Michael will be the first out LGBTQ+ person to serve on the Solano County Board of Supervisors!
I grew up the youngest of six children in a close family. In our home, service was simply woven throughout our days, and then, for me, it became a personal calling. Inspired to live a life of kindness, compassion, and generosity, I joined the Jesuit Order when I was 20 years old. Those early years provided an opportunity to experience the world from many perspectives—from volunteering with Casa De Los Pobres (House of the Poor) in Tijuana, Mexico, tutoring at Los Angeles’s Central Juvenile Hall, to teaching and directing retreats to High School students in California and the Philippines. My days were full of hard work and service to others, and evenings were filled with inspiring discussions and conversations about history, sacrifice, simplicity, and service. Eight years later, during graduate school, I realized that I could no longer live a life solely dedicated to the Church. I loved the service, but the structure was holding me back from becoming my true self. That’s when I met a very special person and realized that I wanted to continue a life of service together with Peter—the love of my life. As openly gay men, we established ourselves as advocates for equality, justice, and acceptance. Professionally, my career in finance was born as I studied accounting at night and worked during the day. I quickly advanced to the position of Controller and then Chief Financial Officer, guiding several businesses through their growth. Early on, and most importantly, I learned how to learn. That life lesson strengthened my ability to listen and respond to many diverse viewpoints. My comprehensive fiscal management experience proved immediately useful after Erin Hannigan and I were elected to the Vallejo City Council in 2007, just months before the City declared bankruptcy. It was a challenging time; Vallejo families were hit hard by cuts in city services, and the future looked bleak. However, we were committed to moving forward without leaving anyone behind. Working together, brickby-brick, we put our city back together and emerged from bankruptcy. I love connecting with our community. One of my great passions is assisting community and nonprofit organizations by serving as emcee and/or auctioneer at their fundraising events. A few of those organizations I have been active with over the past two decades are: The Florence Douglas Center, Soroptimist International of Vallejo, Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Vallejo, P.E.O. Chapter of Vallejo (Promoting Educational Opportunities for women), Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Vallejo Community Arts Foundation, Rebuilding Together Solano County, Loma Vista Farm, Cal Maritime Foundation, Robby Poblete Foundation, Sunset Rotary, and the Humane Society of the North Bay. I truly enjoy sharing my voice with our community. When Erin was elected Solano County Supervisor in 2012, I had the honor of becoming Supervisor Hannigan’s District Representative, focused on bringing the services of the County to Vallejo residents. Working with an amazingly dedicated team, we built critical partnerships, and together we’ve made an impact: funded and developed the Vallejo First 5 Center, introduced the Mobile Food Pharmacy to promote healthy food options, and provided over 2,000 new shoes to our Vallejo seniors. Our impact joins our community in building stronger economic security. The privilege of serving in this role has always been the opportunity to engage, one-on-one, with residents and improve everyday lives. As Erin Hannigan steps down and I seek to fill her shoes, the joy of service continues to inspire me.