Rep. Linda Sanchez is the sixth of seven children born to Mexican immigrants in the city of Orange. She worked her way through college as an English as a Second Language instructor, later graduated from UC Berkeley and received her juris degree from UCLA Law school. She specialized in labor law and then went to work in the labor movement as a compliance officer with both International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association.
Since 2003, she has represented California’s 39th Congressional District, which includes Lynwood, Cerritos, Lakewood, La Mirada, and Whittier. She serves alongside her older sister, Rep. Loretta Sanchez from Orange County, the only such sister pair ever in Congress. She serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Ethics Committee (where she is the ranking member) and on Veteran’s Affairs Committee. Sanchez is a strong supporter of President Barack Obama.
Unlike many recent supporters of the president, Rep. Sanchez has been on his side since the early days. “I was an early supporter. I endorsed then-Sen. Obama in January 2008,” Sanchez said. During the early days of the Obama campaign, Sanchez’s duties involved participating in press conferences and stomping for the candidate from Chicago in battleground states.
The Los Angeles legislator is still zealous in her support for Obama. “I recently put out an op-ed in support of all that President Obama has done for the Latino community,” she said. Dated Sept. 17, 2012, it read in part:
“President Obama has stood by Latino communities and set forth a clear road to recovery for Latino families and businesses. He has enacted policies that give hard-working Latinos a hand up, not a hand out. Unfortunately, despite the clear direction the President has given our nation, Mitt Romney has not only misrepresented the President’s record, he has yet to offer one idea that would create good-paying, stable jobs for the Latino middle class.
“So in today’s speech, we’re guessing that Mitt Romney won’t discuss the 18 small business tax cuts that President Obama passed in his first term or the $3.8 billion lent to Latino entrepreneurs to open new businesses and develop currently existing ones. He won’t discuss the over 80,000 Latino jobs that were saved when the president rescued the American auto industry from extinction. And he won’t recognize President Obama’s clear, achievable plan for continued job creation and restore middle-class security for hard-working Americans. In fact, with 50 days to go in this election, Romney has yet to offer a plan to create good-paying middle-class jobs. What we do know is that in the next year alone, the president’s plan will create 2 million more jobs than Romney’s policies would.”
As a Latina, Sanchez is acutely aware of the issues facing her community, which she says are not unlike the problems facing many other Americans. “The issues that are most important to Latinos are the same issues that are important to most Americans–continuing our economic recovery, making sure our children get a quality education, ensuring that people entering the workforce have the skills and the job training to succeed, creating good-paying jobs in this country rather than shipping them overseas, and ensuring that our families have access to affordable and quality healthcare,” she said. “The president has a solid record on these issues because he’s been fighting for middle- class families since being sworn into office.”
The Obama administration has passed several pieces of legislation that help the middle class such as saving thousands of jobs in the auto industry; the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare; passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and reforming and expanding college grants and loans.
However, the president also promised immigration reform, and failed to get the DREAM Act passed.
This was an issue brought up in a recent media appearance on Telemundo.
Obama responded by saying that he was confident that after the election some Republicans would come over to his side and help pass comprehensive immigration legislation. Also, Obama signed an executive order that allows some children brought to this country illegally to apply for permanent residency.
Sanchez says that the Latino community is solidly behind Obama. According to a recent national Telemundo/NBC News/Wall Street Journal, poll 70 percent of Latinos plan to support the president.
“I would say that he enjoys stronger support from Latinos this year as compared to 2008,” Sanchez said, which agrees with an earlier assessment by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “As President Obama continues to fight to create jobs and help the economic recovery, I would expect him to enjoy even more Latino support.”