Phone: (319) 610-0501
School Board: 2011, 2015
Elected office held and how long in that office: Hudson School Board (2011-2015) & (2015-2019).
Any prior elected positions and held for how long: I ran for Iowa House District 60 in 2014. I did not win but it was a tremendous experience that led to many other opportunities and more confidence locally and statewide.
Why did you run for office? I ran both times because I value the high quality educational opportunities that are available in Hudson, I am proud of our District’s accomplishments over my past four years. The Board has made tough decisions that I supported and resulted in a fiscally sound budget, 99% graduation rate for several years and lowering property taxes for the property owners in our district.
Was your Latino heritage an asset or a detriment to your campaign? At this point in my life I view my heritage as a value added part of who I am and therefore a value added part of my campaign in a predominantly homogeneous community. Often times during discussions I find people are more curious about what they don’t know thus providing an opportunity to break down biases and stereotypes. Our country has been built by immigrants from all over the world, we are the tapestry of our great country.
What advice would you have for an aspiring Latino elected official? I was introduced to the power of civic engagement through Community Action Council for Tulane University Students (CACTUS). Go forth fearlessly and represent all the people, listen to your community, reflect on direct and indirect consequences of your position, be open to change, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t belong at the “table” your voice is as important as anyone else. Never forget where you come from, but moving forward you represent ALL the people in your district or community.
What do you enjoy most about serving in elected office? Listening to the community, being an advocate for the under-served, having a voice at a “table” as a representative for those that have not always had a voice. Opportunity to give back to my community and encourage others to do the same regardless of background.
What surprised you most about being an elected official? That people that I don’t even know recognize me and always have something that they want to express either positive or negative. I have been humbled by the experience and responsibility to represent a broad cross-section of people whether I have something in common with them or not. Learning and accepting that being different can be a good for the community. I am continuously surprised by the generous nature of the people of Iowa in giving of their time, talent and resources just to be heard. All voices matter!