South Central, Los Angeles–Jorge, Nuno, 42, has done what he can with the foundation he has built with the Big House LA. The ten-bedroom house serves as a planning and meeting space for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and local organizations based in and around South Central, Los Angeles.
For the past three years, Nuno has been taking steps to merge his community work with politics. Nuno says that he wants to ensure real, systematic change where he lives and in the surrounding communities.
This is the motivation behind Nuno’s decision to run for a seat on the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, representing the 9th district.
Nuno’s parents arrived in South Central five decades ago from Mexico, and he is ready to have honest conversations about why little has changed in the community since then.
“This March is going to be 50 years since my parents arrived in this 90011 zip code from Mexico. This zip code was one of the poorest zip codes in Los Angeles and 50 years later, it is still one of the poorest zip codes in L.A.”
“Don’t move, Improve” is Nuno’s motto. He encourages those in South Central (referred to now by L.A officials and media reports as South L.A), to get involved in voting so that change can begin to take place.
“If you ask me what has changed, things have changed, but you don’t see much progress. We celebrate things that we should already have. When I reflect, I realize that our communities have been left behind. A few have benefited, a few neighborhoods, those that vote.”
Nuno says that he is not fueled by the money in politics.
In his early 20’s, Nuno says he was making six figures marketing for entertainment agencies and businesses. The son of a gardener and a mother who was an in-home childcare provider, Nuno bought his first property in West Adams at 23.
Years later, Nuno was able to take the equity obtained through his first property and invest it into what is now the Big House L.A.
“I was your typical kid, focused on your career, doing your own thing, starting your own business, but I never was into anything politically.”
Nuno would later open up the Big House to offer spaces for low rent to new and small businesses.
The idea for a community incubator came after Nuno saw kids on his block skateboarding in the street. A father of two young boys himself, Nuno offered the kids his driveway as a safer alternative. He even made a makeshift skatepark for the kids, equipped with ramps and railings.
Nuno wanted to know how he could get more involved with the local community. So, he paid a visit to someone who was in politics locally; Tim Watkins of The Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC).
“He was the only friend that I knew who was doing non-profit work and I asked him how I could get more involved in the community. He said, just introduce yourself to the community. Go to community meetings, neighborhood council meetings, know who your councilman is.”
Nuno says he felt that it was a disservice for him to see issues and problems in his community, while he just sat on the sidelines making money.
“When I took these steps and started introducing myself to the community, it opened up a whole new world for me. I thought about USC. It’s in the hood but it does great work. I’m just going to follow the USC model. I’m in the hood, but it’s not about where I’m at, but the ideas that come out of this space.”
As a Latinx male running for the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors seat in District 2, Nuno says he is aware of how the Latinx community is viewed as a huge voting block, although some generations of the Latinx community still feel like guests where they live.
Nuno says the needs of the Latinx community should not only be addressed but that they also need to be represented at the table.
“As long as the Latinx community is not involved, we all lose. Just the African-American vote alone is not enough and we need to be honest about that. We need to have the Latino’s involved with the African-American community, hand in hand.”
This is not Nuno’s first bid to become an elected official in Los Angeles. In 2016, he ran for the Los Angeles City Council seat in District 9 against Curren Price, who would end up winning the election.
This did not stop Nuno from his political pursuits or community work. He continued building and providing resources to community organizations and small businesses at The Big House.
In December 2019, journalist and activist Shaun King spoke at the official opening of the Bernie Sanders field office at The Big House.
If elected, Nuno says that his top priorities include addressing the ballooning homeless crisis in Los Angeles by providing more safety nets to struggling households. Nuno is also proposing to immediately house families in inexpensive home models such as little homes.
He also has plans of decriminalizing mental health so that it can be dealt with a level of urgency.
Strengthening the local economy by investing in mom and pop businesses, is also a top priority of Nuno’s. He relayed that he would focus on making sure that local, small businesses gained more access to public and private sector money.
“You guys slept at the wheel.”
This is Nuno’s message to the current elected officials of Los Angeles, a good portion who are African-American. He says that corruption by career politicians is why the community of South Central continues to be ignored.
“If you are always at the mercy of outside influences, then who are you representing?”
Read More: https://www.nunoforsupervisor.com/