CAPAC Members Celebrate Filipino American History Month

Oct 5, 2016

Washington, DC – Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements in recognition of Filipino American History Month which is celebrated throughout the month of October:

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

“Filipino American History Month is an important time to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and the vast contributions that Filipino Americans have made to our nation. Among these contributions are the sacrifices of Filipino veterans who served bravely during World War II. As CAPAC Chair, I have been proud to work with my CAPAC colleagues to provide these veterans with the benefits and recognition they rightfully deserve. This includes efforts to pass legislation that would award these veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal. I urge House Republican leadership to allow a vote on this bill before the year ends.”

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“This month, we pay tribute to the wide-ranging contributions that Filipino Americans have made to our country. Nearly 200,000 Filipino Americans, including Filipino World War II veterans who fought for the United States, enrich communities across Hawaii every day. To honor them, we must complete the effort to award these veterans the Congressional Gold Medal, and ensure that their eligible family members apply for the Obama Administration’s program to reunite with their parents and other relatives in the United States.”

Senator Brian Schatz (HI):

“This month, we celebrate the vibrant culture, hard work, and strong values of the Filipino American community. For generations, Filipinos have made Hawai‘i and the United States their home. From labor to business to arts and education, Filipinos have helped write the history of our state and our country. Some of the most significant contributions came from the more than 200,000 Filipinos who fought alongside American service members during World War II. Far too many of them have still not received the basic veterans’ rights they earned. As we celebrate Filipino American History Month, we must continue our efforts to honor those brave Filipino veterans and their families by finally giving them the benefits and recognition they deserve.

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus:

“Filipino Americans have an extraordinary legacy that includes the valor of those who fought for the U.S. during World War II, the progressive change in the labor movement driven by farm workers in Delano, and all the unique voices that amplify the rich diversity that America champions. Every day in Silicon Valley, I see evidence of the continued courage, innovation, and hard work that Filipino Americans have displayed throughout American history as labor leaders, service members, artists, and business owners. I am proud to have introduced a resolution that would officially commemorate October as Filipino American History Month. My hope is we will pause to honor the sacrifices, celebrate the beauty of Filipino culture and history, and memorialize the distinctive place of Filipino Americans in our country.”

Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34):

“As the proud representative of Historic Filipinotown, I proudly celebrate the rich history of the Filipino American community. From the brave Filipino veterans who fought for America in World War II to those who tirelessly fought for fair treatment of workers in the farm worker movement, Filipino Americans have been, and continue to be, champions and patriots of the American story.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02):

“For centuries, Filipino Americans have made exceptional contributions to U.S. businesses, culture and arts, government, technology, sports, health care, military, and more. In Hawaiʻi, Filipino Americans have been integral to our history, from driving our plantation-based economy in the early 20th century to becoming leaders across every industry in our state. As we celebrate Filipino American History Month and the many positive contributions the Filipino community has made, we must also continue to fight for issues like family reunification and honoring our Filipino veterans. 305 Members of Congress have supported my bill to award our Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal (H.R.2737), and I am continuing to work with my colleagues and our Filipino community to get this bill passed before the end of the year. With just 18,000 Filipino WWII veterans alive today, time is truly of the essence to honor these courageous men with the long overdue recognition they deserve.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“In the East Bay and across the country, Filipino Americans have made invaluable contributions to our nation’s history and culture. From serving with distinction in our armed forces, to starting countless small businesses and excelling in the arts and sciences, Filipino Americans play a vital role in our communities and our nation. I am proud to join my constituents in celebrating October as Filipino American Heritage Month and honoring the brave Filipino veterans who fought alongside the United States during World War II.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33):

“It is a great honor to join millions of Filipino Americans across the nation in celebrating Filipino American History Month. Filipino Americans are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the United States with Los Angeles County being home to the largest population of Filipino Americans outside the Philippines. Recently, some small-minded people have said that they want to ban immigration from places such as the Philippines. That is wrong. America is great because of our diversity and we are stronger together. Filipinos have a long history in the United States and were the first documented Asian people to arrive here. A quarter of a million Filipino Americans are veterans of World War II, which is why I am a proud co-sponsor of the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. This October, we are reminded of the many important contributions of Filipino Americans, and I join my colleagues in recognizing and celebrating their many achievements.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06):

“It is an honor to salute the history, culture and contributions of Filipino Americans and I’m pleased to join the Filipino American community in celebrating Filipino American History Month. I have led efforts in the House to seek benefits for Filipino veterans who served in World War II, and I applaud the Senate for recently approving Senator Hirono’s legislation to award Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal. The House must pass this bill as well, and we will keep up the fight until brave Filipino veterans – who served and sacrificed with U.S. troops – receive the benefits they earned and rightly deserve.”

Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03):

“I am proud to join my fellow CAPAC colleagues in celebrating Filipino American History Month. Since World War II, Filipino Americans have played a vital role in the development and growth of this country. And as the only Member of Congress with Filipino ancestry, I encourage Americans of all backgrounds to educate themselves on the rich heritage of Filipino Americans as we take this time to honor their contributions.”

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44):

“I am proud to represent a thriving Filipino American community in the 44th District. Filipino Americans make up the second largest Asian American group in the United States and have a longstanding history serving our country. Over 250,000 Filipinos fought under the US flag during WWII, putting their lives on the line to protect and defend our democracy. From their contributions to academia, the arts, business, healthcare, and politics, Filipino Americans have enriched the extraordinary diversity of our country. As we celebrate Filipino American History Month, let us continue fighting for issues like family reunification and honoring the sacrifices of our Filipino veterans. To Filipino Americans in my district and across the country, maraming salamat po.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

"During Filipino American History Month, we celebrate the rich cultural contributions Filipino Americans have made to San Diego as business and community leaders, health care providers and brave members of our Armed Forces. Today, organizations like Operation Samahan and the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of San Diego (FACC) continue enriching our city by sharing Filipino culture, history, talents, and by encouraging collaboration between diverse groups and organizations. More than 250,000 Filipinos served alongside U.S. soldiers during World War II, but many are still waiting for overdue benefits. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus as well as the US-Philippines Caucus, I am proud to represent this growing community, ensure these veterans receive the benefits and recognition they earned through their service, and fix our broken immigration system so they may reunite with their families."

Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28):

“I am honored to join my constituents in the celebration of Filipino American History Month to recognize the countless contributions that members of the Filipino-American community have made to enrich our economy, businesses, culture, and the arts. As shown by their involvement in a myriad of industries ranging from agriculture to technology, these vibrant Filipino American communities in our country have impacted us in so many positive ways. On this joyous occasion, we also recognize with great pride the service of Filipino Americans in the Armed Forces and commemorate our Filipino World War II veterans for their brave and dedicated service to our nation.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Throughout the month of October, we celebrate Filipino American Heritage Month and the many contributions of Filipino Americans. During World War II, Filipino veterans served our country bravely and heroically, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to pass legislation to award Filipino World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their sacrifice and service.”

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46):

“I join my colleagues in celebrating Filipino American History Month. Our country is grateful to the over 200,000 Filipino Veterans who fought valiantly under the American Flag to protect our nation during World War II. We honor them and other members of the Filipino American community this month for your service and sacrifice to this nation.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.