About Mike

Mike Arulfo:
An innovative leader for all of Bloomington

Mike’s story is that of the success a strong community can bring to its members. Born into poverty in the Philippines, Mike and his family immigrated to the United States when he was seven years old. His father worked in a glass factory, and his mother worked night shifts at a nursing home. He was in unfamiliar surroundings and without the benefit of shared language even with his younger brother.

Struggling with reading, Mike’s mom took him to a local library, where he was met by a librarian whose patience and kindness spurred Mike’s passion to learn. He walked to the library every day that summer, and continued that walk through his school years. He worked hard, pushed himself and caught up with the other kids. Soon, he was excelling in school, fortunate enough to win an academic scholarship to Saint Cloud University GR Herberger College of Business.

His dedication didn’t stop there. He built on that success and earned additional scholarships, taking him all the way to Washington DC where he went to study at Georgetown University and graduated from the Engalitcheff Institute of Comparative Political and Economic Systems. After that, his passion to learn took him to Europe where he studied in Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Returning to Minnesota, he aimed to become a strong part of the communities that had given so much to him. He has spent the past 18 years working in corporate America, bringing his ideals of dedication, passion and community to his work. Currently, he is employed at Optum as a Senior Product Owner.

Looking back at his success, Mike knew that he wouldn’t be where he is without those around him supporting him as he grew. From his parents’ selfless dedication to their children, to the librarians and teachers that gave him the tools he needed to succeed, it was the community around him that lifted him up to his full potential. That knowledge has given Mike the desire to give back to Bloomington.

Looking around, Mike saw a diverse Bloomington, full of people building their community. He decided to run for Bloomington City Council to give an equal voice to the vastly diverse groups throughout the city. He believes that the city council must cultivate and celebrate community engagement as a way to lift its citizens up, as his community had done for him. He wants to see Minnesota’s fourth largest city flourish and grow in a way that works for all its residents. Giving communities throughout Bloomington the tools they need to succeed is central to Mike’s philosophy – a philosophy that will undoubtedly drive Mike’s commitment once in office.

For Michael, it is very simple: We Must Grow Bloomington Together.