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Mayor Leano selected as Tri-City Mental Health board chair

Last month Claremont Mayor Jed Leano was selected by the governing board of Tri-City Mental Health to serve as the agency’s board chair. Mayor Leano has served on the Tri-City board since he was elected to the Claremont City Council in November 2018 and served as Tri-City’s vice chair last year, according to a news release.

“First of all, I’m honored by the vote of confidence from my colleagues,” Mayor Leano said in a statement.
“I will work hard every day to ratify their trust in me to do this job.”

“Tri-City is at such a critical crossroads right now. In the City of Claremont, Tri-City is an integral partner in dealing with homelessness and, in addition to that, our community wants to see robust partnerships between all of our city departments and Tri-City Mental Health,” he added.

Claremont’s mayor, who has an immigration law practice in Pasadena, also serves on Tri-City’s Asian American Pacific Islander advisory council, which was created in 2021 to create culturally relevant programming at Tri-City for the AAPI community.

“We are very excited to have him, and we are looking forward to his leadership on Tri-City’s board,” Rimmi Hundal, Tri-City’s director of mental health services and ethnic services, said in a statement.

Leano’s appointment comes at a time where the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt people’s routines and daily life, and subsequently their mental health. He said the pandemic has “exposed the tremendous need for a strong mental health infrastructure.”

“I’m going to work hard to make sure that Claremont residents see Tri-City on the front lines of this issue,” he said.

“Coming out of COVID, mental health will be critical to bringing our community back. And I look forward to working with my colleagues from Pomona and La Verne to develop a model for mental health services delivery and programming,” he said “Our leaderships regularly communicate, and our needs as cities are all different. But we all have one common goal and that is to ensure effective mental health services delivery for all of our residents.”

When he was appointed back in 2018 Mayor Leano, became Tri-City’s first Filipino American board member andnow is the agency’s first Filipino American board chair. The mayor said he believed this move pushes “the agency in the right direction for AAPI community members to see one of their own leading the agency.”

Currently, Leano serves as the vice chair of the Filipino American Democratic Caucus of the California Democratic Party and also on the board of the San Gabriel Valley Immigration Resource Center. In 2019, Leano was named Democrat of the year for the 41st Assembly District by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

The governing board also selected La Verne City Councilmember Robin Carder, who has served since 2017, to be the new vice chair.

Also last month, Jess Duff was appointed as Tri-City’s interim executive director replacing Toni Navarro, who resigned in December to become the director of Santa Barbara county’s behavioral wellness department. Duff previously served as interim executive director in 2007, then as executive director of 2008. he has alos served as Tri-City’s director of clinical programs services for six years.
Duff will serve as interim executive director until the completion of a nationwide search for a candidate to replace Navarro, a news release read.

Tri-City mental health, which has offices in Pomona and Claremont, launched in 1960 as a joint powers authority providing mental health services to the residents of Pomona, Claremont and La Verne.
For more information about Tri-City, visit https://www.tricitymhs.org/ or call (909) 623-6131.

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