Before I became a watchdog journalist for the El Paso Times, tasked with holding city officials accountable, I had one desire.

I wanted to do my part to make this community better.

With each stroke of my pen, I wanted to push for fairness and uncover injustices in our world. That desire fueled my work ethic and energy both as a journalist and a member of this community.

Journalism provided a path for me to advocate for the interests of our community and its values. From the halls of Burges High School, to the University of Texas at El Paso, the chamber of the House of Representatives in D.C. and communities of New York City, I learned.

Those experiences not only sharpened an eye for writing but for government and policy.

My work has been on the front page of the El Paso Times, as it has also been in El Paso Inc. and El Diario de El Paso. Numerous times, highlighting issues facing this community.

I was there when the most vulnerable were at our doorstep looking for safety and a better life for their families. And, witnessed the saddening and infuriating ‘Return to Mexico’ policy instituted by the federal government.

I helped in a collaboration between the El Paso Times and New York Times to bring light to the overcrowded conditions migrant children faced in a processing facility in Clint, Texas. But of all the things I wrote about, the most difficult was capturing the pain our community endured in August and the events that unfolded after.

My main duty was to provide updates and coverage of our city administration.

In that time, I nearly filed a criminal complaint for public information from the city, and found the city manager wanted to be reimbursed for legal funds in his contract extension stemming from an ethics complaint that found he had violated city policy.

I wrote about how the mayor violated city policy conducting city business through his private accounts and informed the public about a policy that discouraged elected officials from speaking their opinion about city decisions.

From the designated seats for the press at City Hall, I had a front-row view to the dysfunction and seemingly weak leadership by the City Council. I watched a resident get arrested for speaking his mind, city representatives have side-conversations during the meeting and make choices that were not in the best interest of our community.

I can no longer sit on the sideline and simply watch and report. It was not an easy decision to cast aside a career that I gave much time and devotion to.

But I cannot help but see our city is in a difficult situation that will require care and leadership to carry us out of.

Now, it is my hope to lead in a position that requires listening to all people in our community. And, to do as I always aspired. To better our home.