Ruben Gallego

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Ruben Gallego


Ruben Gallego (born November 20, 1979) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 7th congressional district. A Democrat, he previously served as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. He served as assistant minority leader in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2012 until his resignation to run for Congress, due to Arizona's resign-to-run law. Gallego was elected to Congress in the 2014 midterm congressional elections.

Background

Gallego was born in Chicago and is a first-generation American. Along with his three sisters, he was raised by a single mother.[3] On August 7, 2008, Ruben Marinelarena changed his name to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego to honor his single mother.[1]Gallego is married to Kate Gallego, a councilwoman on the Phoenix City Council. He graduated from Harvard University in 2004.[2]

Gallego currently sits on the boards of Valley Citizens League, the Children’s Museum, and President’s Community Advisory Board for South Mountain Community College.

Career

Gallego served in the Marines, deploying to Iraq. He lost his best friend in combat in Iraq. His desire to help fellow veterans motivated the formerly apolitical Gallego to get involved with politics.

In 2011, he was named as a distinguished freshman lawmaker by The Arizona Republic. Gallego's first successful bill granted in-state tuition status to veterans residing in Arizona. Gallego supports the repeal of Arizona SB 1070. He considers education to be the most important long-term priority for Arizona.[3] In 2012, Gallego was elected assistant minority leader.

Gallego works for Strategies 360 as Director of Latino and New Media operations. He also worked for Riester, one of the largest public relations firms in Arizona, and for Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski.

Contract for the American Dream

A plan to revitalize the U.S. economy put forward by liberal groups would create jobs in Arizona and help the poor move to the middle class, a Democratic state lawmaker said Sept. 21, 2011.

“The American dream is for any American, no matter where they start in life, to be able to accomplish their full goals,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix.

Gallego and state Reps. Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson, and Tom Chabin, D-Flagstaff, held a news conference to endorse the Contract for the American Dream. National groups including MoveOn.org, Campaign for America's Future, Planned Parenthood and Progressive Democrats of America developed the plan.

Its 10 points calls for, among other steps, spending on infrastructure such as roads and high-speed Internet, creating energy jobs, providing Medicare for all and improving public education. It also pushes for increasing taxes on the rich and ending the wars abroad.

Joining the lawmakers, Monica Sandschafer, executive director of the community organization Living United for Change in Arizona, called the proposal a summation of suggestions from more than 130,000 Americans online and in their communities to save the American dream.

Gallego said there has been an assault on the basic tenets of the American dream in the last two years.

“It’s now time for us to reinvest in that dream,” he said.

He said the Arizona’s eroding infrastructure and cuts in school funding hinder people from achieving the dream.[4]

VoteVets endorsement

In 2014, VoteVets PAC, the largest progressive group of veterans in America, with over 400,000 supporters, congratulated Ruben Gallego on his victory in the Democratic primary for Congress, and pledged to keep supporting him through the November election. VoteVets PAC endorsed Gallego, who was formerly the Arizona Chair of VoteVets.org.

“Ruben is a tireless advocate for the people of Arizona, and service to others runs deep with him,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org. “He served America with honor, and will serve Arizona with honor, in Congress. We’re extremely proud to have endorsed him, and will be there to help see him all the way to Washington.”[5]

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed Ruben Gallego, in 2014.

Ruben is an Iraq veteran and state legislator. He is also a young activist who has worked to increase the number of Latino voters and led fights for worker rights, immigration reform, marijuana legalization, and marriage equality.
He supports expanding Social Security benefits and taking on the student debt crisis.
Ruben Gallego is a bold reformer committed to a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and the Government By The People Act -- a bill would create a system where small-dollar donations will be matched with public funds to gives a $100 donation from a high school teacher the same weight as a lobbyist who contributes $700.[6]

Progressive Change Campaign Committee helped 5 candidates from the "Elizabeth Warren wing" of American politics including Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Brian Schatz (HI-Sen), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Mike Honda (CA-17), and Pat Murphy (IA-1) defeat more conservative opponents in tough 2014 primary battles.[7]

Activism

Gallego founded the group Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement, with the goal of recalling Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Gallego cited Arpaio's immigration policies and his use of taxpayer money to investigate Barack Obama's citizenship as reasons for recalling Arpaio.[8]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In January 2015, Ruben Gallego was listed as a new member, and Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[9]

Aides

Ruben Gallego, has hired top aides to lead his offices in Washington and Arizona.

The staffers are children of Mexican immigrants who earned college degrees and got involved in politics.

David Montes will be chief of staff in Washington.

Montes previously was deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., who lost re-election this year. Montes also has worked for then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Sen. Harry Reid and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Montes graduated from Harvard University with a degree in government and from Stanford Law School. He is the son of two immigrant parents from Mexico.

Luis Heredia, a veteran in Arizona Democratic circles, will be district director in Phoenix.

Heredia was 2014 campaign manager for Felicia Rotellini, who lost her bid for state attorney general. He was executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party from 2009 to 2012. He previously worked for Union Pacific Railroad, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., Arizona Western College and the city of Yuma. He also served on school-district and municipal boards.

