SAN DIEGO, Calif. – In one of California’s largest cities, a Filipino American has made it to City Hall.
Filipino American Chris Cate was elected earlier this month to the San Diego City Council’s 6th District, one of the largest concentrations of Filipino Americans in the South Land.
“It feels great,” Cate said. “I feel fantastic, very honored to have the support of the community and the residents of the district.”
Over 180,000 Filipinos live in San Diego County. The largest concentrations are in Cate’s district, which includes the Mira Mesa and Rancho Penesquitos neighborhoods –fondly called by locals as Manila Mesa and Rancho Pinoy-quitos.
The Republican councilman-elect says he’s ready to bring in positive change.
“It mainly has to do with police and infrastructure and job growth in the city — making sure neighborhoods have a voice. We’ve worked hard to make sure the residents of each neighborhood and each district have an equal voice and have the access, and their priorities are being addressed,” Cate said.
Born and raised in San Diego, Cate’s father, a former California highway patrolman is from Cavite, Philippines. He even visited the Philippines for the first time shortly before his campaign.
The University of San Diego graduate was working for the city as a policy analyst when he made his decision to run for office.
“I’ve always known my career was going to be in public service in some way. The urge to run came from my time working at City Hall and seeing the only way to make a difference is to be up there. From then on I felt that this is my calling,” he said.
The newly elected councilman had a chance to meet with Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia and other community leaders recently in Los Angeles.
He will be sworn into office next week. But Cate won’t be the only Filipino on the council. Council President Todd Gloria, who served as interim mayor, also has Filipino roots.