Rep. Ron Barber holds first Congress on your Corner

Rep. Ron Barber holds first Congress on your Corner

CREATED Jun 24, 2012

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin

TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - It's a tradition started by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords that ended tragically on January 8, 2011 when six were killed and 13 wounded during a mass shooting.  Saturday, newly-elected congressman Ron Barber started a new beginning, hosting his first Congress on your Corner.

About 300 people waited in the desert heat just to shake his hand for the first Congress on your Corner since the Tucson shooting.  People like Christi Sullivan had congratulations and concerns to address.

"(I want to) talk to him about helping the community and not outsourcing jobs to overseas," she said, standing in line with her two boys to meet Barber.

Eleven-year-old Zyanya Figueroa wanted to meet her representative before visiting Washington, after winning the Christina-Taylor Green scholarship.  She's a political enthusiast like the scholarship's name-sake, a shooting victim who was only nine years old.

Another victim and survivor, Patricia Maisch told 9 On Your Side she wouldn't let painful memories stop her from congratulating Barber.

"It is touching and emotional but I would be disappointed in myself if there was not still some emotion involved in that incident," she said, "He's not walking in Gabby's footsteps but he's following her legacy."

Barber says he talked to constituents about veterans issues, securing the border, and restoring the middle class.  He admitted the event did bring back some painful memories, but says the importance of direct communication should outweigh fear.

"I really felt that it was essential to do this," he said, "We cannot be scared away from doing our job."