ENG: Raúl M. Grijalva (born February 19, 1948) is the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 7th District from 2003 to 2013, includes the western third of Tucson, all of Yuma and Nogales, and some peripheral parts of metro Phoenix.
Early life, education and career
Raúl M. Grijalva's father was a migrant worker from Mexico who entered the United States in 1945 through the Bracero Program and labored on southern Arizona ranches.
In addition, he was an Arizona leader of the Raza Unida Party. According to the standard history of the party by Dr. Armando Navarro, “Grijalva was so militant that he alienated some members of Tucson’s Mexican-American community. After losing in his first bid for elective office, a 1972 run for a seat on the school board, he began to cultivate a less radical image.”
In 1974, he was elected to the Tucson Unified School District board and served as a school board member until 1986. Grijalva Elementary School in Tucson was named for him in 1987. From 1975 to 1986, Grijalva was the director of the El Pueblo Neighborhood Center, and in 1987 he was Assistant Dean for Hispanic Student Affairs at the University of Arizona. Grijalva was a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors from 1989 to 2002, and served as chairman from 2000 to 2002.
Grijalva was born in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1967. He is a 2004 inductee to the Sunnyside High School Alumni Hall of Fame. He attended the University of Arizona and earned a bachelor's degree in Sociology. While at the University, he was a member of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) which, at that time, was a radical group identified with the separatist “Aztlán ” ideology. Grijalva also served as a leader of the Chicano Liberation Committee and other Chicano groups.
After the 2000 United States Census, Arizona gained two Congressional districts. The 2nd District, which had long been represented by Democrat Mo Udall, was renumbered as the 7th District. Ed Pastor, a Phoenix Democrat who had succeeded Udall in 1991, had his home drawn into the newly created 4th District and opted to run for election there, making the 7th District an open seat. Grijalva won a crowded seven-way Democratic primary, which was tantamount to election in this heavily Democratic, majority-Hispanic district. Before the 2010 election, he was reelected three times with no substantial Republican opposition.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Grijalva endorsed Barack Obama for President; his district, however, was won by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
During the 2010 midterms, Grijalva faced his toughest re-election campaign yet, against Republican Ruth McClung. It was reported that although Grijalva had decades of experience and McClung had none, and although there were twice as many Democrats in the district as there were Republicans, the two candidates were neck-and-neck in the polls. The main reason was Grijalva's call for a boycott of Arizona in response to the state's new immigration law, SB 1070. Grijalva won 50%-44% -- his closest margin of victory since being elected, and the first close election in what is now the 7th since 1978, when Udall was held to only 52 percent of the vote.
Grijalva's district was renumbered as the 3rd District after the 2010 census, and made somewhat more Democratic than its predecessor even though it lost some of its share of Tucson to the 2nd District (the reconfigured 8th).
In 2008, he defeated Republican challenger Joseph Sweeney.
Grijalva and his wife Ramona have three daughters.
February 5, 2013