WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 1, 2003) –Venable LLP Senior Advisor and former Congressman Robert Garcia will be honored with the Life Achievement Award from the National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc., at a dinner on December 8, 2003.
“The National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) is honored to recognize distinguished individuals like Robert Garcia, who have worked to improve the quality of life of the Puerto Rican community and society as a whole,” said Manuel Mirabal, President and CEO of the National Puerto Rican Coalition.“Mr. Garcia is a role model for all Puerto Ricans and Latino youth, and exemplifies the importance of civic participation, humanitarianism, and dedication.”
“Since its founding, the National Puerto Rican Coalition has been at the forefront of the fight for civil rights,” said Mr. Garcia, “I’m proud to be honored by such a distinguished group.”
Mr. Garcia represented the South Bronx in Congress from 1978 to 1990. He chaired the Census and Postal Operations subcommittee in 1980, and worked to have the category “Hispanic” added to the census. He also served as chair of the International Trade subcommittee. Garcia was co-author, with Congressman Jack Kemp, of the legislation creating Urban Enterprise Zones, which provided tax incentives for small entrepreneurs to build businesses in areas with high unemployment. He also authored an amendment to the Civil Service Reform Act, which held each governmental agency accountable for the number of minorities it hired.
Congressman Garcia served as a Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and led the group in creating the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Mr. Garcia began his ascent in public office with election to the New York State Assembly in 1965, and then moved up to the New York State Senate in a special election in 1967. He is believed to be the first Hispanic on the East Coast to have served in a State Senate seat. There, before winning his Congressional seat, Mr. Garcia rose to the position of Deputy Minority Leader in charge of all floor action.
Mr. Garcia also served his country from 1950 to 1953 in the United States Army and concluded his military career in the 3rd Infantry Division in Korea, where he was awarded several battle stars.
While Mr. Garcia was born and raised in the South Bronx, both of his parents were born in Puerto Rico, and came to America in 1924. Mr. Garcia credits them for his success. “My achievements are the fulfillment of the work ethic that my parents instilled in all of their children,” he said.
The National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc., founded in 1977, focuses on public policy issues that affect the Puerto Rican Community at the community and national levels.
In addition to Mr. Garcia, the Coalition is also honoring U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, International Recording Artist Willie Colon, former New York City Board of Education President Ninfa Segara and Family and Children Community Advocate Maria Elena Girone.
Mr. Garcia is a Senior Advisor in the Washington office of Venable. He represents clients on issues pending before Congress, focusing on urban, financial, communications, tax and housing matters. Through the U.S. State Department, Mr. Garcia also serves as an electoral observer for the Organization of American States and has participated in OAS Electoral Observation Missions in Peru and Panama.
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