Founded in 1952 as the Filipino American Citizens, FAPAGOW is a progressive non-partisan organization whose mission is to advocate for the empowerment and betterment of Filipino Americans through effective civic engagement. Filipinos are the largest Asian Pacific Islander ethnic group in Washington at 178,300 strong, according to the 2018 Census data.
The Filipino American community of Washington State has been very active through the years in developing relationships with local politicians. Given that the Filipino community has significantly grown through the years, issues that impact the community have remained consistent with other Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. Community members have become very sophisticated in their overall political philosophy of American politics.
Filipino-Americans are becoming more open to the American system of politics in which active participation and networking are important factors in seeking political support. Washington State has become very diverse with the arrival of many minority communities and the Filipino American community should be credited for being one of the first Asian groups established and today is one of the largest in the country.
Filipinos have made an impact on Washington’s cultural landscape with the contributions of many diverse skills and labor experience they possess. Unfortunately, Filipinos have not been given the credit they deserve in the contributions they’ve made to the state’s economy and cultural diversity. It seems that the community has had limited public exposure and been negatively chronicled through the years. Filipino leaders have been very active in the political and civic arenas and should be recognized for their significant and worthy contributions. FAPAGOW has been very active through the years in being the Filipino community’s political arm. Building political capital is an important aspect of being effective in creating change and bringing attention to issues concerning the community.
FAPAGOW has been a principal member of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) that’s been leading the movement for API’s in Washington State. For the last ten years on Asian Lobby Day in February, API communities have come together to voice their opinions about issues concerning their particular communities. The Filipino community’s from Seattle, Spokane and Yakima Valley have been instrumental in supporting these actions with FAPAGOW being the main coalition partner for the communities. National Immigration Reform has been a major issue during the last two decades. FAPAGOW has been an outspoken proponent of immigration reform and assisted in a number of deportation cases involving Filipino immigrants. It has been paying special attention to the issue of public education especially in the Seattle school district. Many on the FAPAGOW Executive Board are educators with a vested interest in how Filipino children K-12 are achieving in the classroom. FAPAGOW has always been a huge advocate for social / elderly services. Let us all be more prudent and conscious of what we can do as an individual and as a community in furthering our cultural pride and promoting our civic obligations.
You must be logged in to post a comment.