JUSTICE FOR ANGELO QUINTO
L.E.A.D Filipino joined the statewide Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition in February 2021.
Rallying alongside PilAm organizations from across California, we joined to support the Quinto Collins family as they endured a tragedy that no loved ones should ever face and to demand justice and retribution for Angelo Quinto and all of those stricken by police brutality.
Since February, L.E.A.D Filipino has signed and helped circulate a petition to bring awareness to Angelo’s story; has organized speakers to provide public comment at Antioch City Council meetings calling for mental health crisis response teams and body cameras on all police officers; supported Angelo’s Birthday Vigil and advocated with statewide partners for the passage of AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act.
The members of L.E.A.D Filipino believe that radical changes to our public safety strategies and systems are long overdue. We need to continue advocating for the future that we wish to see: one that promotes rehabilitation and restoration to those needing the most resources.
On December 23, 2020 officers responded to the residence of the Quinto Collins family. Their son, 30-year-old Navy Veteran, Angelo Quinto, was experiencing a mental health crisis when his younger sister Bella called 911 in pursuit of de-escalation and concern for her brother. Instead of receiving mental health support from an evaluation team, Angelo was met with sheer violence when four officers restrained him using the lethal knee-to-neck hold technique. Unarmed and compliant, the officers inflicted undue pressure on the back of his neck while his mother and sister watched helplessly. The positional hold would prove fatal as Angelo would die three days later, on December 26 alone in the hospital.
4/29/21: AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act of 2021 passes through the Assembly and heads to the State Senate!
DELANO MANONGS PARK COMMITTEE
On April 13, 2021 the San Jose Mayor and City Council approved the community recommendation to name a new park in Eastside San Jose, “Delano Manongs Park.”
As the first park in San Jose named in honor of FilAm history, having community participation in the continued artistic and cultural development of the park is essential. Due to this, we will be supporting the coming together of community-driven Delano Manongs Park Committee.
In an open community poll, L.E.A.D Filipino organizer and lifelong San Jose resident, Daniel Lazo, submitted the name “Delano Manongs Park” as an entry for the naming of a new park on Capitol Avenue in San Jose. Across a six month timespan and two public opinion surveys, “Delano Manongs Park” gathered the most votes both times. Read more.
L.E.A.D Filipino’s work around the 2020 United States Census began in April 2018 with partnering with the City of San Jose in their Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Project.
Done once every 10 years, we recognized the importance of ensuring an accurate and complete count in the 2020 Census so organized our students and members to help with local efforts around ensuring that overlooked communities’ addresses were updated for their residential mailing addresses.
Across 2018 and throughout 2019, Alan Gouig and Katie Mendoza on our Civic Engagement Team co-led our South Bay Area efforts to work directly with FilAm collegiate organizations and nonprofit organizations to provide resources and education around the importance of the 2020 Census. In total, we hosted 8 Census workshops with FilAm student organizations at San Jose State, Santa Clara University (Barkada), CSU East Bay, SF State, USF, Stanford, De Anza College, and with the Filipino American Law Students Association.
Our work around Redistricting continues the conversation and advocacy on Census counts. Except that in the coming months, the United States Census Bureau will be analyzing significant sums of demographic data gathered from the 2020 Census. This information will determine changing district boundaries, including congressional seats (California is losing 2 seats in Congress due to population shifts) and state and local funding. The true impact of the 2020 Census count will not be realized for several months, but while this information is being disseminated, our critical work around ensuring accountability and the integrity of our redistricting process cannot stop. It is essential that these processes are subject to public input and feedback.
Ethnic Studies is the heart of L.E.A.D Filipino.
We believe that an informed citizenry drives the might of a functioning democracy.
To educate and inform our membership, L.E.A.D Filipino produces several learning modalities that expose and engage our community in understanding that FilAm history, Black and Brown history, IS American history.
Recognizing that mainstream history books are written from the victor’s perspective, influenced with a Euro-centric bias, LEAD Filipino believes that revolutionary voices not traditionally represented or taught in classrooms, needs to be revised – needs to be reconciled.
Due to this firm belief, L.E.A.D Filipino dedicates its statewide organizing and advocacy work to amplifying the work of local Ethnic Studies educators and nonprofits that teach in classrooms and can bear witness to the healing and transformational powers of Ethnic Studies.
Starting in 2016, we helped coordinate letter writing efforts and roundtables to engage the San Jose community in conversations around AB 2016, which launched the California Department of Education’s formation of an Ethnic Studies model curriculum to be taught as an elective in K-12 California public schools.
In 2018, we worked with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies to form the statewide FIERCE Coalition, an assembly of 25+ FilAm nonprofits, community and grassroots organizations, to bring a voice around Ethnic Studies at the state level. Because of this, we were able to bring 60+ students and families to Sacramento in April 2019 and met with Assemblymember Jose Medina, the author of AB 331, an attempt to mandate Ethnic Studies as a high school graduation requirement in California.
We honor the stories of luminaries and visionaries that are often not told or taught, for these stories that are omitted, serve as sources of power and transformation for students and families that see themselves in the American experiences of leaders like Carlos Bulosan, Grace Lee Boggs, Yuri Kochiyama, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and more figures in our history that are often underrepresented.
Learning about our FilAm history, understanding our community and family contributions, and pursuing ways in which we will facilitate positive social change, motivates our mission and empowers our values of social justice and racial equity.
Rooted deeply in this value system that it is incumbent upon us to own and learn our stories, Ethnic Studies drives our mission and informs our practice.
