Filipinos for Garcetti: Ethnic Political Organizing in Los Angeles and Asian American Civic Engagement in Cities

By GEORGE VILLANUEVA, PHD

This piece was published in the 26th print volume of the Asian American Policy Review.

Introduction

In this decade the U.S. Census and Asian American policy advocates have identified Asian Pacific Islanders as the fastest growing racial population in the United States.[i] This rise has been accompanied by scholars who point out that this demographic explosion needs more research on the disaggregation of Asian American ethnicities and their participation in electoral politics.[ii] Unfortunately most of these emerging studies focus on Asian American political participation at the state and national levels[iii]—highlighting the need for scholarship that seeks to understand if and how different Asian American groups engage in electoral politics at the city level. This work contributes to the paucity of multiethnic political engagement micro studies in major cities through the examination of Filipino American—who now make up the largest Asian American ethnic group in the City of Los Angeles (see Table 1)—organizing of Filipinos for Garcetti. The campaign was made up of Filipino American community advocates who organized community support, fundraisers, and votes for Eric Garcetti’s successful bid to become the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles.

Mainstream media coverage of the 2013 mayoral campaign focused on general campaign activities or news of major endorsements by elected officials, developers, established advocacy groups (e.g. unions), celebrities, and political insiders. Disregarded by the mainstream media was the critical emergence of grassroots ethnic political organizing and civic engagement, especially from the newer ethnic minorities such as Asian Americans and Latinos who combined now make up the majority of the city.[iv] Part of multiethnic civic engagement must not only study candidate outreach to ethnic groups, but whether ethnic groups self-organize to collectively become engaged in the political process. Asian Americans in particular cannot rest assured that their rising populations in major cities will guarantee resources from city governments and politicians. Instead, thinking and action should be devoted to political organizing by various Asian American ethnic groups that offer pathways for civic engagement and political visibility.

Informed by ‘communication infrastructure theory’ (CIT)[v]—a framework that emphasizes the construction of community through local storytelling networks—I argue that Filipinos for Garcetti demonstrates an important ethnic political organizing case that adds to emerging practices of Asian American civic engagement in cities. Filipinos for Garcetti and its relation to the longer history of Filipino American community organization work activated local Filipino storytelling networks for civic engagement by advocating for resources from Mayor Garcetti before, during, and after the mayoral campaign.

The paper sets forth to illustrate the history of community building by Filipino Americans and political ethnic organizing by Filipinos for Garcetti in Los Angeles through the lens of CIT.  A more in-depth discussion follows that suggests three implications for Asian American civic engagement in contemporary cities that can be drawn from the Filipinos for Garcetti case: (1) it shows how newer ethnic immigrant storytelling networks in cities are not resistant to local government participation but must ideally be activated by members of that storytelling network for the purposes of civic engagement, (2) it highlights the changing demographics in major U.S. cities that lead to a ‘new minority politics’ that expand the traditional black-white paradigm and why candidates should pay attention to Asian American integration into local government electoral politics, and (3) consistent with Asian American scholarship on the significance of racial formations for political power, Filipinos for Garcetti shows that political representation matter for Asian American communities within city government. These political outcomes matter because it indicates to the Asian American community that local government administration employees can potentially reflect their own ethnic appearance and community values, which in turn is critical to immigrant integration in the United States.

From 2001-2003 I served as the first Filipino American District 13 Field Deputy for Councilmember Garcetti—assigned to the Temple Beverly corridor, later officially named Historic Filipinotown.

Communication Infrastructure Theory

[viii] Social ecological by design, the theory focuses on the local dynamics of urban communities and posits that communities are constructed through two communicative components. The first component is the ‘storytelling network’ made up three nodes: residents and families, community organizations, and geo-ethnic media (or local media aimed at a particular ethnicity or geography). The second component is the ‘communication action context’ that recognizes storytelling networks are embedded in local environmental conditions that for example consist of the quality of parks, public safety, quality of schools, and other environmental characteristics dependent on the local place. This paper focuses on the value that CIT’s theorization of storytelling networks add to the understanding of community activation in the service of civic engagement in cities.

