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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 23

Photo of Mary Helen Barro

Mary Helen Barro

6,363 votes (5.4%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Put Constituents FIRST and hold Open Monthly Town Hall Meetings; Expand job base by attracting more Tech & Aerospace businesses; Protect Social Security Funds from Misuse by Congress, and protect Medicare and Medicaid from privatization.
  • Introduce legislation to prohibit Congress from dipping into Social Security funds to pay for other programs, and replay any outstanding IOU's.
  • Improve access and shorten response time for quality, specialized VET health care. Build local VA hospital in Kern County in 2018.



President, Up Front Enterprises Marketing/PR/Government Relations, Self-employed (2010–current)
Licensed Insurance Agent-Broker, California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Self-employed (2010–current)
Credentialed Bilingual Educator, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, San Jose Unified School District, Oak Grove School District, Bakersfield City School District (2005–current)
Professional Translation Services - English/Spanish Spanish/English, Self-Employed (1995–current)
President/Owner/Operator, Barro Broadcasting Corporation, Self-employed (1986–1995)


CSU Bakersfield; Bakersfield College, UCLA Master of Arts in Education; Bachelor of Arts in Education and Child Development; Clear Bilingual Teaching Credential, early childhood education; special needs children; business administration; multi-cultural outreach and inclusion (2007)
UCLA Professional Designation, Organization, Management Systems and Procedures (1975)

Community Activities

Member, League of Women Voters of Kern County (2000–current)
Member, African American Network of Kern County (2011–current)
Member, Democratic Women of Kern (2000–current)
Member, Bakersfield Downtown Business & Property Owners Association (1987–current)
Member, American Heart Association GO REDF Por Tu Corazon (2014–2017)


In addition to my local volunteer/community activities, I have extensive experience at both national and international levels, that includes leading three successful International Trade Delegations to Mexico that resulted in: (1) Mexico's adoption of pesticide use regulations similar to those of USA, protecting farmworkers and stabilizing regulatory costs between US and Mexican agribusiness; (2) Mexico's modification of inheritance and immigration laws that ultimately resulted in a Dual Nationality Program allowing Mexicans abroad to become citizens of other countries without losing family inheritance rights.

As president of the American Hispanic Owned Radio Association spearheaded various AHORA projects to improve business opportunities for Latino broadcasters throughout the United States and Mexico, and drafted the US Spanish broadcast industry NAFTA proposal/negotiations.

Directed the successful national effort to repeal the Small Business Administration (SBA) Opinion Molder Rule, that denied communications, marketing and media industries access to SBA loans and loan guarantees.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (5)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Mary Helen Barro:

The entire infrastructure system throughout the United States has been sorely neglected for decades.  Congress should amend the recently-approved budget to redirect significant portions of the tax reductions given to major corportions and utilize that funding to finance promised infrastructure repairs and upgrades nationwide.  California, in conjunction with the Federal Government currently has numerous funding resources in place to fund highways, water resources, airports as well as High Speed Rail.  However, federal funding, especially for consumer water projects and California's High Speed Rail project need to be increased significantly.

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
Answer from Mary Helen Barro:

Immediate authorization of all health agencies and programs to negotiate for better prices for prescription medications that are comparable to those paid by organizations and individuals abroad.  In the interim, introduce legislation to reduce the eligibility age for Medicare, as well as expand Medicare and Medicaid services to serve as many families as practicable, with the ultimate goal of providing universal health care throughout the United States.

The ACA ("Obamacare") was modeled after "Romneycare," a successful Republican healthcare system developed by then-Governor Mitt Romney.  At the outset, there were some difficulties with Governor Romney's program.  However, state legislators in Massachusetts worked with Governor Romney to "tweak" Romneycare to ensure a successful program.  Regrettably, Congress refused to implement similar adjustments to Obamacare because they put party politics ahead of the best interests of families.  I would introduce comparable/appropriate legislation to make the ACA more workable.

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House.
Answer from Mary Helen Barro:

Congress must meet its responsibility of implementing a reasonable immigration policy that will benefit families and commerce alike.  A revised and updated version of S. 744, a comprehensive, sensible immigration bill written in 2013 by a bipartisan group of eight Senators (known as the "Gang of Eight") would certainly work today, if partisan politics and bigotry could be set aside in the best interests of the nation.

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of Californians and the federal water project infrastructure in California?
Answer from Mary Helen Barro:

Among the actions I would take are: Reinstate federal mandates regarding the Safe Drinking Water Act and other water policy measures that have recently been weakened and/or eliminated by the EPA.  Review existing successful water conservation programs throughout the United States (eg. Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance & Technology; Columbia Basin Water Smart Projects) for possible adaptability and/or expansion with assistance of federal grants.  Additionally, explore various successful innovative water treatment projects abroad with the objective of implementing such technology throughout California and/or nationwide. 

According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Mary Helen Barro:

Respect and thoughtfulness have always been an integral part of my life.  As an elected official, I would continue to make respectful conduct and treatment of others a public policy issue of my tenure.  However, respect for self and others begins in the home.  A strong spotlight should be focused on this aspect of the problem via community service organizations and schools.  As an educator, I have always modeled the behavior I wish my students to practice.  I would support an extensive national campaign that would focus on our schools throughout the nation.  It would be initiated and/or supported by the Federal Department of Education, in partnership with state and local school districts to encourage self respect and respect for others. Activities that encourage and reward respectfulness and regard for all others would be expanded, enhanced or developed as appropriate to address all forms of disrespect, bigotry, and intollerance.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $12,465

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Mary Helen Barro

More information about contributions

By State:

California 100.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (94.75%)
Small contributions (5.25%)

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My political philosophy is simple: I will respectfully and honestly work with anyone, regardless of political party or affiliation to advance the best interests of all my constituents as well as those of the United States of America.  Above all, the rule of law and rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution must be defended and upheld against all threats, foreign and domestic.

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