I was born and raised in Gainesville by my Gator parents, who moved to America from Mexico to pursue higher education. I was a baby Gator and then graduated from Alachua County Public Schools including Hidden Oak, Fort Clarke, and Buchholz High School. I was a Santa Fe College student before transferring and finishing my Bachelor’s degree in political science at Flagler College. I served as student body president, getting my first taste of electoral politics.
After graduation I accepted a position working for a law firm in St. Augustine while studying for law school and earning my M.B.A. with St. Leo’s University. After a long season of spending my weekends in the library and working full-time, I decided to forgo my law school offers and decided to move back to Gainesville so I could spend more time with family.
Being back in Gainesville has been a blessing. For about two years I worked my way up to become Director of Sales Operations for a local small business, 21st Century Communications. But politics kept calling me back and in my free time, I volunteered for local campaigns and organizations, including the Alachua County Young Democrats and the Alachua County Emerging Leaders.
I originally decided to run for office because at my core I have faith the rising generations can offer a lot of solutions to our common problems and I hope to help lead that change by building bridges across all generations and all backgrounds. While I knew I was a long shot, I worked hard and knocked every single door in my district. I won on election night, to the surprise of many, and I have been serving as District 3 Commissioner since 2017.
I’m running to lead our city into the future and protect Gainesville’s unique charm. We have a bold aspiration to create the new American City – not by just recycling old ideas, but by inventing new ones. I’m leading the charge to take action on climate change, equity, and community building. I’m a proud sponsor of GRU’s resolution to shifting towards 100% renewable energy and I believe climate change is real and not a partisan talking point. As the only Commissioner to sit on all of our temporary committees (Digital Access, Rental Housing, and Race & Equity), I have worked to assist the most vulnerable in our community. I’m working hard to hold our government accountable to our community – honoring our history while pursuing our future.
I carry tremendous hope for the future of Gainesville. In just 2 years we have built our strategic capacity, enhanced our operational excellence, and significantly upgraded our technology citywide. This triad, if you will, was fueled by a commitment to make Gainesville the most citizen-centered government in the world. In those two years we decided to shore up our critical foundations and address our areas of need before turning our sights on becoming a world-class example of citizen-centered government.
In those two years we are beginning to connect the dots to better leverage local government’s resources with available resources across the community to improve the quality of life of our residents. We have formed strategic and intersecting relationships with community partners. If we continue to be successful, this citizen-centered innovation will serve as a template for working with a broad range of community partners in their respective areas of expertise to enable our guiding principles.
While we cannot know the future, we can help to shape it by the things we invest in today: our people, our assets, and our community. Our future depends on our ability to look forward, past the windshield and see the best route to build and journey on, together with common purpose. I welcome the opportunity to continue working for you to successfully lead the City of Gainesville through its intentional progression to become an iconic new American City.