Lillian Galedo, tip village organizer-leader, retires after decades of service

June 28, 2017 - storage organizer

Lillian Galedo assimilated other newcomer rights leaders in disapproval a discriminatory Simpson-Mazzoli immigration check during a press discussion in a early 1980s. CONTRIBUTED

In her debate during a celebration eventuality that a Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) hold in her respect on Apr 27, 2017, effusive Executive Director Lillian Galedo stated, “In 1984, we carried a outrageous ensign that we had embellished myself to a convene during a U.S./Mexico border, saying, ‘Stop a Deportations of Immigrants and Refugees’.”

Ironically, decades later, a summary on that ensign is still a rallying cry opposite a Trump administration’s anti-immigrant bulletin and argumentative Muslim ban. Galedo was relieved to hear, however, that on a morning after a Nov presidential election, a California State Legislature released a matter to a new administration that it would not be on house with a bulletin of hate, multiplication and corporate power. “It is a avocation to conflict and conflict we would,” she affianced to about 400 people in a audience.

Resistance was something that never crossed Galedo’s mind while flourishing adult in a 1950s and 1960s in south Stockton, California, afterwards unincorporated. She lived on a street, populated by many Filipinos, though streetlights or cesspool system.  She recalls how her plantation workman father would come home so tired that all he could do was have dinner, watch a small TV and ask one of his kids to travel on his behind to palliate a pain of toiling prolonged hours in a fields nearby their home.

Although her relatives attempted to isolate their children from plantation work, Galedo’s father had no choice though to ask his family to spasmodic assistance out in sequence to boost his output.  She never listened her relatives speak about taste though a sheer category groups were all around her. Main Street served as a dividing line between a haves and have-nots, with bad whites and minorities on a south and easterly side of city and a center and top classes north of Main.

The FAJ fortuitous removing prepared to join a May Day procedure this year. Galedo, holding a banner, is second from a right. CONTRIBUTED

The second daughter of immigrants Inocencio Galedo and Sotera Ladaga, who both hailed from Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol, Galedo had mapped out a destiny rather formed on her comparison sister Herminia’s career trajectory. After high propagandize graduation, she would go to a village college, ensue to San Jose State University for an preparation degree, and turn a clergyman for a subsequent 30 years. In abbreviation school, while holding catechism, she even thought, despite briefly, of apropos a nun, desiring that eremite use would acquire her many points in heaven.

Galedo’s aspirations during a time did not go over what was informed or what her family expected, until an certain transformation module intervened and altered a instruction of her life.

In 1968, a University of California, Davis, by a Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), did a large recruitment of about 100 girl from underrepresented minorities from a Central Valley and middle city to accept full financial assist and inexhaustible support services to assistance them finish college. Galedo, who had already left to a village college for dual years, became one of a propitious recipients and spent a final dual years of her college education, majoring in child development, during UC Davis, afterwards a scarcely all-white campus.  But a propagandize not usually supposing her with a aloft preparation though it also unprotected her to a romantic perturbation unconditional universities nationwide.

It was 1968, and campuses were a hotbed of gainsay and burgeoning tyro activism. The anti-Vietnam quarrel movement, support for a struggles of a United Farm Workers, and Third World Liberation movements directed during editing a miss of farrago on campuses supposing an present domestic preparation for a regressive Stockton native, who had upheld a quarrel out of a clarity of patriotism. Meeting an Asian American highbrow serve fueled her seductiveness in her possess temperament as a Filipino and as an Asian American.

Through a work-study module during UC Davis, Professor Isao Fujimoto became Galedo’s mentor. Her categorical charge was to shave articles from a New York Times. In doing so, Galedo’s mind widened as she imbibed a news about activism on other campuses and what was function in a rest of a U.S. and a world.

She explained, “My dual years in Davis authorised me to be open to other things outward a normal purpose that many Filipinos were taking. Professor Fujimoto, who desirous me and other Asians to start Asian American Studies during UC Davis, still checks on me scarcely 50 years later. He wrote me a note and donated to FAJ on discussion of my retirement.”

