I was born and raised in Austin, Texas in a family that, up to my generation, had a long history as farm laborers and farmers, and with origins stretching back to Oslo, Norway and to Guanajuato, Mexico. During my so-called formative years, I was raised in Lutheran schools, and both sides of my family tree were active in organizing farm laborers to gain recognition of their rights and also to stop the proliferation of nuclear arms. That is the kind of environment that formed my early views.
I have lived in Chicago working as an apprentice to a sculptor, as a poetry performer, and a youth organizer (and at a coffee shop in Rogers Park). I also lived for a while in San Miguel de Allende but for better or worse, did not produce the great American novel while living there. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia working as an Americorps volunteer doing streambank restoration and teaching school-age children about watersheds. I also served as a VISTA volunteer with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid working with farm laborers, and in Austin working with youth doing an alternative high school program in which they received credit for constructing ecologically-friendlier single-family homes. I lived in Philadelphia where I went to law school. I was a Pennsylvania Legal Services MLK Scholar during school and after graduating was an Independence Foundation Fellow, doing consumer law work representing primarily Spanish speaking clients. That was right in the midst of the predatory lending mania that led into the 2008 recession.
Now I am a public finance attorney supporting local governments in their financing of public works. I live in Austin with my spouse, two children, a dog, two rabbits, and a family of “barn cats.” For fun I am trying to perfect my homebrew techniques, am learning to play the drums, and also recently began studying ancient greek. I am very grateful to be associated with LRC, and for the opportunity to work with this group of people that has a richness of different backgrounds, and to participate in addressing what is one of the most urgent issues of our time in a way that is personally fulfilling.