Joaquín is a first-generation Mexican American, born and raised working-class in San Diego, and is the son of undocumented immigrant parents. He is the first in his family to graduate high school and the only one to graduate college and receive a Master's degree.
As a child, he overcame family separation and homelessness. When his father was detained for several months then permanently deported, Joaquín’s mother could no longer afford their apartment in City Heights. His family lived between their van, hotels and the garages of friends and family before moving to Mexico to join their father.
Joaquín started working at age ten, baking and selling bread out of a basket over his head from dawn to midnight, then worked in construction, as a mechanic and grocery stores to help his family make ends meet. He came back to San Diego as a young teenager to attend Crawford High School, and worked at car washes and restaurants to rent a small room and send money to his family in Mexico before bringing his two younger brothers back to help raise them.
With his parents still living in Mexico, Joaquín worked his way through San Diego City College, eventually earning his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations with a focus on Economics from the University of California at Davis. He also holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration with a focus on Global Economic Policy from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
Joaquín's history serving the community as a community organizer is vast, serving individually and in various organizations; most recently at Organizing For Action, where he helped train dozens of volunteer organizers to help flip the U.S. House of Representatives blue. He has a multifaceted and experienced career in public policy and government in different levels of government and under President Obama's administration,
working on economic, environmental and labor policy.
Why He's Running
As an experienced policy advisor and community organizer, Joaquín is running for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the people of California's 53rd Congressional District in 2020.
After decades of inaction in Washington, DC, he began challenging 10-term Congresswoman Susan Davis who is knee-deep in corporate money.
In a time where we need all hands on deck, politicians have gotten comfortable in their seats, taking millions of dollars from corporations, while catering to special interests first and leaving the middle-and-working-class on the short end of the stick.
Today, more than ever, the issues most pressing to the community are forgotten. Families in marginalized and underserved communities, especially those of color, are struggling to make ends meet. They're having to choose between putting food on the table, or paying for gas; between paying the bills, or washing their children's clothes. All while private military contractors rake in million-dollar contracts fighting the rich man's war, private prison corporations profit off people and the school-to-prison pipeline, and developers displace entire families from their homes, leaving them to fend for themselves while homeless in the streets, living in their cars, under a bridge, or anywhere that they can find a spot to lay down and rest.
Issues & What's At Stake
Everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed. Our nation’s success is built on the founding principles of unlimited opportunity, quality education, commitment to hard work, and the freedom to pursue our dreams. Joaquín Vázquez fights each and every day to ensure that the community is advancing towards meeting these founding principles. Read on to learn about the issues at hand, and what is being done to combat them.
California's 53rd Congressional District
Enter your address here to find your representative.
"Joaquín was my mentor when I was volunteering with Organizing for Action. With his help, we were able to hold a health screening event for those without health insurance. Joaquín stands behind his word; I know he will work hard to improve the lives of Californians and Americans as a whole."
~ Kevin ~
"I support Joaquín because I was with him on the ground organizing and knocking doors before the 2018 midterms. I've seen his passion and values and I believe in him. I know he wants to make positive changes for his community and I know he has the ideas, skills, background, and drive to do it! "
~ Ryan Brown ~
"I endorse Joaquin Vazquez because I can see the passion he has with this campaign. He is very knowledgeable and very much involved in making a change. Very proud of how far he has come and how far he will go. This is only the beginning for him."
~ Alsy Godinez ~
"I proudly endorse Joaquín Vázquez for US House of Representatives CA-53. I have worked with Joaquín as he has diligently campaigned and fought for change. He speaks truth and lives for strong progressive values. He is the best candidate to erase the corporate and special interest influence over California’s 53rd Congressional district. 2020 is the time for real change!"
~ Cheryl Robertson ~
"Speaking from a personal level I can attest to everything Joaquin has pledged to fight for. I've known him for years and understand his sincere commitment for socio economic Justice in our community."
~ Jose Lizarraga ~
"I believe political leaders should be a reflection of the people, circumstances, and potential of those who they represent. For this reason I endorse Joaquin Vazquez. Coming from an immigrant, bicultural community, Joaquin has worked to develop all the educational and professional experience I would like the person who represents me in Congress to have."
~ Zaira Gonzalez ~