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MY IMMIGRANT LEGACY --- I come from an immigrant family who came from Canada via the Philippines to the United States in the early 1980s. My mother was a nurse and my father worked in various blue collared jobs. I understand the struggle of survival and resilience. Growing up, I watched my mother work the graveyard shift, come home to make breakfast for her two kids, and take us to school. My father came home in the evening and I would greet him with a deep embrace as I grasped his callous, burnt, and cracked hands from his job as a welder. Their long commutes, sleepless nights, and the hope to see both their sons succeed is what kept them going.
Through my family's experiences, I understood what resiliency meant and how I can apply it to my own life. Heavily influenced by Ethnic Studies, I realized how history shapes identity and how understanding the stories of the oppressed has informed my motivation to serve the community.
Photo: Jeremy Villaluz
SETTING ROOTS IN DALY CITY --- Moving to Daly City in 2002 for graduate school in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, I did not imagine that I would live here for the past 20 years. These 2 decades is where I became a husband, a father, and a community engaged scholar where I received my Education Doctorate at the University of San Francisco and become a tenured track Ethnic Studies Professor at Skyline College. I’ve played an integral role in mentoring hundreds of students to become teachers and leaders through their participation in Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP) where I serve as Executive Director. My experience in Daly City leadership began as a Library Board of Trustee from 2014-2017; a Planning Commissioner from 2017-2018 and served as Vice Chair in 2018; Elected to to City Council in 2018; I became Vice Mayor in 2021; and become Mayor in 2022.
Daly City is where my kids are growing up and where I have settled my roots. My wife, Dr. Arlene Daus-Magbual, is also involved in Daly City Leadership where she served as the Chair of the Arts & Culture Commission and was Commissioner of the Year in 2018. She has been instrumental in showcasing local artists and formed a partnership with Skyline College's CIPHER Learning Community to paint beautiful murals on electric boxes around the city. My daughter, Amianan, is a dancer and performer at the award-winning Westlake School of the Performing Arts (WSPA). My son Razón who loves being a kid playing video games.
Daly City's services and activities are essential to creating community. Gellert Park is the playground where my kids slid down their first slide and where they checked out their first books at the Serramonte Branch Library. The weekly Farmer's Market at Serramonte Mall is where I enjoy the fresh produce to cook my traditional Filipino food. Off The Grid on Tuesday evenings is where I marvel at the genius fusions of culinary art created by Food Truck chefs and San Bruno Mountains is where I run to keep sane and be one with nature.
Photo: Rodnie Rosete
Photo: Jeremy Villaluz
BEING THE CHANGE --- I have worked multiple jobs as a faculty Adjunct at colleges and universities while also working in the non profit organization, Pin@y Educational Partnerships. I would teach at Skyline College in the mornings, then commute to UC Davis to teach in the afternoon. I also did a similar commute to Sonoma State University where I taught an evening course twice a week. There would be times when I taught on weekends to teach graduate students at the University of San Francisco. I teach because I am passionate about social justice and believe in my students. Also, I teach out of necessity to pay for rent and feed my family.
What I learned from my students and their families is that we share similar experiences. They expressed narratives of holding down multiple jobs, going to school, and supporting their family. For many, the struggle has become unbearable. I have listened to stories of students who couch-surfed between friends and family homes to attend college, families moving to other cities or states because they could not sustain themselves in communities where they have lived for decades, and undocumented families fearing that parents will be deported. All of these experiences inform and drive my work as a Daly City Council member.
The future is now and this is what fuels me to run for Daly City Council. Just like my parents who immigrated to this country nearly 40+ years ago, I want a Daly City community where we feel secure, safe, and have aspirations to transform our city—instead of leaving it behind. The dream to keep our families rooted and supported is what is important to me. I encourage anyone who shares these perspectives to join me on my journey.
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