Biography, So Far
John Mark Porter
Decades of Service and World Discovery
I am the youngest of three brothers born to a US Forest Service officer and a teacher. Raised in San Bernardino, California, I attended Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School, Cajon High School, and Cal State San Bernardino where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics. I worked to pay for my university education as a camera salesman at FEDCO, a busser and waiter at Lucy’s Mexican Restaurant, and a soccer coach at Cajon and Aquinas high schools.
I am a member of the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe in the Owens Valley of California, a lay minister at Catholic parishes in the United States and the Philippines, and an amateur travel filmmaker, photographer, and writer.
From an early age I discovered a love of travel, and to date have visited all 50 US states and 46 countries. In 2007 I decided to incorporate volunteerism into world travel on a journey to Peru following a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. Since then, I have volunteered in disaster response and food aid in eight countries on five continents. Having spent a good deal of time in the Philippines I developed a network of volunteers and friends who have assisted me in conducting feedings in the disaster-prone archipelago following typhoons and a volcanic eruption.
Since 1993 I have worked in the hospitality industry opening multiple restaurants including most recently Albi in Washington DC. As it turns out, work in restaurants, bars and hotels has encouraged and facilitated further travel, other pursuits, and study - including a post-graduate certificate program in International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).
Following an internship for Congressman Steve Horn in the US House of Representatives in 1997 I could not imagine an entire life in politics and all that seemed to be involved. That year was pivotal in choosing a life of service in the private sector which has enabled a journey of discoveries around the world - an indispensable education in peoples, cultures, current events, philosophy, logistics, religion, history, international development, gastronomy, poverty, leadership, and (yes) politics. These decades of world travel and service to others have sculpted the values of hard work, American exceptionalism, capitalism, faith, justice, limited government, equality, rule of law, family, meritocracy, peace through strength, integrity, and profound liberty. I believe it is this understanding of these values - gained outside of the business of American politics - that makes me uniquely suited to bring them back to Washington on behalf of the people of the Inland Empire for America’s sake and indeed that of the world.