Gay Fil-Am mayor is a first for El Cerrito, California
EL CERRITO, California — Councilmember Gabriel Quinto will be named mayor of this city for 2018 during the reorganization of the city council on Tuesday, December 19, at 7:00 p.m. at El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Avenue (by Manila Avenue).
Quinto is El Cerrito’s first Filipino American and LGBT mayor as well as the third mayor of color in the city’s 100-year history, following Mayor Leticia Moore (of African descent) and Mayor Ann Cheng (of Asian-Chinese descent).
The Berkeley-born Quinto will be sworn into office by Contra Costa’s Superior Court Judge Benjamin “Ben” T. Reyes II, the first Filipino American judge to serve on the Contra Costa County bench and the second Filipino American judge to serve in the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. El Cerrito’s first biracial councilmember (African-Caucasian), Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto will be Mayor Pro Tem.
Gabe Quinto’s parents are Santiago and Isidra Quinto, originally from Pangasinan, Philippines. The late Santiago’s World War II experience included being in the US Army, 2nd Filipino Battalion, in the Battle of New Guinea.
Gabriel Quinto graduated from El Cerrito High School in 1979 and finished his B.S. in Radio, TV, Film at Long Beach State University in 1983.
Before he was elected into council in December 2014, Quinto spent many years in political and community empowerment volunteer work including the Sierra Club Bay Chapter, the League of Women Voters of West Contra Costa County, and as an Obama delegate in 2012. Gabriel Quinto was also an Alternate of the Marin Clean Energy Board.
In El Cerrito, Quinto had been a member of the Human Relations Commission and the Committee on Aging. He is involved as the Council Liaison to Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission as well as the League of CA Cities/Environmental Policy Committee, Association of Bay Area Government as a delegate representing El Cerrito, and the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee. Quinto is on the Executive Board of the East Bay Division – League of CA Cities, as well as an Executive Boardmember of the API Caucus and LGBT Caucuses of the League of CA Cities.
Quinto is on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Bay Chapter representing San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. He is also the Vice President of the West Contra Costa County League of Women Voters. Quinto is the elected Delegate representing West Contra Costa County on the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County.He spent many years working in human resources for a New York law firm in Los Angeles.