LEAD Filipino and FANHS Organize for Historic Naming of The Delano Manongs Park in San Jose

In a public process that started last year, founding LEAD Filipino organizer, Daniel Lazo saw an open call for the naming of a new park in the City of San Jose.

“I submitted “Delano Manongs” as the name for this new park near my childhood home because of my own personal connection to this significant part in our Filipino American history. I first learned about the manongs during my time in high school at the Filipino Youth Coalition in a small community space at Welch Park, where we learned about our history every week. When I was in college in 2015, I visited Delano for the 50th anniversary celebration of the grape strike. There, I met Marissa Aroy, a filmmaker who made the award-winning PBS documentary “Delano Manongs.” The name for this park is of inspiration from this documentary, giving appreciation to Filipino American farmworkers, such as Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz and Pete Velsaco. This endearment does not only give appreciation to the Filipino American farmworkers who sparked the international five-year boycott on grapes, but also the Mexican and Latinx farmworkers, such as Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. I see them all as my manongs and manangs who shaped who I am today as a Filipino American from San José.” – Daniel Lazo

The “turnkey” park was to be part of a new mixed-use development on North Capitol Avenue, a busy thoroughfare, in the Eastside of San Jose, in Council District 5. For those of us familiar with City of San Jose demographic and socioeconomic breakdowns, Council District 5 has large populations of Asian and Latinx working class communities and often has to advocate for increased social services, resources, and investment in an overlooked region of the nation’s 10th largest city. San Jose’s Council District 5 also has a sizeable FilAm population.

We also know of the rich history shared between Filipinx and Chicano communities in the context of California’s Labor History, which is a message of unity and solidarity that we reinforce and educate our members on in our programs. For these reasons and much more, we found our deep symbolic purpose in the naming of a new park to honor the legacy of the Manongs.

Upon seeing this open call for park name submissions, Daniel submitted the option “The Delano Manongs” without giving much thought to its traction or the survey’s outcome.

As it turns out, “The Delano Manongs” caught the attention of hundreds of community members. “The Delano Manongs” was the top vote-getter in the first survey. We would later find out that the votes were close, so the City of San Jose determined to distribute a second public opinion survey. The second survey’s results were clear: “The Delano Manongs” was the top vote-getter once more.

These results were taken to the San Jose Parks and Recreation Commission on February 3, 2021, to which LEAD Filipino proudly stood with the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Santa Clara Valley to advocate for the naming of The Delano Manongs Park in the City of San Jose and organized speakers to provide personal stories and reasons for the importance of a park naming. Following our testimonies and letters of support, the Commission voted unanimously in support of the naming, with an amendment to leave room for the installation of an art piece at The Delano Manongs Park.

Over two months later, the critical vote came to the Mayor and San Jose City Council.

On Tuesday, in 10-0 vote, the San Jose Mayor and City Council unanimously voted to approve the historic naming of a new park in the City of San Jose to “The Delano Manongs Park.”

This historic naming marks the first park to be named in honor of FilAm history in the City of San Jose.

To announce the naming of The Delano Manongs Park, District 5 Councilmember, Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco and the City of San Jose hosted a press conference, which two of our Board Members, Dr. Jen Briscoe and Alexandria Chu, attended on our behalf and delivered remarks.

LEAD Filipino Board Members, Dr. Jen Briscoe and Alexandria Chu, join Manong Ben, Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco, and Camille Llanes-Fontanilla of SOMOS Mayfair at the April 13th press conference on the historic naming of The Delano Manongs Park.

While we have the Tony Jacinto Saguig – Northside Community Center – and Filipino Community Center both in Japantown, the naming of The Delano Manongs Park in San Jose is the first park to be named to observe the contributions of FilAms to the Valley.

The message and legacy of the Manongs is one that influences LEAD Filipino’s programs, teachings, and mission. We teach our students and members about the courage, bravery and resistance of how the Manongs persisted and fought for worker rights – including equitable wages, livable work conditions, and time off.

As our founder, Gel Cortez stated “The naming of The Delano Manongs Park is a tribute not only to their generation, it speaks to and serves our generation. The naming of The Delano Manongs Park is not only for the FilAm community, it’s for communities across the region and nation that fight for more and fight for just causes like protecting our most vulnerable.”

