After serving in Seattle’s 11th District for twelve years, Velma Veloria became the first Filipino American and first Asian American elected to the Washington State Legislature in 1992. She was the highest ranking elected official of Filipino ancestry in the country at that time. Veloria has been involved in a wide range of activism and is a strong advocate for affordable housing, workers’ rights, and racial justice. She has a particular interest in the impact of international trade and globalization on local communities and coauthored important legislation to combat human trafficking.
Carlos Bulosan was a Filipino American novelist and poet. His best-known work was his semi-autobiographical book, “America is in the Heart”. In it, Bulosan reflected on the experiences of Filipino immigrants in America who were searching for a better life. It was one of the earliest books published about the experiences of the immigrant that was written from an Asian American point of view. He died in Seattle in 1956.
Ben Cayetano served as the governor of Hawaii from 1994 to 2002 and was the first Filipino American to serve as a state governor in the U.S. He cut taxes to stimulate the state’s economy, promoted welfare reform, affordable housing, and education.
Before 1982, there was no place to document Filipino American history for succeeding generations. Then, Fred Cordova and his wife Dorothy created the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in Seattle as a way to have information available about the Filipino American community’s history in the U.S. The Cordovas have both been involved in Filipino American activism since the 1950s.
Geologic (born George Quibuyen, also known as Promethus Brown, or Geo) is the vocalist for the Blue Scholars, a hip hop duo based in Seattle. Geo has also performed as a spoken word poet and in the 2007-2008 city-wide election for Seattle’s Poet Populist, he received the highest total amount of write-in candidate votes in the history of the competition. He worked as a community organizer with isangmahal arts collective. His lyrics often focus on the struggles of socioeconomic classes.
Christine Gambito is a Filipino American internet personality, actress, and comedian. Also known as HappySlip, her YouTube channel is one of the most subscribed to channels. She was appointed the ambassador for Philippine tourism by the Department of Tourism in 2008.