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Garcia explains role of government to Trinity students 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, visits Trinity Classical Academy 12th grade students and shared about his role in Congress. 042224 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, visits Trinity Classical Academy 12th grade students and shared about his role in Congress. 042224 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
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There’s a simple answer that Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has for those looking to get into the world of politics: Follow your values. 

“The most important thing that an elected official can do is vote out of principle rather than fear,” Garcia said. 

Speaking to Trinity Classical Academy government students on Monday morning about the role of the federal government and how he works as a representative of the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley at the federal level, Garcia said working for the country, not his party, is his ultimate goal. 

A Saugus High School graduate and former Navy fighter pilot, upon completing his military service Garcia worked in the private sector at Raytheon, a U.S. defense contractor and industrial corporation with manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. He said the thing that got him to want to run for office was seeing Katie Hill representing him and the SCV in Congress after the 2018 election. 

“I had no aspirations of getting into politics, to be honest,” Garcia said. “I didn’t grow up wanting to be a politician. I grew up with an American flag on my shirt and a love of country and a sense of patriotism and wanting to serve the country, but I had no aspirations of being in politics.” 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, visits Trinity Classical Academy 12th grade students and shared about his role in Congress. 042224 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, visits Trinity Classical Academy 12th grade students and shared about his role in Congress. 042224 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Garcia eventually won a special election in 2020 after Hill resigned midway through her term, and is gearing up to fight to keep his seat in the November general election. 

But Monday’s talk wasn’t about his campaign or his policies; Garcia’s focus was on explaining the importance of having strong leadership. His ask of the 12th-grade students — many of whom will be voting for the first time in November — was, if venturing into politics, to maintain personal values over party affiliation. 

One way to do that, he said, is to negotiate with the other side of the table in good faith. He used the example of the Founding Fathers coming together to create the Constitution despite a number of differences among the states represented. 

“I’m not asking anyone to compromise their values,” Garcia said, “but I am asking to have leaders who are willing to have discussions with people who they don’t agree with, come to the table, negotiate in good faith and maybe come up with a product that is not perfect and doesn’t align 100% with what they wanted, and still support it.” 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, visits Trinity Classical Academy 12th grade students and shared about his role in Congress. 042224 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, visits Trinity Classical Academy 12th grade students and shared about his role in Congress. 042224 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Liz Caddow, one of Trinity’s founders, head of school and a government teacher, said Garcia has spoken to her class multiple times over the years and has also participated in debates at the school with other local politicians. 

“It is always beneficial for our students to engage with representatives from Congress, state and city government,” Caddow wrote in an email. “All of the speakers’ dialogue with the students regarding the role of the U.S. Constitution in the various aspects of Article I (making the law), Article II (enforcing the law) and Article III (interpreting the law). The time with our guest speakers is always fruitful.” 

Garcia also touched on how he believes every problem in the United States could be solved and discussed whether the federal government should pass legislation on social issues. 

When he looks at a problem, Garcia said he uses “the four C’s” to find a solution: the Constitution, capitalism, competition and charity. 

“If politicians just look at the Constitution or look at the ideals of capitalism with competition overlaid on it,” Garcia said, “and look at charities and churches for solutions, rather than the federal government, sometimes the state government, we would be in a much better place.” 

As for social issues, Garcia used the example of affirmative action to explain how creating a system of equity does not create the society that some people believe it would. He said everyone is equal under the law and deserves to be treated the same, but forcing equity — where everyone gets the same result regardless of the process — is not conducive to a strong society. 

“Equality is the opportunity to have access to certain rights and inalienable rights and access to programs. That’s what makes our country great,” Garcia said. 

He continued by saying that diversity, equity and inclusion practices that promote having equal representation of all races, genders, religions and other identifying factors, regardless of qualifications, are not only unconstitutional, but also morally wrong. 

“Equality is underwritten by the Constitution, and the result of our hard work should be what matters,” Garcia said. 

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