Joe was born in Belen, New Mexico, the youngest of 15 children in a house wher little English was spoken. He served in the U.S. Army as aparatrooper with both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions from 1966-68.
Following military service, Joe earned his associated degree from Barstow Community College in 1970, his bachelor's degree in sociology from California State University-Los Angeles in 1971. In 1979, he was the first Latino elected to the Board of Trustees for the San Bernardino Valley College District. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1992, where he bacame the first Latino Speaker pro Tempore, and was elected to the State Senate in 1998.
Joe had been married for 46 years to his wife, Barbara. They have four children, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. He is a parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Rialto.
Congressional Seniority the Inland
Joe has a 100% Proven track record supporting Labor, Teachers, Equality, Women's Rights, and bringing jobs to the Inland Empire.