I grew up in a small town in Texas to parents of Panamanian, Puerto Rican, and Mexican descent. Until the age of five, I grew up with both parents in relative luxury in Arlington, Texas. However it was a gilded luxury that came from my father, who at the time was a drug dealer and money launderer. This would eventually lead him to prison, severely impacting our relationship and my life. My mother was forced to take me and my younger sister back home to Mineral Wells to raise us with the help of her parents. We went from wanting for nothing to three generations living in a one bedroom apartment. My mother worked multiple jobs in order to support us and eventually found love again. Together with their strength and tireless work ethic, my mother and stepfather got us back on our feet. My stepfather is now a police detective and my mother is a lead tech for an independent school district. The undying love and dedication of my mother, stepfather, and grandparents fostered a strong sense of family values and love for my country.
I faced a great deal of discrimination attending a majority white school. As a Latino, my intelligence was often discounted or outright ignored. I was denied the opportunity to take Advanced Placement and other intellectually stimulating programs. Attending a four year university was never offered as an option by my counselors. I faced two options after high school; join the military or stay in my hometown to attend community college. The patriotism instilled in me compelled me to enlist the military. In order to find the intellectual challenge I had craved my entire life, I pursued a career in the Navy as a nuclear reactor operator.
After two years of brutally intense schooling from the prestigious Naval Nuclear Power School, I was certified by the Department of Energy to operate nuclear reactors for the United States Navy. I served six honorable years, deploying four and a half times in the hostile waters of the Persian Gulf as part of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. It was during this time that I became intimately acquainted with the horrors of war and saw firsthand the loss of life that came as a consequence of my contributions to the war effort. I made a conscious decision then to fight for a world without wars and end the needless loss of life. This desire drives me to this very day.
While stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan as a Second-Class Petty Officer, Electronics Technician Enlisted Rank 5, I fell in love with the city of San Diego. After being honorably discharged, I chose to make San Diego my home and pursue a Political Science degree with an emphasis in American Politics and Philosophy from San Diego State University. This opened the doors to my life as an activist, where I have been focused on helping progressives get elected since my days as the President of the SDSU College Democrats. I would go on to found the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club in 2015 and in 2016 would serve as a national delegate for Bernie for District 53. I have served as a delegate to the California Democratic Party and have been a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee for 5 years. Having noticed the lack of support for progressive candidates, I started a political consulting firm focused on mobilizing progressives and employing San Diegans as professional political workers knocking on doors to win campaigns. I’m proud to say that my work has helped transform the San Diego County Democratic Party. It is an honor to be a progressive leader in San Diego.
San Diego has truly become my home and is where I’ve settled down with my family. It was here that I met my fiancé Chyann through our activism, specifically through our work on the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign. Her son Ryan coming into my life has given me a deep sense of fulfillment and motivates me to create a safe, sustainable, and peaceful world for the generations to come. We live in Mid City with our dog Annie and look forward to a lifetime of happiness together in America’s Finest City.
Having now lived in San Diego for 13 years, I have walked the neighborhoods of San Diego and have heard the concerns of my fellow San Diegans. As a millenial and working class parent struggling to pay rent while suffocating from my student loans, I understand the urgency with which these systemic issues must be addressed and am ready to fight for serious change in San Diego and around the country with meaningful policy. It would be an honor to serve as your representative in Congress.