ARC alumni Sergio Robles runs for Elk Grove city council

Robles is part of a younger generation that wants to make a difference for the future


Sergio Robles, an American River College alumni, is running for Elk Grove City Council in hopes of making a difference in the community. (Photo courtesy of Sergio Robles)

Sergio Robles, an American River College alumni, says he hopes to make a difference at the smaller level of community service by sitting in a place  he can make change.

Robles feels the importance of running for Elk Grove City Council in a race that ends Nov. 8.  

“I like to come back to where I came from,” said Robles, who attended ARC from 2011 to 2015, before transferring to California State University, Northridge. “To make sure that folks know that there’s a pathway that we can help folks out.”

Robles says it’s the actions of ARC staff that helped keep him moving in his education. Once, he remembers, he had a flat tire and no money to replace it, without his car he couldn’t make it to class.

“I was working a lot of hours and didn’t have money to pay for a tire,” Robles said. “It was my counselor who gave me the $40.”

Robles explains how this one action made him who he wanted to be.

“This is why it’s a call to service [for me],” Robles said. 

Robles acknowledges that the ARC counselors cared for him, when he was on academic probation. 

“It was my counselor who wrote a recommendation letter to keep me in,” Robles said. “[The counselor] knew if I was kicked out I wasn’t coming back.”

Robles, who took Political Science 301 with ARC Professor Kathleen Collihan, said he appreciates the tough love that she gave him.

“She was tough on me because she saw the potential that I didn’t see in myself,” Robles said. “She was trying to push me to be better.”

Collihan remembers Robles as someone who was intellectually curious about the world around him.

“Even then he wanted to be engaged in politics,” Collihan said in an email to the Current.

Collihan says that it was Robles’ participation with Model United Nations that gave him the opportunity to develop his natural leadership skills.

“[Robles] is a natural leader who cares about his community, state and world,” Collihan said.

These interactions at ARC is what drives Robles to serve the community and run for city council. 

Robles was raised by a single Latino mother who was also an immigrant. He was born in Texas, raised in Minnesota and then moved to South Sacramento. 

Robles experienced the interactions of law enforcement and the immigrants in his community in Minnesota. 

“You’re not going to want to go to school for fear of not being able to come home and see your mom,” Robles said. “For me immigration is a really big thing.”

Robles believes it’s important to knock on the doors of his constituents and let the people know who he is. 

“I knocked on 165 doors yesterday,” Robles said. “I have my goal today [for] 200 doors.”

Robles says that he is willing to work with everyone and anyone who is willing to have a conversation to better the community, no matter where they sit in the political world. 

“It’s making sure we meet in the middle because you’re not always going to get what you want,” Robles said. “But it’s me making sure that there’s compromise.”

Robles says that ARC students need to get involved with their community, and that everyone’s road and path is different. 

“Don’t think you will never be there,” Robles said. “It’s [a] matter of don’t give up and you never know [where] you’ll end up.”