CA-42: Robert Garcia (D)
Ken Calvert (R)[i]
City of Long Beach (Mayor / Vice Mayor); Long Beach City Council (Member); University of Southern California (Faculty Member); Long Beach Post (Publisher); Long Beach City College (Communications Director); California State University – Long Beach (Faculty Member); Office of Former Long Beach Vice Mayor Frank Colonna (Aide)[ii] [iii]
BA, California State University – Long Beach; MA, University of Southern California; EdD, California State University – Long Beach[iv]
Preparing for Future Pandemics & Emergencies; Defend our Democracy; Real Opportunity for Everyone – Not Just the Wealthy; Strengthening the Social Safety Net; Defending Immigrant Families & Fighting for More Paths to Citizenship; Medicare for All; Protect our Civil Rights; Ending the Gun Violence Epidemic; Create New Jobs While Transitioning Away from Fossil Fuels; Cancel Student Debt & Make College Cost Free; Housing is a Human Right; Help Small Business Recover & Thrive; Strengthen Federal Protections for LGBTQ+ Americans; Make it Easier to Form a Union; End Citizens United[v]
ON THE ISSUES
Garcia is pro-choice and has pledged to “always vote no on a national abortion ban of any kind.”[vi] He has advocated for codifying abortion rights in federal law and would support abolishing the filibuster in order to get it done.[vii] He condemned the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling it “extreme and dangerous.”[viii]
ECONOMY, JOBS & TAXES:
Garcia argues that “generational cycles of poverty and the consolidation of wealth and legal power in the hands of a powerful few must end.”[ix] He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding paid family leave, and boosting programs like the earned income tax credit. Garcia supported President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and praised the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which he said was a great way to keep people employed and grow the economy.[x] [xi] In Congress, Garcia will also work to reform overtime rules, increase the number of public banks, and level the playing field between employees and employers by passing the PRO Act.[xii]
HEALTHCARE & SOCIAL SAFETY NET:
Garcia believes healthcare is a human right and that coverage should not depend on employment. He supports Medicare for All.[xiii] Garcia has pledged to fight to protect and expand eligibility and benefits for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. He also believes that every parent should be able to afford child care.[xiv] He has also pushed for increased funding for pandemic prevention, preparation, and response.[xv]
IMMIGRATION & BORDER SECURITY:
Garcia supports the DACA program and believes that every undocumented immigrant should have the ability to earn their citizenship.[xvi] [xvii] Under his leadership, Long Beach became a sanctuary city and has provided protections for undocumented residents. In Congress, he will work to expand pathways to citizenship and end legal discrimination against undocumented residents.[xviii]
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY:
As Mayor of Long Beach, Garcia implemented several criminal justice reform pilot programs under the Long Beach Justice Lab, which he said would use a data-driven approach to “re-design how we work together” and hopefully prevent repeat low-level offenders from continually cycling through public safety services.[xix] Among the pilot programs included in the Justice Lab were ones that would identify and deploy services more effectively to people who frequently come into contact with the justice system and install a mental health clinician in the city jail.[xx] Garcia supported a 2020 California initiative that would restore voting rights to people who had completed their prison terms.[xxi] He also supports the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and will fight to modernize and expand anti-discrimination laws.[xxii]
GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS & ELECTION SECURITY:
Garcia argues that defending democracy against attacks from the extreme far-right movement is the most important issue facing Congress today.[xxiii] He believes former President Trump and his campaign “encouraged and worked with the Russian government to interfere in our presidential election” and then tried to cover it up.[xxiv] Garcia supports both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act and wants to end Citizens United.[xxv]
Garcia believes that everyone should be able to attend a tuition-free college or skilled trade program and will fight to cancel student debt.[xxvi] As mayor, he helped launch the Long Beach College Promise, which gave thousands of local students two years of free tuition at Long Beach Community College.[xxvii] He also supports universal pre-K.[xxviii]
CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT:
Garcia “strongly supports” the Green New Deal. As mayor, he worked to invest in green jobs and lower emissions. He also signed onto the Global Covenant of Mayors, a coalition of leaders from around the world working collectively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change.[xxix] He has signed the “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge.[xxx]
BIG TECH & DATA PRIVACY:
Garcia has worked to attract tech companies to Long Beach.[xxxi]
Garcia argues that Congress must take action to address the gun violence epidemic and pass “responsible” legislation. He will work to pass universal background checks, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and implement national extreme risk protection orders.[xxxii] [xxxiii] He also supports raising the national age requirement to own a firearm to 21 and creating a strong national licensing program, as well as increasing funding for expanded mental health and violence diversion programs in schools.[xxxiv] Garcia received an “F” rating from the NRA and has been endorsed by Giffords PAC, Brady PAC, and Moms Demand Action.[xxxv] [xxxvi] [xxxvii]
While serving as Mayor of Long Beach, Garcia advocated for increasing trade with Latin American countries, arguing the US “can’t rely on China and Asia for all of our trade.”[xxxviii] He also lamented the Trump administration’s trade war with China and its impact on the supply chain and California ports.[xxxix] Garcia believes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “unprovoked” and has called for Vladimir Putin to be held accountable.[xl]
[i] “Rep. Ken Calvert,” LegiStorm, accessed October 17, 2022, available at https://www.legistorm.com/person/bio/51306/Kenneth_Stanton_Calvert.html.
