Passion for service keeps FilAm mayor serving Artesia even more

FILIPINO AMERICAN Mayor Melissa Ramoso of Artesia, California

By Jun Nucum
LOS ANGELES – The first Filipina mayor of a small city in Southern California is not done yet with her mission to give back to her city and aspires to do more for it and its people.

Artesia City Mayor Melissa Ramoso, a daughter of parents who were public servants who also served as her inspirations and mentors, is again running for a seat at the city council to further serve for Artesia’s residents.

“We are a small city with a small budget. Finding ways to expand our budget means we will be able to give more services to others. One priority is find other avenues in terms of building our general fund to find more services for our residents,” Ramoso stressed.

Other priorities Ramsoso has are making City Hall more accessible, improving quality of life, and strengthening of local economy, among others.

“My vision for the City of Artesia is to have it be a place where we can eat, work and play. I wish for others to be able to create the same memories as I did growing up. This truly is a special place with an incredibly diverse population from Portuguese, Dutch, Filipino, South Asians, Hispanics, and more,” Ramoso shared.

Coming from a public service-oriented background, inspired Palawan-descendant Ramoso to always make sure that she makes her parents and grandparents proud of whatever she does and achieved.

‘My mother was part of the early waves of nurses that came to the U.S. in late 70s to early 80s that moved from the Philippines to New Jersey then moved to California to become a nurse at one of top ten rehabilitation centers in the entire U.S. for 35 years. My father became a soldier and a postal worker while my grandfather was a Colonel in World War II,” beamed Ramoso who remains single with no kids but pampers her nieces and nephews.

She was born and raised in Downey, some ten minutes away but ended up going to school in Artesia she also learned the Filipino culture that was ingrained her all the kore with the presence of the first Filipino Goldilocks Bakeshop, the first clustering of Filipinos, food businesses, a sari-sari store right here in Artesia, that has about 35% of Asia Pacific Islander and about 17% Filipino population.

“Not many realized that this is the supposedly first historic Filipino town and not in Los Angeles because all of the Filipino businesses were clustering here,” revealed Ramoso.

She first ran in 2013 but didn’t win and ran again in 2018 when she won in the city she dearly loves.

“Being Filipino representing this city has been my greatest honor. Showing my enthusiasm for the city is showing to other people and a way to get the word out about Artesia. Once you’re here, I will show you where the best sisig and crispy pata are. Crispy House down the street has been for almost forty years and people from Southern California to the Valley come to Artesia during the holidays especially to pick up their crispy patas. And there are other foodie places that we are proud of here,” Ramoso proudly stated.

On the issue of hate, Ramoso believes that to tackle issue, different communities need to be cognizant of other communities and learn about them.

“Conversations we never used to have with family members is first and second is learning about other communities on their history, background, culture and the like in order to be able to advocate for them. Education and understanding each other’s feelings being supportive by coming up with common solutions are very important in dealing with issue of hate,” Ramoso believes.

Ramoso also acknowledged the homelessness is a major issue of concern in California especially in Los Angeles and right here in Artesia and that homeless individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Among the accomplishment she is listed were balanced city budgets for four straight years making fiscally prudent decisions, strengthened partnership with exceptional city employees to improve and expand city services, and worked to make City Hall more transparent via the city website and accessible through in-person services, delivered green bike lanes for incoming bike riders to enhance public safety on Norwalk Boulevard; and during the pandemic, initiated an eviction moratorium, mental health services, a fee cap on delivery-based apps, and a business assistance program.

As Mayor, Ramoso prides in working together with residents, community groups, local businesses, and public safety first responders and over the past four years together accomplished much to improve the quality of life and safety in our city.

She acknowledged that there’s more that remains to be done and is asking to be reelected to continue to do the people’s work.