Galedo (far left) assimilated other former KDP activists in San Francisco final year to criticism a funeral of Philippine tyrant Marcos during a Heroes Cemetery. CONTRIBUTED

After graduation, Galedo began a array of jobs during supervision agencies, universities and non-profit organizations in opposite cities, including a one-year army in San Francisco, where she went to support Fil-Am activists concerned in a sour onslaught to forestall a evictions and dispersion of a International Hotel.  Many bad aged Filipinos and other low-income people lived in a Chinatown building and were confronting eviction. She worked during a day and volunteered her evenings and weekends ancillary a residents of a I-Hotel, a initial citywide onslaught she took on involving a series of Fil-Ams.

Through this involvement, Galedo met members of a Kalayaan collective, who would shortly found a Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP). The common unprotected her to a some-more insubordinate viewpoint on a deteriorating socio-economic conditions in a Philippines underneath President Ferdinand Marcos, as good as a taste faced by Filipinos in a U.S. But before Galedo could get a deeper bargain of this on-going analysis, she went behind to UC Davis to finish a investigate about Filipinos in Stockton, saved by a Ford Foundation.

Upon execution of that report, she got a pursuit as an eligibility workman during a Welfare Department in her hometown and got reserved to East Stockton, permitting her to get to know some-more about her possess community. She after took a position with a Chicano investigate group, interviewing plantation workers and former plantation workers in a incomparable San Joaquin County. Through her years of knowledge operative with different campus groups and communities, she began to prognosticate a destiny for herself. “By a time we finished a project, we believed that operative in my village was my purpose in life.”

This goal guided Galedo’s serve career and proffer choices.  She continued to concentration on village advocacy during a indirect years, from sourroundings adult tyro support services during UC Santa Barbara to assistance students of tinge to stay in school, to being partial of a Filipino Education Task Force, that lobbied to urge how Filipinos were treated in textbooks, to removing concerned in fortifying a Asian American Studies module during U.C. Berkeley. As a 1970s marched on, dual vital junctures occurred in a Filipino village that became procedure for Galedo’s new activism.

In 1972, President Marcos announced martial law in a Philippines and 6 years later, after she came behind to a Bay Area, Galedo assimilated a KDP, a inhabitant romantic classification that fought opposite a persecution and for a rights of Filipinos in a U.S.  The deaths of her KDP comrades, Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, who were killed by Marcos assassins in 1981 in Seattle, serve combined her joining to a quarrel for equivalence and amicable justice.

The KDP inhabitant caring acted to her a severe task: Would she leave her pursuit for dual months to assistance a Seattle section in organizing a Far West Convention, dedicated that year to a memory of a dual martyrs? At initial she hesitated, jealous her caring capability and either she could leave her pursuit on a spot. After mulling over a ask and removing impulse from a clever women in a KDP, she responded, “O.K., we could be prepared to leave in dual weeks.” [Note: Galedo’s comment is enclosed in a arriving KDP book A Time to Rise:  Collective Memoirs of a Union of Democratic Filipinos.]

In a 1970s, a Filipino race in a U.S. was commencement to grow extremely as a outcome of a thoroughfare of a Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, that increasing a immigration share for all countries. The change in demographics presented an obligatory need to residence a final of new immigrants for equal entrance to education, workplaces, and housing. Thus, Galedo’s thirty-seven years in non-profit government began.

College comparison Galedo enjoying a light impulse during a Filipino discussion in Sacramento in a early 1970s with Larry Itliong, a Fil-Am labor personality and one of a heroes of a West Coast plantation labor movement. CONTRIBUTED

Galedo, who had started as an overdo workman during Filipinos for Affirmative Action (FAA) in 1980, was named a executive executive in 1983. Thirty years later, a classification was renamed Filipino Advocates for Justice, in approval of a expanding advocacy mission, that now enclosed fighting anti-immigrant policies, expanding a rights of immigrants and low salary workers, assisting pass a California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, internal assault impediment measures, and reside protections, and removing out a flourishing Filipino vote.

