Born at Mercy Hospital, Raised in East County,
Uni High School and Harvard Graduate

Former Teacher, Current Deputy City Attorney,
New Leadership to Renew Our City

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Why I’m Running

To Work Hard, To Tell the Truth, and To Listen to Our Community

Let me tell you about my heroes.

My mom, dad, and older brother each helped drive me 30 minutes in the morning—getting up before the crack of dawn so I could have a chance at a better education. And while they would often let me study on the drive so I could keep up my grades, they just as often told me stories that taught me so much about the faith and family values that I live by every day.

My mom has worked as a secretary at the same business for over 45 years. For decades, she has driven an hour each way and yet she still wants to keep working.

My dad has been an immigration lawyer for over 40 years, running his own business to help thousands of people achieve the American Dream. And still he never missed a single baseball game of mine.

My brother is no longer with us, but his whole life he taught me to be true to myself and to stand up for others—just as he always did for me.

These are my heroes and their example instilled these values in me: to work hard, to tell the truth, and to listen to our community. That’s my promise to you and my vision of how we can make government work in District 7 for all our families.

San Diego is a world-class city, but more and more San Diegans are struggling. They’re struggling to afford to live here, struggling to get home at a reasonable hour, and struggling to see their commitment to education, hard work, and being a good neighbor translate into progress for their families.

We can solve this with new energy, bold ideas, and long-term investments in our people—​working together with honesty and open-mindedness​. I believe the best solutions come from the people who struggle every day. I will meet you at your doorstep to listen to your ideas because my goal is to do what’s best for the people of San Diego. I’m here. I’m ready. I have faith in the people of our great city and, together, we can tackle our greatest challenges with solutions and strategies for today and tomorrow.

Priorities

Your Priorities Are My Priorities

San Diegans work hard; they deserve a government that delivers results now and plans for the future. ​The primary role of any city councilmember is to listen to every voice in the community​ to solve problems, ensure a safer neighborhood, and deliver public services promptly—because your priorities should be the government’s priorities. ​So I’ve done just that.​ Here’s what I’ve heard from countless residents of District 7:

Achieve economic progress by incentivizing investment, lowering rents, and tackling homelessness:

San Diegans want to be able to live in San Diego, and they want to help their fellow citizens get off the streets and back to productive lives. We need to advocate for the creation of a federal economic Opportunity Zone in our district, reduce permit fees on new construction, provide financial incentives for building affordably priced units, and build innovative solutions with wrap-around services as an affordable first step out of homelessness.

Re-pave roads, re-paint streets, re-pour sidewalks, and renew infrastructure to support San Diego’s Climate Action Plan:

District 7’s shared resources have to be addressed—and addressed quickly—to reduce accidents, injuries, and potential fires while alleviating traffic, improving transportation, reducing carbon emissions, and ultimately maintaining the beauty of our neighborhoods.

Equip San Diego to address public safety challenges:

SDPD already has 250 fewer officers than we need, and by 2022, 600 more will be eligible to retire. If we don’t address this now, we’ll be facing a public-safety disaster. We must recruit and incentivize officers to come and stay in SDPD, while making sure that recruitment, training, and community involvement focus on building bridges between law enforcement and our neighborhoods. We must also address gun violence, an issue I have worked on as a prosecutor in the City Attorney’s Office, which is the state leader in obtaining Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs).

Smart planning for the new stadium/SDSU West zone:

SDSU West will be in District 7. We must make sure this project is planned to succeed for the next fifty years by pushing SDSU to prioritize affordable student housing as part of the new campus, an effective traffic and transportation grid, a clean and safe river park, and an affordable sports experience for all San Diegans—all built with labor and wage protections.

My Story

Faith and Family in San Diego

As a great-grandson of immigrants and native-born San Diegan, I am running for City Council in District 7 knowing I have a legacy to live up to, a community to faithfully represent, and major challenges to solve. I graduated from University of San Diego High School in Linda Vista where I learned that the true measure of faith is service to one’s community. Thanks to the support of my teachers and family, I attended Harvard University where I studied government and volunteered for numerous campaigns, including President Obama’s 2008 victory.

Hearing the call to public service, I became a fifth-grade public school teacher in a low-income neighborhood of Las Vegas, Nevada. It was there that I learned that many children weren’t just falling behind in school, but often were coming to school undernourished, from unstable home environments, and with little trust in government institutions. This experience taught me that complex problems require comprehensive solutions to ensure the community and our children have a chance to reach their potential. Inspired by my colleagues and students, I decided to attend Harvard Law School and commit myself to the higher purpose of including everyone in the building of our society.

In 2014, I joined the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles where I worked on complex litigation and investigations of several Fortune 500 companies in the health care, pharmaceutical, and automotive industries. Most gratifying though was my pro bono work on behalf of immigrants and survivors of domestic violence.

In 2016, I moved to Brooklyn and joined Hillary for America National Headquarters to fight for an inclusive and effective government. Though we came up short, ​I returned to California knowing the right place to fight for my values and commit myself to public service was right here at home.

This past year, I began serving our citizens at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, prosecuting all manner of crimes as well as recovering restitution for victims of crime. I see firsthand in our courts the drastic effects of the housing crisis as well as what does and does not work in solving our most pressing challenges.

As a homeowner in Mission Valley along Friars Road, I live just a few minutes from where I went to high school, where I grew up going to Padres games, and where I am a parishioner at the Mission, reading on Sundays at Mass.

Our campaign seeks to rise above what politics is and ​aims to make politics into what it should be​: a process to serve all citizens with honesty, passion, and open-mindedness. ​I humbly ask for your vote​ and your voice as we work together to tackle our greatest challenges with solutions and strategies for today and tomorrow.

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