Born in the Cuban town of Bejucal, he grew up in the waning years of pre-Communist Cuba. His family fled in January 1962 with the help of relatives in America. Congressman Sires became a star basketball player at Memorial High School and received a four-year basketball scholarship from St. Peter’s College. He went on to receive a Masters Degree from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Congressman Sires was a teacher and business owner before entering public service. He proudly served as Mayor of West New York, New Jersey from 1995 to 2006. During that time, the Congressman created more affordable housing units than any municipality in the State of New Jersey by fostering public-private partnerships and the use of targeted tax incentives. He balanced twelve consecutive municipal budgets while maintaining and enhancing vital municipal services. His efforts were recognized by many, including the New Jersey State Bar Association and Legal Services and his fellow Mayors who named him, “Mayor of the Year” in 2004.
Congressman Sires also served in the New Jersey State Assembly, where he served two terms as Speaker of the Assembly. As Speaker, Congressman Sires led the effort to create the Office of Lieutenant Governor and the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Preparedness, as well as, raise the minimum wage, expand job training, and fund valuable cancer research. He also created the STARS I and STARS II program, which offers full county and state college tuition scholarships to thousands of students. He increased funding for public education by $760 million and helped fund after-school programs to get kids off the streets and away from gangs.
During his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Sires served on the Financial Services Committee. There he focused on housing, introducing legislation to aid public housing authorities and supporting housing for low-income seniors.
Today, Congressman Sires serves on three Committees: Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Budget. On the Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Sires is the Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, and Trade Subcommittee and is a member of the Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment Subcommittee. He is focused on bolstering U.S. relations around the world and working with our allies to promote peace, security and prosperity. It is essential that we continue addressing the ongoing global challenges, including the protection of human rights, combatting violence and corruption, and strengthening democracy.
The Congressman serves on two Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittees: the Highways and Transit Subcommittee and the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. In this role he will continue advocating for infrastructure investment in vital efforts like the Gateway Project, and support increased transit and commuting options, safe and innovate transportation, as well as more efficient goods movement.
In an ongoing effort to keep our communities safe, Congressman Sires is a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, where he works with other members of Congress to promote legislation that develops a comprehensive set of policy principles to reduce gun violence while respecting 2nd Amendment rights. This term, the Congressman will continue to focus his efforts on the economy, jobs, immigration, gun violence, and government accountability.
Congressman Sires resides in West New York with his wife, Adrienne. His stepdaughter, Tara Kole, graduated from Harvard Law School, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and now works for a private law firm in Los Angeles.