We all stand on the shoulders of others. My family worked hard to make sure I had access to a good education. That education enabled me to make my way in America. Now I want to make sure that others can walk the same path.
My grandfather, Robert Mendoza Garcia, grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He and his brothers and sisters were the first in their family to grow up speaking English. He had the opportunity to serve his country as an officer and fighter pilot in World War II. Thanks to the GI Bill, after the War, he earned an education and enjoyed a career as an accountant with the State of Arizona — a good middle class job. He raised my mother, Patti Garcia, to go forward and embrace America, which she did when she went to college and then joined the operations division of the CIA. She and my father served their entire careers undercover at the CIA, and raised me to believe in education and public service.
My family gave me the opportunity to graduate from a Texas public school, and then to attend Virginia Tech and Harvard Law. That education gave me the opportunity to serve as a national security policy advisor on Capitol Hill and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in President Obama’s Justice Department in San Antonio and Del Rio, where I put cartel leaders and corrupt politicians from both parties behind bars.
Over the course of three generations, I’ve seen the power of educational opportunity to transform lives. But I’ve also watched with growing frustration as President Trump and Republicans in Congress have done all they could to dismantle that web of opportunities and make it harder for others to succeed in America. We owe it to our children to fight back and ensure that the American Dream — that anybody, from anywhere, can make it in America — is preserved.
That is why I’m running for Congress.