Ricardo grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, a place where the politics of hate and division impacted the very land that he lived on.
Over the past few years Ricardo has been a community organiser and educator to end poverty, working at the frontlines alongside people on the benefit. He too knows what it’s like to be a couple of paycheques away from homelessness, having worked on the minimum wage cleaning cinemas and making coffees.
While the Greens as a partner in the last government made significant progress on some of the biggest challenges Aotearoa faces, Ricardo knows more needs to be done. Rents keep getting higher, while benefit levels remain too low to live on. Ricardo believes people in Aotearoa deserve better - no one should be going without the basics because of their income.
"For decades there have been successive Labour and National Governments promising change, but the system continues to benefit the wealthy few at the expense of us. More people continue to queue at Work and Income to make ends meet whilst property investors are profiting from the housing crisis. We also still allow polluting companies and fossil fuel corporates to make a profit while destroying our environment."
Ricardo is in the Greens because it is the only party that has been consistently fighting for liveable incomes, public housing, healthcare and taxing the wealthy few so public services can be funded for all. He believes the other parties keep saying that this is not possible, but it is. It doesn’t have to take decades for politicians to start caring about working families – it just takes some political will.
As a Member of Parliament Ricardo will continue unapologetically championing the wellbeing of communities and the environment through a climate, economic and Te Tiriti justice framework.
"Together we can change our political system so that it works for all of us."