Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about what you do for a living and how you got into it
Jon: For the last several years I have served as the CEO of a manufacturing company. Once I was elected, I decided to take a year off work to serve my community more fully. It wasn’t my initial intention, but I quickly realized the community needed stringer representation than I anticipated. I still consult various clients on business, mission, corporate identity, and strategic communications.
Latin Times Magazine: In your industry, what would you say separates you from your competition
Jon: In my particular district my creative approach to solving problems, my willingness to admit when we are wrong, but more importantly, my ability and willingness to work nonstop in my advocacy for the people of Osceola County.
Latin Times Magazine: During Covid-19, tell us about your Biggest Challenge/obstacle and how you overcame it/or are overcoming it
Jon: The most important thing we could have done regarding COVID was to keep politics out of it, and ensure it plans were comprehensive, sensible, and well thought out. Government agencies in small towns are often reactive in nature to keep their seats and power. Osceola County doubled in size over the last ten years, but the sophistication of the government entities and especially their leadership did not. I’m challenging the status quo to grow and mature or retire.
Latin Times Magazine: Tell us about your biggest achievement, and how you achieved it (Covid or non-related)
Jon: My biggest achievement hasn’t occurred yet. It’s my mission to rid my county of any culture of corruption, not just at the school district, but the entire county. Most Hispanics come from countries rampant with corruption, we recognize it and resent it. Americans who are many generations removed from their immigration to the United Sates are surprised by corruption. It’s my goal to stamp it out and never let this country be like the dictatorships of Latin America, like the Sandinistas who have ruined Nicaragua. There’s no room for dictators here.
Latin Times Magazine: What is next for you? What can people expect to see from you?
Jon: I’ll be taking the Bar exam soon and continuing to advocate for transparency and good governance.
Latin Times Magazine: What does being a U.S. Citizen mean to you?
Jon: I’m a first generation American. We were always proud of being Nicaragüense, but my mother and father would always say this is your country. I was proud to serve my country and people in the United States Army in the most highly decorated unit in the War on Terror. I paid my dues to my nation for my five kids and I hope they do the same. As Hispanics become the majority of Americans, we need to ensure we are prepared to lead our country into the future and continue being the light that all countries aspire to whether they admit it or not.
Latin Times Magazine: What is your opinion of the state of affairs in our nation?
Jon: I wish people were closer to the great crises of our nation. It’s only been 20 years since 9/11 and 40 years since the end of the Soviet Union, but these events are glossed over and instead everyone is focused on the worse aspects of our nation, like slavery. Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” All of our past, including the painful parts have been part of the rising of a great nation where we all have the right to speak out. It’s literally the only one and it seems like those complaining the most about our nation are forgetting what a privilege that is.
Jon: I heard a speaker tell a story about how our country has been through many challenging times. He said that it may seem to us that these are the most desperate times, but in the 60’s, the country was torn apart by the Vietnam War, JFK had been killed, then his brother. There several highly visible serial killers robbing communities of peace. In the midst of all that turmoil, his father’s car broke down and one person after another, on a Sunday, came to help them. They repaired their car, allowed them to get cleaned up, and fed them. What he remembered most about this time is those people coming to help him and his father. Shortly thereafter, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and the country rejoice together.
I love this country, and I look forward to the day, with all my fellow citizen sisters and brothers, and rejoice our next great American victory. Hopefully it will be soon.
Latin Times Magazine: What is YOUR comida Latina favorita?
Jon: Gallo Pinto Nicaragüense, mangos from my back yard in Nicaragua, and anything my mom cooks.