Previous CIT research has demonstrated that when a local storytelling network’s nodes are strongly connected, there is a positive impact on neighborhood belonging, civic participation, and collective efficacy[ix]—three crucial elements of civic engagement in urban communities. Other examples include research on the successful launch of a hyper-local news website called Alhambra Source that used a CIT approach to local storytelling networks in order to engage local residents from the multiethnic Chinese, Latino, and Anglo suburban city of Alhambra in Southern California to contribute community journalism to the news website.[x] In another website effort called MetaConnects, researchers from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism used a CIT framework to engage local community organizers from local organizations in South Los Angeles to build a translational website that shares community-based research and tools relevant to community practitioners seeking to promote social change in neighborhoods.[xi] The activation of local storytelling networks in South Los Angeles was also the case in an university-community based project called Ride South L.A. that involved the collaboration of USC researchers, community organizations, and local residents that designed a mobile phone engagement strategy that celebrated the cultural landmarks of the neighborhood through bicycle tours, while advocating for improved bicycle infrastructure in the area.[xii] [DISCUSSION OF STRENGTHENING NODES FROM EMAIL]

For this current work it is beneficial to use CIT as a conceptual framework that understands the Filipino American community in Los Angeles as a specific storytelling network that can be activated for the purposes of ethnic political organizing during the 2013 Mayoral campaign. Indeed, as this case will demonstrate below, Filipino Americans have had a long history of activating their own storytelling network in Los Angeles for community building purposes. This longer history of storytelling network activation by Filipino Americans themselves only enhanced the recent manifestation of the Filipinos for Garcetti political organizing that took place in the 2013 mayoral election in Los Angeles.

Filipino American Community Activism Formations in Los Angeles

Filipino American community activism in Los Angeles is situated in broader Asian American processes for racial, cultural, and political representation in the United States. Race scholars Michael Omi and Howard Winant see such community activism as ‘racial formations’, understood as processes “of historically situated projects in which human bodies and social structures are represented and organized.”

Similarly, Asian American Studies scholars that focus on Filipino communities in Los Angeles have pointed to Filipino American struggles for ethnic and political representation as racial formation projects that are structured in response to whiteness and the history of exclusion that subjugated Filipino Americans as invisible communities in the city. Scholars that study post-1965 (Immigration and Nationality Act) Filipino American ethnic recognition movements in Los Angeles have emphasized these formations as disruptions to structures of whiteness and how capitalism in the United States expects to consume Asian American culture.[xv] For example, scholars point to the history of mobilizing for a Filipinotown in Los Angeles in the 1970’s-1980’s as a formation constructed in dialectical relationship with the expectations that whites and the dominant capitalist culture have in regards to consuming Asian American ethnicities in similar fashions that the United States have consumed Chinatowns as the categorized place in cities to experience and eat the ethnic other.[xvi] Instead, Filipinotown movements have not neatly fit within in white expectations of a place to consume the ethnic other through restaurants and cultural tourism, therefore taking longer to establish in a city like Los Angeles that has historically boasted the largest Asian American population next to the Chinese. Filipinotown movements have been more in line with Filipinos desiring a memorialization based on ethnic heritage recognition goals. Such critical analysis drives home the point that Filipino Americans have felt the need to not only organize themselves in response to the structures of white expectations and consumerism of the other in the country, but the need to activate their own storytelling networks in the service of advocacy for their own political, cultural, and community interests.

Filipino American activation of their own storytelling networks for community activism in post-1965 Los Angeles offers a host of Filipino American community-based organizations that have taken on the mantle to advocate for community interests. These organizations have primarily worked out of the Temple-Beverly corridor, a locality that serves as one of the original areas that Filipino immigrants settled in the 1940’s after being displaced by redevelopment efforts downtown in the earlier part of the 20th century.[xvii] Key organizations include Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), Filipino American Service Group, Incorporated (FASGI), FilAm ARTS, and the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), among others, that have been operating as far back as the 1970’s. For over three decades, SIPA has been serving local Filipino families with social services, while dedicating resources to community and economic development in the Temple-Beverly corridor. FASGI has played a significant role in voter registration of Filipinos, World War II Filipino Veterans benefit campaigns, and in transitional housing for vulnerable populations in the area. FilAm ARTS has served as a site for Filipino cultural schooling and has organized the annual Festival for Filipino Arts and Culture since 1992. PWC has been instrumental in organizing recent Filipino immigrant and domestic workers for worker rights campaigns, while also building an affordable housing development in the area to stave off gentrification.

