I'M ALL IN
Everyone in East and Northeast L.A. has a story to tell about why we love our community. I was born here in Boyle Heights and have spent my entire adult life building it up. As a public-school teacher, student counselor, social worker, small business-owner, community volunteer, and mother, I know that we deserve nothing less than the most ambitious, service-driven representative in city council. That’s why I’m running.
Right now, I’m a social worker in local foster homes and a student counselor in LAUSD because I believe our kids deserve advocates and opportunities more than anyone. I also know that we never stop learning, which is why I have been an English teacher for adults across Los Angeles as part of the LAUSD adult education program. Our programs at the East L.A. Skills Center, Wilson High School and Roosevelt High School served hundreds of members in our community.
Since I was seven, I followed my Abuelo (Grandfather) around and worked alongside him. I watched him feed his friends and neighbors. And that’s what I do at my restaurant in Boyle Heights, Zamora Brothers—build community. It’s also one of the reasons I volunteer so often. I volunteered on the L.A. City Community and Family Services Commission, and served as a board member of the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA in Boyle Heights.
I helped organize turkey giveaways, toy drives around the holidays, backpack drives for local students right before school semester begins, and once did a “Dorm Drive” to provide supplies for first generation college students. But in all of this, my most important job has been raising my daughter, Valentina.
I earned my Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree from USC, and graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, but never would have gotten there if it weren’t for San Antonio de Padua Elementary School in Boyle Heights, where it all began.
We all have our stories but they all take place right here. We work more than one job, keep our kids safe and support each other every day. Together, we can do more. I hope you’ll join me.
Saludos – Raquel