Fil-Am attorney appointed mayor pro tem of Claremont, CA

Jed Leano, mayor pro tem of Claremont, California

A Filipino American attorney will serve as the mayor pro tem of Claremont, California for the coming year.

Jed Leano, an immigration lawyer who was elected to the City Council in 2018, was sworn in as the city’s second-in-command this month.

“I feel immense pride serving as Claremont Mayor Pro Tem. Pride for my family, for our ancestors, and for our heritage. I am a first-generation Filipino American, and this moment brings me back to all the hardships my parents endured, immigrating to America, starting their careers and lives in a foreign land, leaving behind so many family and friends, all to give their children a shot at the American dream,” Leano said in an email to the Asian Journal.

The council appointed Jennifer Stark as the city’s mayor.

Claremont, a city 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, bears an estimated population of 36,266 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019. It is home to the Claremont Colleges, a group of seven prestigious undergraduate colleges and graduate schools, such as Claremont McKenna College and Harvey Mudd College.

Since joining the city council, Leano’s goals have included the planning and construction of Claremont’s first low-income housing development in nearly a decade, as well as reducing homelessness. In the past year, the city’s homeless count dropped by 41%.

“While much of the gains in our homeless count have been absorbed by COVID, we know that our formula of interim housing and mental health services for unsheltered residents works. I look forward to further developing our city’s plan in this new pandemic era and modernizing our efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate homelessness,” he said, adding “Moving forward, I have a long-range goal of making housing, and the high resource opportunities that come with Claremont, more accessible for seniors and young families starting their careers.”

Given the ongoing pandemic, the city council has had to redirect its Community Development Block Grant budget to rental and business assistance, “providing two months rent to residents and two months rent and payroll expenses to business,” Leano said.

In October 2019, Leano was named Democrat of the Year for the 41st Assembly District by the LA County Democratic Party. He serves as chair of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust Board, vice chair of Tri-City Mental Health Board, and Claremont’s representative to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGV COG) Homelessness Committee. Prior to his election to City Council, Jed served as the Vice Chair of the Community and Human Services Commission and was the founding Chair of Housing Claremont.

In addition to Leano, Corey Calaycay, whose father is from the Philippines, is a councilmember for the city.

Christina M. Oriel

Christina M. Oriel is the Managing Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach her at christina@asianjournalinc.com.

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