California’s Filipino American politicians gather to celebrate midterm election victories

SAN FRANCISCO — Elected and appointed Filipino-Americans from all across California gathered under one roof to celebrate their victories from the midterm elections.

City councilmembers, mayors, an assembly member and a US Congressman — all of them from California — Filipino-Americans.

This was a celebration for them put on by the Filipina Women’s Network, Filipino-American Community Forum, and the Filipino-American arts exposition.

According to the organizers, 24 people were elected in November, with nine first-time candidates, and 15 who were re-elected.

“Being that face is even more so important especially because I’m Pinay. I need to represent my Filipinas. And I am the first Filipina for the city of Artesia, so I’m deeply honored,” said Melissa Ramoso.

“When we talk about the population of Filipino-Americans in the state of California or even the nation, we’re a voice — and a lot of times we’ve been an invisible voice. The little brown brother or sister. But it’s time to use our voice. It’s time to use our numbers to make a political movement that starts from the ground up,” said Daly City councilman Dr. Roderick Daus-Magbual.

The keynote speakers featured the first Filipino-American elected to the state’s legislature — Assemblymember Rob Bonta — and Rep. TJ Cox, the first Filipino from California elected to the House of Representatives.

As a first-time politician, Congressman Cox says this new wave of Fil-Am public servants is just the beginning.

“The thing we all know is kind of an adage is ‘you can be what you see’. All right? It’s certainly with Assemblymember Bonta, myself, Bobby Scott so now there’s an example. So these guys if they can go out and represent our [Filipino] values and we can encourage the younger generation to do that, absolutely!”

Bonta says there is historic significance that he and congressman cox share — being that Bonta is a son of the farm workers turned labor organizers, and that Cox represents the district which was the epicenter in the fight for worker rights.

“It’s full circle in a lot of ways that there was such great leadership coming out of the Central Valley,” said Bonta. “And then now we have the first Filipino-American congress member in California coming out of the same area. I think it’s beautiful. I think i’s meant to be and it’s much more than coincidence.”

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