tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Garcia Torres Small CSPAN March 30, 2019 10:01am-10:25am EDT
>> next, c-span interviews with some of the new members of congress. then the house debate to override president trump's friend oh -- trump's friend go. veto.ump's frien the 116th congress has a record number of latino members, with 36 latinos in the house and four in the senate. texas voter's and two latina women to congress in 2018. one of them is sylvia garcia, a democrat and former state senator. >> your the eighth of 10 children. how did that shape you growing up? >> you learn to defend yourself.
i grew up with great other brothers. although i have two little they grew up quickly. it's been about working together. we grew up in a farm, everybody had chores to do. the sooner we all finish we can go out to play. me it's about family, and i always put family first. where did you grow up? i grew up in texas in a small farming community. it is in south texas. sort of the middle between corpus christi and laredo.
i grew up in a farm and all of us had chores to do. i've done just about everything. i know how to drive a tractor. assignment was always fetching eggs from the barnes. even though we worked on the farm we've -- we do everything we've had to do. to make sure that we have a better life. they will end up working on the farms for the rest of their life. demo what the day due for a living? >> obviously my mother took care
of us. my daddy was a farmer so it was sort of my grandfather's farm. he didn't speak any english. he couldn't read or write in english, just spanish. as soon as someone was tall enough and strong enough to do work around the farm you got pulled out of school. my mother finished the fifth grade and she married my dad and they had a lot of children. home and worked with all of us. after my daddy died she was forced to work. she did what she could to hold the family together. >> where is your family from? it was my grandfathers and
grandmothers there were not from the united states. all three of the four came from mexico. >> what were the lessons you learned from your parents that you still carry with you today? always about working hard and doing your part. it's always about getting an education. and it's about making sure you remember where you came from. i always had hand-me-downs. i waited the -- waited my turn. we learn recycling a long time ago. it's always about making sure we all work together as a family and the thing that they always
emphasize was faith. i'm catholic. they make sure we went to church, that we went through the sacraments. we had to believe in god. we worked hard, got an education, and believed in god. obviously it works. how did you get to college and what did you do after? >> i was very fortunate that i was a good student. get on a goodto .rant program i went to my first year without having to pay tuition and fees.
i did have to get a dorm. one of my uncles cosigned a note to be sure i could do that. demo what did you major in and what did you do with that degree? measured -- majored in government and social work. i still feel like i became a social worker and i still am. i decided i wanted to be a legal aid lawyer. the rest just evolved. i've been a social worker, a legal aid lawyer. and i've been elected to city government, county government and state government. how does you decide you would run for this u.s. house seat? >> the first year was in 1992.
they created the seat, which was supposed be an opportunity seat. i ran in that race and came out third. run for city controller and city government, county commissioner and county government and state senator and state government. when gene green decide to it to retire, i could probably do it. so i decided to run and was successful in the primary and the general election. how do you view politics and how is it viewed in your family? us it's all about making change, making a difference for working families, make sure people get a fair shot at the american dream, that kids can .ave a good education
i still have memories of waiting in line at the welfare clinic to get shots. it's always been about making sure we take care of others. i think that something that came for my parents. we never threw anything away, we always passed it on to someone else. do you still think of yourself as a social worker? >> absolutely. i think of the work we do and what matters to families and what matters to working families across the country is making sure they can keep their families together. that's still to me social work. it's about making social
changes, about making a difference. i like to say sometimes social worker stream that they can make and anything in the world, they will be altogether and that will be fine. >> farmers are used to working hard days. i just never really learned how to sleep late. do you put in farm hours? >> i do. i read through my materials to prepare notes. it's hard for me to sleep late. >> how would you describe your work style, your work ethic? >> it's usually nonstop. the only thing that's different, it's not the hours, it's the
intensity. there were some periods where we were really busy. here it's that way every single day. the hours are the same, the weather is different. thingsrking to make better for working families. >> anything that has surprised you about washington? >> not really. it's just another to just another tool and try to make a difference. -- another tool to try to make a difference. it's just been a very interesting experience so far. and i'm loving it. face iser new latino
representing new mexico's second district, which covers the southern half of the state. she's an attorney and former representative. >> where were you born? m.r.i. parents are from new mexico. there were some complications with my birth. oregonorn in portland while mcbride -- while my mother was visiting her parents. they happened to be in portland oregon. as soon as i was old enough to fly back, we flew back to where my parents lived. complications?e >> my mother had a defect. there are concerned with the white platelet blood count issue. there were concerns about that.
in the hospital wasn't adequately equipped to deal with that complication. she had a few options and decided to be with her parents. i grew up in las cruces. it's the largest city in the district. at the time it was 70,000 people. my mom was a teacher, my dad was a social worker. the place where everyone knew my family or knew me. you learn to work with everyone because you know you will work best will run into them again. >> where your parents involved in politics? >> they cared about their community but they have never run for office. >> when did you become involved or interested? >> i was certainly interested in part of my parents. we had discussions at home.
