Assemblymember Rob Bonta (right at podium) at Safe California Press Conference Supporting AB 2596, the Voiding Inequality and Seeking Inclusion for Our Immigrant Neighbors (VISION) Act. | Photo from Official Website of California Legislature
NEW YORK – Filipino Americans endorse Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Fremont) to be California’s Attorney General to succeed Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to join his administration as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Becerra’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
In a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom obtained by Hews Media Group, which includes Cerritos City Councilman Frank Aurelio Yokohama, former Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido, former Artesia Mayor Dr. Victor Manalo, former ABC School Board President, Armin Reyes, and several others, they requested Bonta’s appointment “to serve our diverse state as the next Attorney General.”
Their letter cited Bonta’s credentials, including his education from Yale Law School and Oxford University, his 15 years of experience as a practicing lawyer with litigation experience in the public and private sectors, and his tenure in both the state and local legislatures. As Assemblymember, he had tackled a wide range of California’s most urgent and challenging issues like Criminal Justice Reform, Environmental Policy, Tenant Rights, Pension Reform, and more.
“Rob Bonta is the most qualified and the best choice by Governor Gavin Newsom as California’s Attorney General,” Loida Nicolas-Lewis, a founding member of the Filipino American National Finance Council (FANFC), told the Philippine Daily Mirror. “In addition, it would be a credit to Gov. Newsom to recognize a Filipino American because the AAPI community in California is 25 percent of the total population.”
Bonta, a Democrat, ran for re-election to the California State Assembly to represent District 18. He won in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020, against Stephen Slauson (Republican), obtaining 190,168 votes against Slauson’s 26,942 or 12.4 percent. The 18th Assembly District covers the San Francisco Bay Area’s central East Bay Area and includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro.
He was the first Filipino American state legislator in California when first elected in 2012. According to his bio on his official website, he has authored significant legislation “that promotes and defends California’s values of Justice, Inclusion, Equity, and Opportunity.
His father was involved in the “Civil Rights Movement and stood with Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr., marching for equality and justice in Selma. His mother was and continues to be a long-time leader in the Filipino social justice movement. His parents worked for the United Farm Workers of America and organized Filipino and Mexican-American farmworkers.
Reached by the Philippine Daily Mirror, Melissa Ramoso, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Artesia, said that “It would be a great honor for Governor Newsom to appoint an individual of Asian Pacific Islander heritage to the position of Attorney General.”
Added Ramoso: “Assemblymember Bonta has a proven track record fighting for justice and equality. He is an excellent candidate and would rise to the occasion.” — With Jay Domingo