Latino Giant: Antonio Valdovinos

Born in Colima, Mexico my parents brought me to the United States at the age of two. I grew up in  Phoenix AZ unknowingly undocumented with a plan of serve in the U.S Marine Corps. As soon as I turned 18 I went to enlist but was  turned away because I was undocumented or as many people refer to as a Dreamer. Growing up I didn’t really realize how this affected me up until that day when my dream of becoming  enlisted  in the marines fell.

Since I couldn’t enlist I went on to college. But shortly after starting college a  proposition was passed in Arizona making it nearly impossible for undocumented  students to attend college by charging out of state tuition. As soon as I realized that I would not be able to afford attending college I became politically involved here in my city with a city council campaign in district 5. Where latino voter turnout increased by 400% because of young people like myself were walking the streets of district 5 and making sure our community went out to vote  as a result of many peoples work Danny Valenzuela became the first Latino to represent district 5 in 2011.

Following that campaign I received an opportunity. I was asked to be the field director for now councilwoman  Kate Gallego who became the first women to represent district 8 in the city of Phoenix implementing new innovative ways to get out to voters we created a new way to campaign in phx focused on effectiveness and efficient messaging. When the campaign was over it  was time for me to understand public service and received the opportunity to be the outreach director for Kate Gallego becoming one of the first  Dreamers  to ever serve as staff at the city of Phoenix in 2013.

After a couple of months come what  I like to call it the race of a lifetime so I jumped right in without hesitation my great friend Ruben Gallego decided to run for congress. In the 4 years that i had known him I was  inspired by his record of serving others as a  Marines and a state legislator and to all his  support to students and dreamers like myself made him the right man I was asked to bring the best people together landing myself with the title   field director. I  was honored and determined the largest student driven campaign hitting more doors than any state wide campaign in previous years we came out victorious.

Following these political victories  to further student investment to the political atmosphere in Arizona with the help of the UFCW Local 99  I have started a company named La Machine to run  field operation to move the progressive agenda forward in my state of Arizona. Dedicated to passing referendums as well as working on political campaigns emphasizing our efforts on turning out Latinos to vote.

Currently, I’m working for Lucha, a local organization that works towards increasing the minimum wage for workers across the city. I have always asked not for credit but for opportunities to further serve my family community and friends.