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Fil-Am wins California State Assembly seat

Rob Bonta will serve as the first Fil-Am to serve in the State Assembly

Rob Bonta ,Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda and an Alameda County Transportation Commissioner.

Rob Bonta, a Filipino-American Oxford and Yale Law graduate will be the first Fil-Am to serve in the California State Assembly after winning Tuesday’s elections over fellow Democrat Abel Guillen for the 18th Assembly District seat by a slim margin of over 1,500 votes.

With 100 percent of precinct reporting, Bonta garnered 50.79 percent of the votes cast with 50,028 votes cast to his name as against 48,470 votes for his rival Guillen. As of Wednesday, Bonta’s website has yet to claim victory as mailed-in ballots will have to be counted for official results.

A husband and father of three, Rob Bonta is the Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda and an Alameda County Transportation Commissioner.

Throughout his career in public service, Vice Mayor Bonta, 41, has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for public schools. He has fought for public safety, to foster economic development, exercise fiscal responsibility, and improve recreation opportunities for families.

Rob recently worked with the Obama administration to acquire nearly 1,000 acres of former Naval Base property at no cost and which will now be used for significant economic development and job creation for residents of the East Bay.

Prior to being elected to the City Council, Rob was an elected member of the Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors, where he played a key role in stabilizing the finances of Alameda Hospital. He also served as the Chair of the Economic Development Commission, where he focused on business attraction and business retention efforts.

Rob began his public service in Alameda as the board president for both the Social Service Human Relations Board, where he fought to protect safety net services for the most vulnerable members of the community, and Alternatives in Action, which oversees high school, preschool and after school programs serving youth from Oakland, San Leandro, and Alameda.

Rob currently serves as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he represents the City and County and its employees and brings cases to protect California’s residents from different forms of abuse.

Rob’s legal career has included service as a litigation associate for a major Bay Area law firm and as a law clerk for Judge Alvin W. Thompson of the United States District Court in Connecticut.

As a young lawyer, Rob was part of a team that worked with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to successfully implement an a agreement with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to prevent racial profiling.

A prolific soccer player, Rob played for the San Francisco Bay Seals, a professional minor league team. He played on two Ivy League Championship teams for Yale College.

Rob is the son of a proud native Filipino mother and a father who taught him the value of public service to his community. They both worked with the United Farm Workers and were active in the Civil Rights Movement and the ongoing fight for social, economic, and racial justice.

Rob has served as the board president of the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County, board member of Filipino Advocates for Justice and the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, and is a founding member of the Filipino-American Democratic Club of Alameda County.

Rob graduated with honors from Yale College with a degree in History. At Yale, he was awarded the Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize, given to the student with the greatest dedication to and capacity for public service. He was also a recipient of the William Neely Mallory Award for the best male athlete at Yale.

After studying at Oxford University in England, he returned to earn his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School.

Rob and his wife Mialisa live in Alameda with their three children. (From Rob Bonta’s website www.robbonta.com)

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