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Ricky is a proud Cuban American, the middle of three children raised in West Miami-Dade by a single mother and grandmother. Ricky’s grandparents fled Cuba in 1961 in search of a better life, and settled in Miami, where his grandmother worked as a seamstress at a factory along the Miami River. After graduating from Southwest Miami Senior High, Ricky attended Boston University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and led environmental initiatives including a shift to biodegradable food service and streamlined recycling on campus.
Path to Leadership
In 2010, after two years of law school and working part-time to make ends meet, Ricky worked on Joe Garcia’s 2010 bid for congress and found his calling to help his community through public service. Ricky received a master’s degree in intercultural communications from Lesley University in 2014, and became Communications Director for Congressman Henry Cuellar of San Antonio, Texas in 2015. Joining the Cuellar campaign just as Donald Trump was beginning his presidential campaign enabled Ricky to hone his communication skills to combat Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Activism & Service
In 2015, after witnessing devastating attacks on the EPA, Ricky accepted a position as a Regional Press Secretary for the Sierra Club. In this role, Ricky has shaped environmental communications strategy across the Midwest and Florida, and led efforts in Flint, Michigan, before national media brought Flint’s water quality issues to light. Ricky is an expert in coal-related environmental issues, organizing strategies around three of the largest coal baron mining company bankruptcies in US history, while showing up for coal miners, plant workers, and the low-income communities surrounding coal plants.
In addition to his work for Sierra Club, Ricky is Vice Chair of the Miami Dade Democratic Party. He is running for better health outcomes for his mother, and better economic outcomes for his working-class community. Ricky considers himself blessed to have been raised in Southwest Miami-Dade and to be running to represent the community that means so much to him.