Filipino-American democrats represent in New York

NEW YORK – Two Filipino Millennials play big roles in the Democratic party’s presidential campaigns. They represented their campaigns at a forum organized by the Filipino-American Democratic Club of New York.

One is a coder for the berniesanders.com website and the other is the AAPI outreach director appointed by Hillary Clinton.

30-year-old coder Rapi Castillo created a map compiling all the Sanders campaign events happening all over the US.

By putting in their zip codes on the website’s events link, supporters can see all the campaign happenings locally or in nearby cities and states.

Castillo said, “There’s 5,000 events all across America attended by a 100,000 people, and they use my map to look for events thru the map at Bernie Sanders.com site.”

27-year-old Jason Benjamin Tengco was recently appointed the AAPI outreach director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. He is on the ground, engaging AAPI’s including Filipino-Americans in the political process such as the recent launching of the Filipino-Americans for Hillary in New York.

“I want everyone to know that Hillary is the best candidate for the AAPI community,” Tengco said, “AAPI outreach is not an afterthought, it’s a priority especially for Filipino-Americans which is why she hired me to lead AAPI outreach, we understand the needs of the Filipino Community.”

In the last CNN Presidential debate Sanders talked about free trade and corporate greed, he said, “The kind of corporate greed which is destroying the middle class of this country. This gentleman makes $18 million a year in salary. That’s his — that’s his compensation. This gentleman is now negotiating to take away health care benefits of Verizon workers, outsource call center jobs to the Philippines, and — and trying to create a situation where workers will lose their jobs. He is not investing in the way he should in inner cities in America.”

Some Filipino-Americans at the Democratic forum took issue when the Philippines was mentioned in the debate in Brooklyn that Americans are losing jobs by outsourcing call center jobs to the Philippines.

“On one end I was offended, on the other hand I was trying to understand where it’s coming from, because I respect Senator Sanders,” Steven Raga, an undecided voter who is leaning for Sanders said, “Let the Philippine economy bloom in that sense because there are a lot of International trade issues that the Philippines get the short end of the stick.”

Stephanie Chrispin, an undecided voter leaning towards Clinton, said “It was definitely a point against him, in my opinion, on whether or not he’s able to cultivate the Filipino American vote right.”

“I’m really conflicted but at the same time, I know that Bernie Sanders comes from the place that wants to help out the American people first,” Castillo said, “That’s not dissing the Philippines, that’s not saying negative about the Philippines, that’s saying a reality, right now that jobs are going out of America.”

Democratic presidential candidates and their supporters may disagree on many issues but at the end of the primary season, Fil-Am Democratic Club officials say uniting the party is a priority.

“The best way to make sure that a Republican candidate wins in November is for Democrats to stay home,” Filipino-American Democratic Club of New York’s Aries De La Cruz said, “When this primary is over Democrats who support Bernie or Hillary can come together to defeat their Republican candidate.”

The Filipino-American Democratic Club was founded to provide a political home to organize and unite all Filipino-American Democrats in the Empire State.

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