I never imagined myself running for office.
But then I heard the call.
Let’s start from the beginning: I’m a second generation American whose father is from Puerto Rico and mother from Chihuahua, Mexico. I spent my childhood in El Paso, TX as a violinist and playing in the sand of the Chihuahuan desert.
Then, after attending Texas Tech University, I moved to our beautiful Pacific Northwest and attended Oregon State University. One of my unique experiences early in my professional career was fighting wildfires in Southern Oregon.
But as I moved on from fighting fires, I found myself protecting and conserving our land, water, fish and wildlife in the USDA Forest Service. In 2000, I found myself laying my family’s roots right here in Vancouver, and volunteering my time as a community advocate.
By 2006, I was applying my professional skills working in public service to build and lead the development of my neighborhood’s action plan in East Old Evergreen Highway (Columbia River) Neighborhood Association.
Since then, my commitment to our community has only grown. As I became more involved I saw more opportunities to apply the experience and skills I have to keep making a difference in my community. I founded our area’s local council of League of United Latin American Citizens because members of our community needed support. The more I got involved, I started noticing even more issues like our housing affordability crisis.
Through my community work, I realized the impact of these issues was being felt everywhere, not just in one community or in one part of town. Vancouver was, and is, facing an uphill battle as a whole.
Which brings me to today. After decades of working for the public and volunteering my time in bringing together communities, and asking tougher questions and becoming bolder — I realized I had to step up for ALL of the people in Vancouver. When people need something done they come to me. And that’s why I heeded the call of my community. To run for office. For the people.
My leadership has been recognized in the following ways:
- Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve as a Commissioner for Washington State Parks and Recreation. Currently serving with six other volunteer commissioners in providing policy direction for the agency.
- Featured in “Founding Mothers: Portraits of Progress” Clark County Historical Museum.
- Honored with Dr. Anita Del Rio Award for Latina Leadership and Women’s Advocacy from the National President of League of United Latin American Citizens.
- Appointed by former Mayor of Vancouver Tim Leavitt to serve on Stronger Vancouver, to make certain our tax codes are in alignment with the values of our city.
- Recipient of YWCA Clark County Val Joshua Racial Justice Award.
- Nominee for Washington State University Vancouver’s ‘Distinguished Woman of the Year’.
- Awarded the Upstream Award by Hope Heart Institute for volunteer work to advance policy, education, services and community awareness regarding heart-healthy lifestyles.