FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2017
Contact: Jason Tengco, NaFFAA Executive Director
NaFFAA Announces its Virginia Civic Engagement Coordinators
Virginia Beach, VA – The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is proud to announce its new Virginia Civic Engagement Co-Coordinators, Jackie Estaris Dunson and E. Fortunato “JoJo” Orencia, Jr. Both leaders will help coordinate NaFFAA’s signature civic engagement program, FilAm Vote, in Virginia in order to increase political empowerment through non-partisan voter registration, voter education, voter protection, and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts.
On National Voter Registration Day on September 26, NaFFAA leaders and volunteers descended upon Virginia Beach, VA to register Filipino American voters at Jollibee and other prime locations throughout the area.
Throughout its 20 year history, NaFFAA has remained committed to civic engagement and political empowerment. The years ahead include significant opportunities for Filipino Americans to make an electoral difference, including the upcoming Virginia election in 2017 and the midterm elections in 2018. Through the FilAmVote initiative, NaFFAA regions have adopted programs in order to enlighten voters of critical issues in the community, and subsequently increase voter registration and voter turnout. The mobilization of Filipino Americans to make a difference in their communities through electoral participation illustrates the potential impact and influence of our growing community.
NaFFAA National Chairman Brendan Flores said, “The surest path to empowerment for the Filipino American community is active engagement in the decisions that our elected officials make. Elections have consequences, and when those consequences mean changes in immigration, health, and education policy, then the stakes are too high to stay on the sidelines. NaFFAA is committed to ensuring that Filipino Americans continue to stand up, get involved, and let their voices be heard.”
According to AAPI Data, only 59% of eligible Filipino Americans were registered to vote in the 2016 election, and only 50% turned out to vote. This could be attributed to different factors such as apathy, lack of knowledge of the electoral process, or other barriers to voting. Although Filipino American voter participation was the third highest overall among all Asian American voting groups, there is much work to be done. NaFFAA remains committed to increasing Filipino American voter engagement and turnout in 2017 and beyond.
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The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, NaFFAA has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA’s vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.