Fil-Am Republican making history in Virginia Beach

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 20 2011 09:59 AM | Updated as of Jul 21 2011 09:11 PM

Ron Villanueva is one of the longest serving Filipinos in American politics/Balitang America

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – He is one of the few Filipinos who has been in public service in the US for a long time. Ron Villanueva (R-VA) represents the 21st district, including parts of Virginia Beach--home to at least 15,000 Filipinos who are mostly employed by the US Navy. 

Villanueva was the first Filipino-American elected to the Virginia Beach City Council in 2002, and the first Filipino elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 2009.
 
“You have to have representation, you have to have a voice at the table and if you don’t have that, it’s hard for you to feel truly empowered,” Villanueva said.
 
Villanueva has been in public service for a decade and is now up for reelection in November.
 
Philippine Consul General in Washington DC, Domingo Nolasco said: “I encourage (Filipinos) to register as voters because when we campaign in Congress, staffers of the congressman and senators always ask us, where are the Filipinos? I cannot see them in my district,” Nolasco said voting will prove that Filipinos can be a political force.
 
Villanueva successfully carried legislation which allowed Virginia to drill for oil and natural gas offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.
 
He also focused on opposing tax increases and worked to ease the blow of severe budget cuts, on education, healthcare and transportation.
 
Democrat candidate and state delegate Adrianne Bennett is challenging Villanueva this November.
 
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