Tim and his wife Debbie live in Lake Elsinore. They have been married for 11 years. Prior to moving to Lake Elsinore, they lived in Menifee. Tim’s stepdaughter Brie lives in Texas with her husband Daniel Ramirez.
Tim grew up in a middle-class family in Syracuse, New York. His father, a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, worked for Continental Bakery and drove Wonder Bread and Hostess Cakes trucks. His mom worked various jobs in the local school system and later for United Parcel Service. Tim had two siblings – a sister Tracy, who lives in Central New York with her husband and her daughter, and a brother Thomas who passed away at age 21 in April 1992 of Leukemia.
His brother’s illness and passing had a profound effect on Tim. He came to realize how fortunate his family was to have excellent health insurance as his brother fought hard against the illness that was first diagnosed only two years before he passed. Tim’s brother received excellent care during his illness because his father was a member of the Teamsters – the union had negotiated a contract that provided excellent healthcare coverage for its members and their families. Equally importantly, the health insurance ensured that Tim’s family could do everything medically possible for his brother without worrying how they would pay their bills or put food on the table. It was an experience that Tim would never forget. It is the foundation of his view that healthcare in this country should be a right, and that no family should have to choose between eating and being able to provide the best possible healthcare for a member of their family.
Tim’s dad, Philip, passed away in October 1996. Tim’s mom, Jackie, who is retired, currently lives in Florida.
In 1983, Tim graduated from North Syracuse High School – in its last graduating class. Afterward, he enrolled at Onondaga Community College and earned an associate’s degree in 1986. Following that, he continued his education at the State University of New York, College at Oswego (SUNY Oswego) where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1989.
In addition to serving as a Resident Assistant to help pay for school while at SUNY Oswego, Tim also took out student loans. While he appreciated the benefit of such loans, he also experienced firsthand the high costs of these loans for students and parents. In addition to high interest rates, Tim and other borrowers were also subjected to origination fees. Origination fees are fees that the lenders/banks deduct from a student loan prior to its distribution. So, if a student applied for a $1000 loan, he/she would only receive $950 after the lenders/banks collected the origination fee. What makes this practice especially galling is that even though students and parents never saw this money, they still had to repay it, and pay interest on it throughout the life of the loan. Tim came to believe that such terms were simply unfair, and that lobbying efforts by the lenders/banks ensured very favorable terms for themselves at the expense of students and their parents. These favorable terms for the lenders/banks is especially troublesome given the fact that the loans were guaranteed, i.e., the Federal government guaranteed repayment to the lenders/banks, which meant that they had virtually no risk in making the loan.
Given his experience with student loans, Tim is committed to ensuring that students get the best possible terms so that they can reasonably afford to attend college without having to worry about being saddled with a massive amount of debt when they finish. He is also committed to lowering the interest rates on current loans, and working toward fairer repayment terms so that students can spend money on things other than student loan repayments when they get out of college.
While at SUNY Oswego, Tim wrote a weekly political column for the school paper The Oswegonian called The Fourth Estate. The column appeared on the same page with a weekly column written by Tim’s friend and author Tom Schaller.
While Tim was in college, he worked as on-air talent on various radio stations in Central New York. He hosted a morning program at WOSC Radio in Fulton and worked at one of Syracuse’s most iconic radio stations – 62 WHEN – on weekends. He also drove WHEN’s famous car – the Heavy ‘Vette – in parades and during special events. At the same time he produced and hosted a public affairs program called Focus at 104.7 KIX FM. Finally, in 1988, Tim was also the voice of the Fulton High School Red Raiders football team on WZZZ Radio.
After graduating from SUNY Oswego, Tim moved to northeast Ohio and enrolled at The University of Akron School of Law. While in Akron, he was a student leader and served as Student Bar Association President for the 1991-1992 term. Tim graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1992.
While in law school, Tim interned at the district offices of Congressman Tom Sawyer – a Democrat who represented Ohio’s 14 District from 1987 through 2003. While interning with Congressman Sawyer, he saw firsthand how a well-run Congressional district office works and why such an office is so important for constituent services.
To that end, Tim is committed to prioritizing constituent services when he is elected to Congress ahead of everything else. He will work on behalf of his constituents to ensure that issues with Federal agencies related to Social Security, Medicare and those involving Veterans are handled in an expedited manner. Moreover, he has pledged that when he is not in Washington, he will be at home in the District, attending community functions, visiting schools, etc. Tim has also said that he will not take any Congressional junkets – overseas “factfinding” trips made by members of Congress at public expense. He will also hold regular office hours. This means that he will be easily accessible and that you or your neighbors will be able to talk with him – all you’ll have to do is make an appointment.
A few years after law school, Tim enrolled at Georgetown University Law School where he earned a LL.M. (Legal Master’s Degree).
In 1996, Tim began his career with the National Treasury Employees Union where he still serves as a National Field Representative/Assistant Counsel litigating arbitration cases. NTEU is a smart, tough organization, well-respected for its knowledge of Federal employee issues. In fact, on May 16, 2013, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch called NTEU “one of the toughest unions in this country.”
Tim has worked on behalf of working people since he left law school – he has litigated more than forty arbitration cases on behalf of the employees he represents opposing the Federal government, and has reviewed, prepared and settled close to one hundred more.
He has also worked before the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA). In 2010, Tim served as lead counsel in a case called Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection, San Francisco Region and NTEU Chapter 273 65 FLRA 102 (2010). The case changed Federal sector labor law when it created a new test for arbitrators to apply when making awards on behalf of those protecting their rights against the Federal government.
Tim has also served as chief spokesperson in negotiations between those he represents and against the Federal government. He has also represented employees before the Federal Services Impasses Panel (FSIP) on two occasions and has served on three bargaining teams representing his colleagues in term contract negotiations.
His extensive experience engaging in formal negotiations at various levels will serve him well in Congress where he will be focused on resolving issues facing this country in a bipartisan manner. He has pledged to work with all members of Congress, regardless of party, to move the country forward in a manner that will benefit working people and not the millionaires and billionaires who too often find themselves as the beneficiaries of legislation at the expense of everyone else.
Tim is an avid bowler and shot a sanctioned 298 game in 2001 and again on March 1, 2015 at Cal Oaks Bowl in Murrieta. He currently bowls in the Hi Rollers Sunday night league at Cal Oaks Bowl. He is also a baseball fan and was a season ticket holder with the San Diego Padres for a number of years. He also follows the Dodgers, Angels, Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Finally, Tim was the 2014 Democratic nominee for Congress in California’s 42nd District. Currently, he serves as the Democratic State Central Committee AD 67 Executive Board Representative. He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Democratic Club of Southwest Riverside County, and is a member of the Democrats of Corona/Norco, the Menifee/Perris Valley Democratic Club, and NAACP Branch No. 1034.