Jacob Rios is originally from Visalia, California (a small town located between Fresno and Bakersfield). Growing up in California, his family moved often from one small town to another. Over the years he made his way across the country, meeting his beautiful wife Paula on the way, and finally Rios ended up choosing Dubuque as a place where he wanted to raise his family.
Rios has four wonderful kids ranging from 15 years old to the new addition to the family only 3 months old. Also, the Rios invited his wife’s parents to live with them and they try to host an international high school student every year. The Rios household is a full house, where everyone works together as a loving family.
Having a large family to take care of and seeing a recent surge of crime in Dubuque pushed Rios to decide to run for City Council. Rios explained that last summer someone was robbed at the intersection right by his house. Later, the Dubuque news reported a shooting not too far from Rios’ house and a stabbing two streets north from his house.
“Coupled with the birth of our daughter Catherine and I decided someone needs to run that has an idea of what needs to be done and that knows to an extent why people choose this life of crime,” Rios explained his reasons for running to be City Council.
He also told that at first his wife was not completely sure if that was such a good idea, but she came around after she watched that the current councilwoman stayed silent. Now the whole family stands behind Jacob Rios because they believe in him and his 3 fundamental beliefs for making Dubuque a better place to live and raise a family for every resident.
Rios’ 3 fundamental beliefs are A Better standard of living. This first belief is based on the sanctity of life. As Rios explains he knows there are those whose landlords do not care for keeping up the place and all they worry about is the rent check they get.
“When I hear and see people are living in horrible conditions I am motivated to do something. In part to run for office,” Rios said.
Rios also had an unpleasant experience that taught him that no one should live in subpar living conditions.
“Being the councilman that has lived that life at one point I will bring that family aspect to listening to their complaints and doing something about it,” Rios assures. “In a town this small we all should do our best to help them out, be it government help to appoint, or charities or business investment. But it also extends to the mind in a better access to education. Education opens many opportunities that many of these people have yet to imagine.”
Rios’ second belief is Safer Neighborhoods. Recent crime activity makes people feel unsafe in their own homes. Rios believes there are ways to resolve this issue. According to him, in a short term more funding is needed for police, so they have better tools to fight the crime and hire new officers. He also believes police needs to go out and meet the community they are sworn to protect.
“We need more police to re-connect with those who have lost faith in the police through possibly their life from other areas or the culture they live in that promotes this hostility,” Rios explained.
According to Rios, cameras and better lighting is also a good way to tackle crime problem.
“In order to have any long term gains we need to address the lack of good paying wages where workers are glad to work and proud of what they do,” Rios said. “We also need to help these workers get these jobs by providing a better all around education.”
Rios’ third belief for making Dubuque better is better representation. Rios believes that current City Councilperson does not represent the community as well as she should and Rios thinks he can represent everyone in the community equally.
“I have been called beaner or wetback by both white and black people, I have been near poverty on or two bad months and my family could have been living out of a car, to where I am now as a home owner paying taxes and owning and expanding two businesses.”
Overall, Rios knows he could make Dubuque a great place to live. He will do his best to fight crime and ignorance of outsiders.
“The few people wreaking havoc are creating even more problems that just the crime themselves, but they are tearing the fabric of the community to shreds and this needs to be healed…soon!”
Remember the voting starts at 7 AM on November 3, 2015.