To build a strong and empowered Filipino community by organizing constituents, developing leaders, providing services, and advocating for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity.
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Two Wins for the Community this November
























We Won!!

FAJ’s get-out-the-vote campaigns for the November 2014 election netted a double win with the passage of Prop 47 on the California ballot and the defeat of Measure KK on the Union City ballot.

Passage of Prop 47 changes sentencing for low-level nonviolent crimes such as simple drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors.  It would re-direct the hundreds of millions of dollars that the secretary of state’s office estimates would have been spent annually to house prison inmates to education, mental health and drug treatment programs, and victims assistance.

In spite of spending a phenomenal $600,000+ on a small town campaign, voters in Union City rejected Measure KK.  Measure KK attempted to lift protections — which voters put into place in 1996 — against development of the hills above Mission Blvd.   Voters preferred to protect open space and beat back big money.

Thanks to our phone bankers who value participation in the democratic process.

Tagalog & English Voter Guides!

This November, Asian Pacific Islander voters will play a key role in shaping the future of our country, our state and our communities. California is home to the largest Asian Pacific Islander population nation- wide and we believe that an informed Asian Pacific Islander electorate will benefit our entire state. We want to help you get the information you need to be an informed and engaged voter, so we created a statewide Asian Pacific Islander Voter Guide to educate Asian Pacific Islander voters on a wide range of issues. A lot of people will be voting this November and it is going to be a close election. Your vote will make the difference. Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2014!

Click on the images below to download the California Asian Pacific Islander Voter Guide in Tagalog or English! See how important our vote can be with this story from Balitang America.

API voter guide tagalof

API voter guide english


FAJ Says NO on Measure KK in Union City


We at Filipino Advocates for Justice cannot support Measure KK on the November 2014 Union City ballot.

It’s never a good policy for voters to give developers a blank check. As informed voters we have to examine what Measure KK actually does vs. what its promoters promise it will do. In fact Measure KK only removes the protections for part of Union City’s hillside; protections which were put into place by voters in 1996 because Union City valued protecting the environment from over-development.

While Measure KK supporters promise jobs, hillside protections and no cost to taxpayers; no language in Measure KK will do that. Measure KK lifts hillside protections so the developer can do whatever they want. Bad idea. In fact, when the Masons sought support for development in 2009, they put their plans on hold when they were asked to include a Community Benefits Agreement and Project Labor Agreement. These agreements would have provided jobs and services but the Masons thought such agreements were too costly. Without specific plans contained in the text of the measure, there are no assurances of any kind.

Voters need to look at this Measure in the context of the development that is already under way in the same part of town. Additional developments like the Mason’s proposal will double the impact of traffic and the need for services (like garbage pick up, police, fire, water and increased energy) to support additional infrastructure. The city estimates that the necessary upgrades for infrastructure and emergency services will cost well over $100 million. These additional services will become the responsibility of taxpayers in the form of increased taxes. KK benefits the developers greatly at taxpayers expense.

Further development in the east side will increase rents and displace Decoto renters. They are already bearing the brunt of Union City development. Additional single-family housing will likely re-zone the Decoto neighborhood again, pushing Decoto children out of neighborhood schools.

Voter beware, vote NO on Measure KK.

We call on Filipinos to be informed voters. We are 18% of Union City’s electorate and can be instrumental in preventing the passage of this ill-conceived measure for over development. Protect Union City’s hills and community interests. VOTE NO on Measure KK.

Voter Registration Made Easy

The 2014 mid-term election is an important election to exercise that vote. 471 congressional seats, 36 governors, 46 state legislators and many local propositions and measures are at stake.

At 417,917 Filipinos are currently 2% of the electorate of California where nearly half of the national Filipino population resides. Since November 2010, Filipino voter registration increased by 80,000 or 24%. We can do better. Register today by clicking the image above, below!

Did you know that 1.2 million Filipinos, 35% of the Filipino population, live in California? Nearly 900,000 of our kababayan are of voting age and over a quarter live in these key counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo. This translates into the political power to influence the outcome of elections and legislative agendas at the local, state and national level! Remember your vote isn’t just a vote for yourself. Your vote is a vote for our children, our elders, our immigrant sister and brothers – it is a vote for our community!

Visit our Voter Assistance page for more information and resources for this year election.

