My name is Vania and I am running to represent District 5 on the Phoenix City Council. I am a first-generation Salvadoran American, a product of my parents own American Dream. The well-being of our family was built on the backs of their labor. Fortunately, I learned about the importance of community from my parents. I saw how my dad’s union changed our life for the better. I saw how my mom organized the other moms in our neighborhood so we could have a better education. I learned from an early age that we are only as strong as our community.
As a council aide and later Deputy Chief of Staff for District 5, I experienced the richness of our district. I became involved because I wanted to bring communities to the table that I had organized for and to bring to the forefront community-based initiatives. There is still a long way to go, but through community relationships that have formed, we have room to grow. I saw Maryvale neighborhoods come together to form an initiative, I saw 19 North grow and thrive. For six years, I was honored to have worked and partnered with the residents to make our district better. I’ve also seen the institutional barriers that worked against us. I advocated for policies so that all of us would have equal access to opportunity. I managed grassroots operations, with the primary responsibility of establishing neighborhood associations, conducting research on district led policy initiatives, and prioritize constituent services where the needs of residents were always first. I was able to best assist because I learned from the families who educated us on issues--we worked together.
Our neighborhoods are active and resilient. It is important to create opportunities for vibrant neighborhoods and elevate job growth that invests in our local community. I have experienced the cultural and community vibrancy of District 5. There are 50 languages spoken every single day. I love walking around my neighborhood and hearing children speak multiple languages. I am reminded daily of how grateful I am that my parents taught me Spanish and that I had to opportunity to learn Portuguese. The diversity of our communities is something that should be celebrated. Our District 5 should be a place where everyone feels safe, neighborhoods are vibrant, and businesses are thriving. I want to see District 5 continue to serve as an example of what can happen when communities come together. Our collective efforts will help us thrive and I cannot do this alone. With your support, we can ensure that we live in a district that we can proudly call home.