2011 National Alliance for Filipino Concerns General Assembly Communique
Jersey City, New Jersey
October 21-23, 2011
The 2011 National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) General Assembly (GA), held October 21-23 concluded with a reinvigorated unity, commitment, and collective enthusiasm to continue advancing the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the U.S. and around the world, with special concern for Filipino migrants and workers.
The NAFCON GA hailed the theme: “Pag-ibayuhin ang Pagkakaisa ng Kilusan ng Migranteng Pilipino sa U.S. Para Ipagtanggol ang Ating Karapatan at Kagalingan at Itayo ang Maaliwalas na Kinabukasan ng Ating Inang Bayan” Further Deepen the Unity of the US Filipino Im/migrant Movement To Defend our Rights and Welfare and Build a Brighter Future for our Homeland.
More than seventy participants from the thirty member organizations and supporting groups attended the General Assembly coming from cities and states across the U.S. including Chicago, Los Angeles, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, San Bernardino, San Jose, Seattle, Virginia and Washington D.C. International representatives coming from Australia, the Netherlands, as well as the Philippines also attended.
Congressman Raymond “Mong” Palatino from the Philippine Kabataan Party List, who served as the keynote speaker affirmed during his speech that, “The Filipino community in the U.S., led by NAFCON and other allied organizations, is ready to enter a new era of renewed struggles. The community is prepared to boost the full potential of the mass movement in advancing the rights of migrants, the workers, the poor, in solidarity with all those who are struggling for a better future in many parts of the world. I salute NAFCON for leading the fight, the noble fight of Filipinos in the U.S.”
On the first day of the GA, NAFCON highlighted its achievements over the last ten years including its active role in defending against attacks on immigrants such as legislative bill SB1070, fighting against human trafficking of Filipinos, including the Sentosa 27++, coordinating national relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy and other Philippine calamities, releasing Ating Kalagayan a published national situationer of Filipinos in the U.S., and hosting several national gatherings in Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York.
Also included in NAFCON’s successes over the years was the formations of SANDIWA the National Alliance of Filipino American Youth and the National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns (NEFFCON). Furthermore, NAFCON also organized and participated in the Third International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR) in Mexico City and the second general assembly of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA).
The GA continued with both regional and sectoral reports from Northern and Southern California, North East, Sandiwa, Church, and Domestic Workers. Then to close out the evening, members from the different regions and sectors gathered together into caucuses to elect their representatives whom will serve in the National Council, identify the group’s burning issues, and agree on how they will work together to advance NAFCON’s General Program of Action (GPOA).
The second day of the NAFCON GA proved to be historic with the ratification of the amendments to the alliance’s constitution and bylaws, GPOA, and current resolutions including NAFCON’s official affiliation with Migrante International and adopting December 18th as a national day of action in honor of International Migrants Day.
Of equal importance, the GA progressed with the election of the remaining seven at large members of the National Council who join the eight regional and sectoral representatives appointed on the previous day. From those chosen to serve in the leading body, the National Council, as specified by the constitution, decided amongst themselves who will comprise the 7 member Executive board.
Thus the members of the 2011 to 2014 NAFCON Executive Board are:
Terrence Valen (San Francisco Filipino Community Center – FCC)
Vice President Internal:
Joy Sison (Los Angeles Filipino Migrant Center)
Vice President External:
Bernadette Herrera (San Francisco Filipino Community Center – FCC)
Mara Ibarra (San Jose Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants – PAWIS)
Deputy General Secretary:
Jonna Baldres (New York Philippine Forum)
Aurora Victoria David (Stanford Pilipino America Student Union – PASU)
Rico Foz (New Jersey Philippine Forum)
Following the announcement of the Executive Board and National Council, all the NAFCON members received certificates recognizing their good standing. The growth of the alliance from less than five members in 2003 to the thirty in 2011 demonstrates the power and appeal of NAFCON’s mission to defend and advance the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the U.S. and around the world.
In the next three years, NAFCON will continue to achieve concrete victories, especially for migrants and workers in the vision of further Deepening the Unity of the US Filipino Im/migrant Movement To Defend our Rights and Welfare and Build a Brighter Future for our Homeland.