Uniting for America
I was born and raised in San Jose, CA. The son of two school teachers I came from what I describe as the typical middle class family.
I graduated from Leland High School in 1999 and wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do for my career. My focus throughout High School had been on baseball and I hadn’t given anything else much thought. After attending a local community college I decided to move to Phoenix in order to try and establish residency and attend Arizona State University. In-State tuition was about half the cost of Out-of-State tuition for students, so it seemed like the fiscally responsible thing to do.
While in Phoenix in the summer of 2002 I received a call that I’ve always feared, but never expected. My father had cancer. I moved back to San Jose that summer to be with him and the rest of my family. Upon my return home I couldn’t find the determination to get back into the swing of being a student, so I began to work. My father passed away in December of 2003 from a blood clot after a surgery as part of his cancer treatment. Throughout this process with my father I learned a lot about the importance of quality, affordable health care.
After grinding away as the Director of Food & Beverage at a local golf course I decided it was time for a career change. Working 12-14 hour days and every weekend wasn’t something I wanted for my future family. I wanted something with normal hours and that could be a career with the opportunity to grow. A mutual friend had just been promoted to President of a medium sized Union Electrical Contracting company and was looking for younger people to help change the culture of the business. I was hired and quickly moved from Purchasing Coordinator to Assistant Project Manager to Project Manager. At the time the company was in some financial trouble, so the opportunity to become a partial owner came up, for a fee, of course. In the interest of potential future earnings and job security I decided to take that plunge. About 6 months later, the majority owner decided to close the doors. Even though I lost my job and my investment I learned a lot about the inner workings of business and Unions. At the time losing both of those things seemed devastating, but in hindsight the real world experience was immeasurable.
After helping to wind down and close that company the President asked me if I was interested in starting our own shop. I was 25, single and didn’t have many financial obligations at the time so I agreed. We started our new company in the summer of 2006. We opened the doors with the two of us and a single employee, who just happened to be his cousin and a good friend of mine. We worked out of the garage in my house and with no pay for over 6 months. We took whatever work we could, wherever we could get it. We even drove to Texas for a customer to do some small, quick turn-around projects that they couldn’t find anyone else to do. 12 years and lots of grey hair later, I’m the Vice President/Founder of a small business that does $9M a year with 35+ employees that operates in 2 states. Starting your own small business is an exciting, scary, exhausting and rewarding venture.
In my younger days I followed in my parents footsteps and was a down-the-ballot voting democrat. After going through my life experiences I’ve learned that there is a lot to like…and a lot to dislike about the platforms of both of the major parties. I believe I want what most every American wants:
· Equal opportunity for all under the law
· Affordable, quality healthcare
· Protection of the 2nd Amendment, but making common sense gun laws that protect law-abiding gun owners and citizens
· Freedom of the press
· Protecting the environment and combating Global Warming and Climate Change
· A strong military
· Eliminating gerrymandering to ensure people get to pick their representatives, not politicians
· A V/A that takes care of the patriots that took care of us
· A balanced budget and paying down the National Debt
· A functioning government
All of these things are not just possible, but probable if we can get our elected representatives to worry more about the people and less about placating donors and maintaining their power in the current structure. It’s time to put the business of partisan politics in the past and elect people to represent their constituents.