Activation of Filipino American Community For Garcetti

This existing Filipino American storytelling network of community-based organizations played a pivotal role in pushing for resources for the community and maintaining a relationship with Garcetti who was the councilmember of the area (13th Council District) before running for mayor of the city. A role that existing Filipino-American storytelling networks engaged in with respect to then Councilmember Garcetti was taking up the campaign that longed pushed for the establishment of a Filipinotown city designation of the area. The successful City of Los Angeles neighborhood designation of the Temple-Beverly corridor as ‘Historic Filipinotown’ did not come until August of 2002 when then newly elected 13th District Councilmember Garcetti officially legislated it after a campaign promise and working with Filipino-American community activists during his first year of office.[xviii] The label ‘Historic’ was intended to dually recognize the area as an original gateway and current locality for Filipino immigrant settlement, business presence, and community-based organization activity.[xix] the legislation and the history of community activism by Filipino American storytelling networks, a significant political relationship was formed between the Filipino American community and Garcetti. As a result, Garcetti maintained a staff position assigned to the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood that was held by a rotation of three Filipino Americans throughout his tenure as councilmember for the 13th district.  Hence, the Filipino American community had an established connection to the office during the twelve years that Garcetti was councilmember.

This was important because even though government jurisdiction primarily focused on the 13th Council District of the city, we as staff were also able to bring to bear the broader interests of Filipinos citywide. For example, this included politically endorsing and assisting the effort for the use of a city park in the San Pedro neighborhood of the city to continue to be the site of the annual Festival for Filipino Arts and Culture. Another example is that Filipino American staff were in a better position to learn about city funding pots that could be made available for beautification projects in the Historic Filipinotown area because staff were at the table in Council District 13 when these resources were discussed at city government staff meetings. Such knowledge, combined with Filipino American staff interest in making resources available to the Historic Filipinotown community helped lead to funding projects such as the Filipino World War II Veterans monument in Historic Filipinotown and streetscape improvements that reflected the cultural heritage of Filipinos in the neighborhood.

The Filipinos for Garcetti operation during the mayoral campaign in 2012 directly comes out of the previous work that me and the other Filipino American Council District 13 staff engaged in with the Filipino American community. We were the lead organizers for activities leading up to the 2013 mayoral election and were intent on activating the Filipino American storytelling networks for the purposes of civic engagement. We knew from observing years of electoral politics in Los Angeles that racial and ethnic groups gained power with elected officials by not only collectively protesting for resources outside of government, but by also participating in political campaign activities that led to the election of candidates that paid attention to the interests of organized communities that helped put these candidates in office. With this goal in mind, Filipinos for Garcetti activities included the organizing of two primary fundraisers attended by close to 100 supporters each, which resulted in over $25,000 in campaign contributions. Additionally, as lead organizers, we helped recruit Filipino Americans for phone banking and neighborhood canvassing across the city. Lastly, we served as points of contact for Filipino ethnic media that wanted to report on the campaign’s engagement of Filipino Americans.

Activating Ethnic Storytelling Networks

Communication infrastructure theory’s storytelling network component is a helpful framework to use when thinking about the activation of the various Asian American ethnic communities that now call cities in the United States home. Politically, the Filipinos for Garcetti case demonstrated the activation of a Filipino ethnic storytelling network by Filipino American organizers and participants in pursuit of a civic engagement goal during the 2013 mayoral campaign. It critically illustrates that organizing ethnic groups to participate in city electoral politics will ideally require ethnic-specific strategies in the form of organizers of the same heritage and that come from the community. We’ve seen this same phenomenon of storytelling network activation by ethnic and racial members of particular communities in the history of Black power movements in the 60’s and more recently in the ‘Black Lives Matter’ organizing taking shape across the nation in cities and online. Unapologetically, Black Lives Matter organizers overtly address the significance of Black community members organizing their movements for their own advocacy interests. Filipino community activism before and after the 2013 mayoral election remains an example of Asian American ethnic storytelling network activation and will continue to have the most relevance if Filipinos themselves take leadership in their own communities.

It is important to highlight that the activation of the Filipino storytelling network by Filipinos for Garcetti took shape through various strategies that were aimed at the Filipino ethnic experience. The fundraising events that carried the Filipinos for Garcetti name were particularly useful because they distinguished themselves from traditional fundraisers named after the general campaign or sponsored by specific individual hosts. The ethnic-specific campaign moniker signified that the effort was going beyond specific individuals by paying attention to Filipino Americans as a collective within the city.  Supporters who spoke Tagalog (primary Filipino dialect) were also recruited to participate in campaign phone banking that targeted Filipino households. Even though many Filipino Americans speak English due to the history of American colonialism in the Philippines, Filipinos who spoke Tagalog were more likely to feel more comfortable communicating about the campaign with callers who possessed similar language and cultural capabilities. This observation underscores Philippine studies scholars who argue that speaking Tagalog is a form of resistance to American colonization and that Filipino diasporas will exert Tagalog as an expression of power over their own everyday lives outside of their homeland.[xx]  These ethnic-specific strategies activated by organizers of Filipinos for Garcetti augmented the general campaign that used traditional voter outreach like television ads and English language materials that did not effectively reach the greater potential voters of Filipino heritage. An ethnic storytelling network approach encourages city electoral campaign practitioners to consider the different ethnic language and cultural contexts that may need to be considered in order to produce better civic engagement outcomes among the diverse Asian American communities in cities.

Shifting Demographics and New Minority Politics

The 2010 U.S. Census identified Asians as the fastest growing race in the country, reporting populations primarily concentrated in western cities. Along with the burgeoning Latino populations across the nation, major cities are faced with constituent politics vastly different from the racial and ethnic makeup of the previous century. Indeed, Aoki and Nakanishi [xxi] contend the demographic rise of Asian Americans and Latinos constitute a ‘new minority politics’ that transcends the historical Black-white dichotomy that dominated electoral politics of the past. This is particularly the case with major cities like Los Angeles, whose ethnic diversity requires new multiethnic strategies for civic engagement.

In respect to the Los Angeles region, demographers project consistent growth of Asian Americans and Latinos through year 2030 while white and Black populations decrease. [xxii] From 2000-2010, the Asian Pacific Islander group in the City of Los Angeles has seen a 20 percent increase [xxiii]. Relevant to this work and discussed earlier, Filipinos are the largest Asian American ethnic group in the City of Los Angeles (see Table 1). From a numbers perspective it makes political sense for politicians and city governments to engage Filipinos as part of the ‘new minority politics’ landscape. Yet, as political science scholars [xxiv] point out, the increased numbers of Asian Americans do not translate into political participation. Furthermore, one cannot assume that politicians will automatically pay attention to new ethnic minority groups when efficient and successful political campaigns are dependent on targeting already engaged constituencies such as white and Black voting blocs. Therefore, it was critical for Filipinos Americans to take it upon themselves to organize their own community storytelling networks toward a goal of political recognition and presence.

In 2015 the reality of a ‘new minority politics’ surfaced in Los Angeles as for only the second time in Los Angeles’s history, the only Asian American elected city official was elected when Korean American David Ryu won a hotly contested City Council seat. Even though a broad multiethnic coalition brought him to office, he was backed by substantial Asian American financial support citywide and votes from the Koreatown neighborhood that partially is located within his district. Parallel to Filipinos for Garcetti organizing for a candidate who showed clear interest to the Filipino American community throughout his political career. At the same time, Ryu’s successful campaign takes political organizing and Asian American civic engagement in cities to a new level because it shows the promise that Asian American ethnic groups are not only able to be politically organized, but that they can potentially make up the face of elected officials in major U.S. cities like Los Angeles.

Political Representation Matters

As Filipinos for Garcetti lead organizers learned from their past posts within Garcetti’s Council District office, representation on staff and on city commissions provide political visibility and access for the Filipino American community in the city. Even though the race and ethnicity of government representatives do not necessarily translate to ethnic minorities receiving attention within electoral politics, such ethnic consubstantiality does indicate to newer ethnic minorities that efforts are being made to increase their belonging in the city. Consubstantiality with ethnic communities are aligned with the canons of communication scholarship on civic engagement, as scholars like Kenneth Burke have long established the significance of consubstantiality as a strategy for political rhetors, governments, and media to establish identification with their audiences or constituencies.[xxv]  An example of this is that one of the major Filipino American newspapers, Asian Journal, covered the City Council confirmations of several Filipino Americans who were appointed to the citywide commissions. Political representation within city government is newsworthy for Filipino American communities in Los Angeles and establishes a form of ethnic consubstantiality between local government and Filipino Americans. For Asian American civic engagement on the whole, Filipino American political representation within elected official staffs and appointed commissions expands beyond the celebration of Asian American population growth. Political representation in the form of staff and commission positions shows that political institutions charged with public policies that govern neighborhoods can potentially be ethnically representative of the shifting demographics.

The activation of ethnic storytelling networks for the purpose of civic engagement is critical to the emergent multiethnic face of Los Angeles, but at the end of the day Filipinos for Garcetti as a political organizing vehicle must be evaluated by outcomes related to political representation within city government. When it comes to political representation it is important to not only study voting patterns of Asian American groups in multiple cycles, but also tease out whether they are making in-roads into actual positions within in elected official staffs and related bodies of government.

For the measure of political representation that ensued as a result of Filipinos for Garcetti political organizing, I choose to assess the Filipino American makeup of the Mayor’s staff and citywide citizen commissions appointed by the Mayor one year from his inauguration in July of 2013. From my perspective, a year in office is an appropriate juncture to assess representation because the Mayor and his senior staff had the necessary time to establish the administration’s full staff and appoint members to the various citizen commissions that oversee citywide policies. By the first year of Garcetti’s tenure in office, about 4 percent of the Mayor’s staff (9) and citizen commissioners (11) were Filipino Americans. Staff positions that Filipino Americans were hired for ranged from important posts in External Affairs and the city’s first ever Immigrant Affairs Office. As for the commissions, Filipino American citizens were appointed to significant bodies such as Area Planning, Building and Safety, Transportation, Affordable Housing, and Municipal Elections, among others.

Conclusion

Filipinos are the largest Asian American population in the City of Los Angeles. This warrants its elected officials paying attention to the concerns of the Filipino Americans, but it should not be assumed that elected officials will involuntarily account for the community. Instead, Filipino Americans will need to organize around their community interests and civically engage political institutions to ensure city resources are distributed to the neighborhoods in which they live and work. From a communication infrastructure theory perspective this article demonstrated the long history of Filipino Americans activating their own storytelling networks for community building and subsequently for civic engagement that led to the political organizing of Filipinos for Garcetti during the 2012 mayoral campaign. Moreover, this case takes seriously the emergent ‘new minority politics’ landscape in the country and illustrates an on-the-ground account of a racial formation project focused on Filipino Americans building relationships with existing political institutions. To underscore an earlier point, such an example signifies that Filipino Americans like other ethnic groups of the past are active citizens willing to productively contribute to public life and not be on the sidelines when it comes to political representation in cities.

On the broader account of Asian Americans, they continue to make up the fastest growing racial population in the United States and this is particularly true in the most populated cities of the country. As political scientist James Lai declares, there is a dearth of Asian American political representation at the elected official government level (both in terms of elected officials and staff) in major cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. This consequently leads to less attention being paid to Asian American community concerns and their greater participation within public life. To change this it is well advised that Asian American ethnic groups activate their own storytelling networks and turn the discourse circulated by residents, community organizations, and ethnic media to issues of civic engagement that will lead to political organizing that advocates for greater resources from the city governments for their communities.

 

The author would like to thank Joseph Bernardo, Ryan Carpio, and Joselyn Gaega-Rosenthal in developing this article.

