PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) — Danilo Burgos represents a first in Pennsylvania’s history.

“First Dominican elected to the State House in the State of PA, it means a lot.  I still remember my grandfather was crying the night I was elected,” said Burgos.

Burgos, a first-generation Dominican-American, was born in Washington Heights in Philadelphia. His mother and father met at a factory in New York just outside of Manhattan.

Burgos went into the family business after he graduated high school.

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“I actually opened my first grocery store while in my senior year in south Philly. Stayed in the business until I was, I think 30. I was always involved in politics,” said Burgos.

Burgos worked through a faith-based organization, the “East Pennsylvania Organizing Project, and from there we started the Philadelphia Grocers Association,” Burgos added.

Burgos shared his personal connection with the issues he faced. “At the time there were five murders of business owners that the community had not received any information about. One of them being my uncle. As a result of us organizing as a community we were able to assist with other issues in the city and get closure for at least two of the murders that had happened.”

Burgos volunteered for political campaigns frequently. “I did countless campaigns from presidential to the very important ones which are municipal campaigns. Getting our city council members elected and local, state officials at the time.”

So what made Burgos decide to run for office in the 197th district?

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“One of the hardest working communities in the state, but was also one of the most gerrymandered districts and there was a huge disconnect between there state representation and the community and I’m working to close that gap and just provide information for my community,” said Burgos.

Burgos shared his thoughts during Hispanic Heritage Month. “It’s just the American dream. It’s also being able to highlight the importance and contribution that Latinos do throughout the state and the country. You need to be the change you want to see in your community. Whether you’re African American, Latino, white, whatever. As a Philadelphian, I always strive to live for the best of myself and the community and for our city, and for our state,” Burgos concluded.