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Jun 26th
Home Sections American Politics Bay-Area Filipinos Unite and Unveil National Strategy to Help Obama Win the White House
Bay-Area Filipinos Unite and Unveil National Strategy to Help Obama Win the White House PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 22 August 2008 09:50

A crowd of more than 150 community leaders, advocates, elected officials, and volunteers joined Filipinos for Obama at Zebulon restaurant in downtown San Francisco, California, last Tuesday night, to launch a national effort to elect Sen. Barack Obama to the White House. Filipinos for Obama is a Bay Area-based grassroots organization founded to mobilize Filipino Americans nationally in support of Senator Obama.

"We want to make the case for why Barack Obama is the best candidate for Filipino Americans and the strongest leader for addressing our issues, such as immigration reform, affordable healthcare and equity for Filipino veterans," said Rich Pio Roda, a field organizer for Filipinos for Obama.  At their first event, just over a week ago, Filipinos for Obama marched and registered dozens of voters at the 15th Annual Pistahan Parade in San Francisco. 

Editor’s Note: While the majority of the staff and writers have decided to endorse the candidacy of Sen. John McCain of the Republican Party, this website will continue to publish press releases by the Democratic Party and other independent candidates for the American presidency. This is in consonance with our equal-opportunity policy.On Tuesday night, amid rallying calls of "Kaya ba? Kaya! (Can we do it? Yes we can!)," the mass of supporters heard from community leaders about why Filipino Americans are supporting Barack Obama.  Emil de Guzman, Board president of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, reminisced about his work as a community organizer on behalf of the manongs at San Francisco's famed International Hotel, pointing out that Obama too started his career as a community organizer.  Professors Dawn Bohulano Mabalon and Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, of San Francisco State University, reminded the crowd that it will take young Filipinos talking to their aunties and uncles and dispelling false rumors about the candidate to unite Filipinos of all generations behind Obama.
Six-term mayor of West Sacramento, Chris Cabaldon, drew laughter from the crowd, claiming that "Obama means hope in Tagalog," then admitting that while "Obama" does not mean anything yet in the Filipino language, but since Tagalog is a mix of so many borrowed words, why not claim Obama as the word for hope? 
With more than four-million Filipino Americans living in the United States, the second-largest Asian Pacific American population can be the difference in November's presidential election-especially in a swing state such as Nevada, where more than 3% of the voting age population is Filipino but the vast majority of those Filipino Americans either are not registered or do not vote. In the 2004 presidential election, Senator John Kerry lost the state of Nevada to George Bush by less than a 3% margin. 
Stressing that "Obama is the candidate of people power," Angelica Jongco, chair of Filipinos for Obama, presented Filipinos for Obama's three-point plan for mobilizing Filipino voters to make an impact in the presidential election.  First, they will register Filipino-American voters. Second, they will talk to Filipino voters, especially in swing states, launching a massive phone bank and door-to-door operation in states with sizable Filipino populations like Nevada, Washington state, Florida, and Virginia.  Third, Filipinos for Obama will raise funds to support Obama's campaign and their own efforts to reach out to Filipino American voters. The group raised nearly $3,000 through wireless online "donation stations" and sales of Filipinos for Obama buttons and t-shirts at the event. 
According to Dexter Ligot-Gordon, political director for Filipinos for Obama, "The purpose of Filipinos for Obama is to get the community excited about the Senator's historic candidacy and give a voice to Filipino Americans in the political process; this is an opportunity for the Filipino community to claim its stake at the political table."


About Filipinos for Obama: It is a grass roots organization founded in the San Francisco Bay Area to empower and unite the Filipino vote for the 2008 Obama election campaign. # # #


Filipinos for Obama


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Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2008 09:59

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