Santiago Rodriquez was born in Puerto Rico. He came to New Jersey as a migrant worker in May of 1969 to work on a farm in Bridgeton NJ. From there he moved to Philadelphia to work in factories. In 1971 he came to live in Trenton, NJ, which has since been his primary residence. Santiago began studying at Mercer County College in 1974 while at the same time working for C.V. Hill Corporation in Trenton NJ. Prior to that he worked for General Electric. In 1980, as a result of losing his job at C.V. Hill, Santiago began the process of relocating to Virginia where he joined the United States Army as an Electronic Technician. While stationed in Germany he completed his BA in Government and Political Science. After his discharged from the Army in 1993, he completed his Masters in Counseling Psychology at Temple University. Santiago then returned to Trenton and worked as a Social Worker for the Mercer County Board of Social Services and then transferred to the Department of Human Services until his retirement.
Through the years Santiago was involved with various non-profit organizations, Board of Directors of United Progress, Trenton Head Start, Puerto Rican Congress, Puerto Rican Parade and various others.
His most recent accomplishment was being elected as first Puerto Rican Councilman of Trenton City Council on May 8th 2018. Although he studied politics, he has always considered himself a Social Worker and Community Activist.