Born in the Dominican Republic, Domingo Dominguez has called Salem home for the past twenty-five years. He is a proud husband and father to seven wonderful children. He has owned his current home on Raymond Road since 2000. He is able to communicate fluently in English and Spanish. Domingo currently serves as a City Councilor where he works collaboratively with his colleagues and community groups to bring transformative change to the City of Salem. As a Councilor Domingo sits as the Chairman for the Community & Economic Development Committee, is a member of the Ordinances, Licenses and Legal Affairs committee (OLLA) and is the liaison for Parks and Recreation. During his first term, he has participated in passing a balanced city budget, collaborated with colleagues and community groups to hold a series of community conversations to learn more of residents’ concerns, and has been committed to celebrating and getting to know all the different faces of Salem.
Outside of the Salem City Council, Domingo is a regional sales manager with IDT Corporation. His past work experience includes 15 years as an owner/operator of a multiservice business located in Salem. Prior to opening up his own company, he spent three years as a teacher in Salem Public Schools. Domingo is aware of the ongoing issues within Salem. He wants to continue to listen to your concerns to learn more. He will continue to strongly advocate for the health, safety and well-being of our neighborhoods and all of its residents.
Why are you running for Councilor and what particular skills can you bring to the position?
I am running to represent my family and my community. Family is the most important thing to me besides God, and Salem has given me support in raising my family and becoming a homeowner. I have learned through many experiences what it takes to have a beautiful life in Salem, and I want everyone who lives here to have that same opportunity. I have been a teacher, a business owner, a community leader, and raised a family. I know what to fight for because I know many Salem residents have the same dreams and concerns as me.
We have a large percentage of Latino residents and right now I am the only councilor who can communicate effectively in English and Spanish and have grown up in that culture. I have a strong belief in the importance of being independent and working across the aisle. I do not believe we can make the best decisions when politicians are working against each other, or when there are members of our community who do not think their voice is heard or that the people representing them already have their mind made up. I believe I have proven my dedication to this city and will work every day to continue to do so.
What are some of your proposed solutions towards resolving the housing crisis in Salem?
Salem has always been a city where working class people can make a life for themselves and their families and we need to continue to be that. Immigrants and minorities are likely to be the most affected if we cannot provide affordable housing solutions and I want to support everyone in my community. To resolve our issues around affordable housing I will be active and informed about solutions that will benefit as many people as possible while keeping our community whole. I will meet with developers, other government officials, businesses and employers, and members of our community to find the best solutions.
My proposal is that we develop a long-term plan for housing in Salem and stick to that plan. We need to be flexible enough to allow developers to provide new housing options, but we cannot displace our current residents. We need to be transparent and inform the community about what is happening and why, and we need to use housing formulas that include low income projects and mixed housing projects. I will work to make that happen, and I will not sign off on policies that move people out of our community.
How do you see Salem impacted by the climate crisis and what new initiatives would you take to lead Salem's resiliency efforts?
The whole world is impacted by the climate crisis. Salem is on the coast and could eventually have a problem if the sea level continues to rise. We need to continue to look for sustainable solutions. One initiative that I support and will to continue to support is promoting solar energy. Through Solarize Mass, Salem has partnered with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to offer cheaper solar energy for Salem residents. We also need to work with Salem State University and our local scientists and organizations to educate residents on steps everyone can take to live more sustainably. We can all try to carpool more, walk or use bicycles, use less water, pick up trash, and do little things to change the negative impact we are having on the climate.
Please outline some ideas you have that can enhance civic engagement at the city level.
The first thing to do is to continue to listen to Salem residents and be a voice for their ideas and concerns. I also want to offer more community conversations and events where all of Salem can come together to get educated on what is happening in the city and share their ideas and concerns. I want to make events available in multiple languages, so everyone has a voice. The last thing I want to do is to offer mentorship to people who want to run for official city positions or who want to learn what they can do to be involved. I want to make opportunities for everyone to be able to be involved in supporting Salem.