MPU is thrilled to welcome a new member to our team, Zaida Luna!
Zaida is a well-known and longtime warrior for children, women, the elderly, and the community. For the last 20 years, she has been a community organizer and advocate fighting to prevent the building of a correctional facility in the neighborhood; working towards a better, stronger, and healthier environment at Gerena Elementary School; informing families about available programs; assisting the elderly with insurance, housing, and other needs; helping to raise funds for children’s leagues and for the maintenance of local fields and parks; providing meals during the holiday seasons; and assisting those from Puerto Rico affected by Maria Hurricane.
Zaida was a board member for Springfield Partners for Community Action that provides resources to assist people in need and obtain economic stability, as well as the New North Citizen Council, which provides advocacy and human services to Hampden County residents with an emphasis on the Hispanic community.
You may also recognize Zaida as a former city council member for Springfield in Ward 1, where she served three terms and was the first Latina elected to the council. While on the council, she chaired the General Government Committee and was a member of the Race and Civil Rights, Health and Human Services, and Elder Affairs committees.
Zaida is a yearly supporter of Keep Springfield Beautiful, advocating for the cleanup and beautification of the entire city and is an active supporter of community gardening. For many years, Zaida has sponsored local youth sports and pageants with both her time and money. She has helped finance Hispanic cuisine for elders receiving food from the Alpha Omega Food Pantry and continues to push for school improvements in her community. She also helped to establish the non-profit, the North End Community Corporation.
When communities are devastated by natural disasters, Zaida is always ready to lend a helping hands. When Haiti was struck, she organized a fundraiser to provide money, water, and clothes to those affected in partnership with the Red Cross. She recently supported five schools in Puerto Rico with school supplies.
Zaida has been honored with multiple awards including from the Women’s Pipeline for Change, a coalition comprised of progressive women of color leaders, women of color-led organizations and allies from various sectors who support progressive women of color in public leadership.
“Zaida’s passion for building stronger communities for our families is infectious and we have been blessed to have her as an MPU parent leader from the very beginning,” said MPU Founder and CEO Keri Rodrigues. “Her guidance and leadership has been critical to the parent movement we are building and having her as a part of our team is a game changer.”