Gil Cisneros is an independent leader running for Congress to ensure our children are provided with the same ladder of opportunity that the Navy provided him. Gil is not a career politician, he is a veteran and education advocate, who will stand up to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries to lower healthcare costs, protect education funding, and work to create good-paying local jobs. Gil refuses contributions from PACs because he believes the government should work for the people – not corporate special interests.
The son of a public school cafeteria worker and a Vietnam veteran, Gil attended college on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University. Gil also holds an MBA from Regis University and M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown. As the first in his family to graduate from college, Gil will fight Republican attempts to cut education funding and Pell Grants, tools that empower not just students, but entire communities.
Gil knows firsthand the challenges families face when they are unable to afford healthcare. Gil’s own father suffered health problems from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam, and lost his health insurance. In Congress Gil will stand up to Donald Trump and Republicans to protect healthcare as a right for all Californians.
Through ten years of service to our country as a U.S. Naval Officer, Gil was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for his exemplary service to his country.
An education policy expert, Gil is president and co-founder of The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, an organization committed to strengthening public schools, and creating college opportunities for students and veterans. He also serves on the advisory board of Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative for college access.
Gil’s dedication toward philanthropy began when he purchased a winning California Mega Millions lottery ticket in 2010. Gil and Jacki partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the city of Pico Rivera, California to create Generation First Degree Pico Rivera, with the goal of putting a college degree in every household in the city. Gil has worked to strengthen schools, and promote access to quality education by supporting Yellow Ribbon programs for Veterans, establishing scholarships, and creating an endowment for the dependents of former Navy Supply Corps personnel, so that tuition costs are never a barrier to educational opportunities.
Gil serves as Secretary of the Latino Donor Collaborative, and a board member of The Wooden Floor, a non-profit dance studio based in Santa Ana, California. He is a member of the Southern California Advisory Council for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a member of the Advisory Council for the Dean of Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University, a member of the Brown University Diversity Council, and previously served on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for The Kennedy Center under President Obama.
Now the parents of twin boys, Gil and Jacki remain committed to expanding educational opportunities for Southern California youth.