annual $13 million grant, stands as a model for the nation in tackling this critical issue.


With an unwavering commitment to justice reform, Andy has played a pivotal role in modernizing the parole and criminal justice system. Chairing the Commission on Structural Racism in Parole, he laid the groundwork for transformative changes to ensure a fair and equitable system for all. The report contributed to the removal of parole supervision fees, and mandated recording of parole board hearings. 


Recognizing the urgent need to combat the opioid crisis, Andy has also worked tirelessly to expand access to naloxone, a lifesaving drug that can reverse overdoses. His efforts in this area have saved lives, bringing hope and healing to families and communities impacted by addiction.


He resides in Haverhill with his wife Rikelma – an educator and unfortunately a Yankees fan. They are parents to a happy boy named Rubén and an energetic Goldendoodle named Merengue. 

Longer biography below.

About Andy


Representative Andy X. Vargas grew up on Arlington St. in Haverhill, Massachusetts. At a young age his family moved from Cambridge to Haverhill, due to housing costs. Andy's family immigrated from the Dominican Republic and have been proud Haverhill residents for decades. 

Andy attended Haverhill Public Schools, including Burnham Elementary, Pentucket Lake, and Haverhill High. Andy played baseball under the Riverside Bradford Baseball League, where he was selected to represent Haverhill on the Cooperstown team. At 14, he founded Haverhill Baseball for All, which received baseball equipment donations to form a free league for inner-city Haverhill kids. Andy was part of the Haverhill Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) team where he was trained as a youth leader in the areas of bullying, gang violence, and tutoring. Andy often visited the middle schools to tutor students in the fields of math, science, and history, while also mentoring students coming from difficult backgrounds.

From the industrial revolution to presen

Before leaving Haverhill High, Andy joined a statewide coalition of young people called Teens Leading The Way (TLTW), which organizes and empowers young leaders from the communities of Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester, Everett, Boston, and Springfield. Together with his fellow TLTW leaders, Andy participated in the drafting and filing of MA bill S.00183 An Act to design, pilot, and implement civics as a high school graduation requirement, which received 48 co-sponsors and bipartisan support. In 2018, Rep. Vargas helped push a similar civics education bill through the legislature, which was ultimately signed by the Governor.

Today— #Civics is officially signed, sea
Safe to say that the water in the #DunkT

Andy attended Boston University and received a Bachelor's Degree, with a double major in Political Science and International Relations, with a concentration in Foreign Policy and Security Studies. He is an inaugural member of the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies. Seeking to continue his commitment to public service and community organizing, Andy founded the Boston University Political Action Organization (BUPAO), which brought together students, faculty, activists, law enforcement, and elected officials to discuss and take action on some of the most pressing issues facing students. Andy also served as the Director of the Department for City Affairs for BU's Student Government.

While pursuing his degree, Andy interned at two offices in the Massachusetts State House, serving one Senator and one Representative throughout 2 years. He spent 5 months in Madrid, Spain, studying abroad and interning for the U.S. Embassy, under the Department of Commerce's U.S. Commercial Service. He spent his time at the embassy by serving small to medium-sized U.S. businesses seeking to export their products to Spain. Andy successfully fostered partnerships between Spanish and U.S. companies, which contributed to the total growth of U.S. exports.

Andy served as a White House intern under the Obama Administration. While at the White House, Andy researched and wrote on issues pertaining to immigration, the economy, Latin America, and more. 


Rep. Vargas also worked at Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) as the Senior Marketing Manager where he supported early-stage startups in mid-sized cities across the Commonwealth. Andy was previously elected to the Haverhill City Council when he was 22. His time on the City Council was marked by strong advocacy for economic development, education, financial transparency, and support for public safety.


In 2017, Andy was elected to serve as State Representative for the 3rd Essex District (MA House). Since joining the House, Rep. Vargas has led on several pieces of legislation that have been signed into law, while supporting other key reforms. Some of his legislation successfully signed into law include: mandating civics education, boosting housing production, universal school meals, and creating a new gun violence prevention program within the Department of Public Health. 


He resides in Haverhill with his wife Rikelma – an educator and unfortunately a Yankees fan. They are parents to a happy boy named Rubén and an energetic Goldendoodle named Merengue.

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