New Member Mixer

Last night we hosted our first EVER New Member Mixer – hey, you have to start somewhere, right? – and welcomed 6 new members to our organization!

We enjoyed learning more and meeting each of you and look forward to continuing to build community together into 2021.

Our next Member Meeting will be on Sunday, January 10th from 4pm-6pm.

Sulong!
LEAD Filipino

Post-Election Session

Today marks many, many victorious first for our country — and for those wins, we celebrate. 🎉 

On Thursday, November 12th join our Post-Election Session us as we look at the wins, losses, and lessons learned that the 2020 General Election delivered to our nation, state, and local communities.

Through our organization’s advocacy on Prop 16, we learned that California residents voted to retain the ban on Affirmative Action.  We also saw that Prop 22, the most expensive campaign in United States history, raised $200 million to overturn a law that would’ve mandated that gig workers receive health benefits and livable wages in California. We know that significant power resides in local and state policy and lawmaking, therefore we will learn from these lessons and return, better. 

Join our Post-Election Session with guest speakers and discussions on how Fil Ams turned out in this historic election and how we’ll strategize to advance opportunities for all Californians. 

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErdu6qrzMtEtyUB1fBWKKd7JoO1cAQxNh2

Sulong,
LEAD Filipino

Special Hearing on PHRA with County of Santa Clara’s Human Rights Commission

The Philippine Human Rights Act (PHRA), i.e., House Resolution (HR) 8313, was introduced by Democratic Congressmember Susan Wild in September 2020. The PHRA had numerous co-authors and co-signers that joined in the collective efforts and message to the Congress.

The PHRA calls for the suspension of the provision of security assistance to the Philippines until the Government of the Philippines has reformed their military and police use of force, which we consider brutal and inhumane abuses of power. Moreover, advocates of the PHRA decry and demand an immediate end to the United States’ economic support of the Philippines until systematic accountability measures are integrated into these agreements. The Duterte Administration continues to violate and transgress basic human rights on the regime’s aimless and senseless “War on Drugs.”

While we advocate at the federal level, the movement continues locally. For the past several months, LEAD Filipino has been working in the community to elevate the PHRA in the County of Santa Clara.

Please join us tonight at 6pm in a Special Hearing with the County of Santa Clara’s Human Rights Commission, featuring supporters of the Act including Congressmember Ro Khanna, State Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Ash Kalra, and community leaders, including survivor Brandon Lee, among many others.

We Ride for Liberation & Justice: We Ride for Breonna Taylor

Photo Re-Post/Credit: Black Enterprise

The ruling of wanton endangerment doesn’t hold accountable the officers that fired the six shots that took her life, rather, that ruling targets the officer that recklessly shot through neighboring units in the still of the night. Justice for Breonna Taylor has not been served.

In response to yesterday’s grand jury ruling on Breonna Taylor’s murder, our founder, Angelica Cortez composed the following below.

We ride.
We fight and elevate our service in the name of Liberation.
We ride.
We experience need, struggle, and despair.
We ride.
We fight for our position in this society.
We ride.
We’ll continue to fight for the abolishment of qualified immunity to hold police officers accountable.
We’ll continue to push for the elimination of chokeholds and carotid holds.
We’ll call on a federal mandate to create a national database that requires reporting of excessive use of force and abuse of power.
We’ll continue to demand justice for Breonna Taylor and all of our brothers and sisters lost to state-sanctioned violence.
We ride.

#BreonnaTaylor

Information shared from the Movement for Black Lives:
Please join us and support local organizing — DONATE to these organizations and UPLIFT the six local demands.

Louisville Community Bail Fund: bit.ly/LouCommBailFund
BLM General Fund: bit.ly/BLMLou
Anti Eviction Fund: bit.ly/evictionfund
Healing for Louisville: bit.ly/502healing

The six local demands are crystal clear:

  1. Immediately fire and revoke the pensions of the officers that murdered Breonna.
  2. Divest from LMPD and invest in community building.
  3. The immediate resignation (or impeachment) of Mayor Greg Fischer.
  4. Metro Council ends use of force by Louisville Metro Police Department.
    1. Police shootings are gun violence.
  5. Establish a local, civilian community police accountability council that is independent from the Mayor’s Office and LMPD with investigation and discipline power #CPAC.
  6. The creation of policy to ensure transparent investigation processes.

Yes on Prop 16 South Bay Rally on Wednesday, 9/23!

Check this out.

Early voting in California begins on October 5th, with the General Election taking place November 3rd. With this quarantine season upon us, we’re working in concert with local and regional partners to particularly uplift the importance of Prop 16!

