I am a father, husband, Navy combat veteran, Latino, and a resident of Central Park for over two decades. I had the distinguished honor of serving this great nation for 22 years.
When my military service ended, I continued to serve my community. I became the President of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety Colorado chapter, a gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
I testified in favor of common sense gun safety laws at the Colorado State Capitol and the U.S. Congress. I stood up to corrupt politicians who would rather engage in partisan politics than save lives.
I was fortunate to grow up in a nurturing home environment that instilled positive values, inclusivity, and a robust work ethic. Born to Puerto Rican parents, my older sister, brother, and I were raised in a Spanish-speaking household, filled with love, respect, and encouragement.
My father, an Air Force veteran of 27 years, served our country with honor and commitment. Following his military service, he retired as an engineer from the Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility in Colorado. My mother, a devoted homemaker, invested her time and energy in raising us, offering a constant stream of love, guidance, and nurturing.
While I was born in Riverside, California, my father's military career offered us the opportunity to live in Italy from the age of 2 until I was 10. This unique experience broadened my perspective, immersing me in diverse cultures and different ways of thinking. Eventually, we settled in Aurora, Colorado, where I attended and graduated from Rangeview High School.
I entered the United States Navy, through the delayed entry program, at age 17 as a Combat Hospital Corpsman (Medic). During my active duty service, I served with the First Marine Division, providing medical support for USMC airborne operations. Additionally, I served in the US Navy Reserve, specifically supporting Naval Special Warfare Units. I acquired qualifications as a Naval Parachutist, Navy Diver, and expert marksman. As part of the Marine Division's mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I deployed to Iraq in March 2003. After 22 years of honorable service as a 1st class petty officer, I retired from the military.
I am fortunate to have a loving and supportive family. For the past 22 years, my wife Sara and I have raised three wonderful boys right here in Central Park. Our boys have attended both Charter and Traditional Denver Public Schools.
Sara, originally from central Nebraska, was raised on the family ranch, where they continue to raise cattle and livestock while cultivating crops such as Corn, Alfalfa, and Soybeans. Her Midwestern upbringing deeply ingrained in her the core values of hard work and unwavering commitment. As her journey unfolded, she ventured into a new endeavor as a co-founder of Happy Cakes Bakeshop, a small woman-owned business in Denver. Over the course of 12 years, their unwavering dedication propelled the business to new heights, transforming it into a thriving enterprise that not only contributed to the local economy but also nurtured a profound sense of community.
EARLY COMMITMENT TO SAFER NEIGHBORHOODS
Recognizing the importance of community collaboration, I founded the Central Park community watch page and became a volunteer with the Denver Police Department Volunteers in Police Service. Through these initiatives, I have closely worked with law enforcement to establish a neighborhood watch program in Central Park. Additionally, we implemented the "text a tip" program, enabling community members to report non-violent crimes and provide valuable information to law enforcement. By fostering unity, empowering residents, and strengthening the partnership between residents and the police, we have made significant strides in creating a safer environment for our community.
As a firm believer in lifelong learning, I recognize the importance of investing in our children and communities to ensure inclusive education for all. Currently, I am pursuing a Master's in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Technology from Colorado State University. This academic pursuit reflects my commitment to staying updated with the latest knowledge and skills in the field.
I have previously obtained a bachelor's degree in project management, which provided me with a solid foundation in managing and executing projects effectively. This educational background has equipped me with valuable skills such as strategic planning, organizational leadership, and efficient resource allocation.
ADVOCACY FOR GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
As a gun owner and hunter who strongly believes in the second amendment, my advocacy efforts over the past five years have been dedicated to gun violence prevention. With unwavering passion, I have tirelessly worked towards promoting sensible gun legislation at the state level, actively contributing to the inception and passing of numerous bills in our State Legislature. Additionally, I have had the privilege of testifying before Congress multiple times, urging our federal government to address pressing issues such as gun violence and veterans' suicide. These experiences have only solidified my conviction in the necessity of comprehensive and rational gun legislation. I firmly believe that implementing evidence-based policies and measures is crucial in safeguarding our communities and ensuring the safety of our residents.
In the healthcare sector, I served others as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Respiratory Therapist. Recognizing the importance of labor unions and collective bargaining, my role as a union steward within UFCW Local 7 allowed me to actively advocate for workers' rights and contribute to successful unionization efforts. This experience fostered a deep appreciation for the protection and benefits that unions offer to workers.
Currently, I hold the position of Senior IT Manager at Cigna health insurance company. My 15-year tenure at Cigna reflects my commitment, expertise, and adaptability in the dynamic field of IT management. My dual expertise in healthcare and technology equips me with a comprehensive understanding of the intricate challenges faced by businesses in today's rapidly evolving landscape.