Thank you to everyone that called in, submitted letters, and spoke at the Parks and Recreation Commission and Tuesday’s City of San Jose Council Meeting. Your voices and presence were heard and felt from our neighborhoods to our global diaspora. We couldn’t have done this without the outpouring of support and involvement in our civic process.

We will host an official launch of the park in the summer of 2021. Please be sure to get in touch with us to remain connected to those critical updates.

The Delano Manongs Park sits at the corner of Gimelli Way and North Capitol Avenue in Eastside San Jose.


Additional News Coverage of The Delano Manongs Park:

Read LEAD Filipino’s official support letter to the City of San Jose here.

Register for 2021 Virtual Advocacy Day!

Advocate with FilAm organizations statewide.

Join the FIERCE Coalition’s virtual Filipinx Advocacy Day on Wednesday, April 28 from 8AM-2PM (PST) with FilAm organizations from across California to speak directly with state legislators on Police Accountability in calls for Justice for Angelo Quinto and the many victims of police violence. 

Since 2018, the Filipinx Igniting Engagement for Reimagining Collective Empowerment (FIERCE) Coalition has advocated for Ethnic Studies, Tenant Protections, and Racial Equity at the state level. Past legislative priorities included AB 331, AB 1481, and AB 1482. 

An assembly of 25+ FilAm nonprofits, community-based organizations, and student groups, the FIERCE Coalition advances a progressive agenda that amplifies the FilAm voice in broader calls for racial justice and equity.

Participate in the virtual Filipinx Advocacy Day and meet other FilAms from your community and statewide!

No prior experience necessary as you will:

  • Receive legislative advocacy training 
  • Meet directly with state legislators with the guidance of a team lead
  • Connect with FilAms in your region
  • Build FilAm coalitions to push for progressive reform
  • Learn about our community’s policy priorities

Register for our virtual Filipinx Advocacy Day by April 16 to receive information on our mandatory legislative advocacy trainings!

Following your legislative advocacy training you will meet other members on your Advocacy Day team to review the program, legislative meetings, and policy materials. 

If you cannot join us for the entire virtual Filipinx Advocacy Day on April 28th, there are several ways to engage and show your solidarity with our statewide efforts. 

There are multiple ways to tap in:

  • Take a photo on 4/28 with a written sign and hashtag #2021FilAdvocacyCA and tag @FIERCECoalition
  • Submit legislative support letters to Angelica@leadfilipino.org
  • Attend 1-2 legislative meetings based on your availability
  • Help spread the word about the Filipinx Advocacy Day with your friends and increase our virtual presence

Remixing Philosophy at Policy, Politics & Puto Talks

Remixing Philosophy at Policy, Politics & Puto Talks

We hosted our first Policy, Politics, and Puto Talk in 2017. The featured topic and speaker was helping FilAms navigate the appointment and application processes for public Commission service across our cities, counties and state.

In 2021, we’ve brought back our Policy, Politics and Puto Talks – but with a remix, a remix on our memories of Philosophy class.

In doing so, we discuss and question the relevancies of centuries-old ideas that still run our country today. Whether or not these ideals are “good” or “bad” is up for debate in our – and broader – communities, however, the point of our Policy, Politics, and Puto Talks is to create a forum that encourages questioning and curiosity while prioritizing collective learning and development.

Our monthly “Philosophy remixes” look at our society’s revered and greatest thinkers of all time and pairs their main arguments with social ills and public problems that are rampant today.

Our Talks center FilAm and broader Asian Pacific Islander ideas, opinions, and values to modernize and revolutionize our approach to public policy and civics.

Register for our next Policy, Politics, & Puto Talk
Sunday, March 28 from 4PM-5:30PM (PST)

Magkasama Listening Sessions on Anti-Asian Violence with City of San Jose

LEAD Filipino, a San Jose-based nonprofit organization driven by students, adults, and families, stands united to condemn and decry the rash of violence toward Asian Americans.  

We invite you to join us next for our South Bay Magkasama Sessions on Saturday, 3/27.

Please share this invitation with anyone you know in the San Jose/Greater Silicon Valley Area.

From San Jose, to San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta, we have watched the grisly atrocities and in response extend our hands, hearts, and joint powers of healing energies to the victims and families. 

