Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Michael P. Guingona

Michael P. Guingona

Michael P. Guingona (b. 1962), also known as Mike Guingona, is a Filipino American who currently serves as the mayor of Daly City, California (pop. 103621). He is an attorney in private practice. He first got elected as Daly City Council member in 1993 and was the youngest mayor at age 33 in 1995. He has been elected City Council member three times.

Guingona is the first Filipino American elected to the City Council of Daly City. The year 2005 marks his fourth term as Mayor of Daly City.

Guingona also hosts the TV shows Citizen Pinoy and Pinagmulan on The Filipino Channel or TFC which shows on cable TV.

Biography and career

Early life

Guingona was born in San Francisco, California but moved to Daly City in 1965 at the age of 3. He grew up in Daly City and attended the Daly City Public Schools from K-12. He graduated from Westmoor High School where, during his senior year, he was elected class president.

Guingona also dedicated much of his time in school to wrestling as well as football, track and swimming.

Guingona attended Skyline College for two years where he continued wrestling before attending the University of California at Los Angeles where he earned a B.A. in History. When he returned to Daly City, he went to the University of San Francisco Law School to pursue his Juris Doctor. He received his law degree in 1989 and was admitted to the California Bar Association in the same year.

His original plan was to become a sports agent but Guingona soon turned his sights on criminal defense. A three-year unpaid internship allowed him to get his feet wet in that industry before he got his first job as an attorney with the public defenders office in San Francisco. He established his own private practice in 1999 in San Francisco specializing in criminal defence.

Political career

In the midst of his legal career, Guingona made the decision to run for office. His first attempt at running for office in 1992 was a failure but each round since was a success. Guingona was first elected to the council in 1993 and has since held the position of mayor four times.

His successful campaign was viewed as a significant event in the Bay Area. He was the first Filipino American elected to the City Council of Daly City.

His colleagues in the City Council selected him to serve as Mayor in 1995. He was the youngest to serve as mayor of Daly City at age 33. During his first term, he continued to work as a full-time Deputy Public Defender in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. He left the Public Defender’s Office in 1999 and established a private practice in San Francisco specializing in criminal defense. Guingona was elected to a second term as Mayor in 1997, a third in 2001, [5] and a fourth term in 2005. In addition, when Guingona was not the Mayor in 2005, served as the vice mayor.

The number of people living within the Daly City city limits swelled from 40,000 to over 100,000 during Guingona's lifetime. By the year 2000, Filipino Americans accounted for nearly a third of the population.

In addition to his duties as a City Council member, Guingona represents a large constituency as a member of the San Mateo County (SMC) Transit District Board of Directors and the San Mateo County or SMC Transportation Authority. He is also actively involved with the Sister City Committee and was instrumental in initiating the Daly City-Quezon City Sister City partnership.

Professional affiliations

Guingona's professional affiliations include membership in the California Trial Lawyers Association, the State Bar of California, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, and the California Public Defenders Association. [5]

Television shows

Guingona hosts the program Citizen Pinoy on The Filipino Channel which was launched in 2005 in the U.S. and the Philippines. The show debunks common myths and misconceptions that immigrants to the United States — particularly Filipino ones — may have about the immigration process. On the show, Guingona, fellow attorney Michael Gurfinkel and Gel Santos-Relos focus on a different topic each week, ranging from adoption to citizenship, etc. [3]

Guingona is also the host of the show Pinagmulan on The Filipino Channel. [5] This is a reality-TV show that helps Filipino-Americans connect with their family and friends back in the Philippines. “Pinagmulan” means “roots” in Tagalog. The show airs both in the United States and in the Philippines.[3]

Personal life

He was married to Teresa Guingona [1] with whom he shares custody of their son Kai after their separation.[3]

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