"Over 100 years ago my family fled violent war in Mexico to settle here in Fresno, CA. We’ve come a long way since then." - Rico
Ricardo "Rico” Franco is a fourth generation Mexican American whose family grew up as farm laborers in Dinuba and Fresno. Despite the hardships of poverty his parents graduated from college and his mother had a 40 year career in higher education and his father worked in mental health for 30 years and was union president for AFSCME. Rico is the first in his family who has NOT had to work in the fields.
Rico graduated from Clovis West High School and received his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Fresno to grow jobs in the Central Valley.
As Account Manager for Guardsmark, Inc., a national protection services business, he contracted with national corporations, hospitals, health care facilities, courthouses, processing plants, and small businesses to provide them with security services. He provided strategic planning to businesses and clients to ensure that facilities, products, employees, and the public were protected.
He negotiated business contracts with clients, supervised over 100 employees, ensured that employees received benefits and fair wages, and reduced employee turnover. Rico grew business accounts in the Central Valley and was promoted to National Account Manager overseeing contracts for major facilities in the Bay Area, New Orleans, and across the country. For this account he received security clearance from Homeland Security.
Rico worked with an education start-up company that deployed and customized performance and goal setting software for schools. He managed clients in multiple states, supervised deployment of education software and worked with teachers to customize software modifications. Additionally, he worked with a hardware company that customized computer equipment for large entities in the U.S., China, and other international markets. He analyzed and modified business operations, including web operations, sales plan, clientele management, and employee development. When Brexit was passed and the global impact lead to the loss of significant business revenue, he and the owners retooled the company to save the jobs (with benefits) of 17 American workers.
His experience with corporations and small businesses has provided valuable knowledge about the impact of the global economy, trade policy, and implementation of tariffs on the economy in the Central Valley. His management and strategic planning experience makes him the most qualified to represent the Central Valley and advocate for job development, educational training, improved health care, small business development, immigration reform, and agricultural interests that can contribute to an improved and a vibrant economy for the Central Valley.
what I STAND FOR...
We must grow and invest in good, stable jobs, green energy, and technology.
Taxes: Taxes for the middle class and small businesses must be cut, and wealthy corporations need to pay their fair share.
Jobs: We need to focus on underemployment, not just unemployment. We also need to ensure that workers, both organized and non-organized, have a seat at the table in business jobs and promote fair working conditions across the board.
Income: We must close the income gap by reducing taxes for the middle class and small businesses.
We must make a healthy lifestyle affordable, and ensure that everyone has access to healthcare through Medicare for All.
Food: We must fight the existence of food deserts, make healthy foods more affordable for low-income families, and support programs such as WIC and SNAP.
Medicare for All: I fully support Medicare for All and pledge to cosponsor it if elected to Congress. I believe that healthcare is a human right, and will ensure that we maintain access to emergency, preventative, and reproductive healthcare.
Mental Health: We must expand mental health services by guaranteeing healthcare coverage and expanding services to veterans, schools, and the criminal justice system.
We must support our troops as civilian veterans as much as we do in combat. That means properly funding and staffing the VA, improving access and visibility of care, and streamlining their transition.
Rural Veterans: Support rural veterans by improving outreach services and transportation access to regional medical facilities
Transitional Programs: Increase funding for service member transitional programs
Medical Care: Create Regional Clinics and an Aquatic Therapy Program at Fresno VA Regional Hospital
Mental Health: Extend Clay Hunt SAV Bill funding for mental health services
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Immigration reform must be comprehensive, compassionate, and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented Americans.
DREAM Act: I fully support the DREAM Act and would cosponsor it if elected to Congress. I also support the reinstatement of DACA.
Skilled Worker Visas: The private sector knows what they need when it comes to workers, and should be able to help dictate how we issue skilled and non-skilled worker visas.
Refugees: We should continue the American Spirit of accepting refugees, while keeping our homeland safe.
We must both protect and conserve our natural resources and fight for a greener economy to grow our communities and resist climate change.
Fracking: Fracking is destructive and devastating, and must be stopped immediately.
