Filipinos run in October 15 municipal elections

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  • At least 10 Filipinos are running in the October 15 municipal elections in B.C.

    The candidates are vying for posts in council and school board in different cities across the Greater Vancouver region.

    The most prominent of the candidates are Maita Santiago, who is running for council in Burnaby, and Ramon Bandong, who is seeking a council seat in Surrey.

    Also running is Me-An Laceste, a candidate for council in the City of North Vancouver.

    Of the 10 candidates, only Rod Belleza in Richmond has been elected to a municipal post.

    Belleza is running again for Richmond school board. He served as Richmond school trustee for two terms between 2008 and 2014.

    During his previous terms, Belleza advocated for good governance and more support for teachers and students in need.

    Burnaby council candidate Maita Santiago was born in the Philippines and is a mother of two, a front-line community service provider, a small business owner and a long-time resident of Burnaby.

    For almost three decades, Santiago has helped improve the lives of everyday people. Whether it is through community organizing or advocacy work with all levels of government or through her services as an immigration consultant or former family daycare owner.

    Santiago’s work as a Citizen Representative on Burnaby’s Social Issues Committee and Sub-Committee on Childcare gives her the added experience of knowing the impact good municipal policies can have on local residents and families.

    Santiago cares deeply about housing affordability, climate change and the rising cost of living.

    Surrey council candidate Ramon Bandong Ramon Bandong is a first generation Filipino-Canadian and a 23-year Surrey resident.

    Bandong is a strong advocate of interracial harmony, inclusion, and diversity. He wants to optimize his financial background to improve cost of living affordability. As a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and son, he is fighting for his family and all Surrey families.

    North Vancouver’s Me-An Laceste is running for city council as an independent candidate.

    Laceste is a first-generation immigrant and 31 years North Shore resident. She is a mother to two children, a small business owner, and an insurance advisor. Laceste cares about housing affordability and bringing a voice of community residents to city council.

    In Vancouver, Lina Vargas is running as an independent candidate for city council.

    Vargas is a mother, small business owner and long-time resident of East Vancouver. She is a social services worker, hairstylist and the president of the Diversity and Inclusion Support Group of B.C., a non-profit organization created to help new immigrants.

    Also running in Vancouver as an independent candidate for council is Amie Peacock.

    The other candidates are Ernie Caranto and Aida Canonigo for school board in Surrey; Narima Dela Cruz for council in Surrey; and Lailani Tumaneng for school board in the City of North Vancouver.

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