Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Friday, February 15 that he is nominating a high-ranking Filipina American in City Hall to fill the vacant Board of Public Works seat.
Jessica Caloza, who has been the mayor’s director of scheduling since 2017, has been selected to be the next Public Works commissioner. If confirmed by City Council, she would be the first Pinay in this position.
The seat was previously held by Fil-Am community leader Joel Jacinto, who resigned in January.
“Jessica is an experienced public policy expert with a proven record of standing up for people in our community— from advocating for students to fighting for immigrants’ rights,” Garcetti said in a release on Friday. “She will serve Angelenos with dedication, drive, and integrity on the Board of Public Works.”
The Board of Public Works is comprised of a five-member, full-time executive team that oversees projects and programs across the city that “enhance the quality of life, economic growth, public health, and the environment to all Angelenos.”
Currently, Caloza oversees the mayor’s entire scheduling operation — including strategic planning, day-to-day logistics, and coordination. She served previously as deputy director of scheduling, and came to the Mayor’s Executive Office from the Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she managed policy proposals, grant programs, and civic engagement initiatives focused on expanding access to resources for immigrant communities.
Prior to joining the Garcetti administration, Caloza served in the Obama administration as a policy analyst in the Department of Education — where she worked on Congressional and legislative affairs, student data and privacy, and gender equity issues. She has also been a campaign aide for several members of Congress, including former Rep. Xavier Becerra, California’s current Attorney General.
Outside of government, Caloza currently serves on the Leadership Council for the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE). In 2014, she was also selected as one of 10 delegates for the Filipino Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro), an immersive leadership program led by the Ambassador of the Philippines. Caloza previously served on the boards of KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, the FYLPro Executive Committee, and the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition.
A first-generation immigrant, Caloza is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego.