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This week at rotary...

Manny Cruz
State Representative
This week at Rotary, we welcomed our speaker, State Representatives Manny Cruz. This was the latest installment of our Speaker Series with the Salem Chamber of Commerce. Manny is a Dad, public servant, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader who grew up in Salem. He attended the Salem Public Schools. Beginning in 2017, Manny served as a Legislative Aide to State Representative Juana Matias, and worked to secure funding for community programs and provided constituent services to residents. In 2019 Manny joined the Office of State Representative Paul F. Tucker, where he continued to build his policy expertise in the areas of education, public safety, tourism, and advanced key strategic initiatives in the city of Salem. In November of 2017 Manny became an elected member of the Salem School Committee.
Manny began by thanking Rotary in general and specifically thanking our own past presidents Rinus Oosthoek and Adria Duijvesteijn. He spoke at length of his childhood growing up in poverty with a mother who was forced to flee domestic violence twice. Manny carried these experiences with him through childhood to young adulthood, and his experiences with public service providers were formative for him. Manny credits this support network with playing a major role in the man and community leader that he is today. He was able to recount some happy times too, which are things that he holds dear. He remembers his older brother, who is an artist, being encouraged to work hard on his art by their mother. Manny also remembers how his younger brother became a self-taught break dancer. Clearly, Manny was surrounded by creativity, and he expressed his own in his writings.   
He described the influence of people across the city, beginning at the Collins Middle School. He remembers vividly being asked to be a captain of teams and to become a peer conflict mediator. These roles allowed him to tap into the potential that people saw in him. He sought out local mentors, including our own Joanne Scott. He was enrolled in the CTE program at Salem High School. The Boys and Girls Club taught him leadership skills and how to use his voice. He recognized the role he had as a mentor and role model, including to our own Alex Sanchez. Perhaps this explains why Alex is always so well dressed!   
Manny was inspired by the campaign of Barack Obama. He listened to the mission-centered message of the future president. He learned the importance of being involved in the local community. He started to see that many members of the Salem community were in his corner, and he decided to give back. He enrolled in college at Salem State University and began to advocate for his peers, specifically those who struggled to make ends meet while attending school and those who were the first in their families to go to college. These were transformative times. Manny transferred to Northeastern University and took a class with Michael Dukakis. The governor encouraged students to research a case study and become individually involved, and Manny selected a case study at the Collins Middle School. Working with troubled students, he saw himself reflected in them. At this time, Manny decided to become a teacher, at least until he experienced the divisive 2016 election. He then decided he needed to help more than a group of 30 or so students at a time, which is when he entered policy making.  
Manny recounted the various efforts while working in the office of Paul Tucker, noted friend of the Salem Rotary. He also remembered receiving a scholarship from the Salem Rotary and how it played a major role in his ability to attend college in the first place. Serving the Salem community has been the greatest role and experience of his lifetime. The city is his mission. 
He filed 30 pieces of legislation this year, a record for his class! These bills run across many different topics, from tourism to health care. The overall focus is on serving the city of Salem and delivering on social justice. He described the budget experience with many days running to midnight. He heard from his colleagues and how they are helping their communities. He considers himself lucky to be working with these legislators. Some of his budgetary victories include getting amendments passed to fix the timing of regional tourism grants, the North Shore Community Health Center received a large earmark in the budget, and addressing issues of language justice and food insecurity. Another critical focus is the building community leaders here on the North Shore. He left us with a final story about how a Collins Middle School pilot program visited him recently. A few students entered a poster competition and spoke to Manny about what he has been doing at the State House. It reinforced to him the importance of being a leader, especially when one student asked to be an intern in Manny's office (Manny hired the 8th grader on the spot). Again, he saw himself in this student.  


From the Committees:
Scholarship Committee: Interviews with nominees for scholarships are coming up next Tuesday via Zoom. The CTE scholarship ceremony was recently held at Salem High School and it was a fantastic evening. 
Service Project Committee: Beautification Project for the Hosta Gardens will be this Saturday morning at 8:30. A second session will be the following weekend. The Hosta Gardens are in front of the Ledger on Washington Street. A signup sheet for this Saturday was passed around at Rotary this week. Senior Prom is coming up on June 15 at 3:45. It will be at the Levesque Community Center. A signup sheet was passed around this week.  
DEI and Membership Committee: A new brochure for joining the Salem Rotary is in the works for all three types of membership. There is an effort to get an InterAct club up and running at Salem High School.  
As the Rotary World Turns...
The District is putting on a series of DEI Cultural Awareness Trainings. The next event is on May 17, and Rotarians can register here! Also, SAVE THE DATE for the District Installation, coming up on June 1 at the Danversport Yacht Club. More details to follow.
Did you know that the Salem Rotary is part of Rotary Zones 28 and 32 (specifically Zone 32)? Find out more information about Rotary Zones 28 and 32 or join the In the Zone Facebook group. This month, Zone Director Drew Kessler sent a message to all to focus on enhancing participant experience - or how to make our members (as well as future members and anyone with whom we come in contact) come back wanting more! 
The Rotary International Convention is coming up soon. The host city this year is wonderful Melbourne, Australia!! Register here for this amazing event down under!

VisIting Rotarians & Guests

Many members of the Salem Chamber of Commerce were in attendance to hear Manny speak. 

CAlendar winner!

Alice Clarke sold by Tim Clarke

50:50 Raffle

$915 (That would be $457.50 for the winner)

Ashley Tina and Liz Bradt played this week. No winner this week!



No news this week 
Happy Dollars
We did not have time for Happy Dollars this week

Club Announcements and events

June 27 5:30-8:30
Peabody Essex Museum
Join us in the installation celebration of our next President of the Salem Rotary, Jen Close!
At Rotary, we understand that cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is essential to realizing our vision of a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change.
We value diversity and celebrate the contributions of people of all backgrounds, across age, ethnicity, race, color, disability, learning style, religion, faith, socioeconomic status, culture, marital status, languages spoken, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity as well as differences in ideas, thoughts, values, and beliefs.
Recognizing that individuals from certain groups have historically experienced barriers to membership, participation, and leadership, we commit to advancing equity in all aspects of Rotary, including in our community partnerships, so that each person has the necessary access to resources, opportunities, networks, and support to thrive.
We believe that all people hold visible and invisible qualities that inherently make them unique, and we strive to create an inclusive culture where each person knows they are valued and belong.
In line with our value of integrity, we are committed to being honest and transparent about where we are in our DEI journey as an organization, and to continuing to learn and do better.
Member Birthdays
Jeffrey Holloran
May 4
Steven Zrike
May 10
John Walsh
May 14
Francesca Little
May 22
Upcoming Speakers
May 16, 2023
State Representative Manny Cruz - Legislative Luncheon Series with the Salem Chamber #3
May 23, 2023
Jun 13, 2023
Friends of Salem COA
View entire list
Club Information
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
United States of America
NOTE: The fourth Tuesday of the month is an evening meeting, beginning at 5:15. If you are interested in learning more about Salem Rotary, please email
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