Congressman Juan Vargas Invites Community Leader and Activist to 2014 State of the Union Address

Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Juan Vargas eagerly awaits the arrival of Rosa Lopez, his guest for the 2014 State of the Union Address.  Rosa, who currently works seven days a week as a janitor, is an active leader in her union, SEIU United Service Workers West.  Through her advocacy, she is able to help her co-workers, and janitors all over California, stand up for better jobs. 

“I am thrilled to have Rosa as my guest of honor for the 2014 State of the Union Address,” Rep. Vargas said.  “Rosa is a true example of a woman who has persevered and overcome many obstacles to provide a better life for her family.  She embodies all the best that our immigrant communities offer to our nation and I am honored to know such a dedicated, caring and compassionate woman.” 

Rosa Lopez was born on a small ranch in Oaxaca, Mexico where her parents farmed crops and raised animals to support their family.  As a young girl, Rosa helped her parents planting chilies, beans and corn, but she dreamed of a better life. After arriving in the United States, Rosa found work as a housekeeper.  A single mother, she worked tirelessly to give her two children, Diane and Dereck, opportunities that she never had.  Rosa fulfilled that goal and today, both Diane and Dereck are attending college in San Diego.  Recently, Rosa bought her first home.  She also is taking English and vocational courses to further her pursuit of the American Dream. 

In 2008, Rosa became a U.S. citizen and voted in her first election. She is committed to fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, believing it is a critical step towards helping other immigrants, including her own family members, earn a better future.  

“I love the United States and all the opportunities it holds,” said Rosa. “I came here for a better life and I came here to stay.  I am proud to be living my dream of owning a home and putting both of my kids through college. However, it breaks my heart to see so many immigrant families continuing to wilt in the shadows when they could be blossoming like I did.”

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