(Albany, NY) Senator Serrano sponsored a resolution on the State Senate floor celebrating the life and career of former United States Representative Robert Garcia. Robert "Bob" Garcia passed away on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the age of 84.
Garcia was born in New York City as a first generation American, both of his parents were born in Puerto Rico. After high school, Garcia dedicated his life to public service by first serving our country as a radio operator with the Third Infantry Division during the Korean War, where he received two Bronze stars.
Garcia then began his illustrious political career starting in the New York State Assembly from 1966 - 1967. After one term in the Assembly, Garcia went on to serve in the State Senate for 10 years. During his term as a State Senator, Garcia served as the Deputy Minority Leader, and worked to build coalitions, often reaching across the aisle to advance legislation to help the most vulnerable members of his community.
After serving in the State Senate for 10 years, Garcia was elected to Congress in 1978. Garcia made history when he introduced a bill to establish a national holiday in honor of rights leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Another one of Garcia's signature pieces of legislation was a bill to create urban "free enterprise zones" where businesses could receive tax breaks for locating in depressed areas of inner-cities, such as areas of the South Bronx.
Garcia's son Kenneth Garcia, Kenneth’s wife Darlene and his children, Christian, Mathew and Isabel along with other relatives and family friends made the trip to Albany to witness the special occasion.
"I am thankful for the significant contributions Robert Garcia has made to New York State. I am honored to have had the privilege to speak today and dedicate this resolution to him and his family. His legacy will live on and he will always be remembered as a true Latino trailblazer that paved the way for Latinos nationwide," said Senator Serrano.
Click HERE to watch the ceremony and Senator Serrano's remarks on the Senate Floor.