A FILIPINA American was sworn in at the beginning of December as the mayor of Sierra Madre, California.
Rachelle Arizmendi, who has served on the City Council since 2014, is tasked with leading Sierra Madre in the top role for the next year after being appointed by fellow councilmembers.
“I am grateful for the support of the City Council and for the ongoing confidence of the voters in Sierra Madre. I look forward to continue representing the 11,000 residents of our Village of the Foothills,” said Arizmendi.
She was selected as mayor pro tem, the city’s second in command, in February, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.
Located at the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley and east of Pasadena, the Los Angeles County city has consistently ranked among the state’s safest cities.
Arizmendi vowed to continue carrying on her work from the last six years on the five-member council.
She also reassured the public that she will continue strengthening the financial health of Sierra Madre, supporting the progress in rebuilding the aging city infrastructure, sustaining the efforts in a strong public safety program, as well as preserving the character of the community.
Arizmendi was the first person of color in Sierra Madre’s history to hold a council seat when she was elected in 2014. She served as mayor in 2017, becoming the first Asian American in the role, and was subsequently re-elected to office to serve another four-year term on the council in 2018.
Before being elected, Arizmendi served on the city’s Community Services Commission for five years.
“Running for office was not a consideration in my adult life. I simply became more involved in my community when my husband, dog, and I settled into our new home in a city where I knew no one. I thought joining the Community Services Commission would be a perfect place to meet new people and volunteer my talent. As I became more involved in the community, I was compelled to fight for the qualities of the little village I fell in love with — that were possibly being challenged,” Arizmendi told the Asian Journal in a 2019 interview.
A California native, the Filipina American leader is the vice president and chief operating officer of the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), a non-profit community development organization based in Los Angeles that serves over 40,000 people annually in the areas of job training and employment, business development and early childhood education, among others.
Her public service also includes serving as board president of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and a member of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture after being appointed by former Governor Jerry Brown. (Ritchel Mendiola/AJPress)