Filipino elected officials combat misinformation in Asian American community

A power lineup of elected officials from the Democratic Party. The Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats, or PALAD, kicked off its new weekly Virtual Merienda Series.

The series, spearheaded by PALAD president and LA Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza, hopes to keep Filipinos engaged and updated on ongoing issues, especially with the 2020 presidential elections some 6 months away.

“That’s our North Star, if you will, is to make sure of what’s really important for the upcoming Presidential Elections, and we need each other more than ever,” said Caloza.

Fil-Am elected officials including California Congressman TJ Cox, State Assemblyman Rob Bonta, and Sierra Madre Mayor Pro-Tempore, Rachelle Arizmendi, gave updates on their efforts from the local, state, and federal levels.

For Congressman TJ Cox, who is Filipino and Chinese American, he hopes to combat misinformation, especially the kind that hurts Asian American communities.

“I know being Chinese and Filipino how dangerous that can be to all of us who are all American in addition to being Filipino or Chinese or Hispanic and whatever else where your forefathers might have come from. That’s why we introduced two bills, one that’s to educate and combat misinformation on COVID-19 and call on HHS to fund certain awareness campaigns online, on television, in print media to spread factual information on COVID-19, that’s unfortunately one thing we’re not getting from the White House.

Joining these lawmakers was U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff from California’s 28th district, which includes large Filipino communities in Los Angeles, Glendale, and Burbank.

Los Angeles County reports about 1,200 COVID-19 deaths and some 25 thousand cases, he’s seen hard hit areas.

“In our district, we have major hotspots in a couple skilled nursing facilities, one in east Hollywood where there 140 people that have comedown with the virus, 90 of them residents and about 50 of them staff, and similarly we had an outbreak at a facility in Burbank,” said Schiff.

“I think the top priority for us in congress, protecting our people protecting those on the frontline, making sure everyone has the gear that they need from city to state and federal levels, Elected officials gave updates on actions being taken to address the coronavirus pandemic.”

PALAD’s Virtual Merienda will take place online throughout May in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — depending on when social gatherings can resume, they hope to continue to be even more active in the months leading to the 2020 presidential elections.

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