As a lifelong resident of Pacoima, I understand the needs of my community better than any politician. My parents were immigrants from Mexico who settled in Pacoima to create a better life for myself and my seven siblings. Despite their best intentions, growing up in Pacoima wasn’t always easy. Our public schools didn’t have the same resources as schools in more affluent areas. And a lot of other students I knew fell through the cracks. And as a result, they were not set up for success because the system failed them. I knew when I had my sons that I did not want them to experience the same struggles, I saw all around me. And that is why I made a commitment to not just get involved in their education, but to get involved in our community as a whole.
Over ten years ago, I started volunteering with First 5 LA, as a way to ensure that families’ voices were being included in the decision-making process within their communities. I did this in the capacity of a parent representative in the Best Start leadership body. When my boys were in elementary school, I created a mentorship program at Pacoima Charter Elementary, to engage young children in volunteerism. Years later this program still exists today and it continues to help our youth build their confidence and plant the seeds for a lifelong commitment of service to their community. As the Neighborhood Council President of Pacoima, I have been on the ground connecting with and supporting the needs of my community for years. Volunteering at food shelters, at our local public schools, with nonprofit organizations, and with C-PAB (Community Police Advisory Board), has allowed me to build strong relationships and partnerships with the groups who serve our community.
I have also volunteered and worked on several different local campaigns to help the “right candidate” get elected. From school board to City Council to Senate and Assembly elections, I have been involved in every level of local campaigns and elections. After years of disappointing leadership, I feel it is now my time to run for office and represent my community, instead of supporting a candidate who may or may not keep their campaign promises. And I feel now is the time to stop hoping that our local politicians will listen to us and do the right thing, not just for some constituents but for all of the residents in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. This is why I am running LA City Council.