A native Arizonan and first-generation American from a Mexican immigrant family, he graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in history, where he earned an award named after Pastor's late brother. Heredia also was named a Woodrow Wilson/PPIA Fellow and completed a master's degree in public affairs from Indiana University.

Spokesman Andy Barr, will stay on as a political adviser after running campaign communications.[10]

Netroots Nation 2015

Speakers at Netroots Nation 2015, in Phoenix Arizona, one of the largest gatherings of progressives and the Democratic activist base, included Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Elizabeth Warren, Rosa DeLauro, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, Hank Johnson, Robin Kelly, Mark Takano.[11]

2015 ARA National Legislative Conference

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400 activists came to Washington, DC for the Alliance for Retired Americans’s 2015 National Legislative Conference in July . The activists reached more than 150 offices on Thursday’s Lobby Day, when they met with their Members of Congress and Senators and voiced their concerns about retiree issues. Alliance members lobbied their elected officials with very specific goals in mind, including: expand earned Social Security benefits; protect Social Security Disability Insurance; preserve Medicare and allow no cuts to it; and oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement.

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, began the conference with a fiery speech on Tuesday. Several elected officials addressed the attendees: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), Senators Bernie Sanders (VT), Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Representatives Keith Ellison (MN), Ruben Gallego (AZ) and Jan Schakowsky. On Wednesday evening, the President’s Award was presented to Judy Cato, Executive Vice-President Emerita, for her activism and years on the Alliance Executive Board.[12]

AARA meeting

Ruben Gallego, Doug Hart, July 9, 2015

AARA ASU gathering

With Tory Anderson, Vic Peterson, Jim Herdrich, Ruben Gallego, Bill Engler, Doug Hart and John Campbell at Barrett, the Honors College at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, March 13, 2015

Anti-TPP letters

The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal "could only lead to the offshoring of U.S. jobs, especially in the service sector, and the erosion of America wages, nine newly-elected Democrats said in a letter to the president. Overall, 13 of 17 newly-elected Democrats are opposing Fast Track".

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) led the efforts of a group of the letter writers and his version was signed by Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania's 13th District; Mark DeSaulnier of California's 11th District; Debbie Dingell of Michigan's 12th District; Brenda Lawrence of Michigan's 14th District; Ted Lieu of California's 33rd District; Kathleen Rice of New York's 4th District; Mark Takai of Hawaii's 1st District; and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey's 12th District.

"[W]e believe this legislation lacked sufficient guarantees to ensure Congress' voice in shaping the substance of international trade agreements negotiated by the Administration," another group of freshman Democratic legislators wrote. "Our concern is that previous versions of TPA legislation did not ensure sufficient input of our constituents' concerns about labor, environmental, and human rights protections that must be essential in the trade deals you are currently negotiating."

Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts' 6th District, Pete Aguilar of California's 31st District and Norma Torres of California's 35th District a the second letter.[13]

Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation

On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States [14]

The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.

Funding for Colombia

March 28, 2016 Washington, D.C. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and 14 of their House colleagues sent a letter to key House Appropriations Committee members asking them to fully fund President Barack Obama’s budget request for aid to Colombia.

Last month, President Obama announced a new aid package totaling $450 million for FY 2017 to assist the Colombian government in implementing a potential peace deal with the FARC guerillas after more than fifty years of violent conflict in the country. The funding would also support Colombia’s efforts to address security challenges including the threat of violent drug cartels.

“Now, just as the peace process is beginning to bear fruit, is not the time to reduce our financial assistance to our ally and partner,” the group wrote in a letter to Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who serves as the subcommittee’s ranking member. “After decades of equipping Colombia to fight, we have a vested interest in helping the Colombian people to rebuild. We must continue the robust, bipartisan support which, at long last, has brought Colombia to the precipice of peace.”

Signers include, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Linda Sanchez, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. Filemon Vela, Rep. Tony Cardenas, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Rep. Mark Pocan.[15]

Letter on US-Mexico security Co-operation

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From Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice;

Urgent alert from our friends at CISPES- Los Angeles Chapter : "The US plans to expand cooperation between Mexico and the United States to unfairly and inhumanely target Central American migrants and asylum seekers at the upcoming "Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America".
We asked Representative Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach to author a letter to Secretary Tillerson calling for to put the human rights of Central Americans and all migrants and refugees front and center, and he's circulating a letter now. To have the biggest impact possible we need as many Members of Congress as possible to sign this letter!
Call or email your representative today and ask them to join Mr. Lowenthal as a co-signer.

Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) led 37 Members of Congress, including top Democrats from the Armed Forces, Judiciary and Appropriations committees, in sending a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise red flags about “suggestions that the United States deepen security collaboration with Mexico along its southern border [with Guatemala] due to evidence that Mexico’s Southern Border Program has led to wide-spread human rights violations and abuses against migrants and asylum-seekers.”

Signers: Don Beyer (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington, DC), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) , Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James McGovern (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), John Yarmuth (D-KY).[16]

Brianna Westbrook connection

Ruben Gallego and Brianna Westbrook

Democracy for America

Ruben Gallego, U.S. House, Arizona 7, was endorsed by Democracy for America in 2018.

References