It is unconscionable that during a time that has necessitated that we prioritize our, and each other’s, health and safety, that we find ourselves facing a 1,900% increase in violence with rates continuing to climb.

We must act now.  

There are concrete actions that we can take in San Jose to engage in constructive solutions – one’s that do not exacerbate current tensions between communities and law enforcement, but instead consider alternative ways to educate, spread awareness, and protect everyone. 

Please join LEAD Filipino and the City of San Jose next Saturday, March 27 for two Listening Sessions from 9-11AM and/or 6-8PM.

If you would like to submit a written statement to be shared with the City of San Jose, please click here: bit.ly/3tsC2Q8

For Immediate Release: Justice for Angelo Quinto

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2021
Contact: Board@leedfilipino

Press Release: LEAD Filipino Demands Justice for Angelo Quinto

San Jose, CA – The Board, organizers, members and families of LEAD Filipino in the strongest terms denounce the actions of the Antioch Police Department (APD) and demand Justice for Angelo Quinto.

Angelo Quinto was a 30-year-old Filipino man (son, brother, cousin and friend) that was senselessly murdered by Antioch police officers on December 23, 2020. He was a former Navy Seal that had recently suffered a head injury.

He was experiencing a mental health crisis when his sister dialed 911 to seek safety and de-escalation for her brother.  When the Antioch police officers arrived to the scene, Angelo’s mother Maria Quinto-Collins had returned from work and calmed her son.

The police officers immediately apprehended Angelo, who was unarmed and compliant, threw him onto the floor, and proceeded to handcuff and contort his legs behind his body.  While subduing him, another officer crushed Angelo with a knee-to-neck restraint for 5 minutes, ignoring his family’s pleas to relent. 

Angelo fell unconscious, blood pouring from his mouth, and died 3 days later on December 26, 2020. 

As of February 24, the APD has not released the names of the officers involved.

We stand in solidarity with the Quinto-Collins family and call for a series of immediate actions by the APD:

  1. That the APD ends knee-to-neck restraints.
  2. Hold the officers accountable for excessive use of force.
  3. Require APD to wear body cameras and use dash cameras.
  4. Invest in mental health response teams.
  5. Cut the police budget by an amount commensurate with the work they will no longer perform.

LEAD Filipino is a community organization based in San Jose that works to increase the representation of Filipinx Americans in civic leadership and public policy advocacy. The organization provides year-round programs to build community and encourage learning, promote Filipinx Studies, and advance state legislation focused on Education, Electoral Reform, Human Services, and Civil Rights.

To read more about LEAD Filipino, please visit LEADFilipino.org.

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Community Letter: http://tinyurl.com/justice4angeloquinto
Petition: http://change.org/justice4angeloquinto
Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/justiceforangeloquinto
Instagram: @justiceforangeloquinto

End AAPI Hate Now: Take Action in Santa Clara County

In the first few weeks of 2021, several U.S. cities have reported brutal crimes against Asian Americans, particularly Asian-owned small businesses and our most vulnerable seniors. Between March and August of last year, over 2,600 reports of violence and anti-Asian incidents were filed representing a 1,900% increase in cases since 2019.

We feel these impacts across our Asian American community, but most acutely when it hits the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result of xenophobic attitudes and beliefs at the start of the pandemic, Asian American small businesses and older adults have been targeted in a wave of burglaries, robberies, and attacks. Most recently, an 84-year-old was attacked and killed in San Francisco. In over 20 different instances, seniors were assaulted in Chinatown’s Oakland according to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. An elder Asian American man was robbed in San Leandro and most locally, an elder Asian American woman was robbed in broad daylight in San Jose – a week before Lunar New Year Celebrations were to commence.

Let us be clear: there is no tolerance for hatred, prejudice, and xenophobia in our society.

We condemn perpetrators and encouragers of violence and hateful rhetoric targeted toward Asian Americans.

LEAD Filipino will be working in concert with Asian American-serving and broader community and nonprofit organizations to address this issue throughout San Jose.

These initial activities include participating in listening sessions on AAPI reactions with City of San Jose administrators and coordinating community events for seniors in Japantown and other districts across the city.

Please message Angelica@leadfilipino.org to receive more information on getting involved in these efforts.