Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Jess immigrated to the United States with his family, graduating from Oxnard High School where he was a student activist and leader on many student academic and social projects. He also served with distinction in the US Army in both Europe and in Vietnam, working as longshoreman.
Following his military service, Jess attended Moorpark College on a Ford Foundation scholarship, later transferring to UC San Diego where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Through the 70s and 80s Jess worked at the Port of Hueneme as a casual longshoreman and after 18 years gained membership in the International Longshoreman’s and Warehouse Union Local #46 (ILWU) where he retired in December 2018 after over 51 years of service.
His passion and commitment for helping the disadvantaged and the underserved is demonstrated through his work with the Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua Mexico and various youth groups throughout Oxnard, always emphasizing the importance of education. He is most proud of his four daughters, all of whom have completed degrees from some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, receiving their Bachelor’s degrees at San Francisco State, UCLA and UC Berkeley, and Master’s programs at University of Mexico City, University of Chicago and Harvard University.
Jess has been recognized for his community service by many groups including El Concilio Family Services in Oxnard, CA, the Oxnard Police Chief’s community organization and the California Parent Teachers Association (PTA), to name but a few.
With his knowledge of harbor and maritime issues and a commitment to public service and the environment, Jess was elected to the Board of Harbor Commissioners of the Oxnard Harbor District where he continues to serve his six terms during the Port’s greatest period of expansion.
Meeting High Standards for a 9th Consecutive Year
August 2019 – For the ninth consecutive year, the Port of Hueneme is being read more
Putting local people to work and creating green jobs
The final step in the Port’s South Terminal Modernization came to fruition on read more
Clean Air, Green Jobs, and Zero-Emission Ship to Shore Delivery
July 9, 2019 – The Port of Hueneme joined stevedoring company Ports read more