Jeremy Ray is a father, a fire captain, a former teacher and an experienced advocate for working families. He has benefited from a wide-range of educational, professional and leadership experiences over the past twenty years which have prepared him to take on the significant challenges facing our public schools.
After graduating from UCLA in 1993, Jeremy earned a teaching credential from the University of California, Riverside while teaching 8th-grade U.S. History and 7th & 8th-grade Conflict Resolution in a Southern California middle school. While never planning on a teaching career, this experience gave Jeremy a deep appreciation for both the joys and frustrations of being a public school teacher.
In 1997, Jeremy got the opportunity to live every little boy’s dream—becoming a firefighter. After completing a fire academy and paramedic school, Jeremy established his career with the Santa Clara Fire Department in 1999, where he continues to work today. A Captain since 2010, Jeremy tries to ensure that he and his crew embody the department motto: “Service Without Limits.”
Early in his fire service career, Jeremy became active in the firefighters‘ union and quickly assumed a leadership role as one of the principal officers of Santa Clara Firefighters, IAFF Local 1171. In this capacity, Jeremy had the opportunity to participate in labor negotiations, policy development, public relations and ultimately came to direct the organizations’ political and governmental affairs at the local and state level.
In 2006, Jeremy was elected to the Executive Board of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, expanding his leadership role to include working on behalf of more than 100,000 union members in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. As a board member, Jeremy has participated in strategic planning decisions, overseen the appointment of a new executive director, and developed close working relationships with elected officials throughout the Bay Area and Central Coast. Jeremy was also honored to be selected as a delegate on a Solidarity Center sponsored leadership exchange to Colombia.
In 2010, while completing his MPA in public and nonprofit management, Jeremy had the opportunity to work with Working Partnerships, USA—a San Jose-based, nonprofit public policy institute—on the development of Life in the Valley Economy 2010, a comprehensive report on the devastating affects of the “Great Recession” on working families in California. Jeremy has also served as an advisor to the Santa Clara Firefighters‘ Foundation and has experience in developing and running nonprofit charitable foundations [IRS 501(c)(3)].
Jeremy is also proud to be a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, an organization committed to joining and strengthening leaders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors in pursuit of the common good.
Jeremy lives in Pleasure Point with his wife, Jessica, and their two children.