• Ed pastor and a woman smiling together

    Testimonials on Congressman Pastor’s Legacy and Impact

Congressman Ed Pastor was an inspiration to so many throughout our state and nation. Please take a minute to share with us any impressions, memories, anecdotes, or observations about his life and legacy.

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Hailey Victoria Avery

Thanks to the Congressman’s gift to ASU, I was able to chase my dreams this last summer in Washington, DC. It was because of his kindness that I was able to accept an internship interning at the White House! Through the pastor center, I was able to network with other ASU students interning in DC, as well. The three of us that were sponsored by the Center were able to participate in Harvard's Summer in Washington program! We attended the Congressional ballgame, particpated in Jazz in the Park, went to the French embassy to speak with Ambassador Gerard Araud, etc. The laughs and dinners that we engaged in together were priceless! I am extremely thatnkful for the selflessness of Congressman Pastor and his commitment to the students of his community!

Jacqueline Sandoval

Congressman Pastor meant so much to so many. I am fortunate enough to be one of those touched and elevated by his kindness. I worked an intern in his District office. I looked forward to being on phone duty because it meant answering a call from the Congressman that went like this: ”Hello! This is Ed! Who am I talking to today?” After I’d tell him it was me on the other end he’d say ”Jackie! How are you?” This would lead to a 20-minute conversation that ranged from Oscar nominations to lectures on dating. It was something he didn't have to do, nor had the time to do, but he did it anyway. One day I found a note left on my desk. It was from the Congressman and was filled with words of wisdom and ended with an offer to intern in his D.C office. He gave me a stipend without being prompted. Had it not been for that stipend there was no way the opportunity would have been financially feasible. He didn’t have to be told to that kids from my background desperately wanted access to opportunities and resources that would prove to be invaluable in their careers, but we just needed a little help. I've kept that note and read it again today. I hope future young leaders in our communities find it helpful as it continues to be for me today:

“Continue working hard - this work will develop a network of friends and develop your leadership skills that you will use in future political life. Let’s talk about this summer and an internship in D.C. - Ed Pastor”

Trey Leveque

It is so extremely sad to hear of the passing of Congressman Ed Pastor. His impact has reached those far and wide and has positively influenced countless individuals over the years. At Arizona State Univerisity (ASU) in particular, he has been able to touch the lives of so many students, myself included. Through his generous support to The Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics & Public Service at ASU, I was able to receive funding and support for an out-of-state public policy summer internship program this past summer. While in Washington D.C. I was able to be a Fellow for a non-profit organization called Civic Nation with their Reach Higher team. Reach Higher seeks to help every student navigate the college-going process by: (1) reaching students where they are at and celebrating their success on social media and through flagship events like College Signing Day; (2) raising awareness about helpful college access tools like FAFSA and Up Next and resources; and (3) enhancing student support systems by building the capacity of the school counseling profession. By being able to receive this Public Policy Summer Intern Scholarship I was able to participate in a program which I might not otherwise be able to accept because of financial reasons. Congressman Ed Pastor's impact will continue to inspire students like me for many years to come because of his passion for public service. I will always be extremely grateful for his service.

Will Medina

So sad to hear the news regarding the passing of Congressman Ed Pastor. He was a man ahead of his time and paved the way for so many. I will forever be grateful to him because he was a founding member of Los Diablos at ASU and if it wasn't for him I would not have received my full ride scholarship to ASU. I was fortunate to have met Congressman Pastor on multi occasions. May he rest in paradise.

Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas

So grateful for Congressman Pastor's legacy and commitment to women's rights. He stood up and advocated for women and Latinas when it wasn't popular. He was kind, funny and a wonderful leader. He will be deeply missed. Here is a statement from my organization, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health:
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Mourns Loss of Former U.S. Representative Ed Pastor
Press Release
Wilmarie Ríos Jaime Phone: (939) 292-8807 Email: Wilmarie@latinainstitute.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) mourns the loss of U.S. representative Ed Pastor, Arizona’s first Latino member of Congress, and celebrates his legacy. Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of NLIRH, issued the following statement:

“Since he first arrived in Congress in 1991, Representative Ed Pastor fought to give voice to his constituents and truly represent their needs. He worked with NLIRH at a time when many where weary of supporting reproductive rights and justice. Not only was he the first elected official to publicly support our mission, but he marched on the streets of Washington alongside us as we demanded salud, dignidad y justice--health, dignity, and justice--for our communities. Rep. Pastor was a trailblazer, and his decades of dedication to the cause of reproductive justice will never be forgotten.”

For more information on NLIRH’s fight for health, dignity and justice, visit us at latinainstitute.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NLIRH.

Nadira Khan

I am still trying to come to terms with the loss of Congressman Pastor. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to meet him this past semester, and as a scholar with the Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, I have seen first hand how the Congressman's impact continues to impact lives long after his service in elected office. His dedication and authenticity in his work has ultimately made Arizona a better state for the lives of many. Congressman Pastor was truly one-of-a-kind both on a personal level and in terms of his legacy. He will be missed dearly.

