About

MEET JOAQUÍN

Joaquín Vázquez, an experienced policy advisor and community organizer, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the people of California's 53rd Congressional District (CA-53) in 2020. 

Joaquín was born and raised in San Diego, the son of undocumented working-class immigrant parents. As a first-generation Mexican American, he was 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. Their family lived between their van and the garages of friends and family before moving to Mexico to join their father. Joaquín started working at age ten selling bread out of a basket 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 and worked at car washes to pay for rent for a small room, attend Crawford High School in El Cerrito, and raise his two younger brothers. Joaquín worked his way through San Diego City College, eventually finishing his junior and senior year at U.C. Davis where he majored in political science. 

WHY HE'S RUNNING

Joaquín knew he wanted to change the way things worked in America to lift up his community because he experienced first-hand many of the challenges that community members still face today— including struggling to pay rent and afford a home, difficulties accessing quality and affordable education, and unfair immigration policies that tear families apart.  While in school in San Diego, Joaquín got involved in community activism focused on civil and human rights, public education, economic inequality, environment, immigration, and refugees, and he volunteered for Obama’s presidential campaigns. At the end of college, Joaquín studied and worked in Geneva with the U.N. and World Trade Organization where he concentrated on global inequality and economic growth policies. He then moved to Washington, D.C. to work in international trade policy for the Obama administration and in the private sector, returning frequently to San Diego to see his family and organize. Joaquín went on to receive a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern and continued his community activism with the nonprofit Organizing for Action where he managed fellows and supported progressive candidates and policies in San Diego, Chicago, and the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Joaquín is equipped with exceptional personal and professional experience and is the best person to fight for everyone in our District so that we can ALL make it. He understands the needs and issues that affect District residents and he is an active member of the community fighting for progressive change. Joaquín is using the strong work ethic that he developed at a young age to fight inequality and stand up for the disadvantaged and underrepresented communities that are home to our families, friends, and loved ones. As someone who endured and overcame numerous difficulties caused by ineffective and unfair policies, Joaquín will bring this same persistence to fight for bold policy change in Washington for all CA-53 residents.

PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST

Joaquín is putting people over profits and standing up against powerful corporate interests, starting by taking zero corporate or corporate PAC campaign donations. This is a movement funded by the people, not corporations or wealthy individuals. As your congressperson, Joaquín will work for the people, not for himself or special interest groups. As we fight to get money out of politics, your support and donations are essential to growing our grassroots movement.

By electing Joaquín, CA-53 residents will finally have the progressive representation they deserve and desperately need in Washington, D.C. Joaquín will bring much needed change to the District; he will lift everyone up and fight for economic, environmental, racial, and criminal justice by Putting People First!