Jimmy Gomez was born and raised in Southern California and is the youngest of six children. His parents and four of his siblings immigrated to California from Mexico in the early 1970’s. They brought with them a strong sense of family and a strong work ethic. To make ends meet, his mother and father often worked multiple jobs. His mother worked as a domestic worker by day and as a convalescent home laundry attendant at night and on the weekends. His father worked as a line cook at various restaurants – driving more than an hour to get to work.
After graduating from high school, like many of his classmates, Jimmy found work where he could – at Subway and the local Target store as a stocker. But instead of working a 9am to 5pm schedule, he worked from 5pm to 9am the next day. After several months of working both jobs, and with the memory of his parents’ struggle to make ends meet…something just clicked! He now clearly understood the need of a good job with benefits, and most importantly a quality education.
With this newfound clarity, Jimmy enrolled in community college and ultimately transferred to UCLA in 1996, where he graduated magna cum laude and received a BA in Political Science with a minor in urban planning. Ten years after graduating from high school, he earned a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Jimmy recognizes that his story today, although not unique, is a lot harder to achieve and out of reach for far too many people because of the struggling economy and the state budget deficit. He believes this is unacceptable and our families deserve better.
To help rebuild California, Jimmy will fight to increase access to quality education and good jobs by providing leadership based on working class values, pragmatic problem solving skills and a dedication to the empowerment of individuals and communities.
As Political Director for the United Nurses Associations of California, Jimmy worked to empowered nurses to better advocate for their patients through the legislative process and community service; including helping pass legislation to facilitate graduation of community college nursing and allied health students, and establishing a partnership with Senator Kevin De Leon’s Office to promote healthy living for inner-city kids.
Jimmy’s previous work experiences include the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National League of Cities, the Democratic National Committee, the Office of former L.A. City Councilman Michael Feuer, and the Office of Former Congresswoman Hilda Solis.
Working at three different levels of government and with various organizations, has taught Jimmy the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively advocate on behalf of the residents of Los Angeles. He recognizes that most issues facing our communities – from rising health care costs to a lack of jobs – take a collaborative problem-solving approach.
Jimmy is a mentor with the Puente Mentorship Program and an adjunct faculty member of the Los Angeles Community College. He has also served as a member of the California Democratic Party Rules Committee, the Los Angeles County Commission on Governmental Services, the Board of Directors of the Liberty Hill Foundation, and Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.
Jimmy lives in Echo Park with his wife Mary, and dog Austin.