Being Filipino American in the GOP
By Ron Falconi
Dr. Jose Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines, placed a high value on civic involvement wherever he was, whether it
be the Philippines or travelling around the world. He wanted the Philippines to be more involved in shaping its destiny
and wanted the people to have more control of their government – ideals similar to those of the Republican Party. As
we celebrate Filipino American History Month, I reflect on my Filipino heritage and the values I share with the
Republican Party and Rizal’s words from the 17th century, which still ring true today.
I was born and raised in northeastern Ohio as the son of two Filipino immigrants who came to America in the 1960’s in
search of the American dream. My parents taught me the importance of God, family, hard work, and self-reliance.
Growing up during the Reagan Revolution, I found a home in the Republican Party because I realized that the values
my parents taught me were also the bedrock principles of the party. Ever since I attended my first political gathering,
this Party has always made me feel welcomed, accepted, and included. Over my lifetime, I have worked with three
different Republican Party County organizations in two different states, but no matter where I go, my friends from the
Party are more like my family. The Grand Old Party (GOP) has always encouraged me to be involved in the political
process because we share the same common principles. The GOP continues to stand for a strong national defense,
lower taxes, religious values, and of course, smaller government.
As the mayor of Brunswick, Ohio, a town of approximately 35,000 people, I am proud of my heritage. My wife was born
and raised in the Philippines. We raise our two teenage kids with the same values that have been taught to us. We
work hard, go to church, and contribute back to our community. These values are not only Filipino values or Republican
values, but more importantly they are also American values. Even though we speak Tagalog at home and eat Filipino
food, we are Americans first, and we celebrate these core principles that are shared across cultures, across traditions
and in my Party.
Recently, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus spoke on the importance of the role that
Filipino Americans play in our society as well as the great contributions they have made to our country. The RNC
continues to engage and build meaningful relationships with Filipino communities across the country, and encourage
them to get involved in our political process as we continue to build upon the American dream.
I believe that Dr. Rizal’s words and actions of greater civic engagement have a direct impact on how our communities
move forward and thrive. Recently, I addressed the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA
Region 3 East) and talked about furthering our community’s political involvement. At the Knights of Rizal International
Conference last year in Greater Cleveland, I spoke about leadership and how it affects our Filipino communities here in
America. There is a need for greater participation of the Filipino American community in the political life of our cities,
townships, states, and even our federal government in Washington. The GOP can help us get there.
As we celebrate Filipino American History Month this October, I ask all of you to be open to the message of the GOP. As
Americans of Filipino descent, we share similar beliefs and values, and we want a better tomorrow for our children.
The GOP is an inclusive party made up of many different kinds of people with diverse backgrounds and is the best
vehicle for turning our country in the right direction. It is my home – and it can be yours too. I ask all of you to join our
Party and help us to restore the American dream.
Ron Falconi began his term as Mayor of Brunswick in 2014. Originally, he was appointed to the Council at Large seat in
2008 among a group of 14 applicants. He successfully defended the seat and won a full term in 2009.
Falconi was born and raised in northeastern Ohio. He received his diploma from Padua Franciscan High School. He
went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree from John Carroll University, where he majored in political science with a
concentration in international studies. Subsequently, he received his law degree from the University of Akron, and he
has a license to practice law in this state. He was also admitted to practice in the US District Court – Northern District of
Ohio, and the US District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania. In addition to that, he has represented clients in the
US Immigration Court and before the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. He operates his own law practice and
does a majority of his work in Cuyahoga and Medina counties. He has been active in the community. He was a former
member of the Brunswick Board of Zoning Appeals, and served on that board from 2004 to 2007. Falconi is also active
at St. Ambrose Church, where he is a lector and is also a former bingo team participant. He served as the government
liaison officer for the Fairway’s Homeowners Association. He also has served as a Guardian ad Litem in both Medina
and Cuyahoga Counties. Ron has been married to his wife, Genevive, since 1998, and they have two (2) beautiful
children. They have lived in Brunswick since 2001. Ron’s interests include history, travel, and singing.