tv Interview with Representative-elect Darren Soto D-FL CSPAN January 4, 2017 6:58am-7:08am EST
>> what is your background and civil rights? >> i was nominated as class counsel in a federal voting rights act at 26 years of age against the city of kissimmee. there is a similar suit being levied by the department of justice because we had at-large elections in both kissimmee and ocl accounting which discriminated against hispanics in so we fought to try to change the system. it was ultimately change in mozilla but a funny thing happened where hispanics became the plurality and we lost our cause of action. it was a good post that led to a very diverse city commission and county commission now with two hispanic members in mozilla and three and the city council. so we really arrived. >> you have said you're a
self-described environmentalists. what does that mean for you? >> i've been known as the latest member of the florida senate, fighting for springs, offshore drilling. in florida, our identity is conservation. we have the most digital state in the union and also tourism and agriculture economy. our perception is being a beautiful, clean state is critical to the tourist industry and agricultural industry. we take that very seriously in florida and we are not in energy producing states historically. there is a big battle over that, when we prevailed and now my peers on the state-level carry the torch, but there's other issues we will be looking at in that arena on the federal level with regard to natural resource is entered southern waters. >> you're a democrat.
how did you get an a rating from the national rifle association? >> when you're in 2010 pass by the afl-cio to allow workers to have their legally carry guns in their drones when they go to work so have the caucus voted for that and against it. i'm actually the rating overall. the second amendment exists and i believe people have an individual right to bear purse alliance like handguns and shotguns for militaries arms like automatic weapons that i don't believe our founding fathers intended for a security. that's kind of where i stand on a lot of those issues. >> what influence do you think your parents had on your ideology, your outlook on these issues you've been talking about? >> my family is the classic american dream out for. my grandfather and grandmother moved up in puerto rico because
they did want to make a few dollars a day cutting sugar. my father worked nights and was in the navy in order to go to school while still having a family and we went from living an urban environment in new jersey to ultimately living in a suburban environment in new jersey and ultimately following many tri-state types tend to central florida and we've been at the past 15 years and my family from puerto rico has been there about 20 years. we've not only represent this right set of island poverty and urban poverty to living the american dream, but also followed this classic migration that is led to a story that is selected me as the first puerto rican from florida elected to congress. it's been a much bigger story of our community that helps lift me up and bring me here today. >> what message would your
parents have given you over the years or advice that you keeping your head is to you approach this new job. >> there's no question the higher education was a stress in our household and my brother and i would go to college. from there, they asked us to follow our dreams. both of us, my brother and i went to law school in washington d.c. i went to george washington, my brother went to georgetown. a bit of a rivalry. at the time i would've never anticipated coming back here. i always voted and read up on politics but it was really go back to their neighborhoods and volunteer for races that got me to fall in love with politics and representing our community. at the end of the day is making sure we had a good education about closer to keep in mind as we look at legislation and opportunities in the budget going forward. >> you are replacing representative alan grayson who ran for the senate.
any lessons from his career for you as you take on this new job? >> well, one thing i've definitely learned this he was terrific of finding amendment and i happen to share that same trait and filed more than any other senator in the florida senate. i expect to continue the tradition of trying to message and provide alternatives in better ways of doing things. i have been more, how can i say, measured style and it went from being a lawyer in the corporate quite a bit. i practice law to this day. i just want my family love trilemma day so we are winding down. certainly the congressman did his best to represent the district. a lot of new areas in the district is who redistricting. i'm taking on area's congressman ross had before as well as congressman rooney. there's a lot of shoes and
having to fill in the district. >> how will you balance your work here with your life back home in your family? >> one foot in the district, one in d.c. my wife is quitting her job at orange county public schools and coming with me. she's my not so secret weapon as a public school teacher and strong believer in women's reproductive rights and health matters in those arenas in particular. we have represented this area for a decade. i know what the district offices are going to be, what staff will have good all of these things were decided over the past couple months. we hit the ground running and her team's going to look like and we will be thankfully coming up on mondays and thursdays in the pretty close to the airport. i view it as one step up from a four-hour drive to to tallahassee from orlando. >> where you plan to live when you're out here? >> we are at a sold-out our bid
for an apartment five blocks from the capitol intend corner. hopefully we'll look at that one because i know that makes her happy and we are a team here. we plan on living close to the capital and been around being around for quick votes and community work and hopefully passing key pieces of legislation through amendment thing through improving existing bills as well as bringing home projects in the district. >> anything you're looking forward to doing here in washington? >> i tend to have almost perfect attendance intimidates an attempt as a lawyer pete a pretty cerebral type. plan on being very active in filing amendment. i believe it's all about committee were, oversight, all about the day-to-day business of the house that's really going to help distinguish a meet the goals of our district. >> or c-span viewers will see you in the hosl