WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) met with members of the Philippine American Friendship Community (PAFCOM) to commemorate Filipino Heritage Month and acknowledge the important role Filipino Americans have had on our nation’s history. During the meeting, Sen. Menendez and PAFCOM discussed critical concerns the Filipino community is facing today including Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate, housing, economic, and healthcare issues.
“It was great to hear directly from representatives of Filipino communities throughout the state about the kinds of issues they are facing as we celebrate the rich history and remarkable contributions Filipino Americans have made in the United States,” said Sen. Menendez. “I am dedicated to supporting and advocating for the needs of the over 140,000 Filipinos who call New Jersey home across the state, and I look forward to continuing to deliver results that ensure a better quality of life and a higher degree of safety.”
In 2009, Sen. Menendez proudly cosponsored a resolution recognizing October as Filipino American History Month. Celebrated in October, Filipino American History Month celebrates the arrival of the first Filipinos in the continental United States. In 2018, census data indicated that 143,000 Filipinos lives in New Jersey with the highest concentration of Filipino-Americans found in Jersey City, Bergenfield, Piscataway, Union, Edison, Hackensack, Dumon and Bayonne.
In recent years, the AAPI community has been confronted with an increase in racism, xenophobia, and discrimination throughout the United States. This led the Senator to join his Senate colleagues in passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law to ensure the federal government has the tools it needs to address race-fueled violence. Sen. Menendez stands committed to fighting against hatred and bigotry wherever it rears its head, just as he did when authoring New Jersey’s landmark Bias Crime Law. This was among the first laws in the country to make crimes committed on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation an aggravated offense with stiffer penalties, and served as a national model for state and federal anti-hate laws across the country.
The Philippine American Friendship Community works to uplift the contributions of Filipino Americans in mainstream America, together with its various ethnic communities. This vision is to be kept alive by its diverse benevolent missions mostly aimed at benefiting the residents of Jersey City, and those residing in adjacent communities. The organization’s mission is to nourish closer relationships among Filipino Americans as well as other American communities and multi-ethnic groups to bring a more neighborly community to life. They strive to develop a well-focused, supportive socio-economic and educational plan that extends to the elderly, individuals with disabilities, youth and families in need in order to help improve their quality of life.
Article link : https://www.menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/press/sen-menendez-meets-with-members-of-the-philippine-american-friendship-community-to-commemorate-filipino-heritage-month