Get to Know a Freshman: Eduardo Garcia (VIDEO)

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Nearly a third of the 2015-2016 California Legislature are first-term members. In this occasional series, The Bee introduces you to Sacramento’s newest lawmakers.

Kids who dream of becoming astronauts or professional athletes rarely see those aspirations realized. Eduardo Garcia wasn’t yet 30 when his came true.

The son of two Mexican field workers with middle school educations, the Democrat from Coachella was more interested in sports than public policy during high school. But a city employee encouraged him to seek a summer internship shooting video of Coachella City Council meetings, and Garcia returned with a bold prediction.

“I recall a seed being planted and walking away that summer telling people when I went back to school that some day I’d be mayor of that city,” Garcia said. “For some it was comical, for others it was ‘why would you want to be mayor?’”

A post-college stint teaching adult education and watching people strive for opportunity inspired Garcia to seriously pursue the plan. He won a spot on the city council at age 27 and ascended to the mayor’s seat by the time he was 29.