Putting My Experience
My lived experiences as a Latino that was raised by a working class, very-low income migrant family exemplifies the mantra of “Yes, We Can, Sí Se Puede”. Born in Anaheim and raised in Santa Ana, California, the housing market of Orange County was expensive to a point where we were gentrified out of the poor neighborhoods of Santa Ana, moving into the suburbs of Moreno Valley, a predominantly Black and Latino small town in Riverside County.
Throughout my times in Riverside County, I attended community college and studied Political Science, and got involved through several political endeavors, such as the Bernie Sanders Campaign in 2016 and the Emerging Leaders Council of the City of Moreno Valley. I also had leadership experience as a high school student (Class of 2015), serving as an AVID undergraduate student body president in my Freshman year in high school. As a Latino youth, I always knew that local political engagement was vital to the preservation of our ecology and democracy.
Graduating community college in 2018 with an Associate’s in Humanities, I transferred into UC Santa Cruz. During my times in UC Santa Cruz, I was a co-founder of the NAACP at UCSC local chapter, and served as a Chair of Political Action, where I seeked to expand local political engagement with UCSC students and Santa Cruz youth that were of Black, Indiginous, Latinx, and P.O.C identity through civic engagement, direct actions with community, and research efforts in local policies.
I served as a student community organizer with AFSCME-3299, where I organized with service and patent workers in the University of California, educated folks in the importance of worker solidarity and unionization, and represented marginalized workers through grievance cases, protests, and lobbying efforts. I graduated UC Santa Cruz with the Class of 2021 as a first-generation Latino student.
I currently serve as a sitting member of the Circle on Anti-Racism, Economic, and Social Justice, where we consult with county officials in the Public Health Department and apply a racial equity lens to policy-making in the County. I also am a tenant and also work a second job as a service worker, in order to be a part of the beautiful community that is Santa Cruz.
I understand the importance of secure housing, childcare, and workable options for education and healthcare. These experiences help to inspire my belief in advocacy that encourages local political engagement for tenants, homeowners, and the unhoused. We have to translate community power into political power, and we can only do that through collective support.
We also need to diversify the City Council, in not only ethnicity, but in values, so we can create a Santa Cruz that is inclusive of every community. There is a housing and houselessness crisis and a climate emergency that we must address, and through community, we can work together to find solutions to these problems. In our economic development, we must make Santa Cruz a union city, and we can do this through active collaboration. I know that as a city, we can do a better job at creating policies and organizations to bring these solutions within our reach. I would be humbled and honored to receive your support, and would love to actively engage and collaborate with you in the election cycle and beyond.