James is a business leader and community organizer, running to be the champion for education navigation. He currently serves as Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Montebello. He is a product of Montebello Unified School District where he intends to serve. Shaped by his experience in public education and the path from community college to a University of California - Los Angeles alumni, he believes everyone should be empowered in their own journey. He is running for Montebello Unified School District Board of Education because he was raised within the community where parents, teachers, mentors, and stakeholders invested in him, and he believes everyone should have equal and fair access to education.
At the age of 16 James learned the importance and impact of civic engagement by working on a $171 million school bond for the school district. He worked with service groups and clubs to help change the lives of people around him and made it a priority to focus on education, affordable housing, and civil rights advocacy. He believes that Covid-19 exposed a fragile public education system in Montebello Unified that was already plagued with negativity. Accountability, balanced budgets, and decisions that put students and communities first are some of the first steps needed to improve the school district. James’ volunteer work with local, state, and federal non-profits as well as work with Fortune 500 companies has taught him how a group of people can make an impact on policy and community development.