Refuge for Migrant Children Displaced by Poverty, War and Violence


The desperation of poverty, violence, and separation is causing families to risk the dangerous journey from Central America to the US border to protect their children. This is yet another manifestation of the global displacement of people by decades of war, natural disasters, drug violence, and crushing poverty.

The White House has responded by asking Congress for nearly 4 billion dollars for more enforcement, instead of sending the children to the Department of Health and Human Services for services or releasing them to their families, as the law now requires. The President wants to expedite deportation of the children: “Additional steps to enhance enforcement and removal proceedings … will allow ICE to return unlawful migrants from Central America to their home countries more quickly.”

This is an injustice. Four billion more for streamlining deportations, is not the humanitarian response we need. We should instead provide refuge for those children who are the victims of our government’s past destructive policies. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have undermined local economies in Mexico and Central America for decades. When NAFTA took effect in 1994, 4.6 million people born in Mexico lived north of the border. Now it’s about 12.5 million. And more have come from Central America because of wars the U.S. promoted in the 1980s, and our disastrous ‘war on drugs’ that has included U.S. support for the military and police in those countries. These are the real causes of migration for which the US bears significant historical responsibility.

We call on President Obama to act on the side of human rights and justice. The US has a responsibility to respond with access to due process, refuge and support. Our starting point should be what is in the best interests of the children. They should not be placed in detention. They should not be deported back to the unsafe and poverty stricken conditions from which they are fleeing. These children should be provided refugee status and reunited with family members.

Expedited removals and more deportations will not alleviate this humanitarian crisis. The real solutions lie in ending NAFTA and CAFTA, and ending support for the military and police disguised as a ‘war on drugs’.

We welcome and commend Mayor Stephanie A. Miner of Syracuse, New York for offering sanctuary for the migrant children and pointing to the need to address the “ . . . larger global issues causing them to leave home . . .” We call on other cities will do the same.

TPS for the Philippines


It is typhoon season again and the Philippines was battered yesterday by typhoon Rammasun, called Glenda in the Philippines. Victims of last November’s super typhoon Haiyan last were not spared. Thousands of people living in tents and other temporary housing were evacuated to higher ground to escape the destructive powers of high winds and flooding.

The long-term recovery continues. The Filipino people continue to need Temporary Protected Status from the US government to help in that recovery.

Give you name, city, state and message:
“Approve TPS for Filipinos. It’s a vital part of typhoon relief and recovery for the Philippines.”

Save The Date for Filipino Flashback Friday

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You are invited to join us at our 41st annual event: Filipino Flashback Friday! Celebrate over 4 decades of empowerment and fighting for social justice, as we honor trailblazers in the Filipina/o community!

We will be honoring Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.  She is the founder and continues to direct Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP) an innovative Fiipina/o American Studies curriculum and teacher training project that has served hundreds of high school, middle school, and elementary school students primarily from low-income backgrounds.

We are also recognizing the work of cultural innovators who channel their social justice principles through their art. Kiwi & Bandung 55, GroovMekanex, Anna Maria Flechero, Noel Catura, Mighty4

Our MC is Dawn Mabalon, Associate Professor at San Francisco State University and author of “Little Manila is in the Heart”.

Go to BrownPaperTickets  to purchase tickets, tickets for individuals are $55/each.

Click HERE to become a sponsor and download the sponsorship levels & instructions.  Or call Judith at 510-465-9876 for more information.

Visit the Facebook Event Page


Deadline April 15, 2014



Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) was started in 1973 in Oakland and opened a second office in Union City.  FAJ’s mission is to build a strong and empowered Filipino community by organizing constituents, developing leaders, providing services, and advocating for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity.

The Soledad Fernandez Scholarship is a philanthropic project of one of FAJ’s founders, Cora Tellez. The $5,000 scholarship is a project of the Tellez family who were inspired by Soledad Fernandez’s “zest for life and love for her family” among other qualities.  Soledad provided loving care for Cora and Pablo’s infant son for which the Tellez family is eternally grateful.

Soledad (“Tita” to the Tellez family) came to America after World War II with three young children. She was joining her husband who preceded her to the United States. Her excitement at finally joining her husband and starting a new life together was short-lived. A month after her arrival, her husband died, making her the sole breadwinner for her family.

