As a resident of the city of Downey, I have to give a round of applause to Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. She was elected in 2012, reelected in 2014, to represent the 58th Assembly district. During this short time she has become the Assistant Majority Floor Leader, the Vice Chair of the Legislatives Woman’s Caucus, served on numerous commissions, and before that was a successful statistics teacher for 13 years.
This wasn’t even what grabbed my attention. What did was everything that she has done locally. But before I get into that, let’s examine what she has done legislatively.
House Resolution 5 passed in the Assembly 76 to 0 in strong show of bipartisanship. It calls for Mexico to address its human rights violations, particularly in the event of the disappearance of 43 college students. In the past decade, there has been an estimated 25,000 disappearances in Mexico and the least we could do is stand in solidarity against these actions by showing our support to our fellow neighbors to the south. We have her that thank for that.
She also authored Assembly bill 146, which helps to teach elementary school students about the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930’s that illegally deported around 1 million Mexican-Americans and legal Mexican immigrants. It is in the State Senate now and we have her to thank for that as well, especially since a large number of the citizens in the district are of Mexican descent. But this still wasn’t what caught my attention.
My attention was grabbed by her Summer Reading Program, the Young Legislator’s Program, and Pride 58. All three of these initiatives help make communities better on the local level. The Summer Reading Program helps to keep children’s minds stimulated during the vacation and it is encouraged with prizes for the winners. Reading is essential to youth development because once you learn how to read, your access to information is unlimited.
With the Young Legislator’s Program, students have an opportunity to learn about the politic process locally and it strengthens their civil engagement. So in the future when someone could possibly tell them something about government, policies, or political parties, instead of just absorbing whatever is being said to then they will be able to rationalize and discern information to see where the truth is. They will be less likely to be persuaded due to a lack of knowledge and in turn can educate their peers.
With Pride 58, it’s a campaign she started to highlight positive contributions in the community. It could be a person, a business, an organization, and what it does is help to reinforce the betterment of the community and applications are accepted year round.
From legislation to local issues, it is clear that her background in teaching has influenced her civic approach towards community in a positive way. So far she is doing a great job and we need more representatives like her that focus on citizenship and service. I’m glad she is our Assemblywoman and I hope she doesn’t mess up.