Pursuant to my request for District 2 candidates to submit a write up for my blog, the following is the one submitted by Abraham Monteros. It is published as submitted to me by Monteros.
My name is Abraham Monteros. I was born and raised in District 2 and I’m proud to call District 2 my home. My story isn’t much different from many other hard working families in District 2. I’m a second generation Mexican-American who knows how it feels to be left out of the agenda. My father died when I was 9 years old and my life completely transformed. I went from a stable environment to not knowing what school I might end up at due to lack of transportation. One escape for me was being an altar boy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
As the eldest of 3 young boys, I felt a responsibility to help my mother out. At age 12 I got my first job working at my uncle’s shop, Sanitary Plumbing Heating and Cooling, located on Piedras and Porter. At Sanitary Plumbing, I learned the harsh realities of manual labor. I remember digging trenches in the hot summer sun, and crawling underneath houses to take tools to the plumbers all day for $50 (which was a lot for me). At school I escaped into sports, playing whatever sport I could and falling in love with football.
My time at Austin High school was fast. My most memorable year was my Junior year 2005, when our football team made it to the playoffs for the very first time in decades. I’m proud to say that I was a starter on defense during that wild ride. Not having much direction or money for college, I made my mind up to join the U.S. Navy, like my father and uncles, instead of going to college.
I spent 5 years in the Navy. I was an aviation structural mechanic that worked on MH-60S helicopters, the equivalent to the Army’s Black Hawk. I was stationed on the island of Guam in the deep Pacific and was part of HSC-25 the only Search and Rescue squadron in that part of the ocean. During that time I was lucky enough to visit various ports and be part of various missions. The last mission of our detachment was Operation Tomodachi in Japan when the 2011 tsunami hit the Japanese coast. We were refueling in Malaysia when that occurred. I remember being off the coast of Japan and seeing the aftermath of the tsunami.
After my 5 year contract was completed I decided to return home and enroll in school. It was only after 5 years of serious labor that I learned the importance of an education.
I returned to El Paso in 2011 and immediately enrolled at EPCC. After one semester to work off the rust, I enrolled at UTEP. At UTEP I double major in Philosophy and French and minor in Women and Gender studies. I have been a full time student the entire time I’ve been back. When I wasn’t at school, I was doing side jobs for neighbors and friends for extra cash and helping out my mother. Most recently I have been lucky to be offered a research assistant position conducting Philosophy for Children classes. This is a great way to engage young minds into thinking critically about issues. In 2014 I married the love of my life and we both started a life in District 2.
Currently, I’m finishing off my senior year at UTEP. As it stands I will be graduating Cum Laude, with a 3.7 GPA. I hope to continue to pursue my education after graduation as well.
I know people have made mistakes and I’m no exception. But I speak from the heart and I won’t BS you. I’m running because I feel that there isn’t any transparent communication in our local government. I feel that it’s always 2 factions fighting each other over control of El Paso. As a lower working class, Mexican-American in District 2, I feel left out. I don’t feel that ANYONE is fighting for the majority that lives in El Paso. I don’t live in a nice neighborhood so we don’t have neighborhood associations. I work and go to school all day, so it’s hard for me to chair committees. I have to balance school, work, family, and my 2 weekly hours doing Philosophy for Children. All I know is working hard, staying honest, and looking out for my fellow neighbors.
My slogan is “Community, Compassion, Commitment.” Community because District 2 has one of the most diverse demographics in the city and it is CRUCIAL to understand our unique population. Compassion because we have to have compassion for our fellow neighbors, and be willing to help each other out. Finally, Commitment because we need to be committed to moving El Paso forward into a new era that is free of corruption. Look, a lot of issues are very complicated, and it is important to understand that there is no silver bullet for anything. I think it is important to be pragmatic about the solutions we come up with for El Paso and District 2. It is important that we bring in the community and business owners together to come up with pragmatic solutions.
What sets me apart from other candidates is that I alone chose to run for office. This was a decision between me and my wife. Nobody put me up to it, or financially backed me. I have no agenda because I feel that the PEOPLE should set the agenda. In the words of Shirley Chisholm, “I’m UNBOUGHT and UNBOSSED.” Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about me and my views.