I am proud to be running on the Forward54 progressive slate as a first-time delegate! I am the second person in my extended family to be born in the United States in Los Angeles to a single mother, herself a refugee from the civil war in El Salvador. I am also the first person in my family to earn a Bachelor's Degree and then a Master's in Education from UCLA Graduate School of Education. Education changed the trajectory of my life so profoundly that I have dedicated my 21-year professional career to urban public schools in Los Angeles. Working in low-income urban public schools serving a majority students of color, I have met many disenfranchised working-class families who are fighting for a better life. My first 12 years I worked tirelessly to close the academic achievement gap, supporting students (like me) to be the first in their families to matriculate at a 4-year university.
My young altruistic self-thought that access to higher education was the panacea. In 2010, I transitioned to the University side of the education pipeline, where I discovered that access to education was merely one lever in this systemic machine that is disenfranchising low-income working-class people. Lack of a available health care, financial capital, and access to the political decision-making system were other barriers to living the elusive middle class American dream.
This is why I have joined the Forward54 slate to push the California Democratic Party towards a more progressive holistic agenda that meets the needs of working-class people. Despite that California has the largest Latinx population in the US we have yet to send a Latinx person to represent us in the Senate. We have the 5th largest economy in the world, yet most Californians are still dependent on for-profit health care companies tied to employment. The CA Democratic party holds super majorities in both houses of the state legislature yet they are inhibiting changes that protect our most vulnerable Californians, most of our elected politicians are beholden to large corporations.
I've been sitting on the sidelines long enough. As a progressive Latino who is no longer struggling to meet basic needs, I have the bandwidth to represent the Latinx population and all other working-class people. I am ready to join FORWARD54's progressive agenda and serve as a Latino voice for so many voiceless working class Latinx people who are still too stressed with meeting those basic needs. Let's continue to move forward, 54th.