My parents have been married for 51 years. They grew up in Ciudad Juarez during a time where the border between Mexico and America meant very little. In fact, both my grandmothers were raised in the USA and my paternal great grandparents and ancestors were born in New Mexico, USA. My father was a US citizen who crossed the border every day to go to an American elementary school until he was asked to leave because he lived in a little town in Mexico.
Due to an early death of my paternal grandfather, my father helped pay the family bills from the time he was 18 years old, working and studying at the same time. He moved to Mexico City to finish his bachelor’s degree in accounting and married my mom. When I was five years old, my dad received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree at UCLA. He moved to Los Angeles for three months, but left early as no one would rent an apartment to graduate students with children – and he had three. Nevertheless, he finished his MBA in Mexico and had an extremely successful career at the Bank of Mexico.
My mother was a stay-at-home mom and she was always there for us. She is an amazing cook and is the best grandmother ever. Everything I am is because of their love and support. Like many of my friends here in Renton, my parents’ lives were defined by making sure their children had the education, travel, and opportunities that could give them a prosperous, happy future. What I accomplish as a public official is rooted in the beliefs I learned from two parents who were tireless examples of what success should be.
My parents also taught me about not settling for anything less than I deserved, which is why I married late in life. I met my husband Al Ralston in Mexico City years before, and we became best friends way back then. Al is the longtime former Boeing executive whom most people know from his government affairs involvement for Boeing. We are a great team.