DALY CITY, Calif. – Is this northernmost town in San Mateo County still the municipality in the continental United States with the highest concentration of Filipino residents?
The oft-cited fact will be confirmed or belied next year along with the updated population of the entire United States when the US Census Bureau performs its decennial duty. For that reason the principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System got prime location at the 3rd Annual District 5 Together Community Fair here last week.
“The goal of District 5 Together is to connect residents with County and non-profit resources through various vendors. This year we have placed an emphasis on Census 2020 to make sure everyone is counted, young and old, so that we secure the federal dollars needed to provide critical health care, public safety and food assistance to those most in need,” San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, whose office has been hosting the annual cultural celebration since he took his post in 2016, told Philippine News.
Data from the census remaps state districts and allocates the seats of the House of Representatives according to population. Information gathered from surveys determines distribution of funds to federal, state and local governments.
But certain sectors are wary of the national count that takes place every 10 years. Newcomers tend to ignore the Census notices, essentially depriving their demographic- age, education, income and racial group, for example – of consideration for federal dollars.
So those lured by the aroma of barbecue sizzling over briquettes, throwback pop sounds from the ‘80s and ‘90s bouncing off walls and joyous laughter amid cordial conversation March 30 on the grounds of Jefferson High School here got to speak to US Census troops to understand the object of the surveys and assuage their misgivings regarding privacy, among apprehensions.
The fair bridged residents of Daly City, Colma, Broadmoor, parts of South San Francisco and San Bruno and beyond – young, younger and young once – with 50 community-based organizations, law enforcement and other public agencies offering family services.
Canepa’s chief of staff Tony Bayudan, the highest ranking FilAm on a County supervisor’s staff, and legislative aide Michael Richardson directed participants to their designated spots, alerting each attendee they were welcome to tickets for refreshments, an event perk in partnership with area restaurants.
Homegrown world champion FilAm DJs Shortkut and Apollo rocked the airwaves with “old school” hits iconic of the turn of the millennium, as parents, children, teens and seniors of every heritage, able or other-able, learned of multiple options to improve their quality of life in what locals knowingly call “North County.” Indeed the District sprawls closer to San Francisco than the County seat of Redwood City.
Cal-Fresh gave out totes while advising visitors of eligibility for free food. San Mateo County Health distributed safe crayons and coloring books while educating about lead poisoning and asthma prevention at home.
Representatives of Seton Medical Center, Chinese Health Initiative, Edgewood, Voices of Recovery and the local chapter of NAMI -National Alliance on Mental Illness broadened health perspectives. CASA Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Skyline College, and Japanese Community Youth Council discussed their diverse programs.
The County deployed specialists in housing, parks, jobs for youth and sustainability, veterans and senior services.
Outreach coordinator Nicole Fernandes detailed the work of the County EDAPT Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team. Commissioners Jean Hastie, Liz Taylor, and Maria Barr fielded questions about the County Commission on Aging tasked to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on issues facing older residents.
This being “New Manila, USA,” Filipino American nonprofits enjoyed visibility.
Board chair Perla Ibarrientos enunciated the exercise programs of Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center. Co-Chair Christi Morales -Kumasawa touted services of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative.
Migrante Daly City outreach coordinator Charles Ramilo gravitated to the intimate partner and family abuse prevention nonprofit named after his grandmother Alice Bulos, the late great community leader, whose birthday was the following day.
Colma Mayor and Kumare Joanne Del Rosario joined fellow ALLICE members at their team’s first participation: Rev. Leonard Oakes, Elsa Agasid, Nan Santiago, Bettina Santos Yap, Nellie Hizon and Ofie Albrecht defined their mission and invited visitors to their spring elder care and abuse prevention presentation May 18 in South San Francisco.
Santos Yap practiced emphatic listening when a survivor came forward to relate her unsuccessful attempt to file a restraining order against her abusive partner. The founding president of ALLICE plucked from the stack of their “A-List” resource directories and pointed to two organizations that would help the appreciative client with TROs.
“Being with the community was the highlight of my day,” said Santiago, a marriage and family therapis. Her sentiment was visibly shared by over a thousand that united in the spirit of caring and fellowship.