Florida (District: 26)
Jose Antonio “Joe” Garcia, Jr. (born October 12, 1963) is a Miami-based lawyer and the U.S Representative for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida%27s_26th_congressional_district">Florida’s 26th congressional district. The district includes most of western http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami-Dade_County">Miami-Dade County, as well as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Keys">Florida Keys. He is the former http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_director">executive director of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_American_National_Foundation">Cuban American National Foundation and was nominated by President Barack Obama to be director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact and Diversity of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Energy">United States Department of Energy, a position for which he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
Congressman Joe Garcia was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012. He is a dedicated public servant who has called South Florida home for his entire life. With scholarships and money he had saved from cutting grass with his grandfather on weekends, Congressman Garcia put himself through Miami Dade College and later the University of Miami where he completed his undergraduate studies.
After graduating UM Law School, Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed Congressman Garcia to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the state agency regulating utilities. Serving under both Democratic and Republican governors, he helped usher in the single largest energy rate cut in Florida’s history—meaning lower electricity bills for Florida’s families through the 1990’s. Congressman Garcia left the PSC in 2000 and was named Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation where he became one of the country’s leading advocates for human rights in Cuba and Latin America.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Garcia to serve as a director in the Department of Energy where he focused on lowering energy costs for America’s families and greater access to renewable sources of energy.
Congressman Garcia has served on the board of the Spanish American League Against Discrimination and Regis House, a drug addiction prevention center for inner-city youth in Miami. He is a board member and past president of the Cuban American National Foundation. He also previously served as director of the New Democratic Network Hispanic Strategy Center and chairman of the Democratic Party of Miami-Dade County.
Congressman Garcia and his family live in South Florida. He has one daughter, Gabriela (15).