LGBT Fil-Am elected as mayor of El Cerrito, CA

EL CERRITO, CA — Before a full audience at city hall, Gabriel Quinto will serve as El Cerrito’s first mayor who represents the Filipino-American and LGBTQ community.

Quinto says he is happy to represent the growing diversity of El Cerrito and the San Francisco area.

“We’ve always had a Filipino community here in El Cerrito, not as large as Daly City or Hercules but a small core group of people,” said Mayor Gabriel Quinto. “And being the first Filipino-American and the first LGBT mayor, it’s quite an honor.”

Quinto is from El Cerrito, having graduated from El Cerrito high school in 1979, and elected into council in December 2014.

He is involved in many areas of political and community work such as grassroots environmental organizations, API and LGBT caucuses, and served as an Obama delegate in 2012.

Mayor Auinto says his main priority is to address the affordable housing issue that El Cerrito is not immune to in the Bay Area.

“Right off the bat we’re going to work on housing and development. Here in El Cerrito, for a small city, we have two BART stations and we use BART in a huge way to get to San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont.”
Other notable newly appointed Filipino-American leaders were on hand to mark the occasion.

Quinto was sworn in by Contra Costa’s superior court judge, Benjamin Reyes, who is the first Fil-Am judge to serve on the Contra Costa county bench and the second Fil-Am judge to serve in the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.

Daly City’s first Filipina-American Mayor Juslyn Manalo attended the ceremony along with fellow Fil-Ams– vice mayor Ray Buenaventura and Councilman Glenn Sylvester.

Quinto says he expects more Fil-Am to take political positions.

“It’s about getting more Fil-Ams to run in the future and to run and to win. So I’m all about mentoring. My LGBTs and our Filipino-American community and we see that all over, up and down the state so I’m very proud of that.”
Quinto will hold the office of mayor for a year — per city policy.
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