Climate Change: Climate change is real, and it is a humanitarian issue. We must address this global crisis through promotion of green jobs, common sense regulations, and helping businesses go green.
Green Jobs: When we choose to focus on green jobs, our economy and job opportunities grow. California already has over 550,000 advanced energy jobs, and we need to make this a national standard.
Clean Water: We must ensure every community has access to safe, clean drinking water - from Flint, Michigan to California’s Central Valley.
Water is life for us in the Central Valley.
Work with government leaders in the West as well as Washington to update our water storage and delivery systems for residential, industrial and agricultural use
Conserve our environment while making sure we put human life first
In order for education to be the great equalizer, every student should be equipped with the knowledge they need to thrive in our economy.
Higher education: We need to make sure that a higher education is within reach by eliminating access barriers based on your parents' income, your racial background, gender, or zip code.
College Affordability: California has taken a step in the right direction making 1 year of community college free, but we need to start moving towards fully-funded, tuition-free public colleges and universities.
K12: We need to ensure appropriate teacher-student ratios, support for nursing and mental health, full funding for education, universal Pre-K access, and well-rounded curriculum that includes the arts.
Teachers: As educators and professionals, no one knows more about the classroom than teachers. We must support them and take their lead, since no one else knows education better than they do.
We must lift up and support marginalized communities, restore trust and representation in our government, and protect affirmative action.
Voting: We should be making it easier for people to vote, not more difficult. Our low voter turnout rates are only made worse by restrictive laws that make voting a challenge.
Women’s Rights: I am committed to fight for equal pay, preventing sexual assault, protecting a woman's right to choose, ending human trafficking, and maintaining access to reproductive care, including birth control.
Criminal Justice: We must move towards a community policing system to restore trust. Community members should see police as people who are there to help them, not people who are there to punish them.
Bail Reform: Our pretrial system should be keeping dangerous criminals off of the streets, not keeping poor people or people of color in jail. Cash bail must be eliminated.
Marriage Equality: I support love - plain and simple. I am proud to support the LGBT+ community, and fully support marriage equality.
Equality means protecting all of our communities regardless of their choice of who they love.
- Protect same sex marriage rights
- Expand the Federal Fair Housing Act to protect the housing rights of LGBTQ+ people
- Address the issue of disproportionate deportations of transgender people and their housing conditions while detained, and refugee status for LGBTQ+ people
- Combat the disproportionate incarceration of minorities, including LGBTQ+ people, by eliminating cash bail, reforming drug laws, and putting an emphasis on community wellbeing
- Strengthen protections for victims of sexual harassment and assault
- Expand federal workplace protections for LGBTQ+ people
- Simplify the process for legal name changes on Social Security Cards and bank accounts.
Organized labor fought to provide us the protections we have in the modern workplace. We must work to restore, defend and expand these protections
- Fight back against dangerous “right to work” laws
- Support the right of workers to legally unionize
- Advocate for a $15 federal minimum “living wage”
- Pledge to cosponsor Medicare for All which will remove the burden of providing healthcare from the employer and provide employees with accessible, affordable healthcare
- Support career technical education programs that prepare students for unionized jobs that grow the economy
- Ensure fair working conditions and adequate compensation for workplace-related injuries
The survival of our nation relies upon preserving a true democracy. Ensuring we have fair elections in an age of new technological threats as well as not disenfranchising voters is vital
- Expand the use of open source voting machines, which are less susceptible to hacking
- Support and encourage election audits, which are critical to our democracy
- Address the insecurities of ballot tabulators, which can lead to a crisis in national security
- Work to author or co-sponsor legislation to devise a new Section 5 coverage formula after it was struck down from the Voting Rights Act
Poverty robs from children the ability to dream. No one should have to choose between paying for healthcare and putting food on the table.
Housing: The Housing First model has worked to eliminate veteran homelessness, and should be expanded to fight homelessness nationwide. Housing should be affordable and accessible for all people.
Poverty: I will work to improve public health and services to ensure that people who need a leg up have the resources they need, with an efficient system.