Fil-Am nominated to head Southern California’s Board of Public Works

By Roy Mabasa

Leading Filipino-American public sector worker Jessica Caloza who currently handles the scheduling of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been nominated to head the Southern California city's Board of Public Works.

“Jessica is an experienced public policy expert with a proven record of standing up for people in our community — from advocating for students to fighting for immigrants’ rights,” Mayor Garcetti said in a statement posted on his website over the weekend.

“She will serve Angelenos with dedication, drive, and integrity on the Board of Public Works," he added.

Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council.

Prior to her joining Garcetti's Executive team, she served in the Obama Administration as a policy analyst in the Department of Education — where she worked on Congressional and legislative affairs, student data and privacy, and gender equity issues.

Caloza was also a campaign aide for several members of Congress, including former Rep. Xavier Becerra, California’s current Attorney General.

The Los Angeles mayor said Caloza's appointment would bring a "breadth and depth of government experience to the role of Public Works Commissioner."

She assumed as Garcetti’s Director of Scheduling in 2017, overseeing the Los Angeles chief executive's entire scheduling operation — including strategic planning, day-to-day logistics, and coordination.

Previously, she served as Deputy Director of Scheduling, and came to the Mayor’s Executive Office from the Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she managed policy proposals, grant programs, and civic engagement initiatives focused on expanding access to resources for immigrant communities.

Outside of the public sector, Caloza serves on the Leadership Council for the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE).

In 2014, she was selected one of 10 delegates for the Filipino Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro), an immersive leadership program led by the Ambassador of the Philippines.

Jessica previously served on the boards of KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, the FYLPro Executive Committee, and the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition.

A first-generation immigrant, she is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego.