Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, spoke virtually to local students in a government class Monday about the importance of the legislative branch and what the job entails.
Garcia, who represents the 25th Congressional District, spoke to a senior-level American government high school class at Opportunities for Learning to inform students about the importance of the legislative branch and the day-to-day tasks of a member of Congress.
“One of the toughest concepts for American government students to understand is the structure of the legislative branch,” said Aline Brown, political science teacher at OFL. “So, who better to explain it a little bit more and from a personal point of view than our district representative.”
Garcia, who was elected to Congress last year, told students his interest in becoming a member of Congress began during the 2018 midterm election.
“I spent four months looking at the data, the demographics and the issues that we were seeing and I decided that if I got the right team and ran as hard as I could, I could win this seat,” Garcia told students.
Garcia went into detail about who makes up the legislative branch and how it is broken down by state and districts, and added he is one of 435 members of the House of Representatives throughout the country, and 100 members of the Senate, which make up the U.S. Congress.
He described how the 25th Congressional District feels unique to him since it is a “purple district,” meaning there are roughly equal numbers of registered Democratic and Republican voters.
“It makes for interesting politics and campaigns when you have areas that can effectively go left or right depending on who’s running for the office,” Garcia said.
Students had the opportunity to ask Garcia questions regarding his work as a congressman and as a former pilot for the United States Navy, and said it was a good learning experience to hear from Garcia firsthand what the responsibilities members of Congress are.
“It was really interesting hearing about his whole process of being an ordinary person then becoming a representative,” said OFL student Jack Richards.
Brown added it was important to have someone from a local governmental agency speak to the students since the primary focus is usually on the executive branch.
“I always tell my students they need to be more concerned (about) who’s elected locally than who’s elected president because it starts local, then it grows,” she said. “What your district representative and governor are doing is more directly affecting your life than what’s going on in (Washington) D.C.”