When people ask me why I’m campaigning for Congress, they like to ask two things: why I’m running, and what experience I have. To me, both answers are related.
Professionally, my experience is simple enough. I am an attorney who has worked in a wide range of fields, all tied to seeking justice for those less fortunate. I served as an elected neighborhood council board member who was privileged to serve the needs of my people. I have investigated corruption, worked on labor cases, defended the most vulnerable parents in Los Angeles County from having their children removed from them in children’s court, and, in my current job as an immigration attorney, defended those whose only “crime” is wanting to be American.
But there’s experience that’s more important to me than bullet points on a resume. For me, the experience that qualifies me to run for Congress—and in fact, is one of the reasons why I’m running—is the life I spent grinding my way to a career, building myself up from scratch here in Los Angeles, despite financial insecurity, home insecurity, job insecurity, and all the anxieties and problems they brought with them.