The FFAC PAC or Friends of the Filipino American Community PAC hosted a successful forum last Saturday October 27th at the Fort McKinley Restaurant in South San Francisco.
Executive committee members and officers, Dr Fel Anthony Amistad, president and current State Commissioner for the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists emceed a public debate and forum with candidates for elected office. San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner candidate Sepi Richardson spoke on the diversity of the County and her close ties with the Filipino American community. She traces her long career in public politics along with the Godmother of Community Empowerment, “Tita” Alice Bulos, one of the co-founders of the FFAC PAC. She reminisced about their close ties and the visits to her SSF home to share politics and the empowerment of their communities.
Also in attendance were South San Francisco candidates, FilAm Mark Nagales, a former US Congressional representative of Jackie Speier (D-Hillsoborough) who spoke well on the needs and priorities of the City of South San Francisco. He spoke about “firsts,” such as a a candidate who if elected will be the “first” elected Filipino American gentleman in the SSF Council.
Other SSF Candidates in attendance were Mark Addiego, who was elected in 1980 as the “youngest” Councilman in SSF history, if not the County of San Mateo. Mark Addiego and Pradeep Gupta, PhD, another SSF Councilman spoke about the challenges facing their campaign. While they were campaigning in the large SSF district, they were confronted by some voters who questioned Pradeep Gupta’s ethnic background. Mark Addiego, a current councilman, stated that citizens from the diverse SSF city have rights to express themselves, but not to taunt nor use divisive language as a way to intimidate and harass fellow public servants.
A SSF attendee questioned Mark Addiego about Sanctuary Cities and his position on it. Mr Addiego stated that such a policy falls under Federal Governence and that cities such as SSF must follow the Federal rules. One exception mentioned was San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Law which was enacted as symbolic law to protect refugees fleeing oppression and death.
The other candidates involved in the forum were Daly City candidates Pam DiGiovanni and Gabriella Makstman, two female candidates who spoke about diversity in Daly City and what was needed to make the City more livable and affordable.
Makstman spoke about financial issues and the needs to keep Daly City on track and fiscally sound. Her background in finances were mentioned as a strength and valuable addition to the five member council. She felt that no one in the City Council really understand the financial impact of budget cuts and fiscal decision making. She feels she will add to that equation and balance out the City Council make up.
Foster City candidate Patrick Sullivan was also present to speak about his political race in the modern and well to do City of Foster City. Sullivan spoke about his background and his birthplace of Daly City, city which is home to more Filipinos outside Manila. Sullivan was strong about the need to elect city servants who will look out for homeowners and help shape city policy to expand more housing units and affordability. Finally, Cristina Osmena, Hillsborough resident and candidate for US Congress spoke about her historical roots and finance background. She stated that she wants to serve because GOP dominated Congress has blocked the progress and work of the Democratic incumbent Jackie Speier. “Nothing can get done in Congress when the US President and both houses are Republican.”
Also present was Christina Laskowski, Republican State Assembly (District 22) candidate who spoke about her business strategic and finance background. She felt the need to reach out and educate fellow voters in her district that she can make a difference in the Assembly using her specialized skills and education.
The FFAC Forum is a regularly scheduled debate and meet/greet with political candidates since the PAC’s organization and creation 10 years ago.
Current President is Dr Fel Anthony Amistad, Vice President is Evelyn Centeno, Recording Secretary is Michael Pangilinan, Corresponding Secretary is Bradley Roxas, Assistant Secretary is Walter Batara and Treasurer is Rose Formalejo, Membership Director Rose Pavone and Chairman Emeritus, Henry Manayan.