If there’s one question we’ve heard the most since our victory last week in California’s 25th Congressional District, it is: How’d you do it?
How is it possible a political outsider can win by nearly 10 points in a diverse region that chose to elect Democratic representation in recent years?
The answer is fairly simple.
Despite all of the hyper-partisan politics that surrounds our everyday lives, voters still seek the basics from their elected representative; an objective voice for them in Congress, lower taxes, integrity, a respect for our veterans and seniors and someone to help them navigate our massive federal bureaucracy, particularly in times as difficult as these.
Representing everyone, regardless of whether they voted for me, was, and is, my promise to everyone in the 25th Congressional District.
As a first-generation American who grew up in Southern California, it’s not rocket science to understand what the people of our home expect from their leaders.
Republicans, Democrats and those in between all need help.
A district without a representative has meant our veterans didn’t have a congressional office to help them cut through the bureaucracy of the federal government. In and of itself that is a complete denigration of those who were willing to sacrifice everything for our nation.
As we attempt to stave off the devastation from COVID-19, small businesses have struggled to get all the help they need in terms to stay open and keep their workers employed.
The policies coming out of Sacramento have meant a devastating crush of taxes being forced upon our hard-working families. Laws like Assembly Bill 5 are literally driving jobs to other states, and there’s even been a push to federalize bills like this. We simply cannot allow the dysfunction of Sacramento to take hold in Washington.
Our district has been in the national headlines for the wrong reasons.
We must now focus on the future and restore dignity to this congressional seat.
While I believe being on the front lines in D.C. is important, my primary focus is here in Southern California helping our small businesses and their workers, working with our local community leaders ensuring they are receiving all the federal assistance available during this pandemic, helping California secure the necessary federal resources during wildfire season and protecting our national security.
Getting people access to their federal representative is critical, which is why I am quickly establishing offices in each of the district’s valleys – Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi.
Wildfire season for California is quickly approaching. Our federal government must do more to aide our battle against these wildfires, and I will soon unveil a plan that will bolster our efforts on that front.
Whether in California or Washington, I will not stop advocating for the assistance our families need during COVID-19 and pushing to lower taxes and ease the regulatory burden on our small businesses.
I will also be leading the charge to hold China accountable for its failures regarding the coronavirus, including their ongoing theft of our intellectual property.
China is an increasing threat to our national security, which is why we must expedite bringing home the manufacturing of our pharmaceutical drugs and rare earth minerals used to make some of our everyday devices like smartphones.
This framework – helping our citizens and small businesses, battling wildfires, holding China accountable – is not and should not be partisan.
Undoubtedly, extreme political actors seeking to gain an edge in Washington will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to undermine our efforts to assist our citizens and use broad brush strokes to paint me into one corner or another.
To those folks I say, nice try.
My focus is and will always remain the United States of America and the people of the 25th Congressional District.
I am a husband, a father and a former fighter pilot who is proud to have fought for and defended this country, and I am proud to serve again.
Thank you to the people of the 25th Congressional District for entrusting me with this awesome responsibility, to my family, and to the tireless efforts of our hundreds of volunteers.
It’s time to get to work.
Mike Garcia is the congressman for California’s 25th Congressional District.