FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2016
CONGRESS PASSES CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL FOR FILIPINO WWII VETERANS
New York’s Filipino Americans thank the state’s Congressional Delegation for Co-Sponsoring & Passing Bill
Bill’s passage marks first Federal legislative victory for newly-formed Filipino American political club
NEW YORK – Leaders of the Filipino American Democratic Club of New York (FADCNY), a political club that organizes and leads the Filipino American electorate in New York City and New York State, released the following statements on today’s historic passage of the long-awaited Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act.
Aries Dela Cruz, president of FADCNY said: “Today, Congress voted overwhelmingly to approve the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act. This bill recognizes the importance of the contributions of 200,000 Filipino and Filipino Americans who responded to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s call to duty during World War II and who fought under the American flag. It’s time these veterans were honored with a Congressional Gold Medal for the sacrifices they have provided in the service of freedom and democracy. For over sixty years now, our community has been fighting to obtain formal recognition for the efforts of Filipino veterans during this conflict. Today’s vote is a result of a years-long bipartisan advocacy effort by the Filipino American community and our allies and friends. We would like to thank Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) as the main sponsor of the bill in the House, and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) as the main sponsor of the companion Senate bill that was passed unanimously.”
Steven Raga, the vice president of FADCNY and a member of the board of the nonpartisan Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project, and is a leader in the movement to achieve equity and recognition for Filipino veterans said: “Today, Filipino Americans in New York are thankful that the vast majority of our Congressional delegation co-sponsored and voted for this bill, thanks to our intensive political efforts here. While this is an important victory for our community to celebrate, our community’s progress shouldn’t stop here. The passage of this bill today shows the importance of the unity and solidarity among the Filipino American community, and it is only the beginning of what we can accomplish if we join together and work towards common goals and principles to deliver the legislation and recognition our communities so desperately need. I look forward to many more victories for our community in the months and years ahead.”
Here in New York, largely due to the advocacy of the Filipino American Democratic Club of New York to mobilize all New Yorkers regardless of party to lobby their elected officials and by closely tracking each Members of Congress’ position on the bill, 24 of the 27 members of the New York Congressional delegation signed-on to become official co-sponsors of the bill:
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Daniel Donovan, Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Christopher Gibson, Rep. Richard Hanna, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. Steve Israel, Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries, Rep. Peter T. King, Rep. Nita M. Lowey, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep., Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Kathleen M. Rice, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, and Rep. Lee M. Zeldin.
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The Filipino American Democratic Club of New York is a political club that organizes and leads the Filipino American electorate in New York City and New York State. We are dedicated to advancing Filipino American and Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues and priorities among elected officials and candidates for public office.