Our organization’s educational programs and services are founded on the teachings and tenets of Ethnic and Filipinx Studies. In this beliefs, we center our curriculum and related frameworks on three grounding questions of Ethnic Studies, as formulated by the late Pinay scholar and inspiration, Dr. Dawn Mabalon:
- Who am I?
- What is my family’s story in the United States?
- What positive changes can I make in my community?
Read our official organizational support letters for Ethnic Studies:
- AB 1460 – Ethnic Studies in Cal State University System
- AB 331 – Ethnic Studies as Mandatory High School Graduation Requirement
- AB 2016 – Ethnic Studies as Elective in K-12 Public School System
L.E.A.D Filipino fights to maintain the integrity of local and state elections.
Our past work around Voter Rights includes organizing around the 2018 local No on Measure A campaign in the City of Santa Clara.
On Friday, April 20, 2018, L.E.A.D Filipino voted to join a chorus of other grassroots groups, nonprofit agencies and community organizations in a stand against the City of Santa Clara’s Measure A, which will be hitting the ballots on June 5th, 2018. (Absentee ballots will begin being sent out on May 12th.)
Why do we care about this issue?
We approached our position on the basis of ensuring minority representation in local government, politics and decision-making.
In the City of Santa Clara’s 160+ year history of incorporation, they’ve ran an At-Large Election System that, in principle, conveys the simple message that City Council candidates run – and are elected – to represent the needs and interests of the entire city.
For a city with a total population size of ~120,000, in practice, the At-Large Election System has continued to dilute the minority vote in the City of Santa Clara. We’ve seen that the minority population in the city is over 40%, but despite this number, the City of Santa Clara, in its 160 year history, has yet to see a person of color successfully elected to its City Council. The implementation of At-Large Elections while diminishing the minority vote is in violation with the California Voting Rights Act (2001), which was the basis for the City of Santa Clara’s current lawsuit (they were sued) and their response to address this violation.
What would Measure A do and why are we opposed?
Measure A proposes a switch to District Elections. If it passes, bye bye At-Large Elections.
Measure A proposes “cutting”the City of Santa Clara into two electoral districts (about 60,000 voters per district, representing 50/50 of population).
Under this model, each district would elect three councilmembers to represent them on the Santa Clara City Council. To determine the winners in this “3 x 2 model”, the City of Santa Clara further proposes – through Measure A – to implement a Ranked Choice Voting System, with a Single-Transferable Vote (STV), a form of Proportional Representation.
We’re opposed to this proposal because the lines that the City of Santa Clara’s Districting Committee recommended would divide the minority vote.
Additionally, we believe more analysis needs to be done with regard to budgetary impacts on implementing a new election system in the County, case studies on correlations to increased minority representation in urban areas under an STV System, and frankly, explaining Ranked Choice Voting with an STV is challenging for even the electoral pundits among us.
Challenge: Explain Ranked Choice Voting in under 3 minutes.
Press and Media on Measure A:
- Asian Americans Sue City of Santa Clara Over Voting Representation
- Santa Clara’s Voting System Attacked In Court As Discriminatory
General Information About Measure A:
Arguments Around Measure A:
2020 YES ON PROP 16 CAMPAIGN
L.E.A.D Filipino was proud to stand with a cross-racial coalition of statewide organizations in support of the Yes on Prop 16 “Opportunity for all Californians” campaign.
Last fall, our organizing team worked in concert with statewide efforts on passing Yes on Prop 16.
The Yes on Prop 16 campaign attempted to repeal Prop 209, which banned Affirmative Action in California in 1996. 25 years ago, California voters approved Prop 209, which banned the practice of Affirmative Action laws in the state. Specifically, Prop 209 cited that race-based preferences in college admissions, public contracts, and employment was unconstitutional.
The banning of Affirmative Action 25 years ago continues to leave indelible marks in three key public dimensions that L.E.A.D Filipino and hundreds of other progressive organizations recognize as a violation to the assurance of fairness of opportunity and access.
California remains 1 of 9 states that currently prohibits race and ethnicity to be considered in one’s candidacy in three ways in the state:
- Public college admissions
- Public contracting decisions
- Public employment
While Yes on Prop 16 was ultimately unsuccessful in the 2020 General Election, we learned many valuable lessons on the importance of outreach and messaging – messaging that was resonant with opposing camps to our efforts.
Opponents of Affirmative Action (No on Prop 16) often cite a “colorblind” approach to admissions and employment. Opponents believe that Affirmative Action inherently discriminates against candidates on the basis of their skin color, ignoring their merits and qualifications, and cite that Affirmative Action is unconstitutional to one’s rights.
L.E.A.D Filipino believes that Affirmative Action on its face was never intended to base admission, employment, and/or contracting decisions on one’s race or ethnicity.
Affirmative Action considers one’s candidacy holistically, taking into account a candidate’s background, experiences, race, ethnicity, gender, interests and pursuits (and in certain contexts, test scores and GPA).
In California, the upholding of Prop 209 tells us that a candidate’s rich background, which includes their race and ethnic heritage, cannot be observed in admissions or contracting decisions or public employment.
This is where we critically think and question the systems around us.
While companies, institutions, and organizations claim to support diverse representation, all too often there is a disconnect between rhetoric and actual data – time immemorial, we see that at the highest ranks of executive leadership that Brown and Black faces are not present; we see in public contracting decisions that Brown and Black businesses are disenfranchised from public contracts that they contribute to; and we see that Brown and Black students are underrepresented in admissions.
In a series of community events, mobilizations, and letter writing, LEAD Filipino operated in both San Jose and Los Angeles to uplift the message of the Opportunity for All Californians Act.
While Prop 16 was not successful this election year, we remain optimistic and hungry to continue the critical work toward ensuring a leveling playing field in the state of California.