Editor’s Note: To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Kern Sol News is highlighting notable Hispanic leaders in Kern County who are working to create positive change in their community.
Bryan Osorio grew up wanting to give back to the community and since his election as the current mayor of Delano he has been able to devote himself to this cause.
“I was appointed mayor but I ran for city council in 2018. In college, I thought of myself working for a government agency or at a nonprofit – something related to public service. Today, I do both. I work at the Community Water Center and serve as a council member,” said Osorio.
Osorio grew up playing baseball in Delano’s Little League and Babe Ruth League. He was
involved with math competitions in middle school, key club, and mock trial in high school. During his high school years, he worked in flea markets and swap meets in Earlimart, Richgrove, and Porterville. He also worked at KFC before going to college.
Osorio went to the University of California Berkeley and double majored in Political Science and Cognitive Science. He then continued his education at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy.
As the first in his family to graduate from high school and then the first to graduate from college, there were many barriers to work through to understand how to enter and succeed in higher education — given the costs and workload. Growing up as a son of Mexican immigrants also gave him the experience that many first-generation families undergo and that played a big role in his wanting to be mayor.
“When I was elected as a city council member, I was completely shocked. I won the most
votes in my race, at the age of 22. I was so humbled by the trust of the community and extremely grateful for my young team and base of support,” said Osorio. “When I was first elected as mayor, I felt incredibly proud to serve my community in this capacity. I imagine my parents were proud, but they are just so supportive that I make them proud by just being their son.”
For Osorio, Hispanic Heritage month is very important as he is Hispanic. He said he feels proud to represent his community and hopes they are just as proud.
“Hispanic Heritage month means a time when we can acknowledge all accomplishments of our Hispanic/ Latino community. I love seeing all the highlights on different platforms,” said Osorio.
When he became the mayor of Delano, he committed himself to three things: investing in water infrastructure, advocating for marginalized communities, and supporting the youth.
“I believe I help the community by prioritizing equity in decision-making, a policy style of
decision-making that is tough to implement,” said Osorio. “My slogan — a new voice. I wanted to bring a new voice with a new vision. And we have definitely been having conversations that we wouldn’t have otherwise considered: a homeless shelter, rent control, eviction protection, utility fee waivers, and more.”
As the mayor, he hopes he can instill hope and trust in the government throughout his term. Osorio said it is due to years of neglect and lack of communication that many of the residents don’t trust the government, whether it’s Delano or any other level of government.
“I can do this by being there for folks and being present on issues that matter. It has given me the opportunity to meet more people than I would have otherwise met, and it has given me professional development to tackle issues in a constructive way,” said Osorio.