Filipino Democrats encourage civic engagement as elections draw near

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles continues to slowly reopen its economy amid the pandemic — but not happening anytime soon are large get-togethers and in-person voter outreach.

And with elections drawing close, the restrictions could be a challenge.

For the Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats, or PALAD, there’s still a chance to be engaged politically, especially on a more personal level.

“Talk to your brothers, talk to you cousins, talk to your crazy Tita who’s a Republican, and talk to them why this election matters and why the policies that the Trump administration put into place and why the policies the Republicans are pushing with are harming our communities,” said John Santos, the AAPI Political Director of the Democratic National Committee.

PALAD held its latest virtual Merienda — talking about the elections with John Santos, former Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido and special guest LA City Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson.

As Filipino health workers continue to lose their lives as they battle the pandemic, they believe the ongoing crisis can also motivate Filipinos to vote.

“We’re always wondering how is COVID affecting our community, why is that something specifically Filipinos affected. I can guarantee you every Filipino knows a nurse from their family or friends or neighbor is a nurse.”

With the entire state of California resorting to a vote by mail system for the November election, they believe this may actually help drive up the Filipino vote.

“Cerritos, 67% of our registered voters are already permanent absentee voters so we’re in good practice to do that but the rest of county, I don’t know if the rest of our county is in the habit of that but while we do not have any choice in this election cycle we’re going to have to shift our strategies in order to maximize our vote,” said Mark Pulido, Former Cerritos Mayor.

For now, California will have limited in-person voting, as more states also look into expanding their vote by mail systems.

But no matter how the elections will be conducted, PALAD and the Democratic National Committee hope the Asian American community can make their voices heard and their votes count come November.

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