Looking for a belated holiday gifting opportunity?
Join us for the San Jose Sharks’ FilAm Heritage Night on Thursday, January 13th at 7PM vs. the New York Rangers! We’ll be right at the front entrance with the special giveaways and info about our org of course!
You, your friends, and family will have access to discounted seats at our annual Filipino Heritage Night and will also receive a special giveaway item at Section 115 on game night along with seeing local Filipino American singer Brian Dublin, who will be performing our national anthem. There will also be fun activities such as Zamboni rides, video board messages, and post-game photos!
Bring your friends and family and have a great evening with the Sharks! See you there!
From welcoming new members and families, to becoming an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, hosting two back-to-back virtual advocacy events statewide, celebrating the naming of Delano Manongs Park in San Jose, fostering a new partnership with Stanford Health Care and contributing to the passage of AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act, our 2021 Community Report attempts to capture the feelings, emotions, and gratitude that we hold to be able to carry this work on with and for all of you.
We look forward to reconnecting in the new year. Maraming salamat sa lahat!
Our Pan de Sal Bake Fest, a.k.a #PandeReplay, was an ultimate success!
Many thanks to Chef Kristen Dominguez with The Filipino Kitchen for partnering with us in a special edition workshop focused on all-things-wonderful: Filipino food! Through this holiday partnership, Chef Kristen brought the Filipino culinary arts to our organizers and families.
In a hybrid event, Chef Kristen was able to engage an in-person and virtual audience in preparing, making, and baking a Filipino staple: Pan de Sal. Additionally, she baked extra flavors, Ube and Pandan.
To those that tuned in, we’ll be uploading the recording later this week – so be on the lookout.
We’re proud to stand alongside Los Gatos Mayor Marico Sayoc and in solidarity with Jewish Silicon Valley and the many partners that have assembled for the United Against Hate Rally on Sunday, November 14.
The FilAm contigent will be meeting at 1PM at Fisher Middle School. See you there!
A week after the close of Filipino American History Month (FAHM), we sit with deep gratitude and reflection on the past month’s activities, excitement, and unity that we experienced with our community. It is widely known across FilAm community circles – regionally, state- and nation-wide that October is “off limits” for everyone’s social calendars because of the sheer fact that we’re all producing community events and public celebrations for FAHM.
Not to be conflated with “Heritage”, Filipino American History Month purposefully and intentionally calls out the historic triumphs, struggles, and contributions of Filipinas/xs/os in America. With a history spanning over 400+ years, one could easily understand why we have much to celebrate and honor. To be sure, one month is certainly not enough, but we use the time to engage our communities in education, discussions, and information that reminds ourselves of the legacies that our FilAm forebears left to guide us and future generations.
For the first time in recent history, we committed to hosting a month-long series of community events to bring FAHM celebrations to San Jose and surrounding communities. Through a local collaboration known as Filipino American Communities Together San Jose (FACT-SJ) we combined our resources, relationships, and expertise with several key organizations to produce, what we believe will become a mainstay in the City of San Jose’s public FAHM celebration!
We couldn’t have done this work without our key partners in community: Filipino American National Historical Society – Santa Clara Valley, Filipino Youth Coalition, Bayani ng Kabataan Filipino American School of San Jose, Kawayan Folk Arts, Pinoytown SJ Historical Tours, Filipino Community Center, and Akbayan SJSU.
Check out our recap below to read more about our FAHM activities throughout October 2021.
DELANO MANONGS FILM SCREENING & FUNDRAISER
On Saturday, October 23, 2021 we joined FANHS-Santa Clara Valley and our Delano Manongs Park Committee members in hosting a community event focused on raising awareness and funds for the continued artistic development of Delano Manongs Park in Eastside San Jose.
Hosted at Camino Brewery in San Jose, the community event brought nearly 75 guests out in a variety of engaging and learning activities, including a silent auction of local FilAm art and goods, Filipino food, and a showing of the award-winning “Delano Manongs” documentary. We were fortunate to have many community members attend from across the region (and even the country, with community leaders attending from Houston and Queens). A timely community gathering, our event was hosted right before Manong Larry’s Birthday, which is October 25th.
