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Kissimmee’s First Hispanic Mayor On His Priorities And Castro’s Death

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The City of Kissimmee’s new mayor has officially been sworn in. Jose Alvarez, a Cuban, is the city’s first Hispanic mayor, in an area where the demographics have been changing as more and more Puerto Ricans move there.

90.7’s Crystal Chavez spoke to Mayor Alvarez and asked him if identity politics play into his role?

“It’s an honor, of course, to represent the Hispanic community, but as a mayor I represent the entire community. There’s over 65,000 residents in the city of Kissimmee and I truly believe that I work for all of them equally,” said Alvarez.

He said a recent study shows a majority of the people that live in motels along the 192 corridor are the working poor, many with jobs in the hospitality industry.

“So, priority number one is to try to see how we can get them out of those motels into a permanent roof over their head and not living in that type of environment,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez was brought to this country at seven years old. On the death of Fidel Castro, Alvarez said he’s glad Castro’s gone but knows things won’t change overnight.

“This individual, to me, he was a leech, sucking the blood out of a country that he destroyed,” said Alvarez. He hopes the U.S. continues the dialogue the Obama Administration opened up with Cuba for the sake of the people there.

Hear more from Kissimmee’s new mayor by clicking on the audio player above.

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About Crystal Chavez

Crystal Chavez