Tribute to Edward C. Valdez by Hon. George P. Radanovich of California in the House of Representatives

Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Edward C. Valdez for his commitment and dedication to the Hispanic community. Edward Valdez is a prominent attorney and was awarded the 1997 Latin American Businessman of the Year. His accomplishments with the Hispanic community are noteworthy and warrant recognition.

Born in Castroville, California, Valdez spent much of his childhood in the fields picking fruit and vegetables. Valdez did very well in school, but had the notion that college and higher education was for non-Hispanics. He grew up in a community where people worked in the fields all of their lives and no one ever went to college. This discouragement caused him to join the Army instead of continuing on with school.

In the service, Valdez began to meet college graduates and realize that he could also go to college. In 1964, Valdez finished his military obligation and enrolled in junior college. His college studies and determination paid off in the late 1960s when AAA Insurance hired him as a claims adjuster. The company soon promoted Valdez to a job in Fresno, where he continued his education at California State University, Fresno. In 1969, he began law school and worked as a paralegal by day and studied by night. 

After graduation, Valdez and several other lawyers formed a partnership that became well known for work with the under-served Valley populations and Hispanic leaders. When his partners left the firm to become judges, Valdez built his firm into a solo practice. He continued his motivation by providing help with several community service projects. Valdez supports the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the positive effects it has on business in the Valley. 

Valdez credits much of his success as a result of his education. I praise his emphasis in the importance of higher education. He encourages lifting Valley farm-labor populations into enterprises that bring jobs and money through higher education. 

Mr. Speaker, it is with great honor that I pay tribute to Edward C. Valdez for his accomplishments and dedication to the Hispanic community. His passion for the legal profession and his encouragement for Hispanic youth is both refreshing and inspirational. I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing Edward Valdez many more years of success.