NAME: Marvin Pineda
JOB TITLE: Polanco Fellow
Capitol Weekly: How does the Polanco Fellowship program compare with the
Capitol Fellowship Program?
Marvin Pineda: It’s different in a way because they pick six students
throughout California. And there are two components. The first component is
you are placed in the executive branch. So I was in the treasurer’s office
for four months. After those four months, fellows go over to the
Legislature. And the nice thing about it is you can work for an Assembly
member or a senator; you have the option. But it’s similar to the Capitol
Fellows program because we take a seminar every Friday and we carry
legislation. The program goes through the end of July.
CW: Tell us your story of how you emigrated from Guatemala to the United
MP: All of my family, we’re immigrants. We all came here illegally or
without documentation. My mom came when she was 17 and then brought me when
I was 11. She was pretty young when she had me–she was 14 years old. And my
dad wasn’t around so what my grandfather said was “we’ll take care of your
kids and you can go to the U.S.” My mom came by herself and saved money
earning minimum wage and then told me “you’re the oldest so I’ll bring you
first.” It’s pretty crazy because I was arrested twice in Mexico and then
thrown back. I couldn’t see how serious it was. But on the third time I made
it. I remember running across the border.
CW: Why did you choose Sen. Gil Cedillo’s office for your work with the
Polanco Fellowship Program?
MP: During my last year at UC Riverside, I started to hear about Sen.
Cedillo and his driver’s license bill for undocumented immigrants. I
remember being in Huntington Park in Southern California and seeing the
senator on TV, and I was like, “Wow, that guy is good.” And he’s the only
member we would hear about in the community. All I wanted was a picture with