As a son of undocumented immigrant parents, Joaquín is a first-generation Mexican American, born and raised working-class in San Diego. 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, Joaquín 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 and as a mechanic 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.
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. Joaquín's history serving the community as an organizer is vast, serving individually and in various organizations; most recently at Organizing For Action. He has a multifaceted and experienced career in public policy and government under President Obama's administration,
working on economic, environmental and labor policy.
Why He's Running
As an experienced policy adviser 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
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