|Name||Ian Charles Calderon|
Whittier, California , United States
|| October 19, 1985
Jan 14, 2017 10:30pm
|Info||A graduate in Political Science and Communications from Cal State Long Beach, Ian Calderon grew up in the 57th District, where he currently works within the community as a Field Deputy. |
Before joining the legislative staff, Ian worked for the retail clothing company Hurley. He managed their marketing department for the Los Angeles and Inland Empire regions.
After several years with Hurley, Ian formed his own company representing athletes in contract negotiations and sponsorship relationships. During this time, he also supervised the production of “The Pursuit,” a documentary highlighting the next generation of surfing as well as created and produced a TV Show that has drawn the interest of major news networks.
Throughout this period, Ian has been active as a volunteer in campaigns and community events organized by the Calderon family.
THE PATH TO PUBLIC SERVICE
While at Long Beach University, Calderon was the State Collegiate Surf Champion and Captain of the school team. As an athlete in such an individual sport, Ian honed skills that guide him today— competitiveness, patience, perseverance and discipline.
As a marketing director for Hurley, Calderon supervised market surveys and research and staged and promoted Hurley events.
The experience of running his own business representing athletes in the Sports and Entertainment industry was also a great learning opportunity. But, Ian was raised in a family that had always been committed to public service. Something was missing. It surprised no one when he sought to follow in the family tradition.
Ian Calderon in the Community
“Television can be exciting but there is no comparable sense of accomplishment … not the kind you feel when you are helping someone who really needs it.”
Ian had been to work in his new position as a Field Deputy for only a few days when he had his first great experience that topped anything he had ever experienced at the crest of a big wave in business or in competition.
“A single mother of two had been laid off and denied unemployment benefits. When she inquired with the Employment Development Department as to the reasons, she was passed around from one employee to the next. Defeated and growing desperate, she came to the office where I had just begun work. I was able to get her benefits properly in place within a week. From that moment, I knew that this was what I wanted to do”.
WHY I AM A CANDIDATE FOR ASSEMBLY
I am the son of the Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon. I am proud of that fact. But, as you can imagine it is important to me that voters in the district feel confident that I am worthy of their trust and that it is my own passion that drives me to run for office.
Ian and Chuck Calderon
I am energized by the opportunity to help my community. But, I am also troubled by a system in Sacramento that seems to be falling apart. It is a system that encourages discord, panders to emotion, and demonizes compromise. I am running for office because I do not believe that we are, as a community, as divided as our politicians suggest. I believe in politics at the neighborhood level. It is not about political parties. It is about being fair.
Working in and around the communities of the 57th district as a Field Deputy, my job is to help people overcome problems – sometimes created by government, sometimes by private business. Each day I help people cut through the red tape. Whether it is connecting someone with job training, fighting for life saving Medi-Cal coverage, helping a high school student get into college, or sometimes just lending an ear, I work each day to improve the quality of some person’s life. When I succeed it is very rewarding. When I fail it is frustrating.
Our family’s commitment to public service was inspired by my Grandmother, Rita. She brought homeless people into her home and cared for them long before the problem surfaced in the public’s conscience. She always said that if everyone would do the same everyone would have a home. She passed years ago, but her voice is always with me. She always had enough love to go around, or an encouraging word at the right moment. No sacrifice was too great for her family. She had great faith in God, in people and in her country.
I mention her now, because my Grandmother struggled and sacrificed all her life to provide a better life for her children, a better one than her own. This is a common story of her generation. Programs like Medicare and Social Security were established to protect future generations from the suffering and hopelessness endured during the Great Depression. In California, her generation constructed an elaborate and intricate interstate highway system that connected Californians and the rest of the Country. They built the California Water Project and brought water from Northern California to arid Southern California, and with the interstate highway system, spawned housing booms, vibrant communities, and jobs. Her generation created the finest public college and university system in the world.
Ian at 58th Assembly District College Fair
Young Californians today feel that they have little or no stake in our political system. Our public schools are besieged by funding cuts, blame, and ridicule. College fees are nearly unaffordable. There is little financial aid available. There are virtually no jobs for college grads and the jobs that are available are ones that have historically been filled by high school grads. College debt now exceeds credit card debt.
Those with only a high school education make 74% less than college grads and have practically nowhere to go to find work. If they are lucky enough to find work, the pay is not enough to support a family. Medi-Care and Social Security may not be there for them even though they will have paid for it.
The United States ranks 14th among the industrialized nations in high school graduates according to a recent study. Given the expense, it is no surprise that fewer people are going to college. By the year 2025 at current trends, only 8 million college educated workers will exist in this country. 20 Million will be needed to fill the gap made by college credentialed baby-boomers that retire. By the time my 7 year old brother graduates from high school, 60% of jobs will require a Master’s degree.
Recently during a meeting with a group of realtors I was stunned when one from a very prominent real estate company pulled me aside and lamented privately, “Maybe home ownership isn’t for everyone.”
Is the American dream dead?
Like our parents and grandparents before us, young Californians must look to themselves to build the future. We must harness our own energy, creativity, innovation, skill, and hope.
Nothing will change in the current burned-out political culture that reduces everything to black, white, blue, or red. I was taught from an early age that we all rise or fall together; no matter our station in life, our ethnicity, our religion, young and old alike. Protecting the quality of life for senior citizens, the right for working people to retire in dignity, all depends upon the very same economic growth necessary to provide the jobs young people need to begin to build their own dreams.
If the California dream is to be kept alive, the state needs leaders with new ideas and fresh perspectives who see a California filled with promise and opportunity; and who act out of charity, hope, and confidence not indifference, fear and hate.
Ian Calderon Talking about the Future
We need to cultivate new leaders. People like the 16 year old in Texas that discovered a way to kill cancer cells with light, or the 17 year old senior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont who makes loans to students at low income schools so they can start a business–he funds loans by staging dodge ball events. His goal is to break the cycle of poverty. Or the 17 year old from Massachusetts who developed a national website for people who want to volunteer but don’t know how and for what.
This new generation of Americans must view the world through a different lens not limited by what is probable, but rather by what is possible. Together, I believe, we can accomplish more than we think possible. The answers lay beyond ideology, political parties, and a stagnant political culture.
Like the great interstate highway system of the ’50s, we can build the transportation and communication systems that puts us to work and make us internationally competitive. Like the California Water Project, we can build the Peripheral Canal (or other conveyance system) that protects the environment and secures our water supply. We can invent new and innovative ways to attract private investment. We can drive the economic growth that will produce the General Fund dollars to make our universities and community colleges available once again to all who want a college education. We can rebuild our K-12 public education system by paying teachers what they are worth and then holding them accountable for preparing our children to compete in a world economy.
The only question is whether we will be as caring and bold as Rita’s generation. I see great promise for California. I don’t believe in unsolvable problems there are just immovable people. Atop the California Supreme court is inscribed, “Bring me men to match my mountains.” California calls to a new generation of men and women to protect her future. Join me and rise to meet this challenge.