West Covina celebrates historic milestone: Installation of first Filipino City Councilwoman

Screen shot of newly-elected City Clerk Nick Lewis swearing in Councilwoman Letty Lopez-Viado, witnessed by her FilAm husband Garry DungcaViado and their children.
Councilwoman in an oversized firefighter uniform

WEST COVINA, Calif. – At a meeting on December 4, “in honor of the City Council Leadership and Reorganization,” Letty Lopez-Viado, an American of Filipino and Mexican heritage, was sworn in as this city’s Councilmember.

The Councilwoman also spent a few hours on a Police Ride-Along with Sergeant Nelson on a Saturday night “to see what our officers go through, while keeping our City safe. As soon as I started the ride along, we had to quickly respond to a robbery with a gun, a domestic violence, and their call list goes on. I then visited the Dispatchers and went through Police briefing. Thank you West Covina Police for all that you do in protecting our City, and happy retirement, Sergeant Worley.

“It’s official,” Letty announced, “I have been sworn in as your Councilwoman and I look forward working with you in moving our City in a positive direction. Thank you, West Covina District 2,” she added, “for electing me, and as one resident said, ‘the first Mexican Filipino American Councilwoman.’ Campaigning was hard,” she expressed, “on the body and mind, but I thank you for believing in me and allowing me to show you what I can do for our City. I thank all my supporters, family and friends, including the new ones I met during this journey. I look forward in moving West Covina in a positive direction.”

“Thank you, West Covina Unified School District and Principal Dr. Karla Contreras, for allowing me to be ‘Principal for a Day’ at Cameron Elementary, interacting with staff, teachers, and students, along with the insight of the daily educational practices and the operational functions. It was a wonderful experience and building that relationship with schools is amazing. These kids are our future!”

“Congratulations, MexiPina Letty Lopez-Viado!” posted Carole Ojeda Kimbrough, Ph.D. (UCLA), currently a lecturer at CalState Fullerton and consultant with the UCLA Labor Center.

Lopez-Viado joins four other Council members: Mayor Lloyd Johnson, Mayor Protem Tony Wu, and Councilman Dario Castellanos. Their term is four years and annually they select one of their members to serve as Mayor.



Letty “loved” the bipartisan support and trust she got from local leaders and West Covina officials contributing to her winning the election on Nov. 6, 2018.

West Covina Mayor Johnson had said:  “Letty is a person with integrity. She is the ideal candidate who is already actively involved in our community, and cares deeply for our city. She is the leader that will bring new perspectives to City Hall.”

“I believe Letty Lopez is the right candidate for West Covina District 2,” endorsed WC Mayor Pro Tem Wu. “With her experience as a Park Director for the City of Los Angeles, she will bring in resources for our parks, as well as help us solve our homeless issues.”

“Letty has a great track record,” added Michael Flowers, President of the West Covina Board of Education. “As a former preschool teacher, current Park Director, and Chair of our Senior & Community Services Commission, she will bring experience and leadership that our community deserves.”

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune also endorsed Letty Lopez. Part of the article, shared by the MexiPina reads:

“(Mike) Spence is one of the at-large incumbents and is running in District 2 in the city’s northwest against (Roger) Hernandez as well as local businessman Brian Gutierrez, city Community and Senior Services Commissioner Leticia Lopez and former Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District board member Bill Robinson.

“No question that Spence is extremely knowledgeable about his hometown and its politics and is a fascinating and amiable person.

“We wish him well in his long-term recovery efforts. Some years from now, when he has fully regained his health, he should again return to public life. But not now. We endorse as the best candidate for District 2 Letty Lopez, a career parks and recreation expert with two children … a master’s degree in communication and a commitment to fiscal prudence rather than new taxes to solve the city’s budget problems.”

Letty also appreciates a post on FB from Abraham Frank Martinez: “I’m in District 3, but I support Letty for District 2,” and he had a yard sign to prove it.