Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, who is a 2012 Democratic candidate for District 41 of the California State Assembly, recently held a meeting in Pasadena with some Filipino-American community leaders as parts of his efforts to reach out to the Fil-Am community.A public servant, business leader and lifelong resident of Pasadena, Holden said the time was right to set his sights on higher office after serving on the City Council since 1989. He is running in the November 2012 election for the new California Assembly District 41, made up of Pasadena, South Pasadena, Altadena, San Dimas, La Verne, Upland, Claremont and a part of Rancho Cucamonga. “As a public servant, I want to be able to fairly represent the diverse community that I serve as best I can,” said Holden who told the Fil-Ams that a significant number of Filipino-American families live in District 41.
“One of the good things that come with campaigning is that you meet a lot of people. I want to run a very personal campaign, making friends and getting to know them and their needs better. Through the years in public office, I have been privileged to meet many Filipinos. I want the Fil-Am community to view me as a bridge to the opportunities before them in the State of California,” he said.One of the Filipino-American leaders Holden met with was Victor Sy, who has established a successful accountancy practice in Pasadena. “I’ve known Chris since 1999. He is a very dedicated public servant and having him in Sacramento will certainly benefit our community,” said Victor Sy.If elected, Holden said he will focus on transportation and education. He will also fight to ensure that Sacramento is able to make the needed investments that strengthen California’s economic vitality, such as protecting jobs for working families, promoting economic development and strengthening the state’s infrastructure. “Hard work and commitment to improving the quality of my community is what makes public service worthwhile,” Holden said.Holden said he was focused on the eastward expansion of the Metro Gold Line light rail route, increased vocational options at schools and incentives for small businesses and startups to create jobs in the district. “As I see it, transportation projects can stimulate the economy by creating jobs and helping the appropriate development in the cities the lines will go through,” he said.Chris Holden is the son of Nathaniel R. “Nate” Holden, a Los Angeles County politician who served four years in the California State Senate and 16 years on the Los Angeles City Council.“It’s interesting that my father served under Gov. Jerry Brown during his first term in the 1970’s,and now, his son has the chance to serve under Gov. Brown too,” said Holden.Elected to the Pasadena City Council at age 28, Holden in 1997 became the first African American man to serve the city as Mayor. As Mayor, he led the fight to create the city’s first living wage ordinance. Under his leadership, the city also managed utility deregulation, fought for passage of Gold Line Authority legislation and worked to improve the region’s schools. Holden attended Pasadena High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Melanie, and his four children: Nicholas, Alexander, Austin, Mariah, and stepson Noah. Some of the luminaries who have endorsed Chris Holden are State Attorney General Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congresswoman Karen Bass,Congresswoman Janice Hahn, State Senator Curren Price, State Senator Rod Wright, Assemblymember Steven Bradford, Assemblymember Gil Cedillo, Assemblymember Mike Davis,Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard.