Over 25 years ago my parents made the difficult decision to leave the only home they knew and move to the United States due to the economic and social instability resulting from decades of war and dictatorships in Guatemala.
I attended Braddock Elementary before moving to Mason District. I excelled as a student but, all too often, I was one of the few students of color placed in advanced classes, despite attending some of the most racially diverse schools in the country. My sister and I often served as interpreters for our parents, particularly at school, where very few interpretation services were readily available. The racial disparities I saw and experienced in my youth fostered my passion for social justice and activism while studying at UVA.
After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Mathematics and Cognitive Science, I moved to Guatemala and worked for a nonprofit dedicated to the empowerment of low-income women through social and environmentally-friendly entrepreneurship. There I balanced the business side of the programs and the social needs of the participants, learning how to run a business without harming its employees or community.
Today, I juggle life as a digital data associate for Indivisible Project while organizing as a community activist. In my career as a data analyst, I provide comprehensive feedback based on messaging and messaging tools in order to effectively and efficiently drive people to advocacy and action.
Irma for Supervisor
As an immigrant growing up in a working-class family in Fairfax County, I was forced to navigate and challenge a system that was not made for me. My experiences as a long-time resident, a student, and an organizer all have a similar narrative. I now look forward to the opportunity to take my experiences and use them to represent my fellow residents of Fairfax who still combat the same barriers on a daily basis whilst residing in the wealthiest county in the world.
I believe our government should be transparent and engaged with its residents. I have worked towards that reality as a dedicated activist and organizer throughout Northern Virginia. Over the past three years I have dedicated my time to advocating for communities that are too-often overlooked. I am a founding member of La ColectiVA, a local Latinx-led organization rooted in grassroots organizing and local advocacy that seeks to harness collective power and hold government and officials accountable, regardless of their party. I was on the leadership team for Hector Cendejas’ campaign in Manassas Park, a local progressive Latinx leader, because I believe in the importance of local change.
As Braddock District Supervisor, I will apply my skills in data analysis to make sure Fairfax County prioritizes the ways in which we reach out to and speak with marginalized communities furthering equitable representation and community participation in local decision-making.
My experience as an immigrant woman of color, my skills in data analysis, my history running a social and sustainable entrepreneurship, and my commitment to grassroots community organizing, all combine to give me a unique perspective. Whether ending voluntary ICE collaboration, providing more funding for schools and services for students and families, or seeking avenues for reducing our carbon footprint, I believe our local government should be transparent and actively engaging its diverse communities. This is why I’m running for Board of Supervisors in the Braddock District, and I am asking for your support in making Fairfax County a truly inclusive community.