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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 18

Photo of Luis Acevedo-Arreguin

Luis Acevedo-Arreguin

U.S. Citizenship Instructor
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Immigration reform for DACA dreamers as well as agricultural and other essential workers
  • Affordable housing and a more efficient healthcare system for middle class and low-income families
  • A much stronger economy driven by a more transparent allocation of federal funding through the appropriation bills

Experience

Biography

Luis was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and grew up in Queretaro, Mexico. 

Luis remembers going to the market with his mother every day when he was kid since they could not afford to have a refrigerator at home, they needed to strategically purchase their groceries for the week. At the market there was a magazine and newspaper stand that sold Disney comic books. Luis wanted to enjoy cartoons as a kid and would ask his mother if she could buy him a comic book. His mother wouldn’t buy him the comic book because she said he couldn’t read yet, in Spanish of course. Every few days, Luis would ask his mother if she could buy him a comic book. In an effort to convince his mother to buy him his first Disney comic book, Luis asked his father if he could teach him how to read. Thanks to the help of his father, Luis was able to learn how to read ahead of his class and started elementary school in the first grade, where he helped his classmates learn how to read as well. This was Luis’ earliest memory of teaching, which later became one of his passions. Luis was finally able to get his first Disney comic book. Many years later, one of the first things Luis did when he came to this country was buy a ticket to Disneyland. When he was older, he asked his mother why she didn’t buy him the Disney comic the first time he asked all those years ago. His mother admitted that him not being able to read was not the real reason for not buying the comic, but rather that they could not afford to buy it at that time. She also stated that she was surprised at how fast he learned to read and what a testament that was to Luis’ commitment and ability to accomplish his goals when he sets his mind to something.

Luis immigrated to the United States with his family in the late 90’s, and came to reside in Castroville, CA. Luis and all his family lived in one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment that was a part of a group of apartments rented by his employer for their workers. Luis’s first job in the United States was working at an orchid farm that grew and exported orchids. The orchid farm was located near the borderline between Monterey and Santa Cruz County. Luis worked in the laboratory, growing the orchid bulbs that were then planted in nearby fields.

​Luis later worked for the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) at CSUMB. At the time, Luis was a part of the HEP pilot program that helped migrant and seasonal farmworkers obtain their GED. The HEP program is now a part of Hartnell College. Luis was in charge of overseeing teachers from the various HEP program sites including King City, Greenfield, Salinas and the CSUMB campus in Seaside, CA. Luis recalled HEP was a great migrant education program that has helped a lot of members from our district and is happy to see how much the program has grown over the years. 

Luis worked for CSUMB for approximately three years and then began graduate school at UC Santa Cruz. At UC Santa Cruz, Luis was a part of the Education program and expanded his studies to include Applied Mathematics and Statistics. He obtained his PhD in 2012.

While Luis was in graduate school, he began working for the Salinas Adult School. Luis taught GED at Hartnell College as part of a partnership with the Salinas Adult School. 

In 2001, Luis began volunteering at the Castroville Library where he volunteered for the past twenty-years. During this time, he helped tutor students from Elementary School students to college students in math and science subjects.

When Luis finished graduate school, he had the opportunity of teaching math at Watsonville High School. Soon after, Luis was offered an opportunity to teach statistics, algebra and pre-calculus at Monterey Peninsula College. Luis recalled that he taught MPC’s first Spanish statistics class as a pilot program, to expand opportunities for more students. A bilingual statistics class will now be offered at MPC this fall 2022. 

For the past ten years, Luis has helped people become U.S. citizens by instructing them on how to succeed at their citizenship interviews in English and in Spanish, helping them prepare and file their paperwork, and translate documents such as the N-400 forms. 

 

When President Barack Obama enacted DACA, Luis was able to help people from indigenous communities go to school so that they were able to obtain legal status to temporarily work in the United States. Through a community effort, more than twenty people from Oaxaca were able to attend a Castroville high school equivalency program that granted them admission without having to show completion of middle school education. 

 

In his spare time, Luis is involved in his local church in Castroville – Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church. Luis was also a part of a group called Communities Organized for the Relation Power in Action (COPA). During the pandemic, Luis worked with COPA to help members of some communities, now becoming part of District 18, apply for rental assistance that the federal and state governments made available for individuals who were struggling to pay rent during the pandemic. They went around to various communities including King City, Soledad, Seaside and Castroville and set up booths where they helped members of the community submit their applications for rental assistance. Additionally, Luis is a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), North Monterey County chapter and a board member for the Foundation of the Monterey County Free Libraries. 

 

 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Luis views the fundamental role of government as being to help motivate people to work hard and do well, along with being helping individuals in their communities work towards solving issues that impact them. Humans are social creatures and we as individuals cannot solve all of our problems alone, so it is the role of the government to provide a space for individuals to come together and solve the bigger issues their communities face.The main way a government can fulfill this task is by encouraging its citizens to be a part of the legislative process. 

 

Luis believes that civic duty extends beyond serving in a jury and voting in elections. It also encompasses being active in bringing forth communal problems to city officials and being a part of the legislative process, including running for office. 

 

The United States is a representative democracy which means our legislators need to represent the communities they serve. Therefore the best way to represent a community, especially an underrepresented community, is to ensure that the legislator for that community comes from that community, is connected to that community, and knows the issues they face firsthand. It is Luis’ belief that more everyday citizens should at some point run for elected office to bring forth the issues their communities face as part of their civic duty and should be educated on how they are able to do so.

 

Additionally, Luis believes there should be term limits in legislative positions which would encourage ordinary community members to run for office and bring forward the most current and pressing issues their communities face. This would ensure that the legislation that is getting passed does not remain stagnant but would rather be dynamic, and continually represent the issues that the community is dealing with day to day and year to year. It would ensure that the laws keep up with the times, so that when communities evolve, so do the laws as well. 

 

Government should help encourage civic education in communities, and encourage community members to become more involved in politics. 

 

As members of our communities we know best what issues need to be solved and it is our civic duty to be a part of the legislative process to help solve those problems.

 

It is due to this personal philosophy that it is one’s civic duty to be part of the legislative process and bring forth the issues of one’s community that Luis has decided to run for Congress, to advocate for the needs of his community, including working towards a comprehensive immigration reform, affordable housing and affordable healthcare for low and middle class families. 

 

From the moment Luis immigrated to the United States with his family, he has worked diligently and thoughtfully to try to help his community, through teaching, advocacy, volunteer efforts, and encouraging others in his community to voice their concerns. Luis feels he can relate to many of his students who are also immigrants, through lived experience and similar struggles such as learning a new language and working hard to be treated with respect in this country.

 

Luis is passionate about continuing to help and empower his community, and give back to the people who have long inspired him. Luis understands the struggle of immigrant families where parents work very hard to support their children, who are often first-generation students, to go to college and universities. He remembers that his parents could not even make it to the United States. They stayed in Mexico to help their children succeed. It was very hard. He now wants to help those families that embarked on a journey to this country not just to get better opportunities for them and their children but to keep those freedoms which many of us have seen threatened in our native countries. 

 

Vote for a Latino community leader who is a native Spanish speaker, who is passionate about advocating for his community and seeks an opportunity to demonstrate that Latinos and Latinas can also work very hard and excel in many other areas of our society, including government.

 

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