Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Justice for Homecare Tribunal March 19, 2015

Friday, March 6th, 2015



  • Over 460,000 seniors and people with disabilities receive support through California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program.
  • IHSS clients have had their hours of support cut, despite a multi-billion dollar budget surplus.
  • Many homecare workers makeminimum wage, and most do not get any sick days, vacation time, health care, or retirement benefits.
  • 90% of all homecare worker arewomen and 73% are people of color.

Because someday we will all need care!

BAY AREA: RSVP here by 5pm, Thursday, March 12.
9:00am — Depart from SF & Oakland
11:00am — Lunch 
12:30pm — Justice Homecare Tribunal
3:00pm — Return to SF & Oakland




Thursday, March 5th, 2015

On February 16, 2015, U.S. District Court in Texas Judge Hanen blocked the implementation of President Obama’s plans for expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and a new program for undocumented parents of LPR and US citizen children in the U.S., called DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability). This throws into question the likely start dates of programs that could stabilize the status of nearly 5 million potentially eligible undocumented.  The Court’s order does not affect the current DACA program.  Individuals eligible under guidelines established in 2012 may continue to apply for the first time or for DACA renewal.

FAJ condemns this overt attempt to prevent the undocumented from coming forward.
While we welcome President Obama’s announcement to appeal Judge Hanen’s decision, immigrant advocates need to hold Republicans — AND Democrats — accountable for protecting the undocumented who have been living on the margins, vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, for decades.  Politicians are again playing politics with the lives of undocumented families for political gain as the country approaches the November 2016 general election.

The benefits of DACA are well established and should be protected and expanded.  Since 2012, 550,000 young DACA recipients have received work authorization, protection from deportation, and eligibility for a driver’s license.  In California alone approximately 1,214,000 are believed to be eligible for one of the deferred action programs.

Undeterred, FAJ joins social justice activists in continuing to fight for and prepare for the new DACA/DAPA programs as we also advocate for full and permanent legal status for the undocumented.   We owe this to the DREAMER’s vision of equality for all.

Soledad Fernandez Scholarship Application 2015

Sunday, March 1st, 2015


(Download the application by clicking the image above)

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 transcend whatever hardships Life presents to 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,” according to Cora Tellez, “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 were coping with the opportunities and challenges presented to them. Tita was proud of being a Filipina in America.”

Deadline April 1, 2015

Download application Here

AB60 Drivers Licences for Undocumented Immigrants

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015


“I will see you all on the road” — Undocumented API leaders encourage community members to seize opportunity of AB 60 licenses

Oakland – A diverse alliance of local organizations serving Chinese, Korean, and Filipino communities gathered at Oakland’s Asian Resource Center today to raise awareness of the opportunity offered by California’s Safe and Responsible Driver Act (AB 60), which allows undocumented Californians to apply for a driver’s license.

Sonny Villar, an 11-year resident of California and leader with Filipino Advocates for Justice, spoke in both English and Tagalog of his struggles as a caregiver and how obtaining an AB 60 license will transform his life.

“This is my dream, to have a driver’s license and have the ability to go where we want to go,” Villar stated. “As soon as I heard about getting a license, I went and got a birth certificate and copy of my passport. I recommend for everyone who is going to get a license to prepare themselves. And I suggest that people study very hard, because you can’t get a license if you don’t pass the test.” (Detailed document requirements are available here.)

Villar concluded his remarks to applause as he declared, “I will see you all on the road.”

See the whole article here

Resource & Informational Links:
Translation of materials into API languages
AB 60 info sheet
Know your rights with an AB 60 license
Frequently asked questions
Should I apply for an AB 60 license?

Support FAJ’s Civic Engagement Work!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Civic Engagement Appeal 2014

In a year of numerous disappointments Filipino Advocates for Justice celebrated a few bright spots that we proudly share with you.

On November 4th we helped defeat Measure KK in Union City. We fought big money and won! By defeating this well financed campaign FAJ youth helped protect Union City’s hills from more development. faj also helped caregivers fight wage theft by winning over $100,000 in stolen wages. Please see the video above to see our Civic Engagement highlights of 2014,

Share in our victories by making a year-end donation of $100 or more to sustain FAJ’s caregiver and civic engagement work. It’s also easier now to set up a monthly donation online.

Caregivers continue to be active in the implementation of the Domestic Worker’s Bill if Rights. We also added a wellness component to address chronic illness and stress. We continue to educate over rep youth annually about the risks of alcohol and other drug use, and prevention of HIV/STDs, pregnancy, violence and obesity. With much excitement, youth will also start a community garden in 2015.

