Maui News


August 24, 2009, 7:57 AM HST
* Updated August 24, 8:19 AM

Maui Council Chair Danny Mateo is being honored as one of 20 Outstanding Filipinos Abroad in 2009 by the national Filipino Image Magazine.  Mateo is recognized as the first person of Filipino descent to be elected as chair of the Maui County Council.

Danny Mateo speaks with us during the 2009 Council Inauguration.  File photo by Wendy Osher.

Danny Mateo speaks with us during the 2009 Council Inauguration. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Mateo is the eighth born of nine children and was raised in a Paia plantation camp.  His father emigrated from the Philippines to the island of Maui in 1929 where he was put to work on the sugarcane plantations for $20 per month.

In 1974, the younger Mateo moved to Molokai where he was hired as General Manager of Tropical Rent-a-Car and Tropical Rent-a-Mule on the island of Molokai.

Mateo’s political career began in 1997 when he began working as the Executive Assistant to then Maui County Council Chair Patrick Kawano. Upon Kawano’s passing in 2002, Mateo was sworn into office to complete the unexpired term. He has since been elected to the council for four successive two-year terms.

In addition to his role as Council Chair, Mateo also serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee of the Whole and Vice-Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.


Mateo is also recognized for spearheading an affordable housing measure that is aimed at curbing the displacement of Maui’s working class.  Chapter 2.96 of the Maui County Code, also known as the “Maui County Workforce Housing Policy” is designed to ensure that affordably priced homes will be constructed and made available for Maui’s working residents.


Mateo joins fellow Hawaii resident Imelda-Collado Ortega Anderson as an awardee.  Anderson was crowned Mrs. Hawaii Filipina Queen in 2007 and is the founder of Pinoy Power, a Filipino radio program broadcast on cable television.

(Posted by Wendy Osher, Information provided by

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