Fil-Am is first Asian American councilor of Florida city
WASHINGTON DC, USA – Anna Lopez Brosche, the first Filipino American woman and first Asian American to serve as city councilor for Jacksonville, Florida, is the daughter of a Navy man. Today, she is also a proud Navy wife.
She was born in Jacksonville, Florida to Marcial Felipe Lopez, now a retired US Navy officer, and Catherine Gleeson Lopez, a bookkeeper. She has one brother.
“As the daughter of a Filipino who joined the United States Navy in his pursuit of the American Dream, I am proud of my connection to the military,” Brosche said.
She shared some of her memorable experiences as the daughter of a military man in an interview with The FilAm Metro D.C.
“This is true of all military families. You move every two to 3 years and you move in the middle of the school year,” she said. “When I was in 8th grade after I have spent about 3 years of establishing friendships, I had to pick up and move to a new town and be entered into a new class in a public school. I was always the new person in a new school.”
The family is fortunate to live in communities with significant Filipino population, such as Long Beach in California, which has a naval shipyard. For the most part, it was just her mom, her brother and herself because often, “my dad would be out to sea.
“The entire time we had to write to him; he missed us just as much as we missed him.”
Brosche stressed how proud she is to be the first Filipino American – and first Asian – elected to the post and how her election brings diversity to the Jacksonville City Council. Jacksonville, according to her, has double the population percentage of Filipino Americans in all Florida counties. “This is a tremendous honor.”
Brosche won the May 19 elections and was sworn in on June 25. She formally took office on July 1.
Although she is an active community leader, entering politics has taken her outside of her comfort zone. Winning the votes was a tremendous surprise.
“I once said I would never run for political office. After years of inquiries from fellow community leaders and peer mentors encouraged me to consider running. I chose to be more open minded and eventually pursue office,” Brosche recalled.
“My love for my community and my passion to serve led me to run for public office. I will try to manage both responsibilities without compromising my commitment to my family," she added.
“Because I grew up a child in the military, I am familiar with what it means to serve as a military wife and I have a support system in my parents when my husband is away for military service,” she said.
Working hard together as a family was something impressed on her as a young Fil-Am child. She and her husband are making sure their kids acquired the same values.
“I grew up valuing a strong work ethic, respecting my elders, appreciating family and togetherness, enjoying Filipino cuisine, and understanding that life was about serving others,” she said.
It is that Filipino upbringing, her familial ties to the military, and her admiration for the political ideology of Ronald Reagan that attracted her to the Republican Party.
Brosche was an accountant when she contemplated running for public office. She was then a partner at the CPA firm of Ennis, Pellum & Associates of Jacksonville, where she has worked since 2002. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a master’s degree in accountancy.
“I have known since 11th grade in high school that I wanted to be an accountant. I love playing Monopoly as a kid. I love being the banker. I always enjoyed math and games related to numbers,” she said.
As a financial professional in the council, she vows to examine the council budget and streamline the local government.
“I look forward to bringing my accounting experience to the $1-billion general services budget for Jacksonville that the City Council reviews and approves. Including our independent authorities, the total budget is closer to $5 billion. Beyond my financial experience being applied to the budget and identifying opportunities to streamline government, I will be identifying 3 big initiatives benefitting the entire Jacksonville community that I can accomplish in my 4-year term,” she said.
Away from her public duties Anna loves to read, averaging more than 40 books a year. She is also a collector of shark teeth.
She said: “I also go out to the beach whenever I can or have an interest to find and collect sharks’ teeth on our local beaches. I can find as many as 30 in one hour.” – Rappler.com