KAYA Makes Historic Election of Filipino American Candidates to California State Assembly

KAYA Makes Historic Election of Filipino American Candidates to California State Assembly

KAYA is proud to announce that Rob Bonta and Dr. Jennifer Hidalgo Ong have advanced to the November ballot and can be the first Filipino American candidates elected to the California State Legislature.

You can be a KAYA leader and get involved in the movement. Sign up here.

click here to voice your support for Rob and Jennifer in November

Kaya Natin!
KAYA National Leadership

Press Release
Contact: Erin Pangilinan, National Communications Director, erin@kayagrassroots.org

*****For Immediate Release*****

KAYA Makes Historic Election of Filipino American Candidates to California State Assembly

San FranciscoKAYA is proud to announce that Rob Bonta and Dr. Jennifer Hidalgo Ong have advanced to the November ballot and can be the first Filipino American candidates elected to the California State Legislature.

About Rob Bonta (Assembly District 18)

Currently, Rob serves as Alameda Vice Mayor and an Alameda County Transportation Commissioner. Rob is a Yale Law School alumnus and worked as the Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco for the last eight years.

We believe that Rob has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Filipino American community having served as a Board Member of Manilatown Heritage Foundation in San Francisco and Filipino Advocates for Justice (formerly Filipinos for Affirmative Action).

Rob’s parents both worked with the United Farm Workers (UFW) and were active in the Civil Rights Movement and the ongoing fight for social, economic, and racial justice.

“As a State Assemblymember, I will continue to work to strengthen the Filipino community. I will vigorously serve and support the Filipino community in Alameda and will partner with other groups and individuals to promote the Filipino community statewide and nationally.”

About Dr. Jennifer Hidalgo Ong (Assembly District 20)

Jennifer serves as Commissioner for Alameda County’s Commission on the Status of Women and also practices as a Doctor of Optometry.

“My family came here from the Philippines. I grew up in San Leandro. My dad was a grocery store produce man and my mom sold hot dogs in the Coliseum. Their hard work enabled me to earn my Doctorate in Optometry at UC Berkeley. Today, I run my own practice.”

She has over 20 years of legislative experience and is a strong healthcare advocate having served as a member of the State Government Relations Executive Board of the American Optometric Association.

Jennifer contributed to the development and passage of legislation including SB 120, which required nutritional information to be posted in restaurant chains and AB 1224, which increased access to vision services for the needy especially those living in remote areas.

“Jennifer and Rob are prime examples of KAYA’s core values. There is no glass ceiling for aspiring Filipino American leaders in the fields of politics and public service. ‘Kaya natin!’ roughly translated in Tagalog means, ‘Yes, We Can!’ The opportunities exist and these two candidates demonstrate what is achievable for our communities to be represented in elected office in California’s State Capitol as well as what’s possible at the federal level in the future,” noted Genevieve V. Jopanda, KAYA Founding Member and National Co-Chair.

“I would like to congratulate Rob and Jennifer on their advancement to the November election. Their election marks significance not only in representing the San Francisco Bay Area, but also to Filipino Americans throughout the state of California and the nation. I look forward to supporting their election into office in November,” said Michael Pangilinan, KAYA SF Bay Area Co-Chair.





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