The Congressman sits down for an in-depth interview with CBS 8’s Carlo Cecchetto.
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Rising up in Nationwide Metropolis, with dad and mom who got here to the US as a part of the Bracero Program, to his schooling at Harvard Regulation College, and his resolution to enter politics, Congressman Juan Vargas is aware of San Diego County like few folks do.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, CBS 8’s Carlo Cecchetto sat down with the previous San Diego Metropolis Councilmember turned U.S. Congressmember to debate rising up in San Diego and the significance of his Hispanic Heritage.
In the course of the interview, Vargas regarded again on the adjustments that Hispanic folks have witnessed since his youth and the rise of Hispanic politicians in San Diego County since he received into politics.
“Once I first received elected, I principally was it when it got here to Spanish talking folks,” stated Vargas. “Folks at all times used to ask me to go on TV to talk Spanish as a result of I used to be the one Spanish speaker. When it was something associated to Latino heritage month or something. It was me as a result of there have been no different folks. That is modified dramatically.”
Vargas says Nationwide Metropolis was only a tight-knit, semi-rural neighborhood when he was younger. “I grew up talking Spanish. In San Diego, my first language was Spanish. although I used to be born and raised right here, in our little enclave, everyone spoke Spanish.”
Vargas is one in every of ten kids. His father got here to the US from Mexico as a part of the Bracero program engaged on a hen ranch. His father, Vargas says, taught him the significance of a very good schooling.
“I feel I used to be in all probability 13. And I used to be digging a ditch with my father. We’re engaged on planting timber and in panorama and he stated, ‘Son, are you having fun with what you are doing?’ I stated, ‘No, I’m not.’ And he goes, ‘Then get an schooling.’
Vargas did simply that.
He graduated from the College of San Diego in 1983. He earned a grasp’s diploma from Fordham College after which a regulation diploma from Harvard.
Shortly after he determined to enter politics.
He was elected to the San Diego metropolis council in 1993, the one Latino on the council on the time. Being within the minority pressured him to exit and show to others that he, in addition to different minorities, had been greater than able to doing their job.
“There have been instances after I was rising up that I felt I needed to show myself needed to work slightly tougher. I had some questioning about my talents as a result of I used to be a Latino.”
However these questions quickly disappeared. Vargas was elected to the State Meeting in 2000, then the State Senate in 2010, after which to Congress representing the 51st District in 2013.
Vargas is pleased with his report and illustration.
“I by no means did something that I am ashamed of; simply the alternative. I feel I’ve behaved effectively and comported myself in a method that’s applicable. And so I be ok with that and most significantly, I be ok with the place my neighborhood is right here in San Diego.
For Vargas, Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to understand progress, which a lot has occurred since his humble beginnings in Nationwide Metropolis.
“I feel the most important factor, at the very least for me, about Hispanic Heritage Month is which you could be pleased with who you’re as a Latino. Rising up as I did, you recognize, folks name you names and plenty of different issues that had been very unfavourable. They do not try this anymore. You realize, persons are respectful, as a result of they’re pleased with the range. And that is what I might inform them. I imply, I feel we have come a great distance, on this neighborhood. I feel we have come a great distance on this nation to simply accept folks as they’re their backgrounds. And I feel that is a wonderful factor.
As for particular recollections of Hispanic Heritage Month when he was a child rising up, Vargas says it’s nice to see simply how far Hispanics and different minorities have are available San Diego and the way a lot the area celebrates variety.
“It is one of many issues I like about San Diego. We do attempt exhausting. I imply, we do attempt to combine everybody in our neighborhood. We do attempt to get alongside. I feel we do. I feel we’ve got a really wealthy tradition, not solely of Latinos however Irish, Italians, African People, and Asians. I feel that makes it a beautiful neighborhood.”
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