By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Nov. 3, 2014
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Former Daly City mayors and current council members, Ray Buenaventura and Mike Guingona are running against two other candidates for the three available seats.
Though they are not campaigning together both candidates are supportive of each other despite running separate campaigns.
“While I see there are some similarities between myself and Ray Buenaventura I just think this is a sign that our community is moving forward,” said Mike Guingona.
“I think even though we are running separate campaigns because we have to, I think the Filipino vote is there and will be united in the end,” said Ray Buenaventura.
Guingona and Buenaventura are confident in their campaign but hopes that all registered Filipinos will be at the polls.
“If Filipinos don’t exercise their right to vote then we won’t be able to make the strides that we’ve made over the years in raising our bench and being able to raise our profile in the community,” said Guingona.
“The only way you’ll be able to do that is to come out and vote and get involved in the process, speak to your legislatures, maybe even run for office yourself,” said Buenaventura.
Meanwhile in Milpitas where Filipinos make up about 14 percent of the population, two Filipino-Americans are at odds in a new measure for the city.
Measure E, if approved, will allow Bay 101 Casino to relocate from San Jose to Milpitas pending state legislation.
Former Mayor Henry Manayan is for the measure because he says it will create jobs and provide over $8 million in revenue for the city.
“This is going to offer more jobs, up to 900 new jobs, that’s going to not only be able for working for the card club but also in construction and landscaping and other types of jobs,” said Manayan.
Current Mayor Joe Esteves originally supported the measure but recently changed his mind and found that it would not benefit the city.
“It will destroy the great character of Milpitas as a family oriented city,” said Esteves. “Plus, it will be accompanied with a lot of potential crimes and people from all areas coming into the city.”
Manayan says that Esteves changed his stance on the measure due to a political strategy to help Esteves win his re-election as mayor.
“His opponent is anti-gambling so he thinks this is going to dampen his chances at being re-elected,” said Manayan.
“For my position I am protecting my kababayan because I love them and they are like my family,” said Esteves. “I am doing it without any payment this is from my own heart. ”
Over 400,000 Filipinos are registered to vote in California making 2% of the state electorate. Since November 2010, Filipino voter registration increased by 80,000 or 24%.
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