Lets Talk Politics
Upon his return from Iraq, Gallego went on to build a strong image within his community in Arizona.
His homecoming prompted many questions about the political condition of the state at the time, one that since then, has grown increasingly anti-immigrant.
I saw a lot of things wrong with Arizona, he explains. I felt as if we as a community didnt improve ourselves then we were never going to be able to fight against radical mentality.
Anti-Latino initiatives were barely opposed, according to Gallego. And the state did not provide recruitment or training of future leaders.
Its a mentality that, according to Gallego, has caused the success rate for many Latino businesses to plummet.
But hes determined to change that. He is a board member of the Valley Citizens League, Phoenix Childrens Museum and South Mountain Community College Advisory Board and was recently named one of 40 under 40 most influential Hispanic leaders by Chicanos por la Causa. As he runs for re-election, it seems Gallego is well on his way to providing changes in the border state.
Today, Gallego still fights the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino mentality. But he hasnt stopped therehis newest battle is for those in his district who are unemployed. In fact, job creation is one of the state representatives primary goals.
Gallego is working to grant unemployment insurance to residents who, despite being jobless, still want to start their own business. The project would allow residents to receive a basic income, while at the same time developing plans toward entrepreneurship.
He is also taking strides to protect the community college system, something that he describes as a great tool for budding entrepreneurs.
A lot of entrepreneurs have great ideas but theyre not all going to be able to attend a four-year university, but they can take courses at a community college, says Gallego. Its a resource and not just a stepping stone for college.
As a former Marine, Gallego also pushes for the success of fellow veterans. Last year, he changed Arizona law to ensure honorably discharged veterans receive in-state tuition upon their return from the military.
What is the one thing Gallego wants the state of Arizona to know?
Im really trying my best, he says. I think a lot of times politicians fall short of expectations, but Im always trying 100 percent.