To join our efforts in fundraising and working toward further visual activation and representation at San Jose’s Delano Manongs Park, read more about the Delano Manongs Park Committee here.
CITY HALL FLAG RAISING & LIGHTING CEREMONY
On Thursday, October 28, 2021 made possible through a partnership with San Jose Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco and her fabulous team, the FACT-SJ Collaborative hosted a festive, vibrant, and jubilant Flag Raising and Lighting Ceremony at San Jose City Hall. Many hands touched the success of this special community event. We can’t describe the appreciation and reward we felt to see over 100 guests join us for the Flag Raising and Lighting Ceremony at San Jose City Hall.
A special thank you to all of the contributors and speakers that made the Flag Raising & City Hall Lighting Ceremony a complete community success:
Philippines Consul General Neil R. Ferrer
Vice Consul General Vanessa
Vice Consul General Adrian Baca
Dr. Melissa Ann Nievera-Lozano, FANHS-SCV
Camille Valerio, LEAD Filipino
Manong Robert Ragsac, Pinoytown SJ Tours
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Sapigao
FAHM Poet Laureate Keana Aguila Labra
Anna Versoza, Akbayan SJSU
Philippine cultural dances from the Filipino Community Center
Barya Kitchen Food Truck
Kawayan Folks Arts
Ann Reginio, singer of “Lupang Hinirang”, Bayani ng Kabataan Filipino American School of San Jose
Ava Mallo, singer of “Star Spangled Banner”, Bayani ng Kabataan Filipino American School of San Jose
A huge thank you to Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco and her team – we couldn’t have pulled off such a beautiful and wondrous event without your partnership. Thank you to Wendy Ho of Supervisor Otto Lee’s Office, Assemblymembers Ash Kalra and Evan Low, and Senator Dave Cortese for the commendations and celebrating Filipino American History Month with our community.
CITY OF SAN JOSE ISSUES FAHM PROCLAMATION
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 wasn’t a normal Council Meeting in San Jose – it was a special one! At the start of the Council Meeting, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco led the rest of the Council in honoring the historic contributions of Filipina/x/o Americans in San Jose and the United States and issued a proclamation to our local FilAm community.
Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco proudly spoke about the shared and strong histories between Chicano and Filipino communities and how the two groups fought for worker’s rights and influenced many of the modern labor laws that modern society benefits from today. Delano Manongs Park is located in Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco’s District (5) and we look forward to continuing our partnership with her and her office when the Park officially opens in early 2022.
Ms. Laurel Prevetti Town Manager Town of Los Gatos 110 E. Main Street Los Gatos, CA 95030
October 21, 2021
The students, families, organizers, and Board of Directors of Leadership, Education, Activism and Dialogue (L.E.A.D) Filipino, a local nonprofit organization write to express our disappointment in the Town of Los Gatos’ chilling silence around the recent harassment and cyberbullying toward Mayor Marico Sayoc and her family. We submit this public inquiry request to understand what policies and protocols Los Gatos has instituted to ensure the safety and well-being of your elected officials. Please find our official letter attached to this message.
The recorded broadcasts from recent Town Council meetings, specifically the sessions from September 7, 2021 and October 5, 2021 reveal deeply troubling interactions. What we witnessed was Los Gatos’ reticence and tolerance of blatant disrespect and disregard for social decorum and basic human decency. As Mayor Sayoc was screamed at, as residents spoke out of turn – shouting from across the chamber, and the name-calling ensued, the silence from the Town staff and administration was haunting. At L.E.A.D Filipino, we work to increase our community’s civic participation at every level, with organizers that work as legislative staffers, on campaigns, and in policy advocacy, therefore we are no strangers to the public process.
We know that when a community member exceeds their allowable public comment time, that their microphone is cut. We know that when disturbances are heightened, residents are escorted out of governmental chambers. We have witnessed members of the public speak out of turn, only to be quickly redirected by the administrative staff in attendance. We know that there are basic protocols in place to ensure that a minimum level of decency is observed – these guidelines are customary in local, county, and state governance.
