Miguel Sangalang confirmed as City of LA’s Bureau of Street Lighting director

Miguel Sangalang | Photo courtesy of LA Department of Public Works

Fil-Am public servant previously served as deputy  mayor for budget and innovation

THE Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, April 21 confirmed a Filipino American public servant to lead the city’s Bureau of Street Lighting.

Miguel Sangalang is the new director of the bureau that oversees the maintenance and improvement of LA’s 220,000 street lighting infrastructure assets. LA Lights is one of five bureaus in the Department of Public Works.

“Working to make Los Angeles a better place to live has been both humbling and a great joy and I am deeply honored by Mayor Garcetti’s and City Council’s confidence in my abilities to do more in this new role,” he said in a statement. “I am excited to work with the women and men of Street Lighting to make our lights not just infrastructure, but neighborhood assets that are essential components of quality of life and a shining reflection of our communities.”

Sangalang previously served as deputy mayor for budget and innovation, a role in which he oversaw the annual city budget, performance management, personnel, risk management, procurement reform, technology infrastructure, as well as sustainability, equity in service, gender equity, data, emerging technologies and the local implementation of Census 2020.

“Miguel is a proven leader with an innovative approach and the expertise to make our communities safer, more livable and more equitable through our street lighting infrastructure,” said LA Board of Public Works Vice President Aura Garcia in a statement. “As the new director of LA Lights, Miguel will continue to passionately serve Angelenos and guide the future of street lighting and emerging technologies.”

A graduate of UCLA, Sangalang landed his first job with the city of LA as an IT specialist in the Bureau of Sanitation. A few years later, he received a fellowship and moved to finance and performance management during then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s tenure.

During Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first term, Sangalang was a director for innovation and performance management before transitioning to the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.

Some of his earlier work in the Garcetti administration includes CleanStat, which changed the approach to illegal dumping cleaning from a reactive, request-drive process, to a proactive, data-driven model, and MyVoiceLA, the city’s first centralized reporting tool for harassment and discrimination.

“Being an immigrant and a person who has seen what differences in poverty, equity and service, it’s along the lines of the CleanStat model where we’re driving out the outcomes to make sure that the money and the resources are going to the right places so it’s much more strategic and that we actually drive to cleaner streets, have healthier kids, make it so the air is cleaner, and we could get to locations in LA in a quicker way,” he told the Asian Journal in a 2017 interview.

He led the creation of the city’s open data portal early on in the administration and helped lead the City to certification as Platinum for ISO37120 (indicators for a sustainable city and quality of life), Gold certification for What Works Cities, and three recognitions as the #1 digital city by Govtech.

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