Monthly Archives: September 2010

Congratulations to Kris Valderrama – Maryland State Delegate

If you hadn’t heard from our e-mail list-serve in the past two weeks…

WE WON! Congratulations Kris Valderrama – Maryland State Delegate!

We are proud to announce that Kris Valderrama was elected to a second term as Maryland State Delegate of its 14th District, Prince George’s County.

KAYA is looking forward to continuing our mission of mobilizing the community to support the election and appointment of progressive Filipino American leadership at every level of government.


National AAPI Democratic Leadership Strategy Meeting

Uniting & Mobilizing AAPI Democrats for 2010
with Governor Tim Kaine, DNC Chair
Congressman Mike Honda, DNC Vice Chair
Bel Leong-Hong, DNC AAPI Caucus Chair

Monday, September 27, 2010 | 6pm – 8pm
Wasserman Room, Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20003


Join Phil Ting at the Reset San Francisco Launch Event

There is still time to RSVP for the Reset San Francisco Launch Event on Saturday, September 25!
Meet current Reset SF members and community leaders who have already joined the conversation online and discuss your own ideas on improving our schools, fixing transportation and making city government more effective. Continue reading

KAYA-D.C. Cofounder Joins Democratic National Committee as the Director of Asian American Pacific Islander Outreach

Naomi Tacuyan Underwood, KAYA-D.C. co-founder, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF) Campaign Fellow and  former Deputy Director for APIAVote has joined the Democratic National Committee as the Director of Asian American and Pacific Islander Outreach.    Under the leadership of Chairman Tim Kaine and DNC Vice Chair Mike Honda, the Democratic National Committee will be launching an unprecedented mid-term Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Outreach program that will help galvanize the AAPI electorate to turn out the vote for the democratic leadership.   “We are proud that Naomi was tapped to lead the DNC’s AAPI Outreach efforts. Her grassroots experience and strategic political communication skills combined with her passion in organizing AAPI communities for electoral engagement is the leadership we need to help continue the progress we have made under President Obama and the Democratic Party”, said former Cabinet Secretary and AOF Chairman Norman Mineta. Continue reading

Remembering the Manongs

Cross-posted from AFL-CIO Blog

KAYA-Washington DC Chapter Member Gregory Cendana, interim deputy director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) describes why Sept. 16 is an important day in Asian Pacific American history.

As someone who comes from an immigrant and union family, it is not only appropriate but also necessary for me to share some history and give credit to my manongs who helped paved the way for me to be here today.

This weekend, community members will join Manang Dolores Velasco (wife of Manong Pete Velasco), Johnny Itliong and Larry Itliong III (son and grandson of Manong Larry Itliong, respectively), to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike. (Manong is an Ilocano—a Filipino dialect—term that is given to the first-born male of a nuclear family. Sometimes it also is used for an older male relative or as a term of respect for an elder.)

Here is a message from Mark Pulido, one of the coordinators for the Agbayani Village Pilgrimage Organizing Committee, who provides some history on the importance of the commemoration:

The Delano Grape Strike, which was started on September 8, 1965 at the Filipino American Community Hall in Delano, California, by the mostly Filipino American Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), AFL-CIO led by labor leaders Manong Larry Itliong, Manong Philip Vera Cruz and Manong Pete Velasco. Over 1,500 Filipino American farm workers made history that day.

Eight days later, on Sept. 16, 1965, the mostly Mexican National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, voted to join the strike at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Delano, Calif.

In unifying, these two groups built a powerful movement for change. This strike led to the two groups merging in 1966 to establish the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC), AFL-CIO, which eventually became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).

APALA, one of seven AFL-CIO constituency groups, continues to be grounded in the work of our predecessors and are continuing to find ways to build stronger community and labor partnerships.

If you are able, I would strongly recommend attending and showing your support. For more information about the commemoration or to get more involved, e-mail Mark Pulido at

I am honored and proud to know I stand on the shoulders of some of the hardest working brothers and sisters in the movement.

Kaya natin. Sí, se puede. Yes, we can!