[ii] Robert Garcia LinkedIn, accessed October 17, 2022, available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-garcia-ed-d-48735a66/.
[iii] Nancy Wride, “Vice Mayor Announces Run for Long Beach Mayor,” Patch, July 17, 2013, available at https://patch.com/california/belmontshore/vice-mayor-announces-run-for-long-beach-mayor.
[iv] “Biography,” Office of Long Beach (CA) Mayor Robert Garcia, accessed October 17, 2022, available at https://www.longbeach.gov/mayor/about/meet-mayor-garcia/.
[vi] Robert Garcia Twitter, September 13, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1569755355135242240.
[vii] Robert Garcia Twitter, May 2, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1521314660775038978.
[viii] Robert Garcia Twitter, May 3, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1521352529774186496.
[x] Robert Garcia Twitter, June 27, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1541508635183878144.
[xi] Kristy Hutchings, “Election 2022: Long Beach Mayor Garcia, Republican Briscoe vie for 42nd House District,” Press-Telegram, October 17, 2022, available at https://www.presstelegram.com/2022/10/17/election-2022-long-beach-mayor-garcia-republican-briscoe-vie-for-42nd-house-district/.
[xvii] Kristy Hutchings, “Election 2022: Long Beach Mayor Garcia, Republican Briscoe vie for 42nd House District,” Press-Telegram, October 17, 2022, available at https://www.presstelegram.com/2022/10/17/election-2022-long-beach-mayor-garcia-republican-briscoe-vie-for-42nd-house-district/.
[xix] “City of Long Beach Launches Justice Lab,” Long Beach Innovation Team Press Release, January 16, 2018, available at https://www.longbeach.gov/iteam/press-releases/city-of-long-beach-launches-justice-lab/.
[xx] Dr. Robert Garcia, “Long Beach’s ‘Justice Lab’ Uses Data to Direct Reform,” National League of Cities, June 7, 2018, available at https://www.nlc.org/article/2018/06/07/long-beachs-justice-lab-uses-data-to-direct-reform/.
[xxi] “California Voters Approve Prop. 17, Restoring Voting Rights to People Who Have Completed Prison Terms,” Brennan Center for Justice Press Release, November 4, 2020, available at https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/california-voters-approve-prop-17-restoring-voting-rights-people-who-have.
[xxiv] Robert Garcia Twitter, July 24, 2019, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1154039343226343428.
[xxix] Alena Maschke, “City Plan to Address Climate Change is Costly but Necessary, Experts Say,” Long Beach Business Journal, June 17, 2019, available at https://lbbusinessjournal.com/city-plan-to-address-climate-change-is-costly-but-necessary-experts-say.
[xxxi] Samantha Mehlinger, “In Annual Q&A, Mayor Robert Garcia Portrays A City With Momentum,” Long Beach Business Journal, September 9, 2019, available at https://lbbusinessjournal.com/news/in-annual-qa-mayor-robert-garcia-portrays-a-city-with-momentum.
[xxxiii] “Giffords PAC Endorses Slate of Gun Safety House Challengers,” Giffords PAC Press Release, August 12, 2022, available at https://giffords.org/press-release/2022/08/giffords-pac-endorses-slate-of-gun-safety-house-challengers/.
[xxxvii] Robert Garcia Twitter, September 15, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1570475053376212993.
[xxxviii] Andrew Edwards, “Port of Long Beach eyes Latin America trade,” San Bernardino Sun, December 20, 2015, accessed via LexisNexis.
[xxxix] Samantha Mehlinger, “In Annual Q&A, Mayor Robert Garcia Portrays A City With Momentum,” Long Beach Business Journal, September 9, 2019, available at https://lbbusinessjournal.com/news/in-annual-qa-mayor-robert-garcia-portrays-a-city-with-momentum.
[xl] Robert Garcia Twitter, February 23, 2022, available at https://twitter.com/RobertGarcia/status/1496699366521720833.