Jimenez was motivated to run because he sees “a huge lack of community engagement.”
“People don’t know who their state representatives are and what’s going on in Richmond. That’s a big problem,” he says, citing an example where he emailed Kory and never got a response.
But Jimenez would rather talk about the issues than his opponent.
His priorities include improving the transportation network, protecting the environment, protecting LGBTQ rights, reducing gun violence by implementing universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole, reducing class sizes, and revising the school funding formula to ensure Fairfax County gets its fair share.
Jimenez hasn’t yet focused on where the funding would come from. “That’s a little premature,” he says. “The first step is to get to Richmond, and once there, figure out what committees to sit on and then dive into how to pay for them.” The primary is June 11.
|The Jimenez family. Left to right: Norah, Shanna, Andres, and Emma.|
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Jimenez hasn’t raised any campaign funds yet, while Kory, first elected in 2009, has $24,356.
Jimenez hasn’t run for elective office before, he says, but has dedicated “over a decade of my life to public service.”
As the senior director of government affairs for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, he’s an advocate for state and federal legislation to address the growing threat of climate change. His pet project is carbon pricing, which would charge polluters for emitting carbon dioxide into the air.
Previously he was the associate director of government relations at the Ocean Conservancy and has worked for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (focusing on public housing), the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), and Howard Berman who at the time was a Democratic congressman from California.
“That’s the experience I bring,” Jimenez says. “I’ve already gone through and understand how the process works.”
He is a member of GreenLatinos and serves on the board of the Rock Creek Conservancy, the advisory board for Ecotropics, and the Green Leadership Trust steering committee.
Jimenez lives close to Justice High School in the Ravenwood neighborhood with his wife Shanna, a marketing director at E*Trade, and two daughters, ages 3 and 6.
His parents, immigrants from Colombia, settled in Martinsburg, W. Va., where his father was a pathologist. Jimenez became a U.S. citizen as a young child. He studied political science at DePaul University in Chicago.