By Odette Keeley, New American Media
BERKELEY, CA - For the first time, the city of Berkeley may have a Filipina and openly lesbian City Council member, reports weekly Filipino-American newspaper Philippine News.
Cecilia “Ces” Rosales is challenging District 7 incumbent Kriss Worthington, who has represented Berkeley’s south side for the last 14 years and is the council's first openly gay member. Another challenger, George Beier, is also on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Rosales, a graphic designer and local business owner, is also an active member of the California Democratic Party and has served on the board of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
“A lot of the laws are unequal for the gay and lesbian community,” Rosales told Philippine News reporter Ryan Macasero. “I will make sure there is no place for homophobia, especially in a place like Berkeley."
There are more than 1,000 Filipino graduate and undergraduate students enrolled at UC Berkeley, yet according to the 2000 census, Filipinos made up only slightly more than 1 percent of Berkeley residents, or less than 1,500 of the city’s 100,000 residents. Rosales said she does not believe that Filipinos have attained as much political power as other minority groups, and she would like to see more Filipinos represented in American government.