Victor Salcido is motivated by his father, a Mexican immigrant who at the age of 12 quit school to work.
“He [my father] didn’t have that formal education so he knew in order to make anything in this world, he just had to out-work everybody,” said Salcido. “I think that’s a common story of immigrants because when you show up at a new country, you don’t have the connections; you don’t know the system, you don’t know the people. You don’t know anybody.”
His father became a U.S. citizen in 2004 and although Salcido’s mother was born in El Paso, Texas, she was raised in Mexico. Salcido credits his parents for his work ethic, his insight on immigration, his knowledge of business and what it takes to succeed.
Salcido, 33, is running against Jenny Brekhus for Reno City Council, Ward 1. This is his first time running for local office.
Salcido grew up in Yuma, Arizona. He completed his undergraduate degree in political science and history at the University of San Diego and went on to law school at the University of Arizona. Two days after graduating in 2008, he moved to Reno where he now manages an immigration law firm in south Reno.
Salcido related the feelings of being a first-time candidate to the way his dad must have felt upon first arriving in this country – not having any connections and starting from scratch. Salcido believes he has to work harder than his opponent because he is not a seasoned politician.
Why Is He Running?
Salcido said he chose to step out of his comfort zone this year and run for office, adding that his wife had an impact on his decision to run for city council.
“She used to work at the City of Reno; she was the government affairs coordinator for several years,” said Salcido. “She would come home and talk to me about what was going on. I would just listen and encourage, but I started watching some of these meetings, and I thought, it looks pretty dysfunctional.”
Salcido is of the mindset that if you want to get anything done, you have to do it yourself and he felt that his knowledge in business and law could be of service.
It’s extremely difficult to run for office. It’s time consuming, it’s laborious, it’s draining, but it should be. This shouldn’t be easy,” Salcido said. “As a citizen, I wouldn’t want it to be easy for public officials to be elected simply due to money or connections; it should be hard.”
Campaign Pillars: University Town and Public Safety
Though Salcido said many of the issues important to him overlap, he is most focused on public safety and the University of Nevada, Reno.
“When I see the University of Nevada, I see an enourmous asset for the city, and while we’ve gotten better about it we still haven’t fully taken advantage of that asset,” Salcido said.
Salcido wants students, professors and their research to be more integrated into the rest of the community, similar to the vision of the Innevation Center, a collaborative space in downtown Reno.
Before that can happen, Salcido said public safety must become a top priority.
“I have a two-year-old and there are lots of parts of downtown I wouldn’t feel safe walking around with him at night, and I wouldn’t want to ask university students to walk around there either right now,” Salcido said.
To Salcido, increased safety means an increased police presence, which would mean prioritizing more jobs and resources in the downtown area.
Why Young People Should Care about Voting
“Who is in your city council, who is on your county commission, and who is on the school board will have more of an impact on your daily life,” said Salcido.
He added that in order to be a democracy, citizens must hold public officials accountable and vote to ensure their views are being represented.
I deal with immigration law on a daily basis. I have an appointment today with someone who would give anything to be a citizen and would give anything for that ability to vote,” Salcido said. “It’s almost insulting to those people who would do anything for the ability vote and to those who have come before us who sacrificed for us to have that right.”
Early voting in Nevada starts through November 4. Election day is November 8. Here is a list of early voting locations and hours.