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Mrs. NAPOLITANO. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 7832 to rename the post office located at 396 South California Avenue in West Covina, California after the late Congressman Esteban E. Torres, a long-time San Gabriel Valley legislator and beloved community leader.
A proud son of immigrants, Rep. Torres dedicated his life to serving his community, our nation in uniform, and working families across Eastern Los Angeles County. I proudly introduced this legislation with Rep. Linda Sanchez so future generations will remember Rep. Torres' legacy and be inspired by his service to our region and nation.
Rep. Torres was born on January 27, 1930, in Miami, Arizona. Shortly after finishing high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1949 to 1953 during the Korean War conflict and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant first class.
After attending various institutions including, the Los Angeles Art Center, East Los Angeles College, and California State University Los Angeles, Rep. Torres was subsequently elected to serve California's 34th district. He represented the cities of Artesia, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera, parts of Whittier, South El Monte, Industry, La Puente, Baldwin Park, and West Covina for 16 years in Congress. During his first five terms, Rep. Torres served on the House Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs and the Small Business Committees. In 1993, he was named to the powerful Appropriations Committee where he was responsible for delivering millions of dollars for public transit projects in Los Angeles County and throughout the State of California and advocating for U.S. policies that advanced democracies throughout the world. Rep. Torres also served as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and as a Deputy Whip for the House's Democratic leadership.
Rep. Torres also was an accomplished artist. His art was featured in the Washingtonian Magazine, at numerous galleries throughout Los Angeles, and admired by his colleagues in Congress, friends, and family. Among his proudest accomplishments was being one of the founders, along with Supervisor Gloria Molina, of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a world-renowned museum honoring the past, inspiring the future, and recognizing the cultural influence of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinx in the greater Los Angeles community.
Madam Speaker, I ask my colleagues to support H.R. 7832. Renaming the West Covina Post Office in Rep. Torres' honor will be a small token of gratitude for his lifetime of dedication to his community and country.
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