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La Liga de Las Americas

To La Prensa Readers,

What a long strange journey it has been through these last 11 years and since I left my home in Toledo. It seems so long ago that I came here to DC to work for Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur in her legislative office at the Rayburn House Office Building, right across from the Capitol.

So much has happened in these 11 years—the GOP take-over in 1996, the Clinton impeachment proceedings in 1998, the disputed presidential election of 2000, and that awful day on Sept. 11, 2001, when I saw the Pentagon, the place that I visit several times a week in the course of my official duties, explode into flames and smoke.

When I was younger, I often thought about what it must have felt like to be alive during the late 1930s and through the 1940s, when the world hung in the balance, and I wished that I could live through similarly interesting and critical times.

I stopped wishing for this on September 11, 2001, and like most individuals who wish for things they do not fully understand and then receive them, I began wondering why I wished for it in the first place.

And through it all, I have thought of home and of all my friends there working and striving to make Toledo a better place. Folks like my friends in Marcy’s district office, Steve, Dan, Teresa, Sue, Lindsey, Sarah, and folks like Bob Torres and Baldemar Velázquez, who were working hard to improve educational opportunities for Latino students and working conditions for migrant farmworkers—so many times I thought of coming home, when the plights of family and friends rose and fell and I fancied myself as either collaborator or consoler.

But still I am here, in Washington, DC, watching history unfold close-up. And this is what I wish to share with you and all my friends and family there at home. The impressions and observations of a native and migrant farmworker’s son living in an interesting place during interesting times—and remembering always home.



Ed Garza
Washington DC and formerly of Ohio






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