LOS ANGELES –– The mayor of America’s second large city paid a special visit to the Philippine consulate in honor of Filipino American History Month.
The Filipino community welcomed a barong-clad Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti with a special reception to celebrate in the region with the most number of Filipino Americans.
Garcetti, the former councilman who paved the way for the designation of Historic Filipinotown, is the first LA mayor to visit a consulate.
“We are Filipino by choice, because we love this culture, love these people, I love the way this strand of American history which was kind of erased and not shown in our history books is suddenly finding its way back in and that’s what this is all about.:
“This is the first time that a city mayor of Los Angeles so aside from that moment this is the time we recognize the mayor for his efforts and in establishing Filipinotown,” said Abu Lim.
The mayor recalled his connections to the Philippines, including his grandfather’s deployment to the Philippines in WWII.
He also recognized the roles of the state’s elected Filipino American officials many of whom joined the celebration.
“Filipino American History month isn’t just about marking the past, it’s about making the future. Listening to Rob Bonta speak, he’s going to be part of the next chapter.”
Since Mayor Garcetti took office 5 years ago, his Filipinotown roots have followed him into city hall. Throughout his term many Filipinos have found their way to prominent positions for city.
While Garcetti appointed the first Filipino American commissioner, in Joel Jacinto, two of his most important staffers are young Fil-Ams.
“The two most important things of elected officials life is time and money so my director of scheduling is a Filipina American As is the deputy mayor that oversees the entire budget — I think both may be the first Filipino Americans to hold those positions.”
As the mayor of America’s second largest city continues his close ties to the Filipino community, the Makati – Los Angeles sister cities committee hopes they’re able to bring Garcetti to the Philippines.