City Council At-Large, County Supervisor
My goal is to always bring value to the table; I never had a personal agenda, I just wanted to bring value. I want things to be better than they were before I started. There are some people who have little knowledge of how government affects people but my diversity and background in business has prepared me for that. Your past affects how you base your decisions and you have to remember to be empathetic of everyone. When you are riding with a police officer or a garbage man and listening to them, they will tell you what the problems are. I think of government as a train moving forward and I am the caboose on the end, doing the work and pushing from the back. Title means nothing because you are working on a team and when you approach problems this way, more people want to reach out to you and help you.
Elected office held and how long in that office: Muscatine City Council At-Large, 2015-2019 and Muscatine County Supervisor, 2019-2022
Why did you run for office? I had a goal; I write down everything I want to accomplish for the year. The reason I ran for office was because I knew that I could bring value to my community. At first, I reached out to many council members and they made me feel like I could jump right in and be productive. Once I felt more comfortable and confident, I was able to get over the fear I had. It’s natural to be scared to take that leap of faith but then you realize you are not jumping off of a cliff, you are leaping to another mountain.
What is your favorite thing about the community you serve? The best thing about my community is the people I serve and work with because they are so diverse, generous, and compassionate. We have many different groups of people who are involved in philanthropy, fundraising, and other programs. I coached for 8 years and have enjoyed helping kids and forming connections with the community.
What do you enjoy most about being in elected office? The thing I most enjoy is being a servant and making decisions and developing programs that bring positive change to real people. That is what I enjoyed about teaching welding, manufacturing, and OSHA training at Muscatine Community College. I was able to show them what I had learned and watch them become successful and provide for their family.
What advice would you have for an aspiring Latino elected official? Always look for ways to bring value. It’s hard to put in perspective how decisions affect regular people, but ultimately you represent everyone. Be ready to commit your personal time and be aware that this is a large commitment. The more you put in, the more you get out and people will remember you for that. I never ran on being Latino, I always look to bring value to everyone in my community. But I love my heritage and any judgment I receive from that does not bother me. I’m proud of my culture and my history and I will continue to help everyone. I have to always ask myself, “Is this what is best for everyone I represent?”