Interview with Councilwoman Olga Negrón



Interview with Councilwoman Olga Negrón


Janine Carambot Santoro


Olga Negrón



Location of interview

Residence of Olga Negrón


Olga Negrón was born and raised in Naranjito, Puerto Rico and had her first child there. Throughout her childhood, Olga admired the military uniform which evolved into a desire to serve. Her father has not in favor of this idea since he had already allowed two children to serve in the military and instead motivated her to focus on going to college. This dream came true when she enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico and pursued her passion for sewing. Olga mentions the rise of the macheteros and independistas in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico as being a variable to her reluctance to excel at learning the English language, but eventually left Puerto Rico to go to Tallahassee, Florida. It was a difficult time for her because of her lack of proficiency in the English language combined with the norm of segregation, but she persisted. She later moved to Austin, Texas and eventually found her way to the relatively colder climate of the Lehigh Valley, where she worked as a seamstress.

She was invested in the church community which she describes as being an embodiment of the melting pot aspiration, exemplified by masses for English, Spanish, and Portuguese speakers. She became a community organizer for CUNA, which was based on the Pacific Institute for Community Organizing (PICO) model and has made her successful at engaging the community.

Olga relays her experience as not being taken seriously as a member of the Bethlehem City Council and her experiences working for a radio station and a law firm. This law firm gave her the flexibility as an employee to work as a Councilwoman, an interpreter, and a well-respected, trusted community liaison.


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