Joel Jacinto becomes first Filipino paid commissioner in LA

LOS ANGELES – The streets of Los Angeles are now under the watchful eye of well-known Filipino community leader Joel Jacinto.

Jacinto was unanimously appointed as the new commissioner for the Board of Public Works.

In the city’s history, a number Filipinos have served as commissioners on a voluntary basis but Jacinto is the first paid Filipino commissioner.

Jacinto was confirmed unanimously by the city council and took his oath shortly after.

“I will be primarily liaison with the bureau of engineering,” said Jacinto. “The bureau of engineering helps to develop all our projects all the construction projects for public facilities, public runaways landscapes, street lighting, sanitation it’s really about the infrastructure, the basic quality of life for a lot of our residents our businesses and all our visitors here in our great city.”

For close to 24 years the San Francisco born and raised Jacinto has led the one of Los Angeles’ most established Filipino non-profits entitled The Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA).

“This is a great opportunity not only for our organization but our collective Asian American Pacific Islander community so I represent all of us and I’m looking forward to bringing that sense of community service to city hall,” said Jacinto.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti who used to represent historic Filipinotown as a councilman, recalled his experience working with Jacinto, as he introduced him to the community.

“Joel was the best person for the job period,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This is somebody who has built communities, has done the things that public works is all about. I’ve planted trees with him. I’ve cleaned streets with him. I also wanted someone who wouldn’t just be a public works commissioner but who would help us organize the entire API community to have a voice and more importantly have the muscle inside city hall to get things done.”

Jacinto’s term will last at least two years coinciding with Garcetti’s final two years of his first term as mayor.

Jacinto will now step down as SIPA’s executive director but will remain active. The search is now on to find his successor.

You may contact Steve Angeles at for more information.


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