Fong Elected to L.A. Community College District Board

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Asian American candidates win council seats around L.A. County.

Rafu Staff Report

Educator and job trainer Mike Fong was elected by a wide margin to Seat 7 on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees in on Tuesday, receiving 58.19 percent of the vote.

Also running were John Burke (22.04 percent), associate professor and former assistant dean at Los Angeles Valley College, and educator Joyce Burrell Garcia (19.75 percent).

Mike Fong

Mike Fong

Fong has served as chair of the PBS SoCal API Community Council, vice chair of the White Memorial Medical Center Community Leadership Council, and board member of the UCLA Alumni Association. He attended Los Angeles City College (where his parents met) and East Los Angeles College.

Fong’s stated goals include “increasing student success, improving the quality and access to educational opportunities, expanding workforce education and high growth sector training programs, and creating jobs.”

In addition to high-profile support from Mayor Eric Garcetti, current and former members of the L.A. City Council, and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Fong had the backing of prominent Asian American elected officials, including Reps. Judy Chu and Ted Lieu; State Controller John Chiang; Assemblymember Ed Chau; Mike Eng, former assemblymember and current LACCD trustee; Warren Furutani, former asssemblymember and former LACCD trustee; and Al Muratsuchi, former assemblymember.

In the District 3 race for the L.A. Unified School District Board of Education, incumbent Tamar Galatzan received 29.25 percent of the vote, not enough to avoid a runoff. Her challengers were retired teacher and principal Scott Mark Schmerelson (20.09 percent), community activist and former English teacher Ankur Patel (13.04 percent), nonprofit founder Elizabeth Badger Bartels (11.23 percent), security-camera firm logistics director Carl J. Peterson (10.57 percent) and consulting firm founder Filiberto Gonzalez (5.79 percent).

Following are results for Asian American candidates in L.A. County municipal races on March 3.

Carson — City Councilmember Elito Santarina, a leader in the Filipino American community, won a fourth term with 23.8 percent of the vote. Incumbent Lula Davis-Holmes led the pack with 35.5 percent. The unsuccessful challengers were teacher/pastor Jawane Hilton (14.2 percent), business owner Rita Boggs (9.9 percent), city commissioner Alene Harris (7.4 percent), retired port director Margaret Hernandez (4.6 percent), communications specialist Elisa Gonzalez (2.7 percent) and educator/life coach Steven Anyaka (1.9 percent).

Ed Eng

Ed Eng

Cerritos — Semi-official results showed that the winners in a 10-way race for three seats on the City Council were incumbent Mark Pulido (3,417 votes), former mayor and councilmember Jim Edwards (3,053) and business owner Naresh Solanki (2,533). Attorney/broker Frank Aurelio Yokoyama, in his second bid for the council, was fourth with 2,472, followed by business owner Grace Hu (2,437), police officer Chuong Vo (1,732), nurse practitioner/educator Sophia Tse (1,597), businessman Sam Sultan Ahmad (511), businessman James Kang (277) and businessman Manny Maninder Sethi (210).

La MiradaEd Eng, executive director of the L.A. County Citizens’ Economic Efficiency Commission, placed first among seven candidates for three seats on the City Council with 1,841 votes, followed by incumbent Steve De Ruse with 1,636 and incumbent Larry Mowles with 1,521. Also running were attorney Dale Nowicki (1,272), commercial property owner John Sarega (1,160), grocery store auditor Tony Aiello (833) and business consultant Michael Saenz (404).

Monterey Park — In a race for three seats on the City Council, the leaders were incumbent Mitchell Ing with 2,847 votes (25.5 percent), incumbent Teresa Real Sebastian with 2,643 (23.7 percent) and business owner Stephen Lam with 2,346 (21.0 percent). Incumbent Anthony Wong fell short with 2,182 (19.6 percent), followed by postal clerk Delario Manuel Robinson with 599 (5.4 percent) and handyman Joe Avila with 537 (4.8 percent). As was the case four years ago, the election could have resulted in Monterey Park’s — and the nation’s — first all-Chinese American city council.

William Man

William Man

Rolling Hills — Three seats on the City Council were won by Planning Commissioner Leah Mirsch with 23.0 percent of the vote, incumbent James Black with 20.0 percent and trucking and repair facility owner Patrick Wilson with 14.4 percent. Telecommunications firm owner Arun Bhumitra was in fourth place with 12.6 percent, followed by IT staffing consulting firm owner Spencer Karpf (10.2 percent), real estate broker Clint Patterson (8.2 percent), retired police officer James Aichel (7.4 percent) and engineer Terry Reiter (3.9 percent).

Rosemead — City Council incumbents Polly Low, a software project engineer, and William Alarcon, a retired sales engineer, were re-elected with 1,398 and 1,268 votes, respectively. Their challengers were Janet Chin (679 votes), director of communications for State Sen. Ed Hernandez, and access compliance specialist Rosendo Plasencia (223). Low has served on the council since 2007. Chin ran for the council in 2013.

Temple City — With provisional ballots remaining to be counted, three open seats on the City Council appear to have been won by incumbent Cynthia Sternquist with 1,544 votes (29.6 percent), L.A. County civil engineer William Man with 1,428 (27.4 percent) and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Nanette “Nan” Fish with 1,385 (26.5 percent). Also running were senior instructor Richard Chang (512, 9.8 percent) and plasterer James Cleary (348, 6.7 percent).

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