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|Full Biography for Carlos A. Rodriguez|
My mother brought me to freedom in 1970 after witnessing Fidel Castro turn her island of Cuba into a communist prison for over a decade. My dad was able to escape and join us several years later, on perhaps the last freedom flight. As I have been told, she was petitioned by her oldest brother who had fled before her and was living in the New York area. We spent the next two and half decades in the southwest section of Yonkers, New York.
My dad is retired now, living in Florida, but during his working years, never did I see him work for anyone but himself. He was, and is, an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. He was not outrageously successful by any means, but this dark complexioned, self educated man who arrived in this country at the age of 38, not knowing a word of English, and with only the clothes on his back was able to own and operate several beauty salons and clothing stores as well as hold real estate investments during the next twenty plus years. My dad is the quintessential FREE MAN who never wanted a hand out, only a hand up, and to ensure his son only had the finest education, he did everything in his power to send me to modest, but PRIVATE schools where it was always expected that I become a professional. Years later, I am able to see with a chuckle that my background was diametrically opposed to the liberal dogma that is religion in much of the Northeast and universities nationwide and was indoctrinated into me during my formative years.
I attended a small private Christian college in the Bronx called Manhattan College, and although I had originally been accepted as a Physics Major, I soon switched to Government & Politics as I had experienced what I felt was a life changing moment the summer before my freshman year. My parents had taken me on vacations to Europe and Mexico before, but in 1986, they took me to the Dominican Republic. To say I was blown away by incomparable natural beauty superimposed with overwhelming poverty is an understatement. My young mind simply could not understand how we humans could allow this contradiction to exist in such paradise. What had gone horribly wrong, I thought.
This impression haunted me so much that I gave up a possible career in science, to pursue meaningful change in government. I also discovered that many if not most, of the successful statesmen I had studied, including Abraham Lincoln, had been lawyers and I decided that would be a solid foundation upon which to base a political career. I graduated Valedictorian of my class and was awarded a full scholarship to Syracuse University College of Law in 1990.
Having been traumatized by brutal winters for so long, I moved to Miami, Florida shortly after passing that state's bar exam in 1994 and quickly found work as an immigration lawyer. By this time, I had studied enough of our two-party system to realize its complete corruption and hypocrisy resulting in my complete disenchantment with politics, like so many people.
But still... I felt the faint call, and I remember the words of the Br. President of my college many years ago, quoting Robert Kennedy: "To those who are given much... much is expected." And I, undoubtedly, have been given much. In 2001, I made the decision to seek greener pastures (& bearable weather, again) and moved to California. Two years later, I met the woman of my dreams, a school teacher, and we were married in 2005 at the Mission in San Fernando. As I write these words, in 2010, we are the proud parents of an adorable two year old boy and precocious four year old girl. I've studied enough about government & the economy to know where we are headed. The writing is on the wall. I don't want our children growing up in a bankrupt, third world country.
The time has come. Washington needs common sense leadership. For too long we have waited... If not now, then when? If not us, then who?
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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 10, 2010 20:20
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