Ellen Kamei, who was elected to the Mountain View City Council in 2018 and served as vice mayor to Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga in 2020, was elected by her colleagues to succeed Abe-Koga as the South Bay city’s mayor on Jan. 12. Lucas Ramirez was elected as vice mayor.
“I am honored to serve as your mayor as we take on the challenges and the opportunities that the year 2021 brings us,” Kamei stated on the Mountain View City Council Website. “As a third generation Mountain View resident, I have seen our community transform, adapt, and change firsthand.”
According to Kamei, the city is just over 12 square miles and home to nearly 83,000 residents.
“The size and population of Mountain View may be modest, yet we have a prominent role on the world stage as the center of innovation for Silicon Valley, being the home to some of the most prominent tech companies in the world as well as hundreds of startups,” Kamei added.
Kamei’s mother, Rosemary Kamei, has been in public service for three decades and currently serves on the Santa Clara County Board of Education. She helped to inspire the younger Kamei to become involved in civic engagement. “She’s been an example as a strong woman of color being involved in public service,” Kamei told the Nichi Bei Weekly in 2020.
Kamei is the daughter of a first-generation Chinese and Puerto Rican American mother from New York City and a third-generation Japanese American father born in the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming during World War II.
Her family ran a flower-growing nursery, first in Mountain View and then Morgan Hill.