This article is part of a series on figures who have declared their candidacy for Milpitas City Council or Mayor of Milpitas for November’s general election. Two City Council seats and the Mayor’s seat are up for grabs. The entire series can be found here.
For Julian Jose Hilario Jr., public service has been a calling since as far back as when he was a kid.
From elementary school to college, he was always actively involved in student government.
Seventeen years ago, back when he was a senior at Milpitas High School (MHS), Hilario served as Associated Student Body Vice President, while also serving on the Student Advisory Board for Congressman Mike Honda.
Nowadays, he works as a nurse. And he’s also running for Milpitas City Council.
“The city of Milpitas means a lot to me,” said Hilario. “It’s where I was born and raised.”
To study nursing, Hilario ventured out to Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in Oahu in 2007.
While attending HPU, he served as Associated Student Body Vice President, President of the Kababayan Filipino American Student Association, and even sang in his school’s International Vocal Ensemble, which competed against other colleges in China during 2008. During this time, he also worked as a Nursing Assistant in Queens Medical Center.
Hilario got his nursing license in 2011. From there, he went straight to work at UCLA Medical Center, where he stayed for about six years.
As a registered nurse, he served as Chair for the Council of his medical-surgical unit, which addressed staff needs and concerns, as well as ways to provide quality patient care. He also chaired UCLA Medical Center’s hospital-wide council, which was called Exemplary Professional Practice.
During his time working as a nurse in Southern California, he often thought of someday coming back to Milpitas. Not only did he want to be among family and friends, but he dreamed of running for Milpitas City Council.
And so, a couple years ago, he came back to Milpitas, to the city that he feels truly shaped the person he is today. He began working for Philips, which has a medical division in which they hire nurses to educate other nurses and doctors about medical devices that are being installed in hospitals.
“I love to help people…to make a difference in the lives of others while they’re going through tough times with their illness and being there for them,” said Hilario. “I was a medical surgical nurse and after surgery, they’d come to my unit. And I was able to provide care and make sure they came back to optimal wellness.”
When asked what his priorities would be should he make it onto the City Council, Hilario first mentioned Affordable Housing. While he was growing up, his family moved from apartment to apartment across the city (he had to attend three different Milpitas elementary schools as a result), and also had to live with other relatives for a period of time.
“My family and I didn’t come from wealth,” said Hilario. “Affordable housing is one thing I want to look into. Making sure citizens are aware there are programs, if they’re looking to get their own place. And also just trying to make sure we have affordable housing in the city of Milpitas.”
Among Hilario’s other priorities are Public Safety and Wellness.
Regarding Public Safety, he stresses the need to have social programs in place for people who need them, especially those who are struggling in poverty. He believes that such programs would be helpful in preventing people from turning to crime, which would, in turn, make the city safer as a whole. He also feels it’s important to publicize crime statistics and compare them year-over-year, for all the public to see.
“I also want to utilize my expertise in the healthcare field to bring wellness up,” said Hilario. “More than ever, we’re being impacted by COVID, and a lot has changed in the home environment where kids are at home studying online. So I want to bring forward programs and resources to improve their wellbeing spiritually, mentally, and physically.”
He also mentioned the idea of correlating a health topic—for example, something like “Cardiovascular Month”—into the proclamations of City Council meetings, so that people in the community are inspired to focus on their wellness. This is something he’d love to see happen on a monthly basis.
“I want to give back to Milpitas, to the city that has instilled in me values and foundations in leadership…That’s one of the reasons I’m running,” said Hilario.