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Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 42

Photo of Robert Garcia

Robert Garcia

Mayor of Long Beach
99,217 votes (68.4%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Preparing for Future Pandemics and Emergencies: Long Beach was hailed as a national model by President Biden during the covid pandemic. We were the first city in California to vaccinate 99% of seniors and our teachers. I made sure we focused on the s
  • Real Opportunity for Everyone – Not Just the Wealthy: In 2016, I proposed raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ahead of our state. During the pandemic, Long Beach also became the first city in California to provide an extra $4 an hour of Hero Pay
  • Defending Immigrant Families & Fighting for More Paths to Citizenship. I worked to establish the Justice Fund in Long Beach to provide legal support for families facing deportation. Long Beach also became a Sanctuary City under our leadership and has

Experience

Biography

After losing both his mom, a health care worker, and stepfather to COVID-19, Robert vowed to work as hard as he could to ensure other families wouldn’t experience the same pain. He threw himself into expanding Long Beach’s mobile testing and vaccination efforts —  programs that went on to receive national recognition from health experts and praise from the White House and Governor Newsom.  Long Beach was the first city in California to vaccinate educators – allowing Long Beach Unified to reopen schools before most other districts — and the first city to vaccinate 99% of its senior population. The New York Times profiled the city’s vaccination efforts, calling it “a national model.”

As Mayor, Robert oversaw a period of unprecedented economic growth and expansion of opportunity for city residents. Robert worked to launch programs like tuition-free community college, a universal basic income pilot and a pandemic recovery package to ensure every Long Beach resident could share in the city’s success. Under his leadership, the city passed an aggressive climate action plan to end the city’s reliance on fossil fuels while protecting and expanding good-paying jobs. He was the first Mayor of Long Beach to have appointed a majority of women to city commissions and boards.  

As Donald Trump entered the White House, Robert moved aggressively to ensure Long Beach protected its immigrant, Muslim and LGBTQ residents. He believes cities like Long Beach —  where neighbors from every conceivable background live side by side and look out for each other — represent the best of America. 

Robert grew up in Southern California, and he is married to Matthew Mendez Garcia, a professor of political science at California State University, Long Beach.   Upon his election, Robert became the first immigrant and LGBTQ mayor in the city’s history, and he would be the first LGBTQ immigrant to serve in Congress.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $1,222,740

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Waterford Property Company
$14,500
2
Employees of Integral Communities
$11,600
2
Employees of Shangri-La Group
$11,600
2
Employees of Tiptop Anethersic
$11,600
3
International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employees
$10,250

More information about contributions

By State:

California 73.69%
District of Columbia 15.59%
Maryland 2.26%
New York 2.25%
Other 6.21%
73.69%15.59%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.18%)
Small contributions (6.82%)
93.18%

By Type:

From organizations (24.10%)
From individuals (75.90%)
24.10%75.90%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

“I’m running for Congress because every kid – and every family – deserves a real shot at opportunity. Congress should be an institution that actually helps people and improves Americans’ lives. 

I would know. An act of Congress made all the difference in my life.

My mom brought me to America not knowing English, without an education, and without the right immigration status. We came here on a temporary visa and stayed past its expiration date.  

But thanks to a progressive change in immigration law passed by Congress in the 1980s, we were able to apply for permanent legal residency. I became a U.S. citizen at 21. It was the happiest day of my life. 

Other programs also helped my family succeed. At times, my mom was able to supplement her income through government housing vouchers and Medicaid. I attended a public 4-year college and became a teacher. I was able to marry my partner because the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

I owe everything to this country because America afforded me the opportunity to succeed.

I know my story isn’t typical for many who grew up like me. But it should be.

Every young adult should be able to attend a tuition-free college or a skilled trade program. Every undocumented kid and their family should have the ability to earn their citizenship. Every worker should have the opportunity to pursue a meaningful career.  Every American should have healthcare and a roof over their head.

There’s no getting around it – America has big, persistent and structural problems that Congress must address: Generational cycles of poverty and the consolidation of wealth and legal power into the hands of a powerful few must end. A minority of extremists with near-complete control of the Republican Party are attacking elections and our democracy. Systemic racism is steeped in our institutions. 

As mayor of Long Beach, I have seen firsthand how people coming from different walks of life can build coalitions to enact meaningful change – even in the face of entrenched and ideological opposition. 

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