Meet the Young Latino Mayor Who Is Bringing Back His Rhode Island City

Bill 

A good news story in the midst of dark headlines.

By Geraldine Cols Azocar, NBC News (5-minute read) 

CENTRAL FALLS, Rhode Island — We hear a lot about millennials making waves in the entertainment and tech worlds, but a young Latino is making a name for himself through the time-honored tradition of local politics.

James Diossa became the mayor of Central Falls in 2012 at the age of 27. His victory came at a time when the city was shocked by scandal; former mayor Charles Moreau had been indicted on corruption charges and the city had declared bankruptcy.

“I became the first Latino mayor, first youngest mayor,” Diossa told NBC News. “It’s been a privilege to be able to serve this community at such a young age and being a Latino as well.”

Diossa grew up in Central Falls, he attended the local high school and later graduated from Becker College in Worchester, Massachusetts.

The son of immigrant textile mill workers from Colombia, Diossa never imagined that he would become a politician, let alone a mayor. In 2008, inspired by Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency and fresh out of college, he decided to run for city council because he felt the young people of Central Falls were not being represented by the local government.

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