By Nimfa Rueda
LOS ANGELES – Two Filipino-Americans were re-elected to serve a four-year term on the city councils of Cerritos and Carson in Los Angeles County, according to semi-official results released Wednesday
Mark Pulido, currently mayor of Cerritos, topped the city council elections for the second time. He drew the most votes ever recorded in the city’s election history when he was first elected to the council in 2011. Pulido is also the first Fil-Am on the city council.
Elito Santarina, mayor pro tem of Carson, was re-elected to his fourth term on the city council.
Pulido is one of three Fil-Ams currently serving as city mayor in LA County, the most populous county in the US and home to an estimated half a million Fil-Ams. The two others are Duarte Mayor Tzeitel Paras-Caracci and Bellflower Mayor Sonny Santa Ines.
Other Fil-Ams on city councils in LA County include Artesia Mayor Pro Tem Victor Manalo, Walnut Councilmember Antonio Cartagena and Sierra Madre Councilmember Rachelle Arizmendi.
“I am humbled and honored for this opportunity to continue serving the residents of our beloved hometown community,” said Pulido after the semi-official results of the March 3 elections showed him leading the race. “We have accomplished a lot during my first term on the city council, but there is much work still to be done – especially as we continue torecover from the recession.”
Santarina, a retired teacher who hails from Nueva Ecija, campaigned on his work advocating for seniors and youth groups and supporting anti-alcohol and anti-drug initiatives in the city.
“Let’s continue to work together in improving the safety, wellness, education , economic development, and civic engagement for Carson’s youth, families, neighborhoods, and future generations,” Santarina said.
Pulido, who is also the district director for Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), said his reelection campaign gave him the opportunity to engage the community in a conversation on how to keep the city moving forward .
Pulido previously served as a legislative consultant with the California State Assembly in the Los Angeles offices of Assembly Speakers Robert M. Hertzberg, Herb J. Wesson Jr. and Fabian Núñez. He was also a three-term ABC Unified School District board member, serving from 2001 to 2011.