I have dedicated my life to service and delivering a better future for youth.
Now, I'm running to represent the people of Sacramento's District 3
My story starts with struggle but is imbued with equal parts sacrifice and love.
I was raised by a single dad who always put the needs of his family and his community first. He worked 12 hours a day, nearly every single day of the week, teaching me the value of hard work. Despite working his fingers to the bone, he never failed to be there for me as a dad, coaching my sports teams, attending every parent-teacher conference – even dressing up as Santa Claus at my school, regardless of my objections! Being a single parent didn’t stop him from serving as a mentor to dozens of young people in my community, ensuring they too had the fatherly support they needed to thrive. My father taught me the value of hard work, service and sacrifice. These are lessons I carry with me every day.
Despite not having a mom present for most of my childhood, a group of “neighborhood moms” showered me with the kind of motherly love every child needs and deserves. When I was 17, my dad married a woman who I proudly call my mom. Between her and my father, I learned what true, unconditional love, faith, and kindness are.
When I was 17, I lost a friend to gun violence, which propelled me to a life of service.
I graduated from Valley High School in South Sacramento in 2006. In my school, I was surrounded by ambitious, hard-working, and intelligent young people. Unfortunately, my community was saturated with violence, drugs, unemployment, and hopelessness. This difficult environment did not create the conditions for success, and as a result, most of my classmates ended up in the school-to-prison or poverty pipelines. I was fortunate in that I played football for most of my life, earning me an athletic scholarship that helped pay for my education.
Despite the challenges that were inherent in my community, I was able to thrive because I had a support system of caring adults – an irreplaceable asset that too many kids in my neighborhood didn’t have.
Tired of the continued injustice, I decided to return to my community after college and help improve outcomes for young people.
In 2011, energized and inspired by President Obama’s campaign, I went to work in the California State Capitol as a policy consultant and legislative advisor, working to craft and pass progressive policies that improved the lives of people living in California’s most vulnerable communities. While this work was rewarding, I wanted to give back to my own community and to give others the same opportunities I had.
In 2013, I returned to Valley High School to create a youth focused non-profit dedicated to closing the college opportunity gap: Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT). At IYT, we work to break the school-to-prison pipeline by helping young men of color go to college and succeed. IYT serves close to 3,000 young men of color across Northern and Central California. The success is tremendous and measurable: 99% percent of IYT scholars graduate high school on time, and 82% attend college.
I love our community and my roots in this city are deep. I am a proud graduate of Sac State, where I earned my Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration. My wife Andrea and I are raising our two children here and have them attend public school in South Natomas.
Now I am running for City Council to ensure our future is brighter and filled with opportunity for everyone who calls Sacramento home.
I am running for Sacramento City Council because it’s clear that the kind of change needed to improve the lives of our most vulnerable young people and families can only happen at a local policy level. Like my father taught me, I have dedicated my life to serving others and built my career on addressing some of our community’s most pressing and systemic challenges. My background in public policy and experience as an education nonprofit leader have led me to this decision to continue serving our community on the City Council. You can count on me to never stop fighting for our families and communities to have the safe and thriving future they deserve. I hope I can earn your support.
Candidate for Sacramento City Council, District 3