Thejane Malakane

I'm Thejane Malakane from Lesotho in Southern Africa. I am a Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni and was based at ASU. I knew Ed Pastor through my mentor Tom Chapman and it was one of those meetings I will cherish for a long time. Ed Pastor was insightful and oozed a lot of wisdom from his heart. He related to me his beginnings in politics and education and gave me life changing tips on how I should conduct my professional life. In his words he said" You can if you can get out of your can!'' His contributions to the ASU and the education fraternity will be greatly missed. May his soul rest in power.

John Patterson

My name is John Patterson, and Congressman Ed Pastor played a significant role in challenging me to consider my political, environmental, and ethical viewpoints in a profoundly meaningful way.

Congressman Pastor sat on the panel which conducted the 2nd interview for a major scholarship program into which I was later accepted. During the process, I was given the option to identify my political views, which at the time were staunchly libertarian. Following my self-description as, in my words, a “small-government guy,” Congressman Pastor urged me to elaborate, and to specifically define legislation which I would identify as unnecessary or invasive to private individuals’ rights. In the time-constrained moment, and despite an admittedly greater range of grievances which I could have highlighted, the first thing that came to mind was the law phasing out low-efficiency 60-watt incandescent light bulbs, which was enacted via the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In my mind at the time it seemed to be a quick example of a seemingly arbitrary decree with perhaps only moderate benefits in energy savings; perfect fodder for the argument at hand.

What I discovered later on was that, unbeknownst to me at the time, Congressman Pastor was in fact a co-sponsor to this very bill. Feeling somewhat embarrassed, especially after propping up my entire interview argument for strict libertarianism on this seemingly inconsequential act, I decided to further research the topic of energy consumption. I was surprised to see the major impact that electric lighting did indeed have on global greenhouse gas emissions, and in further research began to take a much greater interest in environmental policy and its importance in the modern world.

Thinking back on that conversation I had with Ed Pastor in that interview really changed my perception of the role of public policy on the wellbeing of society in general. My interests shifted from strict defense of the rights of individuals to a more holistic view of the wellbeing of mankind and the world overall. While I do still consider myself a libertarian (and indeed am registered as a capital-L Libertarian), I have become much more moderate, and place some of my strongest support of governmental action in the role of protecting the environment and reducing the severity of the impact of anthropogenic climate change. In fact, as an electrical engineering student with an interest in power and energy systems, I have placed environmental protection and efficiency improvement at the top of my list of research interests within my field.

Ed Pastor asked the tough and thought-provoking questions that made me think, that made me willing to step outside my echo-chamber, and ultimately made me consider the world in a different way. I believe that this is the kind of conversation that everyone ought to have from time to time today. We should all seek to be like Ed Pastor: to be willing to foster cohesive and civil discussions with those we might not necessarily agree with, and to help forge a path towards greater unity, greater sympathy, and greater discourse in politics and beyond. Thank you, Mr. Pastor, and may your influence continue to serve the world as well as it has served me.

Carla Naranjo

I did not get the chance to personally meet Ed Pastor but he has always been as inspiration to me and what true leadership should look like. I have been able to go to school due to a scholarship program within the ASU Pastor Center. I was lucky enough to be given the resources to fully explore my passions. Creating spaces for students to explore their path to public service is extremely vital and what Ed Pastor was all about - passion, generosity, and integrity. I looked up to Ed for so many reasons but one that I will never forget is how he fully advocated for what he believed in and empowered so many people, including me. Seeing latinos in political office will never not be special to me.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the passing of Congressman Ed Pastor. I do not know if I will ever be able to. He was a shining light and leader within the Latino community and represents the type of Arizona we should all strive for. He set the foundation for so many young leaders and aspiring public servants. My thoughts and condolences go to the family of Ed Pastor.

Felix Moran

Ed Pastor is the first Congressman that Me and my mom ever met in our lives. I remember the first time I met him it was during my high school years at a Art show with the Art Institute of Phoenix. I was very doubtful of my artwork but, my art teacher seen my potential and told me to enter the contest. I did enjoy drawing but never seen the potential of my art work until that night. That night my art teacher showed me where my artwork was located. She pointed to the blue ribbon that was placed on it and it said it has been recognized by the Congressman Ed Pastor. I have never met him in my life and that night. He was walking around the art gallery with his team. They were showing him all of the artwork that was being displayed before him. As he approached me, my mom and my art teacher. He asked me about the drawing and what did it mean. The artwork was called “all eyes on me” it was an abstract art and the circle looked like eyes. He shooked all of our hands and we were all left astonished that he was in our presence. We took a group picture and he was on his way to see the rest of the participants. My mom was so proud of my artwork and especially since it was recognized by the Congressman Ed Pastor. When my mom seen the news last night and noticed He had passed away. She called me and told me if I remembered the time The Congressman Ed Pastor recognized my artwork. It was a very emotional conversation but, we both enjoyed the memories. We talked about how he was so engaging to us and making us feel so important. We were both so honored to have met this man in our life time. As I grew up I would see his passion and involvement in the community. He has impacted so many great leaders and empowered others to take roles of leadership. He created a pathway that very few can ever make. He would always take his time to hear everyone’s issues in the community and, would work with the community to creative these solutions. He was a man that left a mark in the community as well as leaving a mark in the hearts of many.