By Susan Payne
This month, Robert Garcia was sworn into Congress with superman by his side.
Garcia, a self-described comic book nerd according to the Smithsonian Magazine, borrowed the first issue of the Superman comic book series from the Library of Congress for the swearing in ceremony. He also included a copy of the constitution, his citizenship certificate and a photo of his parents who died during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garcia, from Lima, Peru, is the first LGBTQ immigrant to serve in Congress.
“I learned to read and write English [by] reading comics as a kid,” he told BuzzFeed News’ Pocharapon Neammanee. “Never stopped reading.”
Feeling a special connection to Superman, Garcia said the character signifies truth and justice, an immigrant that was different and raised by good people that welcomed him.
“If you look at Superman values, and caucus values, it’s about justice, it’s about honesty, it’s doing the right thing, standing up for people that need support,” Garcia told CNN’s Zoe Sottile.
“Superman No. 1,” was published in 1939 and mainly focused on one character, Superman, who didn’t reinforce the status quo, he upended it, again and again, according to NPR’s Glen Weldon.
The comic book was returned to the Library of Congress.
Though Bibles and other religious texts are common sights at a swearing-in ceremonies, “there is no required text upon which an incoming officeholder must take their oath,” said Jane Campbell, president of the United States Capitol Historical Society, to BBC News’ Brandon Drenon.
Now that he’s sworn in, Garcia told the City News Service, “The American people deserve a government who works for them, and now I can finally get to work for the people of California.”