by Gloria T. Caoile

SEVERAL special guests participated in Filipino Americans for Biden-Harris Nevada’s Kamayan Zoomustahan on Saturday, Oct. 3. The virtual event was a celebration of October’s Filipino American History Month, held exactly one month before the 2020 U.S. elections on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and it featured speeches from Congresswomen Dina Titus and Susie Lee and Senators Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto. The night commemorated our community’s history and was a call to action and remembering.

Reps. Titus and Lee both made live virtual appearances during the Kamayan, while Sens.

Rosen and Masto sent recorded videos that were played for attendees. Rep. Titus embraced our culture and contributions, while Rep. Lee acknowledged the power of our numbers and our vote. The two congresswomen also emphasized the great contributions of our Fil Am frontliners during the pandemic, in Nevada and around the country.

“The fact that Nevada’s members of Congress participated in our Kamayan is a testament to the power of the Fil Am community,” says Margie Llorente- Gonzales, proud originator of this event and Chair of Fil Ams for Biden-Harris-NV (FAFBH-NV). “This is a historic time for us, and they were with us because they care and want our voices to matter.”

“It was an honor to have our congresswomen and senators speak,” exclaims Rozita V. Lee, respected longtime community leader and Co-Chair of FAFBH-NV. “We are grateful that they carry our concerns to the halls of Congress.”

Speeches from Nevada’s members of Congress were not the only highlight of the event.

There was also a meaningful message from Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden on Filipino American History Month read by Joel Enriquez, who, with his wife Olive, created our award-winning logo. We heard important messages from community leaders—Ron Sumbang, VP for the Adult Residential Care Providers of Nevada dba ECHO; Cristina Llorente-Drost, retired teacher; Gerose Cahilig, manager of Max’s Restaurant; Loni Andal, EVP of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Southern Nevada and a longtime pioneer in the entertainment field in Nevada; and Dan Santos, a proud second generation Filipinx American. Friends of our community, Clark County Commissioner Richard “Tick” Segerblom, Ash Merchandani, Chairman of the AAPIs-NV Biden-Harris Council, and State Senator Yvanna Cancela expressed their support for our community.

“This year has been difficult for all of us,” says Kate Recto, Co-Chair FAFBH-NV. “Being able to bring members of our community together to celebrate and honor our frontliners in this way was very special.”

“The event gave us a chance to energize the community as we get closer to the election,” expresses Cindy delos Santos, a long-time and very active community leader and volunteer. “This is an absolutely crucial election, and we need to be heard.”

Fil-Ams for Biden-Harris-NV will continue get-out-the-vote efforts through Election Day on Nov. 3. We will encourage early voting Oct. 17-30.

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