In today’s segment we are joined by Congressman #TJCox of California’s 21st District – a proud Democratic Congressman, an engineer and a small businessman whose passion is community development — creating jobs and opportunity in the Central Valley. He is running for re-election in the upcoming #election2020
Host Jannelle So opens the conversation by thanking Mr. Cox for his and his wife’s service to communities in Central Valley. And Mr. Cox explains that he and his wife, a pediatrician, actually chose to live in communities where she can serve under privileged families. And this also happens to be one of his reasons for running as Congressman – because his wife sees firsthand the injustices in the healthcare system.
But he also reveals that what drives him more is the sense of social justice which he gets from his grandmother, a Filipino who made a bold move to open a social club for African American troops in Manila right after World War II. His grandmother saw that the African American troops were being discriminated against so “she went out there and did something.” At a young age he saw his grandmother as an inspiration for fighting for what is right.
Mr. Cox represents the City of Delano, a city that has a rich Filipino-American history. He knows that it usually comes as a surprise for fellow Filipinos to know that he’s Filipino himself because of his surname. But his middle name is De Castro and he is very proud to be the first Filipino-American from California to be elected in Congress. He actively participates in Delano events like the Philippine Weekend and would urge everyone visiting the city to check out the Philippine bakery.
Although there is a rich history of Filipinos in America, Filipinos remain the most underrepresented Asian community in Politics. Mr. Cox attributes this to be a cultural issue because Filipinos “prefer to stick to the work.” However, he mentions Filipino leaders like Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz who stood up and said “we have the right to have our voices be heard.” Filipino representation in congress have also doubled having him in 2018 and a close call with Gina Ortiz Jones.
“Filipinos are considered to be the largest Asian American group growing in America so it is inevitable that our voices are going to continue to be heard,” he says.
Unfortunately, having stellar intentions as a public servant is not enough and being in politics the congressman understands that “it’s a race to the bottom.” He believes that the ethics issue he is being associated to is the doing of the “other side” and that the allegations are “lies.” He says that he is confident the people of the 21st district of California can attest to his intentions and the results of his hard work for the community. And he ends with, “We live by our Christian Catholic ideals – Love thy enemy.”
Mr. Cox is currently running against someone who used to hold the same position and the previous competition was considered to be the second closest margin in the nation (900 vs 862 votes). He intends to keep the representation of Delano city his priority. So if he is re-elected his focus is “to get America back to where it was which was a place of opportunity for everyone.”
He says he wants to bring the trust back into the Government by simply doing what is promised. In the first two years his focus will be on water for the community, support for workforce, immigration, health care and expanding opportunities.
Mr. Cox also shares his view on Trump vs Biden and advises everyone to vote as this is both a right and a civic duty. He reminds viewers that this year, every registered voter in California is getting a mail-in ballot. Go to VOTE.CA.GOV to check your registration TODAY or register ONLINE if you haven’t already.
His parting message to viewers, he says he is proud to be a a native Californian and the son of Filipino immigrants who taught him the importance of hard work, personal integrity, and fighting for what’s right. Closing with “Anything is possible here in America” and he wants to open that opportunity for all.