Hugo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved with his family to the Pacific Northwest in 1988. His father waited tables at a local Mexican restaurant and with that income alone, the family moved in and rented their first home in Burien in 1991 and his parents still live there today. Hugo attended Shorewood Elementary and is a proud graduate of the Highline School District. He and his brother and sister in law wanted to stay close to their parents and have made a duplex in North Burien their home for 15 years.
The fact that a family of five could be supported on his father’s income as a restaurant waiter and his mom’s part time income as a high school lunch lady; has shaped Hugo’s understanding of the importance of building community and family resilience. It also highlighted for him how difficult it is for working families to save money to buy a home or pass down to their children. Hugo believes in the value of giving back that his parents taught him when they arrived in Burien, so he committed to being an active part of the Burien community in as many ways as he could. Hugo currently serves on both Burien’s Planning Commission and Burien Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) and engages regularly with neighbors, Burien faith community and grassroots community groups.
“The vision of Burien that my parents had when they settled here in 1991, a community that is welcoming, diverse and inclusive is what I still see when I look around our town. It’s a community that opens its arms to all residents in so many different languages. It is a place that supports and loves its local businesses. It is a place that has shown you can have the values of a small town, without sacrificing on policies that protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”