My mother has always been my inspiration. While pregnant with me, she left her hometown of Mexicali en route to Los Angeles. Though she yearned for home and thought she would one day return, my mother stayed to ensure she could give me and my sister a better future. It wasn’t easy, though, as a single mother working multiple low-paying jobs, constantly moving between garages and backrooms. We eventually settled in El Sereno where I became familiar with the streets of Eastside Los Angeles. My mother always worked hard and taught us the importance of community, remaining optimistic through thick and thin.
My mother is like many Angelenos—hard-working, committed to providing for her family and making her community a better place. After speaking with her and other Angelenos like her about the upcoming Mayoral elections in 2013, I got the sense that there was a void in the field of candidates. Angelenos need a candidate who inspires hope and optimism, just like my mother has always inspired in me. We need a mayor whose focus is creating jobs. We need someone who understands what it’s like to grow up in some of the most underserved communities, while being able to advocate clearly for smart market-based economic policies. We need someone who understands first-hand the pressures faced by students in LA public schools. We need a mayor who will explore new approaches to building learning environments and personally reach out to our youth—our future. We need a mayor who won’t blindly spend our money fixing problems, but will strategize with the community to provide essential city services in a financially sustainable way. And we need an innovative mayor who’s knowledgeable about the latest and greatest methods and technology.
That’s why I decided to run—to inspire and reenergize LA, just like my mother has always done for me. With my campaign—a grassroots effort relying on volunteers rather than dollars or special interests—I’m going to go talk to every neighborhood in the city. Not just to sell my vision, but to listen and learn. That’s what public service is about—real, passionate leadership from the heart. I am here to represent those voices asking for integrity, hard work, and fair representation of all Angelenos. Let’s reenergize LA and make history as we build for a better tomorrow.