Get to know: Senator Robert Meza

This month, CBN got the inside scoop from Senator Robert Meza on what inspired him to run for office, his passion for mentoring youth and why he loves Arizona.
Question: What inspired you to run for elected office?
Answer: It’s in my DNA. I grew up in a politically engaged household, my parents would bring up political happenings and discuss them around the dinner table. They believed being informed and involved was a necessity. This experience instilled in me from a very early age the value of service leadership. Running for office was just a natural evolution out of this upbringing.
Q: What lessons have you learned from your time in the legislature?
A: The most important lesson I have learned is the importance of open dialogue and relationship building. I believe that it is of paramount importance to hear a plurality of views and be open to finding a middle ground. If we stop listening to one another problems only become more challenging to solve.
Q: As a proponent of economic development and jobs creation, what are your thoughts about Arizona’s current economic momentum?
A: I feel that the current need in Arizona’s economy is an increase of diversity across the board. I mean this in every way from more diverse industries and companies to more education options such as private research universities on par with any across the country. We need to ensure that as a state we welcome everyone and build a broad base that will be more resilient to potential economic struggles, like the ones we’ve seen in the past.
Q: What is your biggest priority for Arizona?
A: My biggest priority is creating and fostering connectivity among the often disparate sectors of Arizona. We will either succeed and thrive together or fail together. Obviously, I think that it is in the interest of everyone that we succeed.
Q: You have dedicated much of your time as a mentor to many students. How did you get involved in mentoring? What lessons have you learned as a mentor?
A: It began pretty simply actually, I was approached by parents of these students asking what they needed to do to succeed in high school and beyond. Many of these families are first generation in the United States and are in need of counseling and support in how to navigate that often confusing world. One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a mentor is the resilience of Arizona’s youth and their desire to succeed. They all want the opportunity to succeed if they put in the effort and the time. This lesson has informed the way that I work and behave as a legislator.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is Night by Elie Wiesel. The reason is because it describes how truly fragile society can be. It demonstrated to me for the first time how nothing is permanent and that if you are not willing to fight for it you will lose it and fall into darkness. This book inspired my personal belief of tikkun olam, which is the Hebrew phrase meaning ‘to heal the world’. I feel that this book should be on everyone’s reading list, the subject matter is sometimes difficult to talk about but it is necessary for all of us to remember and learn about.
Q: Are you excited for Notre Dame’s football season?
A: Yes, absolutely and always! As a member of the class of ‘86, I am a strong supporter of my alma mater. I make it back to campus every season for at least one game and have not missed a televised game in five years.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A: Never take anything personally.
Q: If you had one superpower, what would it be?
A: To follow up with my life’s motto, tikkun olam. I would want the power to heal people of all ills and hurt.

Lorna Romero

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