Former Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia Sworn Into U.S. House – NBC Los Angeles

Former Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is officially the first openly LGBTQ+ immigrant to serve in Congress.

Garcia was sworn in early Saturday morning Washington time, four days later than planned because Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, failed to secure the necessary votes to elect the Speaker by the 15th ballot early Saturday.

“It’s time,” the Democrat said. “The American people deserve a government that works for them, and now I can finally work for the people of California.”

“As the first LGBTQ+ immigrant to serve in Congress, I am committed to building an inclusive, strong, and prosperous society. I will work with my colleagues to protect democracy, achieve meaningful progress on immigration reform, and build infrastructure in our cities.” improve so that the families of Long Beach and Southeast Los Angeles can thrive in the years to come,” added Garcia.

The rules of the Parliament prohibit the swearing in of members until the Speaker of the Parliament is elected.

Garcia said she ran to represent the 42nd District “because I want every child in our country to have the same opportunity that this country gave me.”

Garcia, who served as mayor of Long Beach from 2014 to Dec. 20, won the race against incumbent Republican Alan Lowenthal, who is retiring, 68.4%-31.6%, 68.4%-31.6%. defeated John Briscoe. district since 2013.

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Part of the district was represented by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, who retired after serving in Congress since 1993.

The district runs from Long Beach north of Lakewood, Bellflower and Downey to Huntington Park. There are also the islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente.

When Garcia was 5 years old, he moved to the United States from Lima, Peru, with his parents and other relatives. In a biography provided by her campaign, Garcia said: “My mother brought me to America with no English, no education, and no proper immigration status.” We came here with a temporary visa and stayed when it expired.

“But thanks to a progressive amendment to immigration law passed by Congress in the 1980s, we were able to apply for permanent residency. I became an American citizen at the age of 21. It was the best day of my life. .”

As a member of the House, Garcia pledged to support legislation that:

– Make the United States a “world leader in pandemic prevention and biosecurity planning;

raise the federal minimum wage to $15 from $7.25, which has been in place since 2009;

  • increase paid family leave;
  • change additional rules;
  • establish public banks;
  • provide universal child care;
  • pre-K education guarantee;
  • expand citizenship pathways for immigrants in the country without legal permission; and
  • expand affordable and accessible housing.
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Garcia describes himself as a comic book nerd, educator and “progressive and proud American.”

He defended himself against the critics who continue to criticize him at the age of 45 in a tweet, “Because you are all upset that I am still singing and suggest that I need to study more seriously. “Anyone who understands comics knows that comics are a fundamental part of the American story. And the lessons learned are invaluable.”

Garcia was elected as the leader of the new class of House Democrats.

His mother, Gaby O’Donnell, died in late July 2020 of complications from the coronavirus at the age of 61. His father, Greg O’Donnell, died on August 9, 2020, at the age of 58 from complications from COVID-19. , a day after the family held a memorial service for Garcia’s mother.

Former state Sen. Sydney Kamlager is the other member of the Los Angeles County Assembly, representing the 37th District in place of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

Kamlager, a former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, a fellow Democrat, won 64 percent in the district that includes mostly parts of South Los Angeles, along with Crenshaw and Pico-Robertson, Culver City, Palms and West Los Angeles districts. -36% defeated. .

Kamlager said that as a member of the Assembly he will focus on:

  • expansion of voting rights;
  • reproductive justice;
  • health care for all;
  • Criminal justice reform on segregation, redemption and rehabilitation;
  • job creation to create economic justice and opportunities for all communities;
  • modern investment in housing;
  • Green New Deal and urgent climate action; and
  • increased education and arts expenses.
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Kamlager was born in Chicago in 1972 to mixed-race parents. Her first involvement in politics came in 1983 when she worked with her grandmother to get Harold Washington elected as the city’s first black mayor. He moved to Los Angeles to attend USC, earning a degree in political science.

He also earned a master’s degree in arts administration and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kamlager was elected to the state Senate in a March 2021 special election, replacing Holly Mitchell, who was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Kamlager was Mitchell’s district manager before being elected to the Assembly in a 2018 special election.

He was a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees from 2015-18 and was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families in 2013.

Kamlager also worked at the Community and Public Arts Resource Center in Venice and for the Ladera Heights-based early childhood care and education organization Crystal Stairs.


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