Christopher Cabaldon

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Christopher Cabaldon
Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.jpg
Mayor of West Sacramento, California
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1965-11-12) November 12, 1965 (age 52)
Political party Democratic
Residence West Sacramento, California

Christopher L. Cabaldon (born November 12, 1965) is a Filipino-American politician from California who serves as mayor of West Sacramento. He is the longest-serving mayor in the city's history. He also represents the State of California on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education as an appointee of California Governor Jerry Brown. He is a member of the Democratic Party and Vice President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. He is openly gay.

Early life[edit]

Enrolling as a founding pupil at the Center for Enriched Studies, the first magnet school in Los Angeles and the centerpiece of the district's voluntary integration program instituted following a court finding of racial segregation,[1] Christopher Cabaldon first became involved in politics as a seventh-grader, speaking at conferences and in media interviews on the subject of desegregation. He became student body president at the school.

Cabaldon earned his BS in Environmental Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was student body vice president. He earned a Masters in Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Sacramento in its founding class, where he later taught as an adjunct faculty member, and later received the institution's "Distinguished Alumni Service" award.

Early career[edit]

Cabaldon served as President/CEO of EdVoice, a Sacramento-based education non-profit advocacy group, after a decade with the California State Assembly as Chief Consultant and Staff Director at the age of 24 to the Higher Education Committee and then Chief of Staff to the chair of Appropriations Committee. He began his professional career as Legislative Director of the University of California Students Association.

From 1997 to 2003, Cabaldon was vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges System, with executive responsibility for policy, planning, strategy, research, information systems and data, governmental relations, public affairs, and other initiatives for the system of 110 colleges.

He is currently the Executive Director of the Linked Learning Alliance, program officer for the California Education Policy Fund, and co-director of the California Legislative Staff Education Institute.[2]

Mayor of West Sacramento[edit]

Cabaldon was selected mayor of West Sacramento by fellow council members in November 1998, after first being elected to the City Council in 1996. The council chose him for three more one year terms as mayor. In 2004, he won West Sacramento's first direct mayoral election. He was re-elected mayor in 2006, 2008 and 2010, was unopposed in the November 2012 general election, and was reelected with 84.3% of the vote in the 2014 general election.[3][4]

Cabaldon is Chair of the Jobs, Education & the Workforce Committee at the United States Conference of Mayors, where he was elected to the board in June 2011. In June 2007 Cabaldon authored a resolution for the US Conference of Mayors that supported the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act, that was passed unanimously at the annual conference. In June 2009 he pushed through the most sweeping gay civil rights resolution of any national elected officials organization, US Conference of Mayors Resolution No. 46, 2008 winning support for marriage equality, hate crimes, employment nondiscrimination, and repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. A member of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, he and the Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore and Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio published a column, Gay marriage a question of justice, in USA Today in January 2013. He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[5] and a signer of the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Cabaldon is Vice President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

As chair of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Cabaldon led the region's historic "Blueprint for the Future", which under his leadership won prestigious awards from the US Environmental Protection Agency, two Governors, and a diverse array of national, state, regional, civic, business, and environmental organizations for land-use planning and smart growth strategies.[6]

He was a candidate for the 8th district seat in the California State Assembly in 2008. Although he had a substantial advantage in fundraising, he lost the primary by three percentage points to Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada.[7]


Cabaldon has served as President or Chair of many organizations and boards, including President of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE), President of the Yolo County Health Council, President of the National Brownfields Association (California), chair of the Yolo County Transportation District, and a director for the Great Valley Center, Cal Alumni Association, Foundation for the California Community Colleges, and University of California, Davis School of Education.

He has served on an array of state and regional commissions, including being appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly to the Commission on Regionalism, member of the Blue Ribbon Committee for the Governor's Initiative to Turn Around Failing Schools, appointed by Governor Gray Davis to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and a member of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Protection Commission.

He was founder and Chairman of the Board for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project,[citation needed] a founding member of both the Asian Pacific Islander caucus and LGBT Local Officials caucus of the League of California Cities,[citation needed] and a founding member of the Capital Unity Council,[citation needed] a group created to eradicate hate crime violence.

In 2015, President Obama appointed Cabaldon to the National Advisory Board for America's College Promise.[8]

Media appearances[edit]

The Logo network featured Cabaldon in a 2006 episode of the series Coming Out Stories,[9][10] when he came out publicly in his annual State of the City address.[11]


External links[edit]