Coco's parents during his father's oath-taking as Vice Mayor
Following in My
I still remember the words my dad said to me when I left the Philippines to come to America in 1996: “I was hoping you would follow in my footsteps and enter politics.” My dad, Ember Alinsug, is a former Councilor and Vice-Mayor of Consolacion, the biggest town in the province of Cebu, Philippines. I come from five generations of public servants. Not just my dad, but my grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents all held public office. In fact, my grandmother, Felisa, was the first woman Councilor of Consolacion in 1950. At that time, it was almost unheard of for a woman to be involved in politics.
I am proud to now be able to tell my dad that his son is continuing the family legacy of service. I might not be in the Philippines now but I am continuing that legacy in a country halfway around the world, a country I now call home. My environment has changed but my heart and dedication to serve has not. I inherited this dedication from my dad, my grandmother, and my forefathers who paved the way for me to enter politics.
I hope my story encourages many other future leaders in Lynn. I am talking to you, our black and brown youth, who think running for public office might be a waste of time; and you, fellow immigrants, who are afraid to run. I encourage all of you to follow your dreams and follow your heart. We may be in an adopted city and country, but our dreams from home should continue wherever we are. For me, just running for public office counts as a win. I am proving to my ancestors that I can continue our family’s legacy wherever I am in this world.