Will the Fil-Am vote have an impact on the midterm elections?

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 30, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. – There are only a few days to go before the midterm elections and people in America are about to cast their votes for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate.

Current forecasts show that Democrats are struggling to save the Senate majority, while trying to prevent more losses in the House, which the GOP already controls by a 234 to 201 margin.

The Democrats control the Senate by a 55 to 45 margin.

The question is: will the immigrant vote have an impact on the elections?

Asians are now the largest immigrant group in the state. And community leaders say they’re really becoming more politicized and more aware of the benefits of being politically empowered.

The group, Filipino Advocates for Justice, which is part of the Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Campaign, believes Filipinos are a force to reckon with in the midterm elections.

In California, more than 417,000 Filipinos are registered to vote, comprising two percent of the state’s registered voters.

“California is still where almost half of the Filipino population, and that’s without even counting the undocumented reside,” said Lillian Galedo, of Filipino Advocates For Justice. “So there’s a long history of Filipinos being active politically in California, which continues to this day.”

The Filipino Party affiliation in California is 40 percent Democrats, 26 percent Republicans, 31 percent non-partisan or decline to state, and three percent other.

“Here in California, we’re seeing a new trend,” said Galedo. “There’s almost as many people who are declining to state. They’re neither declaring themselves Republican or Democrats. They’re wanting to sort of keep their options open and not declaring allegiance to the party system and beginning to look at what people have to say.”

Christina Halog has been a U.S. citizen since 1973 and has never missed voting in any U.S. election since. More than casting her vote, she encourages other kababayans to vote through phone banking.

She is also a poll worker.

“It’s important so I can have a voice and to be able to contribute,” she said. “To give back.”

Mona Dating has practiced her right to vote since she became a U.S. citizen in 1982. She says being too busy is not an excuse to cast your ballot.

“Sa Filipino community, tayo ang largest,one of the largest minorities in the U.S.,” said Dating. “We need to exercise our right to vote.”

So are Filipinos politically empowered? These community leaders and volunteers say we’re getting there. But there needs to be more effort and more work if Filipinos truly want their voices heard and their votes to count in this adopted country.

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  • Mario
    31 October 2014 at 4:32 am - Reply

    Obama will sign the final salvo that will destroy America, Exec Order Amnesty for 34 Million Illegal alien,after the defeat of the Democrat this November election.GOP could not do anything to stop it,they will start to take over the House and Senate on January. The GOP will try to repeal the exec order and file for impeachment on Obama.Obama will be impeached, but he will never be thrown out from the WH, for historical reason, being the first Black American President.Two weeks ago Obama requested 34Million blank green card from immigration Department, that is the actual count of illegal, not 11Million as being reported by the Democrat media. 1 illegal will bring-in, Wife,1-child, Mom and Dad. 34M x 4 = 136M, Latino will control America for the next 10-20 years.