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Recognition of October 2021 as Filipino American History Month
Whereas, On November 2, 2009, the United States Congress passed House Resolution 780, officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month; and
Whereas, the celebration of Filipino American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587; and
Whereas, Filipino immigrants significantly contributed to the history and building of the United States, most notably as laborers in the agricultural industry, as medical professionals in healthcare, as enlistees in the Armed Services, and as pioneers who settled to build communities; and
Whereas, the County’s origins involve the contributions of Filipino laborers who made up the majority of the farm labor workforce at the turn of the 19th Century; and
Whereas, Filipino Americans have made Sonoma County and elsewhere in the United States their place to build a life, continuing to present day and into the future, greatly contributing to the local and broader culture and economy which enriches the landscape and the country; and
Whereas, Filipino Americans have, despite their major contributions, faced racism and discrimination from earlier recorded dates from the “positively no Filipinos allowed” rhetoric, violence against Filipino Americans of the 1920s, anti-Filipino riots in the 1930s leading to The Filipino Repatriation Act of 1935, then to today’s hate crimes against Filipinos and other Asian identities during the COVID-19 global pandemic; and
Whereas, efforts must continue to promote the study of Filipino American history and culture, as well as anti-racist discourse, because the roles of Filipino Americans and all people of color have been overlooked in the writing, teaching, and learning of United States history.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights hereby recognize October 2021 as the 434th anniversary of the presence of Filipinos in the United States and recognize October as Filipino American History Month, and encourage everyone, including our County Board of Supervisors, to celebrate the history of Filipino Americans, in order to appreciate more about the historic contributions of Filipino Americans to Sonoma County and to the United States, including the on-going discussions around promoting diversity, equity, and justice for those who’s human rights have been infringed.
The resolution passed on a 9-0-1 vote. One Commissioner abstained and one Commissioner was absent.