SIERRA MADRE, CA — In the small mountain town of Sierra Madre, a Filipina official was elected to take charge as Mayor.
We first visited the Sierra Madre City Council Chambers 3 years ago, on that day Fil-Am Rachelle Pastor Arizmendi made history. Now we are back, and she’s making history again.
Arizmendi is now the new mayor of the mountain side town in Southern California.
Three years ago, she was the first minority to be elected to the city council. After their re-organization, she’s now the first minority to become the city’s mayor.
“It really is something to be humbled about, something to be honored about, that residents of Sierra Madre have enough faith in me to take this position,”Arizmendi shared. “It’s a badge of honor, at the same time it’s a responsibility — so I’m going to do my best to represent the Filipinos, whether it’s in our city or California or throughout the United States.”
Arizmendi is the CEO of the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment, a non-profit developmental organization that focuses on job training, and financial empowerment. She’s still on her first term in elected office.
In the past three years, she’s been part of a growing city that has been increasing their city staff and public safety personnel, while tackling the drought issues.
“It has been a team approach,” she shared. “The city councils worked really hard on addressing issues like the water. We’re out of the drought; the fact we did not have our own water system, we had to import our own water… being able getting to a level that’s of quality that’s good for our residents is probably was one of our biggest accomplishments.”
As mayor of the town of 11,000, 9 percent of whom are Asian, the newly-installed major now hopes to continue making Sierra Madre a safe and friendly small town.
“There are issues we’ve put off in the past year, year and a half. They no longer could be put on the back burner.”
Arizmendi will be up for re-election next year.
And she wasn’t the only southland Filipino taking part in a reorganization.
In Cerritos, Councilman Mark Pulido became Vice Mayor, as recently elected Fil-Am Frank Aurelio Yokohama took his oath as a first time councilman.
Can’t wait …. FILAM Politician gone bad …