Mo Delgado Helping Shape Atlantic City; Ready For New Challenge

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

ATLANTIC CITY – For nearly 12 years, Moisse “Mo” Delgado has made a name for himself on Atlantic City’s city council as one of its at-large members and now serves as vice president.

The Atlantic City native also made a name for himself speaking for those living on the margins and the voiceless of the city. He is the only Latino on council in a city that’s 25 percent Hispanic. He said now he wants to take his service a step forward and run for mayor.

Delgado said while he won’t make an official announcement until early next year, he doesn’t believe his plans are a big secret.

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Marty Small Sr., who sat on city council with Delgado, just won contest elections this year to fill the remaining return of former Mayor Frank Gilliam. Next year will be for a full four-year term.

“Some senators are saying office in a federal government and they never leave,” Delgado said. “I want to do what I can and mayor and then pass the baton to whoever is training and showing to be a beacon in the community.”

Mo Delgado with wife Nicole. Photo courtesy Mo Delgado Facebook

Delgado has set his priorities while on council. In March, he fought for low-income renters and against the way they have been treated by landlords and apartment operators.

This month, he demanded for more transparency from state officials in regard to its partnership with the city, asking them to respectful of decisions and work of elected city officials.

He said he also recognizes his role as an elder in the community and tries to wield that influence in a positive way.

“My most important [title] is father,” Delgado said. “My second most important one is son. And those are the impetus that pushed my moral understanding and being a husband. I’m also an elder in the community, I’m always teaching responsibility and holding myself to a high standard. Because the minute someone sees [you doing wrong], they think it’s okay. Atlantic City has been overwhelmed with that type of entitlement for so long; that’s been borderline crooked. That’s why we’ve built such a bad reputation because of  those entitlements and illegal activity.

“My life is an open book. I don’t go out and do anything that’s not meant for me. I try to always stick to the law and the rules and try to make them apply.

He said while his language is not always “family friendly” he tries to meet people where they are so he can relate to them effectively.

“So I’m always remembering that I’m a role model,” Delgado said. “I have to always be that. But I’m also the type of person that what you see is what you get. I’m not G-rated. What comes out of my mouth, sometimes is just point blank, but as honest as anybody can say. I grew up in the ‘hood, but I have to be able to communicate with all people to be understood.

“I try to always let them know that no matter what as long as you’re not harming yourself or anybody else, whatever path you take, if it’s something that brings joy to you then it’s a good path, just as long as it’s productive,” Delgado said.

“The New Norm”

Delgado can be heard sharing his point of view outside of council meetings at his regular Internet show “The New Norm,” which is held every Friday at 7:30 p.m. His wife Nicole serves as its executive producer.

Post advertising Mo Delgado’s Internet show “The New Norm.”

“It gives you a home to have an opinion,” Delgado said. “We spend about three-and-a-half hours, sometimes four hours, talking about the different things. I spend the first hours on commentary talking about governmental issues or the vaccine, stimulus, trying to get into the house about the real things about what’s going on.

“Then we talk about critical mass issues like Black Lives Matter, people dealing with the police and real life issues that are affecting people of color. Then I talked about some heartfelt issues. We talk about unity but how we are always separated. Even within the Latino community how sometimes we are tribal. We have to advocate for the truth.”

Mo Delgado behind the mic. Photo courtesy of Mo Delgado Facebook

Delgado, who calls himself a “proud mama’s boy,” learned community organizing and gathering from his mother Ada Delgado, who he called one of the strongest women he knows. He still counts her as one of his greatest influences.

“She was heavily involved in politics when I was young,” Delgado said. “My mother worked in and out of campaigns throughout my youth. She was considered the mayor of our neighborhood just because she just knew everybody. We all basically grew up in one small little territory.

“She never had a really big title but she was always familiar with people. So at times in the holidays, I would see different people in my house and not recognize but later I found out they were like state senators or assemblyman or local officers. There were police officers, lawyers, everything.”

AC’s Full-Time Councilman

Delgado is a full-time councilman but is a social worker by trade. He sent four years at Kean University in Union, N.J. starting in 1989.  

Mo Delgado city council head shot. Photo courtesy of City of Atlantic City

“I spent four years trying to find myself over there and found out that what I was looking for wasn’t necessarily my destiny,” Delgado said. “Maybe I was more into public administration, although it’s helpful now.

Delgado said he worked with at-risk children and at-risk communities for nearly 22 years. He found that worked helped him in politics.

“Working with at-risk kids became the passion that drove me into being a servant for the community,” Delgado said. “It was like a natural progression to get into politics and link the city with what was going on with the youth. After helping out different campaigns here and there, I figured, why not? It’s my time.”

Delgado said he embraces the time he’s put in the local Latino and African American communities and believes his 12 years on city council as an at-large representative has shown his determination to make the lives of everyone in Atlantic City better. It’s one of the reasons he plans to take on Small for mayor next year. He added, though, he wants to path the way for the next generation.

“Some senators are saying office in a federal government and they never leave,” Delgado said. “I want to do what I can and mayor and then pass the baton to whoever is training and showing to be a beacon in the community.”

The Atlantic City native is the former president of the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County and has worked with numerous other grassroot organizations and nonprofits.

Delgado said he feels blessed for his service to his hometown and communities and wants nothing more than to do more.

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