(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — Breaking Bad actor Steven Michael Quezada wants to make a difference in the state that he and his show call home.
The 49-year-old actor, who plays Agent Steven Gomez on the AMC drama, is seeking a spot on the Albuquerque, N.M. school board. Quezada is running unopposed to represent a newly created district on the city’s growing West Side.
Quezada has lived in Albuquerque all his life, where Breaking Bad has filmed for the past six years. Quezada also attended public schools in the district he hopes to represent.
“This is my home and where I want to work,” Quezada told ABC News. “We’re hurting out here and we need people who can go out and engage our community. I think it’s my destiny to do that.”
Quezada says his priorities would be to shrink class size, encourage more charter schools, and promote arts programs.
“I want to protect the performing and visual arts because they’re always the first to get cut. Art curriculum can be used as a way to educate,” he said.
Quezada has been working with Albuquerque kids since 1987 and three of his four children are enrolled in an Albuquerque public school.
Monica Armenta, the executive director of communications for Albuquerque Public Schools, said the district is excited Quezada has decided to run for the open seat.
“Breaking Bad is a coveted show in this part of New Mexico and is highly acclaimed,” said Armenta. “Whenever you have someone that high-profiled really interested in learning about education, it’s great.”
Many Breaking Bad cast members, including Bryan Cranston, who has won four Emmys for his role as a meth maker, have donated their time and money to improving Albuquerque.
“Bryan [Cranston] has raised money for education, wounded warriors and has engaged the community,” said Quezada.
But, none of the cast or crew have made the commitment that Quezada is about to take on. Albuquerque Public Schools have 89,000 students and 12,000 employees. According to Quezada, Albuquerque schools have a dropout rate close to 40 percent.
“I believe I’m in a position to help kids and my community. Education is the best way to ensure our future,” said Quezada.
Quezada hopes to serve a two-year term on the school board and says he’s open to running for other local and state positions in the future.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Brian Stelter, CNN Newswire