What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this area?
Currently I serve as the chief-of-staff for the Council Member of the 10th council district, Ydanis Rodriguez. In this role, I am responsible for all matters related to legislation, funding allocations and the management of staff. Previously, I served other council members in a variety of roles, including press secretary for Majority Leader Joel Rivera and as a press officer for the Speaker of the Council, Christine Quinn. But it was an internship in Washington D.C. that peaked my interest in government.
What is your strongest characteristic and how has it assisted you in your career?
Always stay hungry.
Describe three lessons you have learned during your career?
(1) Your word is your currency: You have failed the second anyone starts to doubt your word. It is easier to get someone to believe in you than to regain someone’s trust.
(2) Learn something new everyday: If you’re in the business of catching dogs, get into the habit of speaking to canine breeders, veterinaries and even sanitation workers. Doing your homework will give you an extra edge.
(3) Love what you do: We’ve all heard this, so please excuse me for repeating this expression.
What have you learned about politics and civic life through the fellows program?
The CUP fellowship has taught me the importance of inviting individuals from the private sector into government.
I could not get over at how many of my cohorts from this fellowship, of top-shelf quality, want to contribute to our community. The government needs these people. What lacked was the method of connecting the two parties. And this is why the CUP fellowship is so important.
What advice would you give someone running for office for the first time?
You are not going to run for office alone. So only after you have assembled a strong “inner circle” should you consider to run. However, if that is already checked off on your to-do-list, I recommend the following:
Fuse the voice of the voters to the core of your message. Doing so will connect the campaign to the constituents the office represents.
And kiss tons of babies (that really does work).
What do you do in your free time?
Watch television and catch up on sleep.