I was born in Bakersfield, California and in 1984 my father moved us to Salinas so that he could look after his ailing father. When my grandfather passed, our family moved to Lodi where we have lived ever since.
I graduated high school by means of an adult school diploma from Liberty High School in Lodi. It was nothing fancy but it opened the door to the next critical chapter in my life.
My wife Nicole and I were married and at age 17 and shortly thereafter my son was born. Due to some complications during the pregnancy, our premature son spent the first week in an incubator. It was a difficult time for our very young family. My son’s fighting spirit and the enduring support from my wife, was a great inspiration for me to step-up and try to make the best of myself for my new family.
Like many young families, we struggled to make ends meet. I swallowed my pride and did what was necessary to support my family. We depended on food stamps, welfare, and Medi-Cal and I worked several jobs.
While working 10 hours a day, I attended Delta College where I took classes in business and administration of justice, computers, Spanish, and carpentry, which I have to admit has come in really handy over the years.
As I developed my job skills, I was hired at a construction company where I was able to earn enough to end our need for government assistance.
At this new job I took on several projects, worked overtime and took on the same level of responsibility as the owner. I began to offer suggestions on how to expand and make the company run more efficiently and eventually my boss said, “If you could do a better job, then why don’t you start your own company.” This was another major turning point in my life and probably the best advice I had ever received.
So guess what? I created my own construction company for California’s roadways. After years of hard work, I built many successful businesses and created hundreds of California jobs.
The moral support from my family and the desire to do best by them, helped me through some very challenging times in my life. My family has always taught me to be humble, value hard work, manage money wisely, and harness the power of determination to get the job done, while never giving up on yourself – or your family.
Californians are hurting. There are over two million unemployed Californians, and in May of this year over 68,000 additional Californians lost their job. Unemployment is at the highest rate since the Great Depression and yet the Democratic Leadership has yet to explain how tripling the deficit and raising taxes during an economic downturn will get our people back to work.
I am running for Congress because like many Americans, I can no longer stand by the sidelines and see these Washington politicians rob our children from the future they deserve. These politicians have forgotten that they work for the people. They have forgotten about the working and middle class people- the true salt of the earth.
Getting out of our current recession will require adopting a jobs-first approach, while calling for a federal independent commission to review, evaluate, and reform every federal department and government program it funds. Our primary goal should be to foster business growth, especially among small businesses, the backbone of our economy.
We need to put people back to work.
I am not your typical candidate. I don’t have a doctorate degree, my parents did not graduate from some ivy league school, nor were they ever ambassadors to some foreign country. What I do have, I have built and earned on my own.
My family and I have pulled ourselves up from the bootstraps, and we are now living the American Dream. I pride myself on doing what is right and just, because at the end of the day, we all have to face our accomplishment and our failures.
I believe it is time we had someone in Congress who could instill the idea of creating jobs and someone who can bring some common sense to Washington.
That is why I am running for Congress.