I grew up in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., in a home with a struggling single mom. I started work at 13 picking strawberries, then working in restaurants, and worked and borrowed my way through Southern Oregon University, the first in my family. I spent a year at the Universidad de Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico, and I speak Spanish fluently.
After editing my college newspaper as a graduate student, I worked at newspapers in Oregon for seven years before returning to Lewis and Clark College for a MAT. I became a teacher and taught about 17 years in Oregon and Washington.
I have always been involved in my union and social justice issues. After getting some training through the National Education Association, in 2009 I came to work for the California Teachers Association, based at the Santa Maria Office, where I work with teachers and classified staff in 13 union chapters in the northern Santa Barbara County area. My wife, Enid, and I have two children, a son who graduated in physics in 2019 and a daughter who graduated in nursing in 2020.
My volunteer efforts have included helping as a mentor for the Fund for Santa Barbara’s Youth Making Change program for several years, and I was appointed to the FSB Board in 2020.