Amended in Assembly August 17, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Concurrent ResolutionNo. 66

Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chang, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Kim, Low, Ting,begin delete and Williamsend deletebegin insert Williams, Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Atkins, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla, Brough, Brown, Campos, Chávez, Cooley, Cooper, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Maienschein, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte, O’Donnell, Olsen, Perea, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark end insertbegin insertStone, Thurmond, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wilk, and Woodend insert)

(Coauthors: Senators Liu and Pan)

May 11, 2015

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 66—Relative to Filipino American History Month.


ACR 66, as amended, Bonta. Filipino American History Month.

This measure would recognize the month of October 2015 as Filipino American History Month and the 428th anniversary of the first presence of Filipinos in the continental United States.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, Filipinos and Filipino Americans have been
2contributing to California and the United States for hundreds of
P1    1years, ever since October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios”
2set foot in Morro Bay, California, on board the Nuestra Señora de
3Esperanza, a Manila-built galleon ship captained by Pedro de
4Unamuno of Spain; and

5WHEREAS, In the late 1700s and early 1800s, Filipinos helped
6Father Junípero Serra establish the California mission system; and

7WHEREAS, Since the late 1800s, Filipino communities have
8existed in southern Louisiana, according to oral histories recorded
9by Rhonda Richoux Fox; and

10WHEREAS, After the Philippines was colonized, Filipinos
11began immigrating to San Francisco, where they contributed to
12the city both as military personnel and as service sector workers
13such as bellhops, dishwashers, servants, and cooks; established,
14by the 1920s, a thriving community around Kearny and Jackson
15Streets, which became known as “Manilatown”; and settled, during
16the post World War II era, into the Fillmore, South of Market, and
17Excelsior districts; and

18WHEREAS, Between 1906 and 1935, the first large wave of
19Filipino immigration to the United States began, as Filipinos were
20recruited to California, Alaska, and Hawaii to work in the
21agricultural industries, canneries, and sugarcane plantations,
22respectively; and

23WHEREAS, The Filipino contract workers in Hawaii, or
24“Sakadas,” became the largest group of Asians on the sugarcane
25plantations by the 1920s; and

26WHEREAS, At the turn of the 20th century, Filipino students,
27or “pensionados,” farm workers, and laborers in manufacturing
28and in the service sector began settling in Stockton and the
29surrounding San Joaquin Delta area, where they built a community
30that became the largest concentration of Filipinos outside of the
31Philippines and established a thriving six-block ethnic
32neighborhood that became known as “Little Manila”; and

33WHEREAS, In 2000, the Stockton City Council designated this
34area, in downtown Stockton at the intersection of Lafayette and
35El Dorado Streets, as the “Little Manila Historical Site,” the first
36designation of this kind in the country; and

37WHEREAS, In the first decades of the 20th century, thousands
38of Filipinos in California worked in agricultural fields throughout
39the state, in cities and regions such as the Sacramento-San Joaquin
40Delta, the central coast, Imperial Valley, Orange County, the Inland
P3    1Empire, Delano, Bakersfield, Coachella Valley, and the San
2Francisco Bay area, and became a critical element in the growth
3and political economy of the state, often enduring harsh labor
4conditions and poor wages, but persevering and creating a strong
5legacy of mutual support, strikes, and organization for farm labor
6unionization; and

7WHEREAS, In the 1920s, Filipinos in California also worked
8as laborers in the shipyards of Vallejo, where they established a
9Filipino American community and business center, and became
10so successful that there were thousands of Filipinos working as
11shipbuilders by the start of World War II; and

12WHEREAS, During World War II, approximately 200,000
13Filipino soldiers battled under the command of the United States
14to preserve the liberty of our country and win back the liberty of
15the Philippines from the Japanese occupation; and

16WHEREAS, Thousands of these Filipino soldiers came from
17California, served in the First and Second Filipino Infantry
18Regiments, underwent training at Salinas and at Fort Ord,
19California, and were stationed at Camp Beale near Sacramento
20and Camp Cooke near Santa Maria; and

21WHEREAS, After World War II ended, many Filipinos who
22had served in the United States Navy settled in National City and
23elsewhere in the County of San Diego, as well as in the Cities of
24West Long Beach and Wilmington, where they worked in the Long
25Beach shipyards and Terminal Island canneries, served in the
26harbor area as nurses and medical workers, and created flourishing
27Filipino American communities numbering in the tens of
28thousands; and

29WHEREAS, Between 1941 and 1959, the second wave of
30Filipino immigration to the United States began, as nurses, students,
31“war brides” and fiancées of World War II military personnel and
32veterans, tourists, and Filipino members of the United States Navy
33came to the United States; and

