I am Julio Cesar Flores the proud son of two wonderful compassionate, hardworking, undocumented college sweethearts who came to Southeast Los Angeles to achieve high ambitions. I was born in East L.A. My parents had blue collar jobs, my dad worked at a carwash 7 days per week and my mother was a waitress and a CNA at convalescent home. Despite both my parents’ holding college degrees in Business Accounting/Management from their home country Mexico, they never frowned upon individuals who sought working class occupations. Early on my parents taught me the importance of hard work, while emphasizing higher education is a doubled edged sword—in theory to uplift our communities or in application—to privatize it.
For most of my life, I was raised by a single mother, in Huntington Park and due to both my mother and my grandmother’s unwavering support and inspiration, I was determined to succeed in my education. During my last two years at community college prior to transferring, I was homeless, living out of my car. But I persevered, and successfully made it to UCLA, where I majored in Sociology.
I am a product of my upbringing in this loving community leading by example to value hard work, family, education, and kindness.
A VIVID MEMORY
When I was 8, I said to my grandmother, (an executive accountant for her state government in Mexico), “I want to have a government job like yours one day,” she responded, “you better be careful because every time there’s a new government, they arrive penniless, with no shoes and leave suited and booted”. My mother and grandmother are my role models and taught me valuable and important life lessons. I can proudly say I was raised by two brave, educated, and tough women who taught me courage, perseverance and to help and care for others.
Despite my mother being a professional in her field, while I was growing up, she worked odd jobs and money was tight. My mother never had a vacation, medical insurance, and was constantly discriminated. We felt the consequences of not having the right to vote, the constant fear of being stopped at a check point, and the statistics stacked against a single mother (becoming homeless) which she successfully managed to prevent.
My entire life, I’ve witnessed elected officials break promises of progress and deceiving our communities of color. Constantly, there has been an onslaught of attacks against individuals whose occupations supports sustain our communities such as teachers, service workers, nurses, truck drivers, mom & pop shops, and more recently commuters who are paying $6 per gallon at the pump while driving 14 per week. Corporate America and Washington’s failed leadership are united and have initiated the undeclared war against the middle class. Homeowners struggled in the pandemic, landlords & tenants in civil disputes about backed rent meanwhile, Congress is spending trillions on funding the Pentagon. We need a representative government that represents everyone not just the billionaires.
As a member of the GREEN PARTY, I am running against the corporate democratic political establishment endangering continuously our global environmental/ecological environment, while roadblocking reparations and national disenfranchisement of voting rights against undocumented people/parents while undermining our registered voters by having primary elections by which Americans pick between the lesser of two evils—FASCISM! We need to put an end to corporate handouts, policies that turn communities against each other, pollution by petrol-industrial companies, medical bankruptcies, high income taxes, out of control gas prices.
As of 2016 I have been an active participant in Southeast L.A. helping families who need the have access to food banks, utility assistance, tutoring, need for laptop or internet, mortgage & rental assistance. Furthermore, when SC AQMD decided to have meetings in the City of Paramount, I engaged with the community explaining to them the levels of contamination and the importance of attending the meeting. Later, in the City of Downey, when the pandemic was at an all-time high, out of my own time, after work hours, I continued working with the people by distributed door hangers with rental assistance information to help residents apply, something the city of Downey never took the initiative to hire canvassers for their own project. The cities have made their rental assistance applications difficult. In addition to this, I supported political candidates who want the best for our community and it’s not easy making sacrifices on top of working 40 hours, my weekly 15-hour commute, working extra 30 hours weekly, family time and self-care. But because I love and care about the people that live here, I make sacrifices to ensure that they can at least have a fighting chance the next day.