I was born on the Southwest side of Chicago, where I was raised by a single mother and grandparents who taught me the value of hard work and honesty and encouraged me to stand up for what I believe in.
I attended St. Camillus School and graduated from St. Laurence High School. Shortly after attending the University of Illinois at Chicago, I was hired by the Mayor's Office of Special Events.
Soon after 9/11 devastated the United States, I signed on as a skycap for Southwest Airlines at Midway Airport. Here, I learned the true value of customer service and the importance it plays in society. I have incorporated and utilized this knowledge during all interactions in my public service as an Alderman.
Like many elected officials, my decision to run for office was spurred by the awareness that something needed to be improved. In 2006, after purchasing my first home in Chicago Lawn, a simple bulk garbage pick-up request to my local Alderman turned into a call-to-serve for me. The way in which I was so easily disregarded fueled my determination to change how the local government treats its taxpayers.
I persisted after my first run for Alderman was unsuccessful, and in 2015, I won the majority in a run-off election to win a seat on the City Council. I was proudly elected the first openly gay Latino to any office in the State of Illinois. In 2019, I was re-elected to continue honorably representing the historic neighborhoods of West Englewood, Gage Park, Brighton Park, and Back of the Yards.
Chicago is at a crossroads. After years of growth and investment, particularly in neighborhoods that I represent, I am finding that the current administration is unwilling to protect and support our future. We must fight back to ensure we protect our families, livelihoods, and future. I intend to do just that.