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Phil Serna would like people to call him Phil, not Joe

Sacramento mural by Latino artists will honor former Mayor Joe Serna Jr.

An enormous mural inside the new Golden 1 Center will be the work of one of the city’s most revered art collectives, the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), of which former Mayor Joe Serna Jr. was a member.
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An enormous mural inside the new Golden 1 Center will be the work of one of the city’s most revered art collectives, the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), of which former Mayor Joe Serna Jr. was a member.

Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna would like to kindly ask that people stop referring to him as Joe, after his late father, Mayor Joe Serna Jr.

Serna went to Facebook on Wednesday to request people use his birth name after he was referred to as Joe on live television while highlighting improvements made on the Regional Transit light-rail lines.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love my late father, but MY name is Phil: P-H-I-L,” Serna wrote.

“There’s a Serna and they immediately think Joe,” he said Thursday. “It’s very old for me. … It’s not that I don’t miss my father, love my father, respect him and his legacy … it’s just that it’s time-consuming and frustrating” to have to correct people.

It can also be embarrassing for the people who make the mistake that he has to correct, he said, such as the reporter. As of late Thursday afternoon, his post had more than 35 comments and 262 reactions.

Serna said he gets called Joe four to five times a day.

Joe Serna Jr. served as Sacramento’s first Latino mayor from 1993 until his death in 1999. Before his time as mayor, he sat on the City Council for 11 years. He is remembered around the city by the Joe Serna Jr. EPA Building, dedicated to him in 2001, the Joe Serna Jr. Charter School and by a mural in the soon-to-open Golden 1 Center.

Serna said he’s not sure he’d post to Facebook again, since the post precipitated a whole chain of comments that required him to explain the problem or delete comments from people who responded with “Hi, Joe!”

An enormous mural inside the new Golden 1 Center will be the work of one of the city’s most revered art collectives, the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), of which former Mayor Joe Serna Jr. was a member.

Ellen Garrison: 916-321-1920, @EllenGarrison

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