GEORGE VILLANUEVA, PhD, is an assistant professor of advocacy and social change in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. He pursues questions about the changing global context of community, civic engagement, sustainable urban development, democracy, and the city. He is particularly interested in theories and methods that develop engaged scholarship within universities to effect positive social change in urban communities. George also investigates visual communication, cultural anthropology, public culture, and race and ethnicity. He is a native Angeleno who grew up in the intersecting spaces of East Hollywood, Koreatown, and Historic Filipinotown.

 


References

Aoki, Andrew L., and Don T. Nakanishi. “Asian Pacific Americans and the New Minority Politics.” Political Science & Politics 34, no. 03 (2001): 605–10.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice. “A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County.” Los Angeles, CA.: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 2013. http://advancingjustice-la.org/system/files/CommunityofContrasts_LACounty2013.pdf.

Ball-Rokeach, S. J, Y. C Kim, and S. Matei. “Storytelling Neighborhood: Paths to Belonging in Diverse Urban Environments.” Communication Research 28, no. 4 (2001): 392–428.

Bernardo, Joseph. “From‘ Little Brown Brothers’ to‘ Forgotten Asian Americans’: Race, Space, and Empire in Filipino Los Angeles.” University of Washington, 2014. https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/25379.

Broad, Garrett M., Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, Katherine Ognyanova, Benjamin Stokes, Tania Picasso, and George Villanueva. “Understanding Communication Ecologies to Bridge Communication Research and Community Action.” Journal of Applied Communication Research 41, no. 4 (2013): 325–45.

Burke, Kenneth. “Rhetoric—old and New.” The Journal of General Education 5, no. 3 (1951): 202–9.

———. “The Rhetorical Situation.” Communication: Ethical and Moral Issues, 1973, 263–75.

Cheng, Cindy I-Fen. “Identities and Places: On Writing the History of Filipinotown, Los Angeles.” Journal of Asian American Studies 12, no. 1 (2009): 1–33.

Cheng, Wendy. The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California. Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2013.

Chen, Nien-Tsu N., Fan Dong, Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, Michael Parks, and Jin Huang. “Building a New Media Platform for Local Storytelling and Civic Engagement in Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods.” New Media & Society 14, no. 6 (September 1, 2012): 931–50. doi:10.1177/1461444811435640.

deGuzman Magalong, Michelle. “The Search for’P-Town’: Filipino American Place (s) in Los Angeles.” Critical Planning, 2003, 5.

Espiritu, Augusto Fauni. “The Rise and Fall of the Filipino Town Campaign in Los Angeles: A Study in Filipino American Leadership.” University of California, Los Angeles, 1992.

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Le Espiritu, Yen. Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries. Univ of California Press, 2003. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=W19b7W7nsxYC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=filipino+americans+at+home&ots=MS8vStyiJu&sig=oiZw-kKlDGR5S7duyP3mKh1DMuA.

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Endnotes

[i] Elizabeth M. Hoeffel et al., “The Asian Population: 2010” (US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau, 2012); Asian Americans Advancing Justice, “A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County” (Los Angeles, CA.: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 2013), http://advancingjustice-la.org/system/files/CommunityofContrasts_LACounty2013.pdf.

[ii]  Wong, Janelle, S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Taeku Lee, and Jane Junn. Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011); Glenn D. Magpantay, “Asian American Political Participation in the 2008 Presidential Election,” Asian American Policy Review 18 (2009): 11–24.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Javier Panzar, “It’s Official: Latinos Now Outnumber Whites in California,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-census-latinos-20150708-story.html; Kate Linthicum, “Asians to Surpass Latinos as Largest Immigrant Group in U.S., Study Finds,” Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-immigration-asians-20150928-story.html.

[v] S. J Ball-Rokeach, Y. C Kim, and S. Matei, “Storytelling Neighborhood,” Communication Research 28, no. 4 (2001): 392–428.

[vi] Besides the academic sources referenced, the work in this article is also based on my own participant observation of Filipino-American community activism and L.A. City politics during my years as a Council District 13 Field Deputy, Filipino American advocate, and doctoral student at the University of Southern California.

[vii] The two Filipino American staff members that followed me were Joseph Bernardo and Ryan Carpio. Additionally, another Filipino American Chito Tenza was a special consultant on staff during the early years that helped with the designation of Historic Filipinotown and the creation of the neighborhood’s first Chamber of Commerce.

