California Born & Raised
The son of a Vietnam Veteran as well as a grandson of a WWII Veteran and a grandson of a Filipino immigrant, Steve is the youngest of three boys who grew up in the Harbor City community of Los Angeles. His father was a computer programmer and his mother was a human resource manager in the Aerospace industry. He attended Nathaniel Narbonne High School, where he played basketball, high jumped and long jumped. After graduating high school with Honors in 1989, Steve moved into his grandfather’s house located in Echo Park and attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated from the Marshall School of Business in 1993 with an emphasis in Marketing. While attending USC, Steve worked for the Office of External Affairs, was a member of the Emerging Leader Program created by Dr. Warren Bennis and participated in various student organizations and programs.
Upon graduating college, Steve began his diverse, 25+ year professional career as a sales representative in the Telecommunications and Real Estate industries. He eventually became the Director of Southern California for Global Crossing’s GlobalCenter division and had the fortunate opportunity to work with high-profile Internet startups as well as various Fortune 500 companies such as ABC Television, E-Toys, Edison International, Realtor.com, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Studios. In addition, Steve supervised the build-out of a 25,000 square foot (SF) fault-tolerant, mission critical data center located in Sherman Oaks, California. As the Dot-Com era came to an end in 2002, Steve made a career change to the commercial real estate industry.
Initially, Steve went to work as a Broker Assistant (later as an Associate) for a boutique commercial real estate firm located in Downtown Los Angeles, where he received a “Glengarry Glen Ross” education in commercial real estate. He participated in several notable transactions including Huffy Corporation’s 120,000 SF West Coast distribution center. However, in 2005, Steve concluded that he needed a more formal, fundamental approach to commercial real estate and went to work for Cushman & Wakefield as a Sr. Research Associate in their Downtown Los Angeles office.
At Cushman & Wakefield, Steve managed and contributed to the coordination and production of statistical reports and research assignments for the Los Angeles Central Office, Industrial and Retail submarkets. He frequently interacted with the broker community, chambers of commerce, economic development offices, planning and zoning departments and other governmental entities to obtain valuable information on current market activity. After a year in research, Steve decided it was time to get back into brokerage.
At the beginning of 2007, Steve went to work as a Sr. Associate with Beitler Commercial Realty Services where he was awarded Rookie of the Year in 2007. His primary focus was on the sales and leasing of industrial and retail properties located in Downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding submarkets. From 2007 through 2009, he completed over $50MM in sales and leasing transactions which included affordable housing developments, restaurants and bars as well as medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations.
Catching the “entrepreneurial bug” in 2009, Steve decided to venture into the medical marijuana industry and co-founded a medical marijuana collective/dispensary called South Bay Alternative. He became an expert in the California Compassionate Use Act, the subsequent legislative statute – SB420, as well as, the various interim medical marijuana ordinances passed by the City of Los Angeles. By the end of 2011 (when it was forced to shut down), the dispensary had 100+ co-op grower relationships, 4,000+ patients and generating approximately $10,000.00 per day in transactions.
After being forced out of the medical marijuana industry, Steve began providing Land Use Consulting services throughout the Southern California area, which complimented his commercial real estate brokerage activity. Specifically, he assisted businesses, organizations and individuals with navigating the process of obtaining controversial entitlements and permits from State, County and City agencies. This included alcohol licenses, wireless antenna permits and code deviations allowing for denser development projects.
With California’s passage of Proposition 64 and the establishment of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) in late 2016, Steve recognized an opportunity. In 2017, Steve earned his Real Estate Brokerage License and founded Cannabis Properties Los Angeles (CPLA) – a commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in the sale and leasing of commercial and medical cannabis eligible properties located in the greater Los Angeles area. By leveraging his extensive industry and market knowledge, as well as, his vast network of property owners and commercial real estate brokers, Steve has positioned CPLA as a leading firm in the cannabis real estate space.
As for Steve’s personal life, he has three beautiful and talented daughters who were raised in Redondo Beach and educated in the Redondo Beach school system. They were members of the Redondo Beach Playhouse, Girl Scouts and played AYSO and Club soccer for numerous years. Steve coached his daughters’ AYSO teams for nine years and had a brief stint as an assistant coach of the boys varsity basketball team at West Torrance High School. He is an active person who enjoys playing basketball, cycling, swimming, weightlifting and bodyboarding. In fact, he was a past member of The Los Angeles Athletic Club where he served on the Board of Governors. But, his favorite past-time is frequenting as many of the wonderful restaurants as he can that are located throughout the 36th congressional district!
Road to the 36th
Graduated High School
Raised in Harbor City and attended Nathaniel Narbonne High School. Graduated with Honors.
Earned Bachelor's Degree
Studied Business Administration - emphasis in Marketing - at the University of Southern California.
Became An Entrepreneur
Cannabis industry pioneer, land use consultant, operates a leading niche real estate brokerage.
Qualified as a candidate for California's 36th United States Congressional District.
See Steve In Action
Why We Support Steve!
"Partisan politics, career politicians, special interest groups... Now more than ever, it's time for change. It's time for someone like Steve."
"Over the past 50+ years, I've supported the Republican Party and I've supported the Democratic Party. It's time to try something new. It's time for someone like Steve."
"Since immigrating to America, I've always voted Republican. Today however, both parties are out of touch. Steve is on to something."
"I'm tired of the nonsense from the two major parties. Steve's approach to politics is precisely what is needed today."