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Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Brian A. Gutiérrez

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 57

This information is provided by the candidate

Growing up with a single parent who suffered from alcoholism was difficult, especially when there was no male role model to show me the way. Many times I accused my mother of not loving me because she never showed me affection or interest in my life like the typical "American moms." It's been a painful struggle for me to come to the realization that although my mother and I may share the same blood, we are a world apart. Reality is, my mother is from a different culture, a different time. She married young in order to escape the same life her mother knew when she was 15 years old, so she didn't know how to give me what she never knew.

My mother was a single parent who never took care of me a day, seven days a week. While we shared a home, I rarely saw her. I had a very lonely childhood. I had to learn to do everything by myself and take care of myself. I was able to cook a pot of rice by the fourth grade and do my own laundry by the fifth. I was forced to watch out for myself However; this adversity came to my advantage when it caused me to develop my independence and maturity level at an early age. I am thankful for the experience that has made me who I am today: a strong young man with the determination and ability to succeed all on my own.

Growing up, my life was unpredictable. When I was 10 years old, my mother, and her abusive boyfriend had a huge fight, violent fight one night. During this incident, I became afraid and called 911. It was many years later that I realized, that was one of the best moves I made to change my life. Soon after that incident, my mother sent me to live with my aunt, while she sorted out her life. My high school years have been quite an accomplishment. Prior to moving in with my Aunt Cindy, school was something that was not considered important. Bringing home D's and F's was not a big deal; school was the last place I ever wanted to be in fact.

But after I moved in with my aunt and adjusted to being in a household where there was a lot of discipline as well as religion, I started to get better grades, bringing home A's and B's and I actually started to enjoy school more. In seventh grade, I am proud to share, that I received a $2000 scholarship from Governor Gray Davis. As I entered High School, instead of hating school, I have come to embrace it as an opportunity to prove myself, and prove that I am motivated to reach my goals. I've developed an interest in history and I've even developed a passion for politics have learned a great deal from my Aunt, and don't know where I would be now without her continued love, support and determination for me to create a bright future for myself. A couple of years ago, she suggested that I start volunteering after school, to prepare me for an after school job once I turned 16, and to do something productive.

What started out to be an after school volunteering opportunity became a learning experience that I would have never been able to receive in school. Although I was not paid. I actually learned a lot from volunteering on different campaigns. Working on different political campaigns for the past two years gave me hands-on skills that I believe will be required for college. I learned a lot about managing projects and bettering my communication skills, which are needed for the working world. My duties included cleaning up the voter databases, greeting citizens and explaining some of the initiatives to them, sending out letters asking for donations and making phone calls to make sure voters knew where their polling places were. I interacted with citizens and other volunteers and began to see what life will be like when I have the chance to work with people from all walks of life. At times, the center's manager would have me work at the customer service desk. My job there was to pacify angry citizens who had questions or concerns. Overall, the job has made me a better communicator and a harder worker.

As I have spent time volunteering and learning more about politics, I have realized that I love public service and would like to be a public servant myself, serving people and helping to make my city and state a better place to live. It took me a good year to understand why my aunt encouraged me to volunteer rather than getting a paying job, like many other kids my age had. Instead of working at the mall and receiving special bonuses, I worked for free on campaigns whose purpose was to help and inform people about the importance of voting, and having their voices heard. My aunt reasoned that by working for free, and developing a sense of humility, that I would learn to work even harder, once I did start at a paying job. I see her point now and realize that the harder you work for your dollar, the more appreciation you have towards your accomplishments.

To further challenge myself, I took two years of Spanish. While Spanish is a difficult language to study, it exposed me a lot to more of my own culture and lifestyle. Learning and studying Spanish has helped me reflect on my own experiences and learn about breaking the stereotypes that surrounds all Latinos in general.

I've learned these last five years that life is not measured by a person's salary or the numbers of trophies earned, but rather by the challenges overcome and the appreciation for life. After graduating from Mount. San Antonio College, I hope to attend the University of Southern California and continue my studies in political science. After college I hope to become a public servant and work to make California public schools better.

I have first hand experience of how some kids fall through the cracks. They are not given the individual attention many of them need, and they end up coasting through school without developing any idea of what they want to do after. I want my contribution in this world to be helping to make schools work better. I am very optimistic and I don't give up easily, no matter what obstacles or discouragements come my way. I am a hard and diligent worker and I also have the ability to let go of defeat and the willingness to acknowledge my shortcomings, thus making room for self-improvement. I also have an obsessive-compulsive-like habit of wanting to perfect my work at all times. Any project left undone or imperfectly often leaves me feeling frustrated.

While growing up, my aunt often repeated the the line "If you're not going to do it right, then don't bother doing it at all." This has been in my mentality since I was about eleven years old--when I first learned to make my own bed. Granted that life is short, and youth is shorter, I have a huge appreciation for the challenges that I've overcome and the accomplishments that I will make in life. I want to do everything right the first time so that I never have to look back one day and have any regrets.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 9, 2010 16:09
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