my dad always said if you want something you have to learn how to talk about it and ask for it. opinion's ors had differences at the dinner table we would talk about things. i was the first lawyer in the family and it was something he wanted to do. i have a family who cares about our community and our home. yourw would you describe political philosophy? did your parents shape that or who shaped that? >> for me it's a lot more about a philosophy for my home. i grew up in a place that is sometimes seen as a forgotten flyover sedate -- flyover state. i was so proud of how we had a history and way of working together.
people come together from industry, from the nonprofit world, from schools, from anything to find a solution. i think that something that isn't happening. heart of what made me want to get involved, working for senator udall and water issues. ethic we bring that same of working with everyone to a place where having a real challenge doing that right now? >> would you describe the people as moderate, people who are more in the middle? were shaped?ou >> one thing i love about my district is how it is incredibly diverse. we have the nation's first wilderness on the west. play.e the hottest gas
places right next to albuquerque. the viewpoints are divers. my district has an independent streak in mile wide. they pride themselves in supporting people who will think for themselves, thing for their community. that's what i seek to do, make sure every vote i take, everything i work on is how to best serve the people i represent. impact did working for senator udall have on you? >> i did get come back to my home. to get to come back and work as a field representative was a great way to get to know my community. to learn all of our challenges one a different perspective of the things i appreciated his he told me i needed to reach out to everyone.
he said you are going into every community and find the people who are already doing the work and find ways to support them. that's a great model for how to best serve constituents. >> when did you decide yourself would want to someday run for office? >> it was not something i was planning. when this position became open i was excited about what that could mean. i know how important it is to have people who are fighting to make it a place, but you don't have to choose between the home you love and your best opportunity. i was looking for someone to be that representative. i was thinking about the people. and there was a girl that when i was writing that list i realized maybe it was my job, maybe i had to step up and do this work. i was writing a list. i was working as an attorney.
i had decided to do that work. place to solveat problems. it's a shared resource, also a finite resource. farmers,to get users, conservationists. finding out ways we can work together. >> do you remember a lot of water discussions? has is always been an issue for home? >> you are born knowing water is scarce in your born want knowing knowingtters -- born water matters. i would run along the banks every week. you see when it's dry.
and it reminds us how much we depend on water for our food and our communities and our growth. >> what about your family today? how do politics factor into your family? today. interesting so much of work is politics. we have to be intentional having went,o see how their days to see what challenges we are all facing and making sure we are connected on that level. i love when there's disagreement at the dinner table. think we are always pushing and challenging each other. and to make sure we are always listening. my husband is a state representative in new mexico.
he represents a part of the area i also represent. he represents what of the best green chilies. he understands the agriculture. he works hard to make sure we are investing in things like health. my dad is the president of our local unions for teachers and other school employees. and he's a school bus driver now. he's always working hard to educators, to protect children, and to make sure we have a great community. deeply about our future and children in the community. >> did you have any political mentors and what you remember about the messages they told you throughout the years? >> two mentors i learned a great deal
from our senator udall, who really taught me that services everyone,ing with about making sure everyone is at the table, making sure you are listening more than you are talking and you're always focused on finding solutions. i got a chance to clerk for the federal district court judge. he had one of the busiest dockets of the country. every single case he presided over he made sure that person had dignity and justice, that he listens to the case and presided with fairness. to be able to do justice but is ashow and love mercy powerful thing we should all seek to do more. , youven where you grew up
work with this judge, what do you think is the biggest misunderstanding people have about the border? >> the biggest misunderstanding people have is that there is one border. it is a long complex place. strongestorder is when it is also vibrant. robustwe have to have a border economy. i know how important it is we are engaging and interacting together. sure wee have to make are keeping our communities safe, keeping our agents safe. and we have border security that reflects our values. mile ofto look at every the border and identify how we can do those things. >> thank you.
new congress, new leaders, follow it all on c-span. >> gets a no the 116th congress on monday, washington journal. learn about the most diverse group of lawmakers in history. i'm not going to be a politician. >> just a small-town lawyer from lexington. >> captain of the national guard. i had such a fascination with this idea of finding the answers to questions that nobody else could find. >> might dad is actually a never republican who has voted democrat. >> join the discussion. >> today former texas lawmaker beto o'rourke kicks off his bid
in texas. and on the free c-span radio app. on tuesday the house debated overriding president trump's regime of a resolution that would end his emergency declaration on the southern border. to 481,l vote was 248 short of the two thirds majority required to override the veto. 14 republicans voted with democrats on the measure. here is the floor debate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. defazio: madam speaker, today we will vote to override the president's veto of congress' bipartisan action to terminate his so-called national emergency declaration. the bottom line is that this emergency declaration is nothing more than an end run around a majority, bipartisan majority,