Jobs and the Economy
Senator Garcia and Minority Leader Lucia Guzman tour Pueblo Community College's Welding Program.
Creating jobs is my top priority at the state legislature, and I will focus my efforts on crafting solutions that will help rebuild our economy.
I believe that small businesses are key to Colorado's economic success - growing up in a family of small business owners, I learned firsthand about the hard work and dedication of small businesses and the important role that they play in our economy. More than half of the jobs in Colorado are in small business, and in Pueblo they are the source of 85% of all new jobs. I have and will continue to work towards solutions that will remove barriers and increase opportunities for small businesses in Colorado.
Senator Garcia as part of a reading campaign.
I believe that education is absolutely key to the success of our children and our state. However, our current education system is in need of serious support: Colorado is ranked 43rd in the nation in terms of per-pupil funding for K-12 education, and 49th for funding of higher education. Colorado also ranks 49th for our ability to bridge the achievement gap for students in poverty.
We need to invest in our education to ensure a stronger economic future for Colorado. As State Senator, I will make it a priority to build an education system that will raise performance, close achievement gaps, promote flexibility and innovation, and better prepare students for college or the workplace. We must ensure that Colorado students are ready to engage and compete in a 21st century global economy.
Senator Garcia receives the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Advocate of the Year Award in 2016.
I strongly believe that we need to create policy that will make healthcare affordable and accessible to all Coloradans. We shouldn't have to worry about an illness costing us our entire life savings, or our insurance companies dropping us at any time.
During this time of economic stress and uncertainty, the last thing we need is to worry about how to fit expensive healthcare plans into our family budget, or dealing with the anxiety of going without health insurance. As your state legislator, I will work towards solutions that will help ease this burden on the families of Southeastern Colorado, so that they can focus on their jobs and families.
Having served in Iraq in 2003 as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist in the Marines, I understand the challenges that veterans face at a very personal level. There is no greater honor than to serve your country, but unfortunately we often fail to adequately support our veterans when they return home.
One-third of the adult homeless population is made up of veterans – 47% served during Vietnam-era and 90% received honorable discharges. One of our every five Iraq/Afghanistan veterans suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). And, the unemployment rate for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans is nearly 15%.
As you State Senator, I will continue working to ensure that our veterans receive the benefits and support they have earned. I will also strive to help veterans and their families have access to educational and professional opportunities once they conclude their military service.
Water is essential to the economy of Pueblo County. As your legislator I will be a vigilant advocate for our regional water rights, to ensure that our water stays in our region. I am and will continue to be a strong proponent for water conservation, responsible growth and beneficial water usage that benefits the people of Pueblo and southeastern Colorado.