I’m a first-generation Mexican-American who grew up on the border. I was raised in Ciudad Juarez, spent my teenage years in El Paso, and have made Las Cruces my home for the last 15 years. I take pride in my Hispanic heritage and consider the borderland to be one large, interconnected community rich in culture and community. Growing up in Ciudad Juarez, my parents taught me early in life the value of hard work, education, perseverance, and helping others. My mother and father both worked hard to attain their education, put food on the table, and give me and my siblings the opportunities to succeed. I consider them both to be my mentors and personal heroes. I grew up in a bi-national culture and family structure where we spoke Spanish at home, and English at school. With a strong desire to master and understand communication in the English language, I attended New Mexico State University (NMSU) and attained a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Journalism and Public Relations. While at NMSU, I worked as a reporter and editor for the campus newspaper, the Round Up.
After graduation, I joined the staff of the Las Cruces Bulletin as Business Editor. In this capacity, I explored our community and learned of its challenges and opportunities in a much more intimate and personal way than while I was on campus. I engaged local business owners, students, entrepreneurs, community leaders and education leaders to learn more about the business climate in and around Las Cruces. I also wrote a weekly column and highlighted the economic development opportunities in our city. My experience working with small businesses at the Las Cruces Bulletin led to an opportunity to serve as the executive director of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces. In this capacity, I worked directly with Hispanic and non-traditional small business owners to help their businesses grow and prosper through direct service offerings, marketing, and advertising. I held and still have, a strong desire to see Hispanic business leaders succeed. But I grew disenchanted with the politics of the business community, I grew a strong desire to be part of the actual growth of a locally-owned small business, so I joined a California start-up business that recently moved to Las Cruces to help develop and deliver its marketing, communications, and public relations plans. I helped this business, which is still in Las Cruces, grow its customers and revenue significantly. The business has since become a national leader in the home security and electronic monitoring industry.
After my experience in the private sector, I wanted to affect more local change in my community and get involved in social justice and immigration advocacy issues, so I joined the staff of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich to act as his field representative in southern New Mexico. I worked on the issues of immigration, economic development, international trade, poverty, colonies infrastructure, and civil rights, among others. In this capacity, I traveled throughout southwest New Mexico hearing from New Mexicans of all walks of life about the challenges in their communities. I worked closely with the Senator to develop, support, and promote local and regional economic development efforts such as the Santa Teresa Industrial complex, the Si Se Puede small business development campaign, and helped secure federal funding for rural communities in need of critical infrastructure redevelopment. I also helped organize and moderate the Southwest New Mexico Border Security Taskforce, a workgroup of Southwest New Mexico border residents and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies designed to help dispel rumors and provide accurate information about legal and illegal activity on the US-Mexico border. My passion for public policy led me to a career in Washington, D.C., working for First Focus and the First Focus Campaign for Children, bipartisan non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the welfare of children across the United States. In this role, I helped design and develop communications campaigns for the extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the formation of the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, the extension of the federally-funded Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, holding liquid nicotine retailers accountable for selling products to underage children, the passage of child-friendly budgets in the House and Senate, the passage of the Family First Act, and promoting progressive early childhood education and nutrition standards in their respective federal agencies. While at First Focus, I also helped create and launch a 13-state children’s immigration advocacy campaign called My American Story, a multimedia effort designed to raise awareness and encourage support for comprehensive immigration reform and federal policies that keep families together.
Working on the advancement of federal public policy to benefit child welfare in our nation’s capital was a highlight of my career, but ultimately — the call to come back to Las Cruces and serve my community was too strong. Having spent the majority of my adulthood in Las Cruces and seeing a community in need of strong leadership, a powerful voice, and an advocate for the marginalized and underserved, I decided to come back home to serve the community that taught me everything. Today I serve as the southern New Mexico coordinator for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation working to protect our state’s public landscapes, wildlife, habitat, and public access to these spectacular places. Our public lands help unlock the history of our people and our culture. I have a strong passion for working with youth and underserved families outdoors, helping them to experience our living culture and history and develop an appreciation for our common home.
I remain deeply devoted to this community, as well as the welfare and prosperity of its residents, documented and undocumented. As a reflection of the people Las Cruces and of the people of District 3, I will act decisively, strategically, and for the benefit of all — not just the elite few — to move our community forward. Many of our elected leaders today are out of touch with their constituents — they won’t stand up for what’s right and sidestep important issues for the benefit of their own political careers. We cannot afford that. In order to enact true change in our community, we must be bold, and we must act decisively and with a sense of morality, social justice, and common interest. As your District 3 City Councilor, you’ll be able to count on me to make informed, intelligent, forward-thinking, and equitable decisions that help improve the quality of life of this wonderful city we all share and call our home.When I’m not working — I’m hanging out with my fiancee Fatima, a first-generation American, a proud New Mexico State graduate, and a Kindergarten teacher at J. Paul Taylor Academy. Together, we hike, camp, and fish, we run, and we enjoy spending time with each other and with our friends all around Las Cruces and in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Fatima is my backbone, and I couldn’t do this without her.