Which is why the complete silence – while Mayor Sayoc endured repeated missives, intimidation, and jeers – leaves us without words and many demands. These actions and disturbing displays, probe further inquiry and we want answers. We find your silence alarming, upsetting, and severely disappointing. During a time of increased attacks and violence toward Asian Americans, with Los Gatos having its own anti-Asian hate incident toward a Filipina in February, we are concerned for Mayor Sayoc and her family’s safety. Hatred, harassment, and cyberbullying has no place here, and as stewards of your municipality, we need your leadership right now.
We stand with Mayor Sayoc and furthermore, stand for the safety and emotional well-being of her and her family. We write to you on behalf of our local organization, but united with several thousand Filipina/x/o American families, leaders, small business owners, and nonprofit organizations from across California and the country. Remaining accountable means calling out blatant hatred when it rears its ugly head, may we focus on the public policy issues at hand and thwart the usage of emotional violence the way we have seen recently. Confronting and combating hatred is greater than any one of us – it needs all of us.
In addition to submitting this letter to you, we will also send copies of our letter to the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Americans, Asian Americans Advancing and National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
We would like a written response to the following questions:
What is the Town of Los Gatos’ policy on harassment of elected officials?
Does this policy extend to family members of elected officials?
Do you acknowledge that elected officials in Los Gatos have been subjected to bullying and harassment at public meetings during the pandemic?
If so, what actions have you and your staff taken to prevent the bullying and harassment of elected officials?
L.E.A.D Filipino is a nonprofit organization that works to increase the civic participation, grassroots leadership, and direct action of Filipina/x/o Americans and broader community members. Since 2015, we have served hundreds of students and families regionally and statewide.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Angelica Cortez Founder & Executive Director L.E.A.D Filipino
L.E.A.D Filipino and the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Santa Clara Valley Chapter, in partnership with the community-driven and volunteer-led Delano Manongs Park (DMP) Project Committee are hosting a community fundraiser and film screening this Saturday, October 23.
Join our Delano Manongs Park Fundraiser & Screening to enjoy Filipino food, meet community members, and hear exciting updates from the DMP Project Committee on the continued artistic development of San Jose’s Delano Manongs Park, including the various park-related initiatives that the Committee is fundraising for.
On September 30, 2021 Governor Newsom signed AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act of 2021 into California State Law bringing a seven-and-a-half month long journey to a close – accompanied by a collective sigh of relief.
While we will never accept the loss of loved ones and family members at the hands of law enforcement officers, the importance of supporting families through these processes of grief, mourning, resilience, and connecting with other families that have endured pain and suffering becomes invaluable. During these moments of reprieve and successes – at least in the context of legislative achievements – we reflect on the events that led us here. Angelo should rightfully and righteously still be with us, but he isn’t. In our attempts to reconcile our pain – his family’s suffering – with some manifestation of restitution or justice, AB 490’s signage into law is symbolically and materially important to communities that have fought for police reform for decades.
In late-February 2021, Assemblymember Mike Gipson approached Angelo’s family and the Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition through which L.E.A.D Filipino led the public policy working group, to ask for support in naming his bill “The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act of 2021”, which would later become AB 490. It’s important to note that Assemblymember Gipson tried to pass a similar bill last summer, at the height of the country’s racial reckoning, but it was ultimately unsuccessful in gathering the necessary votes to reach Governor Newsom’s desk.
Between February-September 2021, L.E.A.D Filipino’s civic engagement team of organizers in both San Jose and Los Angeles, led the advocacy strategy and plan within the statewide Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition and in partnership with the FIERCE Coalition.
These activities involved constant oversight of the State Legislative calendar and following AB 490 through the annals of every amendment, committee record, and daily file. In these efforts, we organized with the Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition to coordinate letter writing campaigns, testimonies at Assembly and Senate Committee hearings, and directly contact legislators that would be voting upon AB 490 in committee.
