Filipino American Artists Encourages Community to Vote in New PSA

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San Francisco, CA – With the start of Filipino American History Month, political grassroots organization KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress (KAYA) debuted a get-out-the-vote public service announcement (PSA) featuring several prominent Filipino American celebrities to help encourage voter registration and awareness in the Filipino American community.

“ We need to make sure that our rapid population growth translates into increased electoral participation. Voter registration and voter turnout is the only way to ensure that the right leaders who make decisions about our livelihood, safety,and the future of our community get elected into office.” said KAYA National Co-Chair Genevieve Jopanda.

The video features actors Dante Basco and Michael Copon and singers Jasmine Villegas and AJ Rafael in a thirty-second spot that touches on their ties to the Philippines and the diverse reasons they vote, ranging from immigration reform to special education advocacy.

Short but powerful, the first-of-its-kind PSA hopes to reach and connect with Filipino American voters during Filipino American History Month, a time of pride and celebration for the Filipino American community, through a mix of art and activism.

“I think it’s important for us as Filipino Americans to vote because we have a low voter registration rate. We can have a lot of influence and need to voice our opinion,” said Villegas. “It’s especially important for young people to vote because unless you speak up you won’t be heard – voting is our chance to be heard.”

The Filipino American community represents a significant voting population. According to the 2010 Census, Filipinos number more than 3.4 million with the largest share being in California and fastest growth shown in Nevada. Filipinos are the second largest Asian American group after Chinese Americans.

In 2008, a National Asian American Survey (NAASurvey), showed that Filipino Americans were registered to vote at a higher rate to other Asian American groups (61% vs.54%). The NAASurvey also found that Filipino Americans were more likely to support a campaign, contribute money, and do community work.

Despite the promising numbers, however, efforts to increase Filipino American voter registration and turnout rates remain an important focus.

“The Filipino American community’s size has long been disproportionate to our political empowerment in the United States,” said Victor Zapanta, who directed and helped produce the video. “I hope that in some small way, this video helps fix that disparity by sending Filipino Americans to the voting booths this November.”

About the artists:

Danté Basco is an actor, voice actor, poet, and dancer. He is best known for playing Rufio in the 1991 live-action Peter Pan film , Hook. He is also well known for voicing Zuko in the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko’s grandson, General Iroh II, in The Legend of Korra, and Jake Long from the Disney series American Dragon: Jake Long.

Jasmine Marie Villegas, also known as Jasmine V, is an R&B/pop singer who was recently signed to Sony Music.

AJ Rafael is a musician and Internet celebrity. He is best known for his original songs such as “I Just Want You” and “We Could Happen”.

Michael Copon is an actor, model, producer, and singer. He is known for his role of Felix Taggaro in the television series One Tree Hill, playing Vin Keahi in the television series Beyond the Break, and starring in Power Rangers: Time Force.

Production Team:

Vida Benavides , Executive Producer
Victor Diaz Zapanta, Producer, Director
Jian Zapata, Associate Producer
Daphne Domingo, Production Assistant
Terrina Gogue, Production Assistant

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