In 1996, Prop 209 was passed to eliminate Affirmative Action laws in California. This enactment made the Golden State 1 of 9 other states in the country to observe these changes at that time. Meaning, that for the past 24 years, race, ethnicity, and gender have not been considered in the areas of public admissions, contracts, and employment in CA. While some argue against considerations of race, ethnicity, and gender – postulating “color-blindness” – we firmly and unequivocally believe that in every other vertical of our society, we’re told that race and gender “don’t matter”, when in fact, the data shows that they do.

We point to issues of income inequality, gender and racial disparities in promotions, underrepresentation of minorities and women in mid to executive level leadership, and disproportionate numbers of communities of color serving in frontline service positions…the categorical examples are endless. A YES vote on Prop 16 would repeal Prop 209 and legally allow race, ethnicity, and gender to be among the many qualities considered in public admissions, contracts, and employment. In today’s context, we’re demanding that race, ethnicity, and gender matter.

Help us remove Prop 209, a law that was passed a quarter century ago, to implement changes that befit the conditions of today to create and manifest a better tomorrow.

Tap into the Yes on Prop 16 Town Hall with our Founder, Angelica Cortez, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Dr. Bill Armaline with SJSU, YouthHype Founder Toya P.Y.T Fernandez, CAIR Executive Director @Sameena Usman, and many more on Wednesday, September 23rd from 5pm-7pm!

#YesonProp16
#OpportunityForAllCalifornians
#LEADFilipino
#SanJose
#SouthBay
#SiliconValley

Support California’s Prop 16 “Opportunity for All”

The members, organizers, and families of LEAD Filipino unequivocally support the passage of Prop 16.

An issue that has been long-fought on California’s political stage, we laud the leadership of the Honorable Dr. Shirley Weber.  Her championing of ACA 5 translated into Prop 16, which will be decided upon by millions of California voters this fall. 

In response to the perennial question that incites ire, feeling, and emotion across all settings: “Should race matter or not matter in public admissions?” we extend the discussion in this piece.

We’re reminded every day that we live in a society that appraises, ranks, and assigns [superficial] value to each of us based on our race and gender.  On issues of income inequality, data shows us that race and gender matter.  On issues of executive leadership across all fields, reports show us that race and gender matter.  On issues of promotions and hiring, evidence supports that race and gender matter. 

To help illustrate the beliefs that power our supportive position, we invoke the oversimplified and ever-popular adage, “Actions speak louder than words.” We say, “Actions speak louder than words” as a rejoinder to the opponents of Affirmative Action that cite credence to color-blindness, under the auspices of meritocracy. If race doesn’t matter, then why does empirical data and studies continue to show that ethnic minorities and women are consistently underrepresented in spaces of student admissions in universities and executive leadership? In this case, actions continue to speak louder.

In today’s climate, empirical studies and our observations show us that quality of “merits” reside in a collection of assumptions, such as suggesting that every individual has access to shelter, food, income, and socio-emotional support from loved ones. Under this guise, dominant American ideation proselytizes and praises “merit” in relation to hard work. (Bonus points if you overcame adversity and still finished college, secured a job, and own a home in California!)

Meritocracy negates the realities and influences of equity.

Meritocracy assumes that we each have access to shelter, food, income, and love. However, reality shows us repeatedly, that our world deals each of us a different hand. Affirmative Action orients our decisions around considerations of equity. Equity asks us to recognize that not everyone has the same economic and socio-emotional starting points. For instance, Filipinas/xs/os could not own land or property in the United States till post 1964 Civil Rights (and the same goes for all communities of color). Contrasting these experiences with individuals that had access to own, sell, and manage land at the start of the Union, only accounts for one of the historic factors that have contributed to the equity disparities that we see today. Bringing these historical influences into the fore, equity considers how minority communities were outlawed, creating economic disenfranchisement and exclusion — which we know impacts access to financial resources, home ownership, and opportunity . Meritocracy asks that we ignore these starting points and consider instead, both lived experiences as equals.

Prop 16 not only shapes our collective consciousness on equity, it forces those in power to address questions of access, inclusion, and opportunity across public universities, employment, and contracting awards in California.

With growing evidence that suggests California’s ban on Affirmative Action has not only hurt minority representation, but has contributed to the widening equity and opportunity gaps in higher education, professional fields, and contract awards, LEAD Filipino commits to galvanizing our resources and team to spreading the importance of Prop 16 in our shared future.

LEAD Filipino will join a host of San Jose/South Bay nonprofits, civic groups, and student organizations on Wednesday, September 23rd from 5pm-7pm in a Silicon Valley-focused virtual Town Hall on raising voter awareness around Prop 16. We hope to see you there!