We would soon grow to affectionately call AB 490 “Angelo’s bill.” During periods of intensity throughout the summer, there were times that we believed Angelo’s bill wouldn’t advance out of critical committees due to deadlines or politics. Each time we persisted and gave it our collective might: we would send tranches of letters, ask Coalition members to make calls to legislative offices on their lunch, and post and re-share information on our social media sites.
To everyone that made a call, signed a petition or letter, maraming salamat sa lahat – thank you so much for your time and heart. We did this together, for Angelo and everyone that we’ve lost to police violence.
Read more about L.E.A.D Filipino’s involvement in passing AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act:
After nearly 8 months of consistent and enduring advocacy efforts our statewide community of FilAm organizers, advocates, educators, students and families breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Our relief is not rooted in finality, but an acknowledgement that we have reached a point in our state’s legislative process that not many do.
Getting AB 490 to the Governor’s desk is consequential to our shared efforts but more so, paramount to the larger fight for real and accountable police reform in a politically-splintering California. Governor Newsom has 30 days to sign Angelo’s bill.
Since February, we’ve coordinated direct advocacy efforts across our local, regional, and state networks to push AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act of 2021 through California’s politically fraught legislative process. We uplifted this critical work in the name of seeking Justice for Angelo and all that we have lost to police violence – we did this work directly with Angelo’s family: Tita Cassandra, Tito Robert, Sister Bella, Brother Andre, Auntie Dianna, and the many individuals that have become our family throughout the past year.
These activities at times required immediate letter submissions, speaking with legislative staff, mid-day committee hearings and waiting in phone queues of hundreds of Californians, Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition meetings until the wee hours, rapid text messaging planning with the FIERCE Coalition, and more efforts that made all the difference along the way.
We learned critical lessons throughout this legislative cycle. When we needed partners to step up and help retool our strategy, they showed up and applied local pressure, made direct contact, and one-on-one phone calls to legislators and their staff. These various touch points and a coordinated approach to our statewide advocacy platform required all of our voices and it truly shaped the impact of getting AB 490 to the Governor’s desk. Here is a recap of important legislative actions that we were a part of throughout the 2021 legislative session:
TIMELINE OF COMMUNITY &LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
February 2021: We sign onto the letter of 130+ FilAm organizations and nonprofit partners in denouncing the Antioch Police Department; the Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! Coalition is formed and establishes its membership.
March 2021: Angelo’s Birthday Memorial is held in Antioch, California; the virtual Filipinx Policy Symposium is held with guest speakers Attorney General Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Alex Lee, and many statewide community leaders to address Police Accountability and specifically call for the support of AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act; AB 988, The Miles Hall Lifeline Act; and SB 2, Police Decertification.
May 2021: We follow AB 490 through the Assembly Public Safety Committee and organize testimonies.
June 2021: We coordinate phone calls to the Assembly Appropriations Committee Members and send direct letters to the Chair to remove AB 490 from the Appropriations Suspense file; we gather 40+ speakers to testify during the Assembly Appropriations Committee to speak in support of Angelo’s bill.
The community supports the family’s End the Cover Up event at Antioch Police Department, marking six months without knowing Angelo’s official cause of death.
July 2021: We gather 100+ signatures in support of AB 490 as it enters the Senate and is first heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee. View the letter here.
August 2021: We organize a Southern California-focused call campaign directed toward Senator Portantino and urging him to advance AB 490 through the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Angelo’s family also announces their action of filing a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit with counselor John Burris on August 9, 2021.
The Justice for Angelo Quinto! Justice for All! issues a statement denouncing the retirement of Jim Perkinson, the Antioch Police Officer that killed Angelo, statement here.
September 2021: On September 13th, AB 490, The Justice for Angelo Quinto Act is enrolled for Governor Newsom’s signature or veto.
We write this short piece to give credence and love to the grassroots partners and organizations that pushed Angelo’s bill through the legislative process.
Policy advocacy isn’t for the faint of heart and one that that resounded through our work was ensuring that Angelo’s family knew that they weren’t alone in their horrific tragedy, and that a community across California stood for – and with – them.
Thank you to everyone that we’ve had the privilege to work with throughout this legislative session. We’re learning each day and couldn’t find better kasamas to build and break barriers with!