Mona Pasquil has become the first woman, first Filipino American, and first Asian American to become a lieutenant governor of California.
She reached the top when Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi won the 10th Congressional District special elections last November 6 to replace Representative Ellen Tauscher.
The lieutenant governor’s powers stayed with her as Garamendi’s chief of staff. These powers include decisions being made at the State Lands Commission, the Board of Regents of the California State University and University of California, and many other panels and boards.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can appoint a new lieutenant governor, but the legislature has 90 days to confirm or reject his choice. The 90-day clock begins when the legislature reconvenes in regular session in January 2010. The governor has the option to set the clock in motion earlier by calling a special session.
Pasquil, granddaughter of Filipino immigrants and daughter of a community leader and gifted jazz pianist, is a longtime leader in the Asian American community. She was vice president for MHSC Partners Inc., a political consulting firm widely acknowledged for expertise in micro-targeting and data analysis.
She was appointed western political director in the Clinton White House, served as deputy chief executive officer for the 2000 Democratic National Convention and as political director of the 2000 Gore-Lieberman campaign in California. She was one of the 30 members of the Democratic National Convention’s Rules and Bylaws Committee and one of the 11 that supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 elections.
Pasquil gives back to her community and is proudest of her work with The Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, and My Sister’s House, a safe haven for Asian Pacific Islander victims of domestic violence.
She served as vice chairperson of Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte Board of Directors, the Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington DC, and the California Youth in Government Model Legislature Program.
In a Huffington Post blog, she was quoted, "Democratic politics has been a big part of my life since I graduated from college in 1984, starting at the local level in California. Back then, there weren’t a lot of folks that looked like me, or if there were, I didn’t see them. My parents and grandparents always taught us, if you want to make a positive impact, want to make change, get involved."
Indeed, her involvement has paid off and she has changed our history. We are proud. Mondejar is president of the Filipina Women’s Network.