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Y. C Kim and S. J Ball-Rokeach, “Civic Engagement from a Communication Infrastructure Perspective,” Communication Theory 16, no. 2 (2006): 173–97.

[x] Nien-Tsu N. Chen et al., “Building a New Media Platform for Local Storytelling and Civic Engagement in Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods,” New Media & Society 14, no. 6 (September 1, 2012): 931–50.

[xi] Garrett M. Broad et al., “Understanding Communication Ecologies to Bridge Communication Research and Community Action,” Journal of Applied Communication Research 41, no. 4 (2013): 325–45.

[xii] Benjamin Stokes et al., “Mobile Design as Neighborhood Acupuncture: Activating the Storytelling Networks of South L.A.,” Journal of Urban Technology 22, no. 3 (2015): 55–77.

[xiii] Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States, Second (Routledge, 1994).

[xiv] Leland T. Saito, Race and Politics: Asian Americans, Latinos, and Whites in a Los Angeles Suburb (University of Illinois Press, 1998); Wendy Cheng, The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California (Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2013).

[xv] Augusto Fauni Espiritu, “The Rise and Fall of the Filipino Town Campaign in Los Angeles: A Study in Filipino American Leadership” (University of California, Los Angeles, 1992); Michelle deGuzman Magalong, “The Search for’P-Town’: Filipino American Place (s) in Los Angeles,” Critical Planning, 2003, 5; Cindy I-Fen Cheng, “Identities and Places: On Writing the History of Filipinotown, Los Angeles,” Journal of Asian American Studies 12, no. 1 (2009): 1–33; Joseph Bernardo, “From‘ Little Brown Brothers’ to‘ Forgotten Asian Americans’: Race, Space, and Empire in Filipino Los Angeles” (University of Washington, 2014), https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/25379.

[xvi] Espiritu, “The Rise and Fall of the Filipino Town Campaign in Los Angeles”; deGuzman Magalong, “The Search for’P-Town’”; Cheng, “Identities and Places”; Bernardo, “From‘ Little Brown Brothers’ to‘ Forgotten Asian Americans.’”

[xvii] Yen Le Espiritu, Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries (Univ of California Press, 2003).

[xviii] deGuzman Magalong, “The Search for’P-Town’”; Cheng, “Identities and Places.”

[xix] Besides settling in the Temple-Beverly corridor that was eventually designated Historic Filipinotown, Filipinos have also settled and now have a significant presence in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Eagle Rock and Panorama City.

[xx] Vicente L. Rafael, Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society under Early Spanish Rule (Duke University Press, 1988); E. San Juan Jr, “Inventing Vernacular Speech-Acts: Articulating Filipino Self-Determination in the United States,” Socialism and Democracy 19, no. 1 (2005): 136–54.

[xxi] Andrew L. Aoki and Don T. Nakanishi, “Asian Pacific Americans and the New Minority Politics,” Political Science & Politics 34, no. 03 (2001): 605–10.

[xxii] Dowell Myers and John Pitkin, “The Generational Future of Los Angeles: Projections to 2030 and Comparisons to Recent Decades,” California Demographic Futures (USC Sol Price School for Public Policy, 2013), https://www.usc.edu/schools/price/research/popdynamics/futures/2013_Myers-Pitkin_LA-Projections.pdf.

[xxiii] Asian Americans Advancing Justice, “A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County.”

[xxiv] Wong et al., Asian American Political Participation.

[xxv] Kenneth Burke, “Rhetoric—old and New,” The Journal of General Education 5, no. 3 (1951): 202–9; Kenneth Burke, “The Rhetorical Situation,” Communication: Ethical and Moral Issues, 1973, 263–75.

[xxvi] James S. Lai, Asian American Political Action: Suburban Transformations (Lynne Rienner Publishers Boulder, 2011), https://www.rienner.com/uploads/4d2f41f46db52.pdf.

 

Recommended Citation

Villanueva, George. “Filipinos for Garcetti: Ethnic Political Organizing in Los Angeles and Asian American Civic Engagement in Cities.” Asian American Policy Review 26 (2016): 10-19.

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