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LISTEN UP

As co-chair of the Immigration Taskforce, Rep. Veronica Escobar knows the value of listening to many different voices

Kristie Boyd; U.S. House Office of Photography
Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

This story is part of How We’ll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here

Veronica Escobar (D-TX) was no stranger to tough decisions before she arrived in the House. She served as a county commissioner and county judge in her native El Paso, where she knows the unique challenges of communities on the US-Mexico border first hand. She sits on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, and co-chairs the Immigration Taskforce.

What have you learned though your career in public service that you wish you had known from the very beginning?

While I obviously knew it would be impossible for me to please every one, every time, I never realized the magnitude of that truism until I took my first controversial vote when I was a county commissioner early in my political career. And while it is impossible to please everyone, it is imperative to listen to as many voices as possible. Taking the time to hear out concerns and truly listen to those who don’t agree helps ensure that the decision you make is the best one, and that everyone is included in the debate in case compromise can be achieved.

What were you told that you wish you hadn’t listened to?

This question really stumped me because I don’t think I’ve taken advice that I regretted. I am HAPPY I never listened to folks who told me time and time again that things in my local government would never change. I never believed it or allowed that philosophy to infect my determination, and as a result, we indeed changed things significantly with sweeping reforms. So that was advice I’m very happy I didn’t listen to!

This story is part of How We’ll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here

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