Meet San Diego's newest Fil-Am Councilmember

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Nov 18 2014 01:53 PM | Updated as of Nov 18 2014 09:53 PM

CALIFORNIA - The US midterm elections managed to put a few Filipino Americans in positions to lead their cities.

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. Feel fantastic, very honored to have the support of the community and the residents of the district," said Cate.

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 said 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.

The University of San Diego graduate was working for the city as a policy analyst, as he made his decision to run for office.

He visited the Philippines for the first time shortly before his campaign.

"I've always known my career was going to be in public service in some way and 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 and 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 US Jose Cuisia and other community leaders recently in Los Angeles.

He will be sworn into office next month, but Cate won't be the only Filipino on the council. Council President Todd Gloria, who served as interim mayor, also has Filipino roots.

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