(Eagle News) — In this interview by EBC Hawaii correspondent Alfred Acenas, United States West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon talked about his Filipino roots and revealed how his great-great grandparents came from the Philippines through Hawaii.
Cabaldon was one of the more than 220 mayors of the US who attended the 87th annual meeting of the US Conference of Mayors at the Hilton Hawaii Village in Honolulu.
The event which ran from June 28 to July 1, 2019 gathered mayors from the US to discuss the issues about “Infrastructure, Innovation, Culture.”
Cabaldon has been mayor of West Sacramento in California since 1998 becoming the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.
“So I am the senior Filipino-American mayor in the United States. I’ve been mayor since 1998 in West Sacramento, California,” he said.
“So I’ve been to many, many, many of these annual conferences. But it’s great to be here in Hawaii, with the representation of the Fil-Am community.”
“This is where my great-great grandparents, and grandmother, came from the Philippines to California. It was through Honolulu,” he said.
He also expressed hope that more Filipino Americans will make a difference in their communitues.
“There aren’t enough Filipino-Americans elected officials in the United States, and not enough mayors. So it’s really important to be here, and to be visible, and to show people who we are as a community, and to build support and alliances throughout the country and with other mayors ,” Mayor Calbaldon explained.
Cabaldon said he hoped to learn more innovative ways, great ideas and pilot projects, from the annual meeting so he could bring these back home to West Sacramento, California.
He also talked about his commitment to make a difference to address climate change challenges such as sea level rise, changes to forest, because worsening climate change represented a major risk not only to his community, but to the whole world.
“So we have made a commitment to get to Zero Carbon, Zero New Carbon by 2040. Maybe even more aggressive. It’s one of the more aggressive plans in America to try to do our part to reduce the worst effects of climate change not just in our city, but around the planet,” the mayor said in the interview with Eagle News Service.
(Video report by Alfred Acenas, EBC Hawaii Bureau, Eagle News Service)