Rep. Robert Garcia is the former Mayor of Long Beach, California and is running for California’s 42nd Congressional District. Robert immigrated to the United States with his mother when he was only 5 years old. He proudly boasts that becoming a citizen is his proudest moment – and it’s the reason he entered public service.
Robert is a rising Democratic star and delivered one of the keynote addresses for the Democratic National Convention in 2020. He has also been widely praised for his leadership and stewardship of Long Beach during the worst of the Covid-19 global pandemic. After losing both his mom, a health care worker, and stepfather to COVID-19, Robert vowed to work as hard as he could to ensure other families wouldn’t experience the same pain. He threw himself into expanding Long Beach’s mobile testing and vaccination efforts — programs which went on to receive national recognition from health experts and praise from the White House and Governor Gavin Newsom.
As Mayor, he was a strong and steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ community and strengthened protections for LGBTQ persons by establishing trans-inclusive health care coverage in the city, increasing access to STD checks and treatments, and facilitating a more welcoming community citywide. Under Robert’s leadership, Long Beach received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for inclusive cities every year Robert has served as Mayor. He also oversaw a period of unprecedented economic growth and expansion of opportunity for city residents in his city. And he worked to launch programs like tuition-free community college, a universal basic income pilot program, and a pandemic recovery package to ensure every Long Beach resident could share in the city’s success.
Robert is the first openly LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress, the first openly LGBTQ Peruvian American elected to Congress, and he joined Congressman David Cicilline as only the second openly LGBTQ mayor to ever serve in Congress.