Bill Tamayo, a polite rights profession who was FAA house boss from 1980 to 1987, called Galedo a “consummate disciple for newcomer workers.” Tamayo recalled, “I worked with her on a National Filipino Immigrant Rights Organization, a Bay Area Committee Against Simpson Mazzoli and a Committee to Defend Immigrant and Refugee Rights.  We wanted to stop a discriminatory employer sanctions proposals and safeguard that a freedom module was fair.  This was a duration of immigration raids launched by a INS to get support for some-more interior coercion and strike fear in newcomer communities.  Lillian was partial of a bid to stop a raids.  The sovereign probity after released an claim interlude a raids.”

Ernie Llorente, who served as Deputy City Attorney for a City County of San Francisco until his retirement, had worked with Galedo on several Fil-Am village concerns. He praised Galedo’s moving leadership, stating, “During a many meetings and open forums, Lillian displayed her inherited intelligence, her authority of a issues formed on investigate and vicious thinking, and her strength and certainty that done her a healthy and caring personality and loyal group player.”

Asked how she grown as a explorer that spearheaded grassroots efforts to allege newcomer rights and other pivotal struggles inspiring a Filipino community, she credited KDP as one of her vital influences.

“The indication of organizing in my conduct comes from a severe training in a KDP.  Further, usurpation a life of use and domestic rendezvous over a some-more mercenary career also comes from my bearing to a organization. Of course, it means that I’m now confronting retirement though a grant though that comes with a territory.”

Galedo also concurred a Equal Opportunity Program during UC Davis, Professor Fujimoto, FAJ staff and house and everybody who had helped a classification over a years, and her husband, maestro romantic David Bacon, for assisting her build her possess bequest during a FAJ and lead one of usually a few on-going Fil-Am amicable use and polite rights organizations in a country.

Executive Director Lillian Galedo with a staff and volunteers of a Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) during a Apr 27, 2017 celebration eventuality hold in her honor. CONTRIBUTED

Asked what she would do in retirement, Galedo said, with a laugh, “I will purify out my garage and storage unit.” In a some-more critical tone, she emphasized that she was timid from her pursuit during FAJ though not from village service, to that she had committed her life 4 decades earlier. Barely dual months after her farewell FAJ gala, a healthy activist, who is a cancer survivor, was already articulate about a tasks ahead.

“We still have so many work to do — strengthen a sourroundings for generations to come, win labor protections and vital salary for all, finish outrageous income disparities, and grasp affordable housing and health caring for everybody – done some-more formidable by a new administration focussed on rolling behind any gains we’ve achieved in advocating for these issues. There is also a extrajudicial killings function in a Philippines that we need to oppose.”

Galedo is assured that FAJ will continue to allege amicable and mercantile probity underneath a helm of her successor, Geraldine Alcid. Alcid has a prolonged story with a organization, operative on voter education, account development, denunciation access, and village overdo for a 2010 census.

Alcid’s difference about her prototype spoke volumes of Galedo’s durability contributions to bringing a Filipino community’s voice into a incomparable on-going transformation for amicable justice.  She stated, “Lillian has stood adult for a many exposed in a village — immature people who were foul profiled, exploited workers, and a newly-arrived immigrants, including a undocumented. She emerged as a strong change representative that brought people together, empowered them, and nurtured their leadership.”

Alcid, who has famous Galedo for some-more than 10 years, pronounced she has always taught FAJ activists to “Never give up!” She noted, “I trust that her bequest to a Filipino village will be felt for many years to come by a people she has activated and those who have grown to obey her joining to probity and equity.”

Alcid added, “She might be retiring, though her activism lives on and serves as an impulse to us all.”

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