I first became a father when I was seventeen years old. To provide for my family, I joined the United States Marine Corp and quickly learned that I would be gaining much more than a paycheck. In the military I not only learned about honor, courage, and commitment but also lessons about leadership and service which established a sound foundation for years to come.
After four years of active service, I entered the inactive portion of my contract – I enrolled in school and took a retail job as an attempt to get by. It was then that I learned what it felt like to give maximum effort for minimum wage. I quickly saw that my experience serving and my aptitude for leadership opened doors in the retail industry. After several promotions, I found myself in a position of influence. Since then, I've enjoyed opportunities to teach, mentor and guide employees in different capacities and at various levels.
While building my career, I also remained committed to raising my family and serving my community. I have three children, two Dobermans, and a cat. My wife, Jodi, has a level of tenacity matches my own. Together we signed up for a 5k fun run for the United Way, where I discovered my love for running. I've done work for several groups that are meaningful to me including my son's PTA, Capo for the Timbers Army, volunteer for the Washington Trails Association, and most recently a relentless volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign.
As a New York resident during the 9/11 attacks, Bernie Sanders was a prominent figure in local news media. As a Marine reservist, I heard Bernie’s opposition to a new war loudly and clearly. Years later after moving to Washington, Sanders’ Presidential campaign drew me in. I started small, canvassing my home precinct with my 12 year old son and collecting surrogate affidavit forms. When Bernie visited Vancouver Jodi camped out overnight to save us a spot, but when the need for volunteers arose I raised my hand and I raised my voice. I set up the Portland campaign office, emceeing the grand opening and acting as Art Director. When Bernie came to Portland for the second Moda rally, I recruited my friends, family and neighbors to take on leadership roles within the campaign. I didn’t hesitate to take on the challenge and together we coordinated over 400 volunteers and led a successful event.
In all that I do, I act with urgency and purpose. I started jogging with my wife and then finished the New York Marathon. I started as a part time sales associate and have managed thousands of employees. I started canvassing my neighborhood and ended up leading a rally with 20,000 attendees. Now, I have chosen to make a positive impact in my community by representing the 17th LD in Olympia, and together we can continue the momentum. I ask you to stand with me, so that we ensure that our voice is never separated from our vote.