Ricardo was born in West Covina, California, to a Mexican immigrant mother and Mexican-American father based in El Monte, California. But his life changed when his dad passed away of cancer when he was one year old, taking Ricardo to live in Mexico.
In his early teen years, Ricardo moved back to San Gabriel Valley to live with his paternal grandparents in La Puente, California. Ricardo’s immigrant, working-class grandparents have lived in La Puente since the 1980s when they moved from Los Angeles City. Ricardo grew up with his grandparents in La Puente, a city that gave him the tools necessary to graduate from Workman Elementary, Sierra Vista Middle School, and La Puente High School. He became the first in his family to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of California, Davis, and pursue a career in public service in the United States Congress, working in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.
Ricardo went on to work as a congressional staffer at the House Foreign Affairs Committee to help steer foreign policy to Latin America and the Caribbean in the right direction — many from Latin America continue to flee their homelands because of corruption, poverty, and violence. But his experience in Congress and the COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted Ricardo. Watching his community affected by the pandemic and an unresponsive city council, he decided to organize with local community members to establish La Puente Mutual Aid (LPMA). LPMA is a grassroots organization inspired by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and the work of mutual aid groups by the campaign of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.
La Puente Mutual Aid has made strides in uplifting the voices of marginalized communities in La Puente and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Valinda, West Puente Valley, Avocado Heights, Bassett, and Hacienda Heights. LPMA has pushed the boundaries of what we can do for each other as a community when governments, from city council to the federal government, are not stepping up to fulfill the basic needs of our people. Ricardo is now running for La Puente City Council to bring bold leadership and fight for our communities in local government.