CAPAC Members Celebrate Filipino American History Month

October 1, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

Washington, D.C. – Today marks the beginning of Filipino American History Month, which is celebrated throughout October to commemorate the 16th century arrival of the first Filipinos to what is now the United States. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements to mark the occasion:

CAPAC Leadership

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“As we kick off Filipino American History Month, I am thrilled to celebrate the rich history, culture, and contributions of the Filipino American community. For centuries, before America was even America, Filipinos have been a part of the fabric of this nation and continue to contribute to our society in a multitude of important ways. From serving in everything from our military, to healthcare and education systems, to essential workers who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic today, our country is a better place thanks to Filipino Americans who demonstrate that diversity has always been at the core of America’s strength. As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am proud to join with my colleagues to honor and celebrate the Filipino American community and ensure that we continue to fight for Filipino American veterans, workers, and families across the nation.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6), CAPAC First Vice Chair

“In honor of Filipino American History Month in October, we pay tribute to the heritage of activism and sacrifice Filipino Americans have made to our nation. This year’s celebration focuses on the immense contributions Filipino Americans have made in the fight for equality and social justice. From movements such as the Women’s Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the United Farmworkers Movement, and many more, Filipino Americans have sacrificed for the next generation to have a brighter future. I applaud their service and will continue to lead efforts in the House to bring awareness of the vital role that Filipino Americans have played and will continue to play throughout our history.”

CAPAC Executive Board Members

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“This month, we celebrate the rich culture and history of Filipino communities in Hawaii and across the country. Filipino Americans have made countless contributions to our culture and society—from serving our country in uniform and elected office, to running successful businesses, teaching our children in schools, and selflessly working at the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic as nurses, doctors, and essential workers. While we celebrate Filipino American heritage, we must also renew our commitment to recognizing Filipino World War II veterans for their service to our country, and continue to work toward comprehensive immigration reform that would reunite many Filipino American families.”

Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39):

"This month, we celebrate the countless contributions and achievements of the Filipino American community in the 39th District and across the country. We recognize all the Filipino Americans working on the frontlines of this crisis to keep our communities safe and running. As a Navy Veteran, I'm proud to honor the courageous Filipino American veterans who selflessly fought for our country, including the many who I had the privilege to serve with. I'll continue to fight for the needs and priorities of the Filipino American community in the district and in Congress.”

Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21):

“As the first Filipino-American member of Congress from California, I am so proud to celebrate this year’s Filipino-American Heritage Month. The first Filipinos landed in California over 400 years ago, and since that time have contributed so much to our history, culture, and cuisine. From labor leaders to doctors, nurses, engineers, and entrepreneurs, Filipino-Americans work hard, humbly, and with humor. Filipino-Americans are the fastest-growing Asian-American Pacific Islander group in America. We are a vibrant thread in the rich diversity of our nation. In the years ahead, we will continue to share our creativity, our labor, our leadership, and our love of life, with all of our brothers and sisters here in the Central Valley and United States.”

Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34):

“As the Representative of Historic Filipinotown, I’m honored to fight for Filipino Americans in Congress. When I’m out in our community, I see firsthand the impact of Filipino history, culture and tradition on our city’s heritage. As we celebrate Filipino American History Month, I’ll continue to ensure Filipino Americans’ voices are uplifted, and their efforts – as educators, frontline workers, public servants, community organizers, and more – are fully recognized.

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“Proud to celebrate Filipino American History Month and recognize the extraordinary contributions of Filipino Americans across our nation. From the heroic frontline workers to the many inventors, organizers, and local leaders, the Filipino community is an essential component toward building a better America.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“This month, we celebrate the tremendous contributions that the Filipino-American community brings to our country. I’m proud to join my Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus colleagues to celebrate Filipino American History Month and the strength of our diverse communities in California and across our nation.”

Congressman Michael San Nicolas (GU):

“Filipino Americans across the country have made priceless contributions to the strength and resiliency of the nation. On Guam we are a testament to this, with 30% of our population comprised of Filipino-Americans from all walks of life, showcasing to all of Asia the strength of Filipino American Heritage in this month and throughout the year as exceptional professionals and pillars of the community.”

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03):

“Every October we observe Filipino American Heritage Month to celebrate the rich contributions made to this country by Filipino Americans. I am proud to be one of only two Members of Congress with Filipino ancestry currently serving. This year has been difficult for everyone, but particularly for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders due to prejudice and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the alarming death rates among Filipino Americans. Despite these headwinds, Filipino Americans continue to play a vital role on the frontlines of the pandemic and in communities across the country. I honor their service and I am proud to celebrate this month with my colleagues in CAPAC.”

CAPAC Associate Members

Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01):

"This Filipino American History Month, I’m honored to recognize the incredible culture, history, and service of the Filipino American community to our nation. In our military, our government, and our communities, the Filipino community inspires and represents America at its best. As we reflect on the sacrifices of Filipino and Filipino American veterans in World War II and beyond, I’m humbled by their selfless courage and committed to providing our veterans with the support and care that they deserve.”

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14):

“This Filipino American History Month, we celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Filipino-Americans to our culture, economy, and military. As the Representative of one of the largest Filipino-American communities in the country, it is my honor to fight for Filipino-Americans in Congress, including through the introduction of H.R. 2823, the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act, to fulfill our commitment to the 250,000 Filipino veterans that served during World War II with valor and honor. This October, we look to the past in recognition of the momentous role of Filipino-Americans in our national history and to the future in anticipation of the exciting contributions of generations to come.”