I come from a family with deep roots here in the Sonoran Desert. My father was a vaquero from el Rio Sonora. He came to the U.S. as a bracero to work the fields of Arizona and California. I grew up spending my summers working in the fields with my mother, making extra money to help pay for my school clothes.
My first job out of high school was on a ranch with my father in Rio Rico, Arizona. After that, I put myself through college working in warehouses, cafes, and restaurants.
Once I earned my degree from the U of A, I worked as a substitute teacher at schools throughout Tucson’s south and west sides, I was an administrator for our local community media center, and I was the Chief of Staff for Council Member Karin Uhlich.
For the past 25 years, I have also worked as a community organizer, advocating in support of causes such as: training organizers in Brownsville, Texas; promoting local businesses as a co-founding member of the Tucson chapter of Local First Arizona; and by helping to elect progressive local Democrats to office.
I'm extremely active in the Tucson community, serving as a board member on a variety of local non-profit organizations such as the Tucson
Mountains Association, Southwest Center for Economic Integrity and the Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce. In addition, I spent fourteen years as the emcee for Barrio Hollywood’s annual “Fiesta Grande” celebration, and for six years I volunteered as co-emcee of the annual Tucson Rodeo Parade.
I'm currently a business and media consultant, and I support my wife, Maricela, with her event planning business. We're the proud parents of two young sons.