[OPINION] Fil-Am elected officials to Gov. Newsom: Appoint Assemblymember Rob Bonta as California Attorney General

California Assemblymember Rob Bonta

[Editor’s note: On December 18, 2020, several current and former Filipino American elected officials sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom endorsing Assemblymember Rob Bonta as the state’s attorney general.]

Dear Governor Newsom,
As current and former Filipino American elected officials, we are proud to support one of our most outstanding colleagues, the Honorable Assemblymember Rob Bonta, and respectfully request that you appoint him to serve our diverse state as the next Attorney General.

Collectively, we represent more than two centuries of elected public service experience in California local government. As our Governor, who also served in local government as a Supervisor and Mayor, we know you understand the important contributions local leaders make to our great state. We believe Mr. Bonta is the best choice to fill the position of Attorney General because he is the most qualified and we strongly believe his experience in local and state government make him the most well-rounded choice for the job.

Mr. Bonta has an Ivy League education and has obtained a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School after attending Yale College and Oxford University in England. Although he has an elite education, he has never forgotten his humble beginning and his connection to communities up and down California. His personal story, having been raised as a child in La Paz, the United Farm Workers’ headquarters, where his parents organized Filipino American and Mexican American farm workers, to become the first Filipino American elected to the California State Assembly is truly remarkable.

Mr. Bonta has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney with litigation experience in the public and private sectors. Mr. Bonta has legal experience in key areas, including civil rights, criminal law, governmental affairs, consumer protection, contract, and fraud. He also has significant experience as a practicing governmental attorney, serving as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco for nearly a decade.

Mr. Bonta has demonstrated himself to be one of the most effective and capable leaders in the legislature during his tenure. He has an excellent track record of authoring bold, ground-breaking legislation and building strong coalitions. Rob has effectively tackled a wide range of our state’s most urgent and difficult issues like: Criminal Justice Reform, Environmental Policy, Tenant Rights (Just Cause Evictions), Pension Reform (CalSTRS), Protecting Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills, Banning Private Prisons, and Cannabis Policy. His accomplishments as a state and local legislator also give him a deep understanding of the state’s laws and the functioning of government, which is critical to effectively enforcing state law and leading the Department of Justice. He is extremely competent and is also someone who will bring people together, listen, and lead. He is exactly who we need as our next Attorney General.

For these reasons, we are excited to give our strong support to Mr. Bonta for the appointment of California Attorney General.

Mark E. Pulido
Mayor, City of Cerritos (Ret.)

Frank Aurelio Yokoyama, Esq.
Councilmember, City of Cerritos

Eric Arias
Councilmember, City of Bakersfield

Rachelle Arizmendi
Mayor, City of Sierra Madre

Raymond A. Buenaventura, Esq.
Councilmember, City of Daly City

Pamela Bulahan
Vice Mayor, City of Isleton

Christopher L. Cabaldon
Mayor, City of West Sacramento (Ret.)

Antonio “Tony” Cartagena
Mayor, City of Walnut (Ret.)

Dr. Rod Daus-Magbual
Vice Mayor, City of Daly City

Pat D. Gacoscos
Vice Mayor, City of Union City

Michael P. Guingona, Esq.
Mayor, City of Daly City (Ret.)

Jed Leano, Esq.
Mayor Pro Tem, City of Claremont

Dr. Victor Manalo
Mayor, City of Artesia (Ret.)

Henry C. Manayan, Esq.
Mayor, City of Milpitas (Ret.)

Tzeitel Paras-Caracci
Councilmember, City of Duarte

Armin Reyes
Board President, ABC Unified School District (Ret.)

Sonny Santa Ines
Councilmember, City of Bellflower

Elito M. Santarina
Mayor Pro Tem, City of Carson (Ret.)

Thomas Aujero Small
Mayor, City of Culver City (Ret.)

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