By: Darian Macias
Leroy Garcia is from the Democratic Party and a senator who is currently representing Pueblo, Pueblo West, and part of the community of Salt Creek. Before working in the Colorado State Senate, Senator Garcia was a legislator for the Colorado House of Representative, and was one of the youngest members to be elected. He described working in the House of Representatives as “fortunate” experience, and believes he was there to improve the lives of citizens across the state of Colorado. However, it was not always simple coming in as one of the youngest members, as he was questioned by the elderly about his working capabilities. Despite that, he did not let that change what he knew he was capable of doing, and demonstrated it to them in a, “respectful manner,” as he described. Garcia continued to be himself all throughout his term, as he has confidence in that this is one of the most important things to have in leadership.
Leroy Garcia has been in the General Assembly for 6 years, and started off in the chamber of the Capital of Colorado. He began running for senate, and was elected for State Senate in District 3, which he has been partaking in for four years. Garcia then recently won another term for four more years serving as a Minority Leader, which is the position he currently holds, and will soon be the Senate President coming January of 2019.
From the years 2001 to 2007, Senator Leroy Garcia served in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Iraq as a mortuary affairs specialist and due to that he took a further personal understanding of the risks that our members of armed forces are faced with everyday. Owing to, he now carries a strong commitment to providing for the veterans who have been through the same series of events. Adding on to that, he is now a member of the Pueblo Veterans Council, VFW Post 15006, American Legion Post 2, and the League of Marines Home of Heroes Detachment.
Senator Garcia shared with all the students at YIG that he was a first generation college graduate with a master degree in Organizational Management at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa. Not only that, but he also received a bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Phoenix, and an associates degree in Emergency Medical Services from Pueblo Community College. Then he went on by sharing that when he’s not working on political issues, he also teaches emergency medical services at Pueblo Community College, and is a paramedic with American Medical Response in Pueblo. He is a father of two kids, Jeremiah and Xan, and a husband to Michelle Randall Garcia.
Senator Garcia passionately described believing that Youth and Government is a program made for students who share the same passion for politics, and have the opportunity to further express it. “Let me tell you that I hope you’re finding that this is just a wonderful experience. I think sometimes people give negative confrontation about the government or politics, and I hope you all serve to be good ambassadors about how important this process is. It’s not about its challenges, and its not perfect, and I think you all recognize that. You’re smart to recognize that,” As students we are privileged to take this opportunity because it teaches us and gets us prepared for future careers.
After Leroy Garcia finished speaking to all the students at Youth and Government, he took to Twitter to reflect on his speech and said, “Students from across Colorado, including those from Pueblo West High School, visited the Capitol to participate in a mock General Assembly. It was great to speak with so many smart young people about how government works and why it is important for them to participate in politics.” The students participating in YIG really appreciated all the advice and experiences he shared to help give insight for the near future.