Dave Rogers, Jack CooperRep. Rogers, Jack Cooper.

State Rep. Dave Rogers has nominated John "Jack" Cooper of Arlington for the 2023 Black Excellence on the Hill Award.

The award recognizes black community leaders who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improve their communities and the Commonwealth.

To celebrate, he joined Jack, the other nominees from across the state and House colleagues from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus in a ceremony at the State House. In a news release, Rogers expressed his admiration for Cooper’s work: “His tireless dedication to improving the lives of all people, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status, is an inspiration to us all. I congratulate him." 

'Tireless commitment'

Cooper has committed much of his life to protecting and uplifting communities in need. From 1985 through 2022, he served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants. During this time, he worked with grass-roots housing organizations, public housing resident councils, government agencies and nonprofits in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., developing effective public and affordable-housing policies and supportive services. 

In addition to these roles, Cooper has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rulemaking Committee and HUD’s Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QWHRA) training team. The QHWRA team trained more than 5,000 public and assisted housing residents and managers on the 1998 QHWRA housing law, helping to ensure these bodies could properly serve and assist families in need. He also served as a board member of Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), New England’s largest research, planning, and advocacy group for affordable housing. 

He has received various service awards throughout his career, including the 2007 District of Columbia Housing Authority Visionary Award, the 2004 National Organization of Afro-Americans in Housing Excellence Award and the 2003 Martin Luther King Community Service Award.

“His empathy, wit and tireless commitment to his work exemplifies the spirit of black excellence and show why he is so deserving of this award. Arlington is lucky to have such a dedicated public servant,” Rogers said.

Cooper continues to make a positive local impact as a board member of the Housing Corporation of Arlington.

This news announcement was published Sunday, April 23, 2023, based on information provided by George Armstrong, legislative aide