From very early on when Franklin Garcia's interest in politics caught everyone's attention here in Washington DC he was active in the politics of his native Dominican Republic. Soon thereafter he became involved with the local Latino community organizing Saturday morning leadership meetings at Vida Senior Center. He coordinated a policy group that crafted the "Latino Agenda" and 10 years ago presented it to Dan Tangerlini, City Administrator in the new Fenty administration. Franklin was right there in the midst of it. During that time, he founded the "DC Latino Caucus" and simultaneously worked with the Democratic State Committee as delegate and ultimately Communications Director. During his tenure Hispanic representation on the DC DSC has increased fourfold.
Two years ago he ran for the office of 'Shadow Representative' for the District of Columbia garnering over 110,000 votes more than any other Hispanic candidate in DC's history. The volunteer position, alter ego to Congresswoman-without-a-vote Eleanor Holmes Norton's one Congressional seat, has no vote, salary or until recently a functioning office. Garcia has revamped the volunteer office and together with the two 'shadow Senators', Paul Strauss and Michael Brown made the entire group a more focused and visible force. Statehood has taken on a number of new initiatives and Mr. Garcia has been instrumental in all of them. Recently he organized the protests in front of the Trump hotel and a week does not go by where he isn't supporting charities, promoting statehood or sharing his name to worthy causes. Garcia is steadfast and diligent. He can be found organizing rallies and protests. He attends a rich variety of civic meetings, charity functions and political events. Seems like he's everywhere.
We repost here the iconic photo that accompanies this feature of 3 outstanding, iconic Latino leaders that was taken at a Lincoln Memorial rally by the Hispanic Democrats of Fairfax County. Later that same week we found Franklin at a luncheon for Congresswoman Norton and leading (another) Trump protest. It's hard to understate the impressive work that Franklin Garcia is doing every day in the District for Statehood and his constituents.
He will win his 'Shadow Representative' race this election cycle, but we hope that sometime soon the venerable Holmes Norton will decide to retire and new, fresh energy can be brought to the position of Non-voting Delegate. Franklin deserves the Delegate seat and many of us who know him are sure he will ultimately prevail where Ms. Norton has not. We need someone like Mr. Garcia whose perseverance and persistence in the face of impossible odds is legendary. His immigrant status has taught him never to give up and fight when all seems lost. Franklin has nurtured and grown a devoted following and we expect him to fulfill his mission as a public servant in the District of Columbia.