Ammar Campa Najjar

Born in East San Diego County, Ammar is a former federal official who has devoted his life to service.​​​ From his first job in church ministry to working for a presidential campaign; from serving in the White House to advocating for small businesses; from fighting for the American worker to running for Congress; Ammar has always answered the call to serve the public good.

The son of a Mexican American mother and a Middle Eastern immigrant father, Ammar was raised in San Diego until the family moved to Gaza for four years. When war broke out and it became unsafe to remain, Ammar, his mother and brother returned to San Diego. The family struggled, and Ammar sought work as a janitor in a church, where he later became a youth leader. He attended community college and graduated from San Diego State University, after taking time off to help reelect the president.

In 2012, Ammar served as Deputy Regional Field Director for President Obama’s reelection campaign, where he helped oversee Southern California’s grassroots operations from a headquarters in San Diego. Ammar worked alongside thousands of people, who in the spirit of public service, volunteered their labor and love in advocacy of a common cause.

Following the election, Ammar secured a White House position in the Executive Office of President Obama. When he was unable to afford the move to Washington, DC, he secured a loan to serve on the team that selected the 10 letters that the president read every night. Ammar read thousands of letters from citizens, learning much about the hopes, fears and daily struggles of the American people.

He then worked at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) as Communications and Marketing Director, promoting the economic growth of more than 4 million Hispanic-owned small businesses. While serving at the USHCC, Ammar supported efforts to help small businesses secure federal contracts as well as procurement opportunities with larger companies seeking to diversify their supply chains with minority-owned firms who reflect the communities they serve.

At the U.S. Department of Labor, Ammar led the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). In this role, Ammar was instrumental in promoting a nationwide effort to double and diversify the number of Registered Apprenticeships in America, an “an earn while you learn job” that pays workers an average of $60,000 a year. Ammar also supported: the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) in helping American workers who were laid off due to unfair trade deals; expanding aid for farm workers; launching youth summer jobs programs; advancing veteran employment opportunities; providing vocational training and rehabilitation services to those in the criminal justice system; improving reemployment services; and cracking down on unemployment fraud.

Ammar’s exposure to the economic needs of both businesses and workers informs his policy views and makes job creation and economic growth among his top policy priorities.

He is a staunch advocate for unions, for federal investment in apprenticeship jobs and for programs for small businesses owned by minorities, women, immigrants and veterans. Ammar’s experience in Gaza, where he witnessed war and poverty, emboldened him to become a strong supporter of peace and economic justice. His platform also includes Medicare for All, passing a clean Dream Act, investing in renewable energy, and overturning Citizens United.

Ammar owns ACN Strategies, a small business that helps other small businesses, and nonprofits with small budgets, compete against their larger counterparts. But his full focus now is earning the trust of the voters of District 50.

In running for Congress, Ammar is answering the call to service issued in President Obama’s Farewell Address: “to believe you can make a difference; to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourselves. This generation coming up – unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic… You believe in a fair, just, inclusive America… you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward…I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.”

Ammar believes, and invites you to join his people-powered movement.

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