My life leading up to now…
I became homeless at about the age of 16. I discovered that Del Taco dumpsters were a more reliable source of food than the food drive pantries in my hometown. It was becoming a union carpenter that gave me the resources and the opportunity to overcome my circumstances and get off the streets. I moved to Colorado in November of 2008, got my GED in December, and started my Bachelor's degree in January of 2009. I am now finishing up my Master's degree at UCD. I worked numerous full-time and part-time jobs to make ends meet while going to school, eventually becoming an armed security guard. I quickly became part of the management team, overseeing 135 security guards.
fighting for our working community
After a couple of years in management, our security service contract was renegotiated and some new provisions were put in by the client. Part of my job was making sure that our company was upholding their end of the contract. I discovered that we weren't. In fact, I discovered that we were stealing from our own employees. I brought this information to my upper management, and they told me to mind my own business. So I stepped down. And I unionized the workers. After 2 years of negotiations, we were finally able to win nearly $50,000 in back-pay for stolen paid time off alone. I was fired 6 days later.
But that didn't slow me down, it charged me up. I started my own small business right here in Englewood, my favorite place in all of Colorado. I went from union organizing to working in the political field, where I have championed workers' rights, apprenticeship utilization, fair and prevailing wages, and best value contracting with both candidates and electeds at the state capitol. And in the last couple of years I have turned my attention to Englewood, my home.