1. A short description of your candidate/campaign and explain why you are running for this position
My name is Juan Francisco Padrés. I am a native of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and I have lived in Tucson since 1999. I came to Tucson to study at the University of Arizona where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and later my Master of Business Administration. I have a very diverse professional background. I have worked in the private sector, the public sector, owned several businesses, and worked for an autonomous trucking startup that recently went public. I have served on numerous boards and commissions in the community, and I am currently president of the non-profit Tucson Sister Cities, Inc. I am running for this position because I love Tucson. I want this city to be my permanent home, and hopefully where my daughters grow up and don’t have to leave in search of job opportunities. In the past decades I think Tucson has lost some of its luster and needs to refocus its efforts and priorities.
2. What are some previous obstacles that you have faced that you believe make you a strong candidate?
I have faced numerous obstacles throughout my life, but those that I believe make me a strong candidate have been the ones I have faced as an entrepreneur. I have failed multiple times as a business owner and entrepreneur, and reinventing myself and starting over has been no easy task. I have never allowed failure to define me. I embrace the lessons and scars that come with it, and use them to my advantage in my next venture. As your next ward 3 city council member I will make sure we do not commit the same mistakes, but we learn from them and use that knowledge to move our community forward.
3. Describe your history of public service
My history of public service began in 2013 when I was hired by the City of Tucson as the new Economic Development and International Trade Specialist in the city manager’s office. I had the opportunity to work hand in hand with the city manager and Mayor & Council, and worked with multiple local businesses and community stakeholders to help individuals start their businesses, and established businesses grow. I have worked with all types of businesses, from hot dog vendors to large mining technology companies. I have also served on multiple boards and commissions such as Tucson Sister Cities, Inc., the Pima County Small Business Commission, Pima County Workforce Investment Board, Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization (SALEO), and as a member of the Arizona Mexico Commission, Arizona Association for Economic Development, Tucson Metro Chamber Emerging Leaders Council, and Tucson Innovation Partnership (TIP).
4. Explain your background and how it pertains to your decision to run for office
One of the key elements I bring to the table as a candidate is my diversity. Not only do I have a very diverse professional background, but my personal background is both unique and diverse. I grew up in a different country which gives me a much different perspective on many aspects of life, politics and our community in general. English is my second language, and I know first- hand many of the cultural challenges that exist while living here in the U.S. as a Spanish speaking person of color. I have many friends and family members here in Tucson who do not speak English and live here “illegally”. It is a way of life a lot people talk about but do not really understand. My unique and diverse background is exactly what the city council needs. I bring a different perspective and approach to many of the same issues that keep holding back Tucson.