While college-educated with a degree in teaching, Tita was unable to find work in her profession. She finally found employment as a cafeteria worker at Treasure Island.  There, she worked hard, made many friends, and with her earnings, managed to support her family, buy a house, and send all three children to college.

Tita was not one to dwell on her personal sacrifices or the hardships she faced.  Her gentle smile said it all – persevere and transcended whatever hardships Life presented her. Her faith in her self and the universe made her a pillar of strength for her family and her friends.

The Tellez family first met Tita when she was 74 years old. Remarkably, she volunteered to care for our infant son and he was cherished and loved as though he were Tita’s own grandson. We were struck by her zest for life, her love for her family, her intelligence, her intellectual curiosity, her interest in people, and her all-consuming love for baseball!  She spoke three languages fluently. Her home was the gathering place for friends, families and newly arrived Filipinos seeking opportunities in America.

A woman of grace and courage, Tita was always interested in young people – what they thought of the world, how they saw life and trends. She was also very interested in how young people in America are coping with the opportunities and challenges presented to them. Tita was proud of being a Filipina in America.



Eligibility requirements:
Filipino descent (Full to 50% Filipino)
Cumulative GPA of B (3.0) or higher
Reside and attend high school in the SF Bay Area
If selected, attend an award ceremony and luncheon with the Tellez and Fernandez families

Note:  Gather #3, #4 and #5 asap (below) to have them ready to submit by the deadline date.  Mail the package to:

Filipino Advocates for Justice
310 – 8th St., Ste 306
Oakland, CA  94607
attention:  Scholarship

1. Cover Letter including the following:
a. Personal Information:
Phone Number
Email Address
Date of birth
Place of birth
b. Name of High School you are attending; name of college you will be attending

2. Essay – Statement of interest in the scholarship limited to 2 pages, single-spaced, typed or printed, include the following:
a. How are your values and personal characteristics similar to those of Soledad Fernandez?
b. Demonstrated sense of social justice, equality, or compassion for the less empowered or marginalized of society.
c. Demonstrated community service experience
d. Demonstrated economic or financial need
e. What do you hope to do with your college education?

3.  Transcript of Academic Records directly mailed by high school to FAJ

4.  FAFSA or Guardian’s Income Tax Return

5.  Letter of Admission to an accredited college or university.
(Community College is acceptable, but grant is $2,500.)

International Women’s Day Celebration March 8th

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Saturday, March 8th, 12-3:00 pm

Dignity in Action: International Women’s Day Celebration

Location: 5th Street at Minna, San Francisco

Celebrate International Women’s Day by honoring the leadership of the many women who made this victory possible. Artists, community members, and workers are invited to participate in California’s first-ever “Fair Care Coloring Competition,” play their hand at Domestic Worker Bingo, help create audio episodes for the Domestic Worker App (accessible by any kind of phone), and dance to the NannyVan Jams.

Week of Public Engagement for TPS


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the implementation of immigration law, is considering our request for Temporary Protected Status for Filipinos.

DHS is calling the week of Feb. 24th to 28th  a ‘week of public engagement for TPS for the Philippines’.  DHS wants to hear from the public that we support TPS for Filipinos.

Please take a minute NOW to call the DHS comment line at 1- 202-282-8495 and Tweet DHS @DHSgov
Say:  Please grant TPS for Filipinos.  TPS is vital to the long-term recovery from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Why should the Philippines be designated for TPS?

  • On Friday, November 8th, Typhoon Haiyan – one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on land – hit the Philippines, bringing sustained winds of 147mph and waves as high as 45ft. An estimated 6.9 million people have been affected by the storm. Relief efforts are just beginning as debris is slowly being cleared from access roads and airports begin to re-open. The death toll is estimated to be in the thousands while the number of people displaced by the massive storm rises into the hundreds of thousands. The long term impacts of the storm are still yet unknown.
  • It would impose a great burden on the rescue and restoration effort in the Philippines to require the country to reabsorb its nationals from abroad, many of whom may have homes that were destroyed by the Typhoon. TPS exists to provide a safe haven for those who are reluctant to return to potentially dangerous situations, and to assist nations who are under extraordinary and temporary conditions and face difficulties in receiving their nationals safely.
  • A grant of TPS would allow Filipinos here in the U.S. to work and support their families in the Philippines who were impacted by the Typhoon. Remittances account for almost 10 percent of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product. Now, more than ever, those funds are needed to help support the recovery process.

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