Jim has been a public servant in the Pilsen and Little Village communities since 1980. Around this time, he also developed an interest in community organizing, as he was mentored by a priest who supported the farm workers movement. Jim assisted in organizing youth at Benito Juarez and supported families in fighting back against slumlords. In Pilsen, he learned Spanish, lead youth groups and found his calling. In 1980, Jim also met his beautiful wife Blanca. Jim and Blanca have three children – Andrea, Jennifer and Timothy.
In 1984, Jim was hired as a social worker at what was then called the South Lawndale Health Center and was later was renamed in honor of Dr. Jorge Prieto. Jim has worked diligently over the years to carry on the dream of Dr. Prieto, and February 2011 marks his 27th anniversary at the health center. Jim sees over 200 patients a month; his patients are diverse and include including seniors, women, men, children and families. He advocates for the dignity of individuals, physician/patient trust and healthcare as a human right.
Jim has helped to launch important community initiatives. He started a Women’s Domestic Violence Support Group in 1988 and a Diabetic Support Group in 2006. He is also a founding member the Little Village Violence Prevention Collaborative, which began in 2000.