A reminder why I'm running

JacksonElem.jpgOur children deserve the most promising opportunity to achieve their fullest potential.

Over this past week and weekend, I had the privilege of taking a moment to appreciate the simplest things in life, the ones that truly mean the most. Over several days and on a variety of occasions, events, and activities, I was fortunate to be in the presence of our youngest and liveliest of treasures... our children.  Being in their midst both grounded and humbled me, and took me back to the magical memory of my childhood of hopeful dreams.  This week reminded me of one of the fundamental reasons why I am running for District Attorney... for the future of our youth.

Last Wednesday, I was honored to participate in a celebration of achievement of a tremendous and unprecedented accomplishment. McAllen ISD's Jackson Elementary School was recognized by Scholastic Books for winning the National Summer Reading Challenge! Jackson Elementary was the #1 school in the nation for "Most Minutes Read" - over 6 million minutes read this summer. What a remarkable demonstration of the exemplary work our teachers are doing to instill a love for reading in elementary children.  I was honored today to partake in this celebration, and to encourage these brilliant youngsters to continue striving for success!  

Last Wednesday evening, I also had the distinct pleasure of joining in the "Go Gold for Childhood Cancer" weekly walk to raise awareness of childhood cancer in hopes of someday finding a cure for the many types of cancer that claim the lives of many of our youngsters.  Listening to the stories of those who have lost their young loved ones too soon, of those who spend their days and evenings and every minute of their lives to find the best treatment in hopes of saving or at least prolonging their child's life, and of those who dedicate their lives to raising funds to support childhood cancer research, truly moved me.  It breaks my heart that some children are never able to fully achieve their true potential, and I was proud to participate in some small way to increase awareness, to raise funds, and to help offer support and hope that someday, there will be a cure for cancer. 

UTSA.jpgThis past weekend, I was yet again humbled by the maturity of one of my personal favorite youngsters.  My oldest child, Ricardo III, turned 15.  His only wish was to take a family trip out of town with his close friends, "if you aren't too busy campaigning," he said. I was so moved when he asked if I wasn't too busy, since I have been spending most of my nights and weekends out campaigning. I decided to block out this important weekend to spend in San Antonio to attend a UTSA football game as he requested. Work or no work, campaign or no campaign, family comes first. It seems like only yesterday I was driving Deyanira to Methodist Hospital in Houston because Ricardo was ready to begin his life with us, and we were blessed with our first child while I was still in law school. Fifteen years later, he has grown into a fine young man. We are so proud of him and very blessed to have him in our lives. Thanks to God and my beautiful wife for such a wonderful gift 15 years ago.

These wonderful opportunities that I had to spend with some amazing youngsters continued to serve as a reminder of one of the fundamental reasons why I am running for District Attorney.  Our children are indeed, our future.  Each young life comes into this world with particular circumstances and experiences.  Unfortunately, some are not nurtured or supported enough to strive for excellence as the Jackson Elementary students were.  Some of our children are stricken with an incurable and terminal illness, and sadly, may never have the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential and accomplish their lifelong dreams. Still others may have the complete support and best upbringing, but may somehow be led astray by social influences, peer pressure, and the temptation of a seemingly easy lifestyle of criminal activity.  I have seen this time and time again. In my tenure overseeing the Drug Court program, I saw many youngsters stricken with the real-life consequences of wrong choices they made.  I also saw the real solution of rehabilitation through intensive, supportive and comprehensive treatment for to the participants in the program, to much success.  

My hope for children and youth, like the ones I had the pleasure of spending my time with this week, are able to reach their fullest potential and not be led astray into a criminal lifestyle, as I have witnessed in many incidences as a lawyer and as a judge.  Programs like the Drug Court are highly effective, and as District Attorney, my hope is to implement similar innovative and evidence-based initiatives to comprehensively address the criminogenic, mental illness, and substance abuse issues in which many of our youth may fall prey to.  I hope to initiate a more proactive approach to be out in our community and with our youth, to identify and evaluate criminogenic risk and needs, and to and implement preventive, not punitive, measures to give our children the chance at a future they deserve. 

Will you join me in my efforts to bring positive change to our community?  Please share my message with your family and friends, and join me in my campaign.  

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I look forward to your continued support.

Onward toward victory,


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Showing 3 reactions

commented 2013-10-04 19:57:37 -0500 · Flag
Thank you, Irma. I appreciate your support.
commented 2013-10-04 19:45:40 -0500 · Flag
just wanted to let you know your a wonderful person, a family men etc God less you .
@RickyRod4DA tweeted this page. 2013-10-04 18:42:16 -0500