My humble beginnings began back in rural East Tennessee, where I was born the son of a blue-collar worker. My father was a carpenter and a single father who raised two children. I grew up in an impoverished area and kids like me usually do not make it out of their environment, but my father refused to let his kids be a statistic. He worked non-stop in order to provide his children with the opportunities he never had. My father would always tell me, "work smarter, not harder." He also told me to go out and earn everything I accomplish in life with honesty.
I have kept those words and mentality with me my entire life.
Before I was an honors graduate from the University of Houston-Victoria, I went to a trade school where I was taught how to repair vehicles. I excelled in this, which lead to the beginning of my career with BMW. I remember watching my father and learning that there is nothing wrong with working with your hands. Learning a trade is what brought me out of poverty.
I lived watching the struggles of the working class by watching my father. I know what it is like to be without health insurance, to struggle with paying your rent/mortgage and working long hours for little pay. My father also taught me another important lesson and that was to never look down on someone unless you are helping them up. He was a very accepting person, no matter the person’s race, sexual orientation or skin color. He simply judged them by their character.
Funny thing is that I never thought my father and I had much in common when I was younger, turns out I am exactly like him. I am a believer that the people that have gone through the problems have the best solutions. I look around House District 15 and I see people like my father, of all genders, race and nationalities who just want solutions to the issues that everyday people are facing. Issues such as high cost of housing, healthcare, equality for all, higher wages, etc.
My father passed away due to a condition that could have been prevented with yearly check ups that health insurance could have provided if he could have afforded it. This is a sad reality for a lot of people and it didn't have to be that way. I recall watching the cemetery ground workers lower him in the ground, pile some dirt on him and that was the end of his story. Up until then I had contemplated running for office, but was unsure. This was his last lesson to me " life is too precious and short to waste."
I spent time helping candidates to be who I thought a great candidate should be. What I realized while doing this is that I am the person that I have been waiting for. I am running to be a voice for working families and people. We need people at the state capitol who are not afraid to confront the hard issues everyday people face. We need problem solvers, not bomb throwers and that is why I am running to be the next State Representative of Colorado House District 15 here in Colorado Springs.
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We have a teacher shortage going on all across the state of Colorado. My belief is that teachers are the foundation and if we attempt to build a house with a weak foundation, it will not stand. Teachers need to be paid more and we need to normalize trade schools like we do college. Let's teach children that you can still make a good living as an electrician, plumber, mechanic, etc. I also believe that not all children learn the same and sometimes what works for one child may not work for another. It is paramount that our schools get the proper funding they need to provide a quality education for ALL of our children.
Health care: My father passed away in 2020 due to a condition that could have been prevented with basic health care. I am aware that there is no such thing as "free healthcare" because someone has to pay for it correct? Who is going to foot the bill? Can we do this without increasing taxes on the working class? It is a hard task that a lot of people do not want to approach, but the reality of it is that it has to be addressed. It is a firm belief of mine that healthcare is a right. I don's believe people should be dying if we can help them.
The American dream of homeownership has become the American fantasy for a lot of people. While there are a lot of issues that contribute to this, the one issue that I see is the influx of corporations who are coming to Colorado and buying our homes. We need to start here because homes are for people, not corporations.
Unions have been the voice of the working class for decades. It was because of unions and the power of collective bargaining that the working class was able to obtain higher wages, better working conditions, paid holiday, maternity leave, equal pay legislation, pensions and anti-discrimination laws. Our local labor unions have shown people that it is okay to work with your hands to make a living. I am a living testament to this and fully support union efforts to continue being a voice for the working class.
I have been very fortunate in my lifetime to have never been personally discriminated against for my sexual orientation, but there are many who have been discriminated against. I believe in equality for all and it is because of this I will always stand with the LGBTQ2+ community and fight to make sure their rights are being fought for as well. This includes civil rights and healthcare rights for the Trans community.
In 100 years from now we will all need clean air and water, much like we do today. That is why I will always support pro-environmental legislation. I believe that climate change is a threat, not only to our generation, but to future generations as well. I believe that we need to be investing in infrastructure to make sure our power grid is capable to handle the forms of clean energy that Colorado is transitioning to. We also need to help the workers in the fossil fuel industry to get the training they need to move over to a clean energy job.
As a man, I feel that I do not have a right to tell a woman what to do with their body. As a representative, I will side with ALL women and uphold their right to choose what to do with their bodies.
Fredrick Douglas, Medgar Evers, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. These are just a few people I think of when I think of Civil rights. They dedicated their whole life, and some gave their lives, for equality ,freedom and the right to vote. We have made a lot of progress, but the fight is not over yet. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it is clear that we still have a way to go in this fight. If elected to represent HD-15, progress will continue to be made to ensure life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to all.
Growing up in small town USA, I have come to know a lot of service men and women. I personally believe that if they are going to take care of us and have our backs, then we must have theirs when they need it. I will do my very best to make sure the services that we offer are meeting the needs of these individuals and families. I promise to listen to the needs of our soldiers and attempt to fix what is broken in the system.
Immigrants hold a very special place in my hard. I am married to an immigrant and have seen the struggles and the unfair treatment that they go through here in the United States. I believe that the system is broken and needs an overhaul. I would not have the power to fix this on a national level, but at a state level you can rest assured that I will always stand by immigrants and fight for them when it comes time to vote on laws that would affect them.
Universal Technical Institute
University of Houston-Victoria
Bachelors of Science in Political Science
University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
Masters of Public administration
First annual Juneteenth festival.
Getting people registered to vote!
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