Help FAJ continue developing youth and worker leaders, something we have done for over to years. Donate today at or by mailing a check to: 310 8th Street, Suite 308 Oakland CA 94607. If your employer collects donations through United Way of the Combined Federal Campaign, choose to designate your contribution to FAJ at #3092.

Happy Holidays and thanks so much for your generosity over the years.

Lillian Galedo

Donations $50 or more are entitled to a gift!
Chose from 6 postcard sized refrigerator magnets representing some of the issues FAJ has championed over the years.

This “Giving Tuesday” Celebrate Our Victories

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Final Appeal Letter 2014 Page 1-page-001 Magnet prizes 2014-page-001

Black & Brown Lives Matter

Thursday, November 27th, 2014


Obama Announces Temporary Relief from Deportation for some undocumented
Those without temporary relief at increased risk of deportation

President Obama’s much delayed and anticipated executive action announcement provides temporary relief from deportation for some and increases enforcement measures, particularly at the US-Mexico border and border communities.

It is important to remember that this is not immigration reform nor is it amnesty or legalization.  Also, do not be fooled by “notarios” or attorneys soliciting large amounts of money to file your application.

Temporary relief from deportation is available to:

1)  Parents of US citizen and legal permanent resident (LPR) children who were born before Nov 21, 2014.  Parents must have resided in the U.S. since at least January 1, 2010, physically present in the U.S. on the day of announcement and have no lawful status.  The 3-year status comes with a work permit.  Applications might begin to be accepted as early as May 1, 2015.

2)  Expands DACA eligibility to young people who entered before Jan 1, 2010.  Their temporary status is extended from 2 to 3 years.

The Administration estimates that 4-5 million undocumented might benefit, depending on how many of the undocumented risk applying and make it through the application process.  Another 400,000 highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs will be eligible for visas.

Those who are left out are:

1)  Parents of DACA recipients.

2)  Adults without US citizen or LPR children living in the US.

3)  Recent arrivals (less than 5 years), including the much-publicized migrant children and families who arrived at the border these past few years.

The plan does not create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and those with temporary relief would not be entitled to federal benefits such as Medicaid, health care, etc.  Also, many undocumented applicants may not have sufficient proof to substantiate their eligibility placing them at risk of deportation.  With increased resources for enforcement programs we should be worried that after 3 years those with temporary relief could be easily found and deported using the information they provided.

Executive Action Continues Enforcement

The President’s executive action ‘Cracks Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border’ by continuing a surge of resources for enforcement, up to 20,000 additional border agents, and centralizes border security command-and-control.  Immigration courts will continue expedited deportations and Operation Streamline (mass processing), including the recently arrived migrant children at the US-Mexico border, at the expense of due process for the undocumented.

The onerous Secure Communities program will be replaced by a new program.  But 287g which is the root of Secure Communities — and the practice of ICE and local enforcement collaboration — remains in place.

FAJ advocated for fixes to family visa backlogs which would provide relief to thousands of Filipino undocumented.  But the administrated punted the issue to be studied by an interagency group charged to issue a report in 120 days.

We support those undocumented who will get temporary relief — but this is not enough.  The main immigration problems will continue to fester, and with additional enforcement dollars the undocumented who are excluded from temporary relief (including many of the caregivers we work with), or who fail the application process, or who choose not to apply are at greater risk of detection and deportation.  FAJ will continue to fight for permanent and humane solutions.

Stay tuned, we are organizing an educational about the President’s executive action in January 2015.



Justice for Michael Brown and family

Ferguson!  Against all odds, we hoped for a better outcome for Michael Brown and his family.

But once again the legal system failed to deliver justice in the killing of a black teenager by law enforcement.  Like social justice minded people across the country, we condemn the grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who killed him and the questionable process led by the St. Louis County prosecutor.

The criminalization of young people and racist, irrational fear of black youth in particular continues to provide cover for police misconduct.  We have to stop the systemic abuse of power by police and demand a new level of accountability of law enforcement.

The responsibility now moves to the federal level.  President Obama and the Department of Justice is investigating Michael Brown’s death and has the power to arrest and prosecute Officer Wilson under federal law.  We join our brothers and sister in calling upon our national leaders to step in where Missouri’s legal system failed. They must deliver justice for Michael Brown, immediately.

As an organization that has worked with thousands of young people over our 40+ years, words fail.  What we can do is join Michael Brown’s family who has stated, “it ain’t over”.  FAJ will do all we can to peacefully and forcefully support them.  We must, for Michael and the millions of young people of color at risk of violence from law enforcement and the failures of our biased legal system.

Two Wins for the Community this November

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
























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!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

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

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


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.

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