State Representative Andy X. Vargas represents the 3rd Essex District (Haverhill) in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee. He also serves as a member of the following committees: Ways & Means, Education, Public Health and Redistricting. He is a member of the MA Black & Latino Caucus.
Rep. Vargas was previously elected to the Haverhill City Councilor, where he served as the city's first Latino elected official. He grew up in Haverhill and his family origins are from the Dominican Republic. He is a proud graduate of Haverhill High and Boston University. Rep. Vargas is also an alumnus of the Obama White House and previously worked for Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll).
Some of his legislation successfully signed into law include: mandating civics education, boosting housing production, expanding school breakfast participation, and creating a new gun violence prevention program within the Department of Public Health.
He resides in downtown Haverhill with his wife Rikelma– an educator and unfortunately a Yankees fan. They are parents to an energetic puppy, Merengue.
Longer biography below.
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.
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.
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). He was recently re-elected. He resides in downtown Haverhill with his wife and Yankees fan, Rikelma.