My name is Joaquín Vázquez and I am running for Congress in California's new 52nd Congressional District. As a working-class, son of Mexican immigrants, born and raised in San Diego, I've witnessed how people have been loosing faith in our government. Our schools, infrastructure, homes, and overall economy keeps decaying, making our region the perfect place for more affluent transplants to move in, while the vulnerable communities of color are displaced. Politicians have been more concerned with listening to the country's elite and their corporate funders than listening to the concerns of our people. You ask what am I gonna do different? I'm not going sellout to corporations. I will listen to constituents and stand up for them, because I cannot bare to see my friends, family, and neighbors continuing to suffer as they struggle to make ends meet. Our founding fathers once claimed that they were building a government of, for, and by the people. It's time we deliver on that promise. As I've campaigned and spoken to people, I've heard what they want, and it is not anything out of the ordinary. They want food, they want a steady roof over their heads, healthcare, and the ability to afford a good living so they can enjoy their families here.
All of this is now nearly impossible as corporations keep getting away with gauging gas prices, raising medication prices, doubling rents, with virtually no one keeping them on check. People want to be able to know that their government has their backs. That the representatives they elected are going to stand up for them.
As I was a child, I overcame family separation after my father was detained and deported. When my mother could no longer afford our apartment, we were evicted and left homeless. Living between our van, hotels, and the garages of friends and family made it hard to get by, and we made the tough choice of moving to Mexico to join my father.
Since then, I came back to become the first and only in my family to go to college, earning my Bachelor's in Political Science and International Relations focused on Economics from U.C. Davis, and after serving in the federal government during the Obama Administration, working on economic and labor policy to uplift working families, I returned to school for my Master of Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.
Knowing first-hand the struggle and pain of the social inequities my community faces, I dedicated my life to helping people, through community organizing, focused on empowering working-class families living in poverty, to working on economic, environmental, and labor policy in Washington, DC. On the international stage, I worked to help refugees and displaced people to resettle and find a home in host countries through the UN Refugee Agency and locally with Border Angles, providing humanitarian aid to migrant families in the San Diego-Tijuana region. During the pandemic, I served struggling tenants and small landlords impacted financially by the pandemic, helping them get the funds they needed to get back on their feet. Through my work I have seen up-close how the system is rigged against us. Today, I am running for us to have a seat at the table and to fight to bring the resources that we have worked so hard to earn. My promise to the constituents in our CA-52 Congressional district is to not take a dime of corporate money, and to boldly fight for the transformative policies that we so urgently need.
San Diego working-class families are desperate and in dire need, and with representatives that don't listen to the people, we have exhausted all our avenues as we attempt to be heard by Vargas so that he can put people over profits. So much that many of us who are deeply involved in civic engagement got together and launched this urgent campaign.
We are fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, closing the migrant concentration camps, abolishing ICE, ending the cash bail system, ending private prisons, criminal justice reform, a Green New Deal, Medicare For All, Housing For All, rent control, Education For All, 100% student debt forgiveness, tuition-free public colleges and universities, universal basic income, fare-free and expanded public transportation, and to streamline our cross-border economy.