For years, Suffolk County Register of Probate Felix Arroyo normally hosts a birthday fundraiser in April, but the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled those plans.
However, his son, District 5 Boston City Councilor Rocardo Arroyo has launched an online fundraising effort for his dad.
Arroyo was born on April 30, 1948 and has been a mainstay in Boston politics.
“Not only is my dad an amazing father to me and my siblings, he also spent his entire career serving others and fighting for justice,” said Councilor Arroyo. “In April, we normally host a birthday fundraiser to support my father’s campaign and work, but due to COVID-19, that was not possible this year. I ask that you please join me in making a donation to his re-election campaign and in honor of his birthday today. Donations are especially needed now because he will be on the ballot seeking re-election in just a few months.”
Arroyo was raised in a public housing project in Puerto Rico by his late father, Felicito Arroyo, a World War II veteran and police detective, and his late mother, Elisa Arroyo, a garment seamstress and an ILGWU member.
Arroyo completed his undergraduate studies and received a Masters in Secondary Education at the University of Puerto Rico. He was the first member of his family to earn a college degree; he continued with his graduate studies at Harvard University, MIT, and the University of Puerto Rico.
Arroyo’s political career in Boston spans nearly four decades. He ran for the Boston School Committee in 1981 and 1983, becoming the first Latino to run citywide, and the first Latino to pass a primary. In 1984, Arroyo founded the Latino Democratic Committee, the first statewide Latino political organization in Massachusetts, and served as the Latin American Affairs Director for United States Senator John Kerry. Arroyo served in the cabinet of Mayor of Boston Raymond Flynn from 1985 until 1992. In 1992, Arroyo resigned his salaried position as the Director of Personnel for the City of Boston, in order to take an unpaid position as a member of the Boston School Committee. He would later serve as Vice President and President of the Boston School Committee, where he served from 1992 until 1999.
Prior to being elected Suffolk County Register of Probate Arroyo was elected as one of four at-large City Councilors in 2003, Arroyo was re-elected in November 2005.
In 2014 Arroyo announced he was running for Register of Probate for Suffolk County. He won the Democratic nomination with over 53% of the vote on September 9, 2014, and won an uncontested general election in November 2014.
He became the first Latino to win a county-wide political race in Massachusetts.
“Whether it was by being the first Latino on the Boston School Committee and the Boston City Council, the first Latino elected County Wide in Massachusetts, the Director of the Department of Transitional Assistance or the Executive Director of various community based organizations, he has opened doors that were sealed shut. He has made a lasting impact for all of us,” said his son, Councilor Arroyo. “As the Suffolk County Register of Probate, representing all of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, he continues his life’s work of fighting for justice and equity for all. That is why, not only as his son, but as his constituent, I am proud to stand with him as he runs for re-election this year. I ask that you join me.”
Supporters can make a donation to https://secure.actblue.com/donate/felix-arroyo-2. “While the maximum donation per person is $1,000, there is no donation too small or unappreciated,” said Councilor Arroyo. “Please give as much as you can so that his campaign will have the resources needed to win so my father can continue fighting for justice and equity as our Suffolk County Register of Probate.”