Who am I?
I am a product of the American Dream who grew up believing All things are possible.
The son of farm laborers, I grew up in a trailer in Coachella, California. From a young age my parents, who did not have a high school education, taught me that hard work and an education were the key to fulfilling the promise of our great country and the American Dream. As a child I aspired to become a doctor and was committed to make my dream a reality. The summer after high school, I went door-to-door asking local businesses to invest in our community by financing my education and made a promise to return home as a doctor. After graduating from UCLA, I went on to Harvard, where I earned my medical doctorate, as well as degrees from the Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Health, becoming the first Latino to earn three graduate degrees from Harvard.
Upon completing my medical training, I fulfilled my promise. I work as an Emergency Medicine doctor at the only non-profit hospital in the Coachella Valley. In addition to my work in the ER, I have sought to create systemic change in the community. To address the physician shortage crisis in my area, I helped set up free clinics and founded a pre-med mentoring program to help more local students become doctors and leaders in their communities.
In addition to improving the district I grew up in, I have sought to be an agent for positive change wherever I can. One week after a horrific earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, I was on the ground leading a team of physicians as the founding director of the Jenkins/Penn Haitian Relief Organization. In recognition of our work, we were awarded the Commanders Award from the U.S. Armys 82nd Airborne, with whom we worked closely to deliver medical care and other aid.
Why am I running?
Through my physician advocacy work in the community I have witnessed a decline of the American Dream. I am running for Congress to serve the people of this great country by helping reduce poverty through increasing jobs with a livable wage, improving education opportunities and improving healthcare access for all Americans. We need to revive the American Dream.
The American people continue to suffer poverty, unemployment and declining education opportunities. They continue to suffer needlessly due to their inability to afford healthcare, lack of health insurance, and their reliance on an overburdened and crumbling healthcare safety net. Congress needs to systematically address these issues by focusing on job-creation, economic stimulus that puts money back in the pockets of American families and educational opportunities for our children, so in the future, we can continue to live up to our reputation of being the birth place of innovation. If we want to save the American Dream we have to ensure all Americans enjoy the fulfillment of their basic rights; right to education, freedom from violence, the opportunity to meet basic needs, and fulfill their dreams.
My first goal is to promote economic recovery over partisan gridlock. My second is to protect the American Dream that allowed the son of farmworkers to become a physician.
For too long, out-of-touch hyper-partisan lawmakers have represented the people of this district. I will continue my listening tours across the district and work with both parties to apply the problem-solving skills I learned as a physician to get things done.
My DFA Values
This legacy campaign is missing this information
My Campaign is People Powered!
This campaign will get people mobilized to vote. We have teenagers working alongside seniors, first responders with farmworkers and business owners with unemployed volunteers. They are all focused on a campaign they believe in. They all know that the stakes for the future of this district and our country are too great. My candidacy has garnered a tremendous amount of support both locally and nationally evidenced by the large amount of grassroots contributions that have come from small donors.