SAN FRANCISCO – As Filipino American History Month concludes the city of San Francisco introduced legislation to honor its Pinoy citizens.
As concern continues to grow over the displacement of Filipinos in the South of Market neighborhood, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors introduced a plan to establish an official Filipino social and cultural district to preserve the Filipino American community that still remains.
Called “the Filipino Cultural Heritage District”, the area would designate more than 25 buildings, sites and objects as historic to honor Fil-Am culture in the City.
Supervisor Jane Kim, who jurisdiction is the South of Market, said, “I’m really excited to introduce this resolution that will begin a year-long planning process on how we preserve and protect our cultural assets and support our institutions of small businesses but also how we can slow down and prevent the displacement of so many of our seniors and families so they can continue to call South of Market their home.”
The Board of Supervisors also adopted the resolution to call on the U.S. Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino World War II veterans.
According to the Veterans Equity Center (VEC) there are approximately 6,000 Filipino veterans in the U.S. and 10,000 in the Philippines.
Advocates are confident that with this support the U.S. government will honor the vets before they pass away.
Luisa Antonio, the executive director of the VEC, said, “I think the impact is now. If we are going to make an impact to those who are alive it is important that we pass the congressional gold medal legislation so we can still see most of the 6,000 who are here in the United States to come forward and receive not only the medal but a recognition and a genuine thank from the U.S. government for the services and sacrifices they have made for this country.”
World War II veteran Felix Damil said, “I’m thankful for all the people who helped us get the Congressional Gold Medal and we are hopeful that we receive it.”
The Board of Supervisors hopes to get support from California state lawmakers as the bill makes its way to Congress.
It’s about time!!