34WHEREAS, In 1965, the third wave of Filipino immigration to
35the United States began, as the passing of the Immigration and
36Nationality Act abolished “national origins” as the basis for
37immigration, allowing for more immigration from Asia and Latin
38America and for much-needed Filipino medical professionals to
39come to the United States to fill United States labor shortages; and

P4    1WHEREAS, On September 8, 1965, Filipino American
2agricultural labor leaders, including Larry Itliong and Philip Vera
3Cruz, organized more than 1,500 farm workers from the
4Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee in the Delano Grape
5Strike of 1965, in partnership with César Chávez, Dolores Huerta,
6and other Mexican American labor leaders of the National Farm
7Workers Association, sparking one of the greatest social, economic,
8and racial justice movements in the history of California and the
9United States, and led to the establishment of the United Farm
10Workers of America; and

11WHEREAS, These agricultural workers, along with other
12volunteers, also built Agbayani Village, a retirement facility for
13elderly Filipino farmworkers, or “Manongs,” located at Forty Acres
14in Delano in the County of Kern; and

15WHEREAS, In 1968, Filipino student organizers were
16instrumental in the leadership of the Third World Liberation Front
17that led to the founding of our nation’s first Third World College
18at the University of California, Berkeley, and the first College of
19Ethnic Studies, at California State University, San Francisco, that
20was part of the larger effort to democratize higher education for
21all; and

22WHEREAS, From 1968 to 1977, Filipino American activists
23and residents of San Francisco’s International Hotel organized a
24popular, multiracial campaign that challenged local authorities and
25private development to place people and the public good ahead of
26profit, and support affordable housing for Filipino and Chinese
27immigrants and community members; and

28WHEREAS, From 1972 to 1986, Filipino American activists
29organized massive educational and political campaigns to restore
30civil liberties in the Philippines during the period of martial law
31in that country, creating dynamic local responses to international
32politics and placing pressure on the United States government to
33end its support of the Marcos dictatorship; and

34WHEREAS, In 1973, the fourth wave of Filipino immigration
35to the United States began, as political exiles and refugees from
36the Marcos era, intellectuals, tourists, students, student activists,
37professionals, semiprofessionals, and families came to the United
38States; and

39WHEREAS, In 2002, the City of Los Angeles, home to over
40120,000 Filipinos, designated part of the city as the “Historic
P5    1Filipinotown” district, the largest designation of this kind in the
2country; and

3WHEREAS, The Filipino Community Center of the Los Angeles
4Harbor area in the City of Wilmington continues to serve as a
5model organization, facilitating community events such as
6weddings, baptisms, pageants, and fiestas; and

7WHEREAS, On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon
8Haiyan/Yolanda, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in
9human history, struck the Philippines and devastated the lives of
10millions of people throughout the Philippines and the world; and

11WHEREAS, Today, numerous other community-based
12institutions that take responsibility for the services, advocacy, and
13civic engagement needs of the Filipino American community exist
14throughout the state; and

15WHEREAS, The Filipino American population is currently the
16largest Asian American and Pacific Islander group in California
17and the third largest Asian American and Pacific Islander group
18in the United States; and

19WHEREAS, Nine Filipino Americans have received the
20Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in
21action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an
22individual serving in the United States Armed Forces; and

23WHEREAS, Filipino Americans have served the public in a
24wide range of capacities, including, but not limited to, Chief Justice
25of the California Supreme Court, representatives to the United
26States Congress, legislators in the state legislatures of California
27and other states, and other city, state, and federal leaders of the
28United States; and

29WHEREAS, Throughout the history of the United States,
30Filipino Americans have made cultural, economic, political, social,
31and other contributions to our country that have become a vital
32part of the rich, diverse, and vibrant tapestry of our nation; and

33WHEREAS, Since World War II, federal, state, and local
34redevelopment projects, freeway and highway construction, urban
35decay, private development, demographic shifts, and poor city
36planning have destroyed a significant number of Filipino American
37historic sites and ethnic neighborhoods, and many of the remaining
38Filipino American communities and historic sites are in danger of
39being lost; and

P6    1WHEREAS, Preserving our Filipino communities throughout
2California and the United States is critical to the preservation of
3Filipino culture, history, traditions, and heritage and to the
4preservation of our state and national history as well as our state
5and national future; now, therefore, be it

6Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate
7thereof concurring,
That the Legislature recognizes the month of
8October 2015 as Filipino American History Month and the 428th
9anniversary of the first presence of Filipinos in the continental
10United States; and be it further

11Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
12of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.