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Sep 30th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Fil-Am Community Leader Seeks Council Seat in National City
Fil-Am Community Leader Seeks Council Seat in National City PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:15

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Tuesday, August 26, 2008 

She may be called the comeback kid, which is more of a tribute to her persistence to get elected to public office and serve the Filipino community. Ditas Yamane is running again for the city council of National City and this time, with her chances vastly improved, her firm resolve to win is making people pause and take a closer look at her. Would she be a unifying force in a community beset by factionalism and endless bickering?

Filipino Candidate Eyes Council Seat in National City




Her voice cracking with emotions over criticisms that she was a "carpetbagger", Ditas Yamane launched her candidacy for the city council of neighboring National City in a two-hour ceremony on Monday (Aug. 25) attended by a cross-section of the Filipino community.


Denying the accusations hurled during her first attempt for the office, she declared "I'm still here willing to serve" to the applause of the less than a hundred people who turned up for the event -- which doubled as a fund-raiser -- at the seaside Holiday Inn in San Diego's southern suburb.


Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), 
Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA)
and National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.


Ms. Yamane is one of two Filipino candidates (the other is incumbent Fidelis Ungab) running to fill up the two available seats in the five-member City Council of National City, which is home to many Filipino commercial and business establishments and whose population of 55,000 is 20 percent Filipino.


"I'm here all the time, not only on Tuesdays," she states to emphasize her availability to constituents who had to wait out for days to be able to bring up their issues to the city council's attention during the public comment portion once every week.

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Friends and supporters gave their personal testimonies attesting to Yamane's competence and electability but it was Mitz Lee, a sitting member of the San Diego School Board, who cautioned her: "if you cannot handle criticism, you should not run for office".


Ms. Yamane was on the verge of tears, her upbeat demeanor momentarily tossed out, as she narrated the agony and suffering she and her family had to endure at the time she first entered politics four years ago.


She had weathered that "painful" phase and recovered fast enough to reach out, becoming the current president of the National City Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations.


"The opportunity to lead, to have our voice and to make a difference is there again," she declared, detailing a list of "to-do's" if she wins the election on November 4 for the office that has evaded her for years.


Ms. Yamane needs at least 3,000 votes to land a council seat. If all Filipino-American registered voters in National City would turn out and vote for her, she could easily win the election.

"I'm very ready to run this campaign and win it," she said confidently later during an interview. She vowed not to allow the politics of the past to happen again and hound her and her family.


"National City is the community I have chosen to start in; in fact, the family business started there in 1991," she explained.


Ms. Yamane needs at least 3,000 votes to land a council seat. If all Filipino registered voters in National City would turn out and vote for her, she could easily win the election.


Supporters are knocking on doors and walking residential villages to flush out unregistered voters whose numbers could tilt the balance in local politics.


In the past several months, Ms. Yamane, who admits to not being a writer nor a journalist, has managed to put up a few newspaper publications based in National City. When asked if those were meant to prop herself up, she said the publications are intended to highlight business opportunities in the area.


Ms. Yamane (nee De los Santos) originally hailed from the province of Pangasinan. She and husband Rey Yamane run and manage a marketing company, a real-estate brokerage and the Phone Shop Inc., all in National City. # # #


(This Breaking News is written by Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038.)

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 22:52

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