Inspiration – Harvard, Military & Politics

 

 

 

 

Campaign Banner
Campaign banner. Courtesy of Ruben Gallego

 

Let’s 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 didn’t 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.

It’s a mentality that, according to Gallego, has caused the success rate for many Latino businesses to plummet.

But he’s determined to change that. He is a board member of the Valley Citizens League, Phoenix Children’s 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.

Ruben and Kate with President Obama and the First Lady
Ruben and Kate with President Obama and the First Lady. Courtesy of Ruben Gallego

Today, Gallego still fights the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino mentality. But he hasn’t stopped there—his newest battle is for those in his district who are unemployed. In fact, job creation is one of the state representative’s 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 they’re not all going to be able to attend a four-year university, but they can take courses at a community college,” says Gallego. “It’s 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?

“I’m really trying my best,” he says. “I think a lot of times politicians fall short of expectations, but I’m always trying 100 percent.”

 

 

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Tatiana Sanchez
Tatiana Sanchez es una colaboradora autónoma de Latin Business Today, que escribe sobre temas relacionados con el trabajo, la vida y la cultura latinas. Oriunda de San Francisco, California, Tatiana obtuvo su Máster en la Escuela de Posgrado de Periodismo de la Universidad de Columbia. Durante el tiempo que pasó en la Ciudad de Nueva York, Tatiana cobró vida como reportera. Su trabajo se publicó en Queen’s Chronicle, the Bronx Free Press y el New York Daily News. El verano pasado, se incorporó a la plantilla de The Oregonian como reportera especializada en salud, donde escribió una historia de portada sobre la creciente epidemia de obesidad en Oregón.