I was raised and live in this beautiful city of Pico Rivera. My mom, grandparents, and brother live here as well.
Growing up, I enjoyed the benefits of playing soccer in our local parks, and reading in our local libraries.
My mom, and the teachers at Birney Elementary, Burke Middle and El Rancho High School helped instill a love of reading that persists to this day.
My community involvement started in high school, where the Social Justice Club helped start a volunteer-led recycling program. Before that, the school threw away hundreds of bottles of recyclable bottles each week. It felt good to be volunteering with others for a good cause. I graduated from El Rancho High School in 2008 and went on to study Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. I received my bachelor’s degree in 2012, and my master’s degree in 2013.
During college, I took an internship with the City of Santa Monica. There, I helped manage the GIS system for the Engineering Department, mapping their stormwater projects to prevent pollution and trash from reaching the ocean.
In 2014, I moved to Colorado for a job as a Civil Engineer for the US Forest Service. While there, I gained valuable experience in designing and maintaining infrastructure such as roads and drinking water systems. The mountains and the clear night skies were nice, but I missed my family. So I moved back to Pico Rivera in 2018.
Now, it’s good to be back. Back in a hometown where you can run into old friends at the grocery store. Where you can ride your bike along not just one–but two!–river bike paths. Where you can relax on the front porch or in the backyard on a summer night. And where our youth can grow up to achieve their potential.
But life has also gotten harder for a lot of people. The crisis of extreme housing costs in southern California also affects Pico Rivera. Rents are rising faster than wages, making it hard for families to make ends meet. If you do become homeless, the city has criminalized sleeping in your car, or even having an RV parked overnight. For Pico Rivera to be the kind of welcoming community we need, now is the time to reach out to our neighbors with compassion.
I have loved growing up and living in this city. This campaign is about saying we don’t have to exclude anyone. We all belong here.
Join our campaign for a community that works for everyone. Vote for Diego on November 5!