Ricky Junquera is a proud Cuban American and community activist. Throughout his career, he has worked tirelessly to improve the community in which he was born. Ricky served as Chair of the Miami Dade Democratic Party during the 2018 midterm election cycle and currently serves as the organization’s Outreach Vice Chair.
Ricky is the middle of three siblings raised in West Miami-Dade by a single mother and grandmother, both of whom reminded him and his siblings daily to improve themselves and their community. His grandparents fled Cuba in 1961 and came to Miami in search of a new life. Here his grandmother worked as a seamstress at a factory along the Miami River.
After graduating from Southwest Miami Senior High, Ricky went on to Boston University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He later went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Communications from Lesley University.
Ricky developed his love for the environment during his educational career, when he led multiple volunteer cleanups and led Boston University’s shift to biodegradable food service products.
Ricky has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, including those of Congressman Joe Garcia and Congressman Henry Cuellar. His campaign experience helped him hone his communications skills, particularly when combating Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric during Henry Cuellar’s 2016 campaign.
Today, Ricky serves as the Regional Press Secretary for Sierra Club. There, he has shaped the organization’s communications strategy across the Midwest and Florida and led efforts to improve water quality in Flint, Michigan. Ricky has spent the last couple of years as a Sierra Club expert on coal mining, coal ash, and coal plant issues, organizing strategies in national and regional press around three of the largest coal baron mining company bankruptcies in US history, while showing up for coal miners, coal plant workers and the low income communities surrounding coal plants.
Ricky considers himself blessed to have been raised in west Miami-Dade and be running to represent the people he has spent his whole life beside. It is because of friends and family that he has chosen to take the next step in his public service and run for State House.
Read more on Ricky's website.
As Regional Press Secretary for Sierra Club, Ricky is already fighting for climate action. There, he has shaped the organization’s communications strategy across the Midwest and Florida and led efforts to improve water quality in Flint, Michigan. Ricky has spent the last couple of years as a Sierra Club expert on coal mining, coal ash, and coal plant issues, organizing strategies in national and regional press around three of the largest coal baron mining company bankruptcies in US history, while showing up for coal miners, coal plant workers and the low income communities surrounding coal plants. Ricky believes the federal government’s recent environmental deregulation policies are unacceptable. As a State Representative, he will fight for stronger climate regulation and investment in green energy.
Florida’s choice not to expand Medicaid has cost the state thousands of lives. Ricky is running because he believes every Floridian deserves access to quality healthcare that they can afford.
Gun Violence Prevention
Ricky believes that too many lives are lost to gun violence. As a State Representative, he will advocate for lifesaving gun violence prevention bills.
The Miami-Dade County Public School teachers and support staff shaped Ricky, and they continue to shape the lives of every child in the area. Ricky believes that funding our public schools means funding the future of the state. As a Representative, Ricky will fight to support public school teachers and ensure that public schools have the funding and resources they need.
Florida’s state legislature is poised for Democratic gains. In 2018, Democrat Andrew Gillum narrowly lost the Governor’s race to Republican Ron DeSantis by less than half a point, and Democrats flipped two Congressional and 7 State Senate seats.
GOP state legislators drew the state’s Congressional and state legislative district lines in their favor after the last round of redistricting in 2010. Following successful legal challenges, the Florida Senate district lines were redrawn in 2015 to be less gerrymandered, but the House remains badly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans.
Nonetheless, there are some great opportunities for Democrats in both chambers, particularly after 2018’s successful citizen-initiated ballot initiative (Amendment 4), whose passage means that more than a million formerly incarcerated people can now register to vote in Florida, offering an opportunity for Democrats to expand the electorate.
These are ‘last chance’ races: whoever is elected to the state legislature in 2020 will draw the next round of district lines. It is our last chance to build power in FL’s legislature ahead of redistricting, which has implications for the next entire decade.