Ricky Gill is a native of San Joaquin County, born and raised in Lodi, California. The son of immigrant parents, Ricky is a small business owner, a family farmer, and a former member of the California State Board of Education whose story speaks to the power of the American dream.
Ricky is the only candidate with local roots in the 9th Congressional District. A Lodi native and graduate of Tokay High School, Ricky has a long record of service to the communities of this district. As a high school student, he volunteered at St. Mary's Interfaith Community Services for the Homeless in Stockton, where he helped provide medical care for the indigent, and at Lodi Memorial Hospital. He was appointed by the Mayor of Lodi to co-chair the Greater Lodi Area Youth Commission, where he was charged with developing career opportunities for local youth. In 2006, he championed the property rights of local farmers in a Lodi News-Sentinel op-ed article. Ricky now serves as a member of the Lodi Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors.
Ricky is a small business owner who has played an integral role in his family's small business for years. From his early involvement with the agricultural side of his family business to his later role in ownership and management of a diverse enterprise that employs 60 people in the San Joaquin Valley, Ricky understands that small business is the engine of economic growth and job creation in this country. Ricky's business experience in the local agriculture industry and in beverage exports uniquely positions him to represent the 9th District on matters of trade and regulatory policy.
In addition to his involvement with small business, Ricky has served as a policy consultant for Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ, where he examined methods of boosting higher education degree attainment. He has worked in the front office of the Sacramento Kings, where he assessed talent in preparation for the annual NBA draft, and for the Oakland Athletics, where he closed litigation loopholes for the club.
In 2004, Ricky earned an appointment to the California State Board of Education. Following his nomination by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and confirmation by the California State Senate, Ricky served as the youngest member of the administration and the sole representative of more than six million public school students. Ricky played a leading role in defending the California High School Exit Examination, in authorizing charter schools that promised statewide benefit, and in advocating legislation designed to give students a greater voice in the conduct of local school boards.
Ricky delivered remarks regarding educational equity at the California Republican Party convention in 2004, and later continued his work in public education as an adviser to the California Secretary for Education, where he was charged with facilitating Governor Schwarzenegger's Initiative-to-Turn Around Failing Schools. He has worked for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, and has served as a math and literacy mentor at KIPP Bay Area charter schools.
In March 2011, Ricky convened an exploratory committee to evaluate the possibility of running for Congress. In May 2011, he announced his candidacy as a Republican running in California's 9th Congressional District.
In 2005, Ricky earned the Frank H. Buck Scholarship, which was awarded in honor of the late Congressman who represented San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties from 1932-42. Ricky used his scholarship to enroll in Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Ricky later earned his Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall, the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.