In The Movement Podcast
Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-7) Behind the scenes look at his journey to Congress and the path to being a key advocate.
Welcome to In The Movement Podcast with your show hosts Christopher Kemm and Austin De Bey discuss all things happening in the credit union movement. Each episode will feature leaders talking about history and current affairs and how we can utilize our expertise to educate, communicate, and mobilize to better serve our movement.
Today, we have a special guest who is a member of Congress in Arizona. United States Representative Reuben Gallego represents Arizona’s 7th District, including parts of Phoenix, Glendale, and Tolleson, in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2014 and is a Marine Corps combat veteran, a lifelong community leader, and the son of Hispanic immigrants. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Harvard University.
Congressman Gallego enlisted in the Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq in 2005 as an infantryman, serving with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. His Company saw some of the worst fighting of the Iraq War, losing 22 Marines and a Navy Corpsman to enemy action in eight months. Following his experience in Iraq, Congressman Gallego committed to ensuring that servicemen and –women are never sent into harm’s way without a plan for winning the fight, securing the peace, and providing post-conflict medical, psychological and familial care.
Representative Gallego has focused mainly on U.S. national security in his time in Washington.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he has led the response to Russia’s attack on NATO, maintaining the European Deterrence Initiative following President Trump’s efforts to cut the vital defense program. He has led the effort to support front-line allies like the Baltic States and protect our forces in Germany and across Europe. He has ensured that U.S. Forces Korea – the front line of our defense against North Korea – remains a credible deterrent force. He has led the response to companies like Huawei and ZTE, criminal state-directed organizations that threaten our national security and our next-generation infrastructure. He believes in retaining the United States’ qualitative military edge and employing U.S. military power only when necessary.
Changing the Landscape of Political Power for Latinos
“I looked around, and I found that many of the political leaders were weak, and there wasn’t anyone afraid of them and their political clout, and I decided that it was time to step up.” He decided to quit his cushy job to dedicate his time to running his first political campaign to win a congressional seat. He talks about how younger representatives are shaping his party.
He speaks about the young leaders in the party and his future perspective on moving forward inside the party. The way representatives govern has changed since Congressman Reuben has taken office. “How people look at Democrats is starting to change. There’s going to be a new class of democrats coming up that no one has seen on the national scale.”
Being Responsible for His Community
Congressman Reuben gives out his phone number, which drives his staff crazy. “The best way for me to be a chief of staff is to give my phone number to every community leader in my district.” This gave his community leaders access to him when they needed help with community issues and gave him great insights into what is happening in his district. “To this day, those community leaders have my number, and they text me when they have a problem.”
Listen in to find out what real effective advocacy is for Congressman Reuben, why John Lewis inspires Reuben to this day, and what he has learned about himself since becoming a father. Learn why he enjoys being a member of Congress and how he puts family first in his life.
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[07:11] Congressman Reuben talks about his background including his military experience.
[08:54] Why he decided to join the Marines after attending Harvard.
[14:55] What Congressman Reuben did when he realized the lack of power for Latinos in Arizona.
[19:19] How he connected with his district leaders and stays connected with community leaders.
[22:21] Who inspires the congressman in his lifetime.
[24:35] What he has learned about himself since becoming a father.
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