Aaron Márquez – a veteran of multiple political campaigns and the United States Army – grew up in Arizona, served his country through two deployments to Afghanistan, and has fought for progressive change in Arizona across the country. Most recently, Aaron cofounded VetsForward.us, a group of progressive military veterans in Arizona that work to defend democratic values at home by winning the hearts and minds of American voters.
In 2015, Aaron led veterans outreach efforts for the office of U.S. Congressman Ruben Gallego. He met with veterans and military families at the Phoenix VA Hospital, American Legion, and VFW halls across the district while spearheading efforts to bring more significant resources to Arizona veterans and their families. Aaron first ran for office as a candidate for the Arizona State Senate in 2014. He knocked on thousands of doors, and his campaign raised over $185,000, an Arizona Democratic Party record for a first-time legislative candidate.
Raised in Arizona, Aaron proudly attended public elementary, middle, and high schools in Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, and Gilbert. Aaron began college at the University of Arizona and Mesa Community College but withdrew after his first year because he felt called to serve his country following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He joined an AmeriCorps program called City Year, where he committed to two full years of community service and worked full-time running youth service-learning programs for students most at risk of dropping out before graduation. Aaron then spent 2004 working as a field organizer in Arizona for John Kerry’s presidential campaign.
Aaron went on to study International Politics at Georgetown University. While still in college, Aaron co-founded a non-profit organization, ServeNext.org, to unite national and community service stakeholders to make national service a public policy solution to America's toughest challenges. Through his leadership, Aaron built the foundation of an advocacy movement that united thousands of citizens and national service alumni. This movement culminated in nine Presidential candidates, including then-Senator Obama, signing a pledge to expand AmeriCorps by 100,000 members and ultimately passing the Serve America Act. Today the mission of ServeNext.org lives on in the work of the Service Year Alliance.
In 2009 Aaron felt called again to serve his country, this time as a member of the armed forces. He joined the United States Army Reserve, trained in Military Intelligence and Civil Affairs, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 to support Operation Enduring Freedom. As a Civil Affairs team chief in Afghanistan, Aaron developed, managed, and completed 32 reconstruction projects across four provinces, including building bridges, schools, and women’s centers. Aaron deployed to Afghanistan from 2016 to 2017 as a Captain in the United States Army Reserve and commanded a small detachment of Military Intelligence Soldiers from Arizona supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel. During this deployment, he supported counter-terrorism operations targeting violent extremist organizations throughout Afghanistan.
Between military training and his first deployment, Aaron worked as the political director for Terry Goddard’s 2010 campaign for Arizona governor and later as a policy analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In 2020, Aaron was elected to the at-large seat of the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board, where he has been fighting for progressive change to improve local public schools for our students and their families. As a school board member, he has advocated for more robust public health policies, bringing in national service programs to provide increased wraparound services, and restorative justice practices.
Aaron lives in Phoenix with his wife – an elementary school principal – seven-year-old daughter Sarah, and seventeen-year-old stepson James.