National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
Filipinos in government: Who’s on the table, who’s on the menu? Presented by NaFFAA
With four million strong in the United States, the amount of representation we have in seats of power is still disproportionate. Are we getting there, though? This panel will explore the importance of representation and engage the viewers with their stories and observations as community leaders. In addition, NaFFAA also conducted a leadership series exploring campaign support for those interested in running for office. Get the key takeaways from our presenters.
When: Nov 6, 7:30-9pm ET (Nov 7, 7:30-9pm PH)
Joshua Ang Price
Joshua Ang Price is from Maumelle, Arkansas. His father is from the small town of Antoine, Arkansas and his mother is a registered nurse from Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines who was recruited to work in rural America. Joshua is the owner and CEO of Hybrid Strategies, a public relations consulting firm specializing in economic development projects, tourism, nonprofit organizations, women and minority-owned small businesses, and government communications and policy. Joshua is also the Director of Marketing & Growth for LumoXchange, an international money transfer FinTech company. Joshua is involved with civic, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations focused on advancing minority small businesses, access to mental health care, historic preservation, and the arts. Joshua is the president and co-founder of the Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus of Arkansas. In 2018, he ran for State Representative — the first Filipino-American to run for that office in Arkansas’s history. Joshua serves on the board of two organizations with missions in the Philippines – the Basilia Womens Foundation, which provides shelter to abused women and children; and the Meguko Foundation, which provides scholarships to underserved children. Joshua attended the University of Central Arkansas, where he studied sociology, public administration, and community and city planning.
Jessica M. Caloza
Jessica Caloza is a Commissioner on the Board of Public Works, the governing and oversight body of more than 5,500 employees responsible for delivering critical services and infrastructure projects in the City of Los Angeles. She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in February and confirmed by the City Council in March 2019. She is the first Filipina American to serve on the Board and is the lead Commissioner for the Bureau of Engineering.
Previously, Jessica served as Mayor Garcetti’s Director of Scheduling since 2017, overseeing the Mayor’s entire scheduling operation — including strategic planning, day-to-day logistics, and coordination with various Departments and agencies. She also served as Deputy Director of Scheduling, and came to the Mayor’s Executive Office from the Office of Immigrant Affairs, where she helped lead the City’s immigration policy, grant programs, and civic engagement initiatives focused on expanding access to resources for immigrant communities.
Prior to joining the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Jessica served in the Obama Administration in the U.S. Department of Education — where she worked on higher education policy, Congressional and legislative affairs, student data and privacy, immigration policy, and gender equity issues. She has also been a campaign aide to several members of Congress, including former Rep. Xavier Becerra of California; former Rep. Mike Honda of California; and Rep. Albio Sires of New Jersey. In 2012, she was a community organizer for President Obama’s reelection campaign and helped lead various field offices in Virginia.
Jessica is also passionate about giving back to the community and volunteers with various Asian American and Filipino American organizations. In 2014, she was selected as one of ten delegates for the Filipino Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro), an international leadership program led by the Ambassador of the Philippines. Most recently, she served on the boards of KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, FYLPro Executive Committee, and the Leadership Council of the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE).
A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Jessica is a proud first-generation immigrant.
Sergio is a devoted husband to Hiromi Iida, originally from Iwate, Japan. He is the loving father to 9 year old daughter Aina and 7 year old son Sergio IV, both students in public school at Pauoa Elementary where Sergio enjoys his time volunteering with the PTA.
NON-PROFIT & COMMUNITY LEADER
Sergio was previously an attorney and the Director of External Relations at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, a non-profit, public interest law firm where he focused on providing legal help and led efforts in improving access to justice for the most vulnerable in our community.
Sergio has served on various committees of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, is a board director of the Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association, and is a board director of the Filipino Young Leaders Program. Sergio was also selected by the Hawaii State Bar Association as a Leadership Fellow and honored by Pacific Business News’ 40 Under 40. Currently, Sergio is a volunteer member of the sponsoring committee for the Hawaii Workers Center, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of low-wage workers.
Originally born in Iloilo City, Philippines Sergio immigrated to the United States when he was 7 years old after his father, a military police officer, was assassinated by a communist hit-squad during the tumultuous times of the People Power Revolution during the Marcos dictatorship.
His mother Mater, now widowed with 5 young children and 7 months pregnant moved with Sergio to the United States where she could return to work as a nurse. She would leave Sergio’s other siblings in the Philippines so she could save enough money to eventually bring them over.
Hoping to provide a more stable environment, Sergio’s mother sent him to live with her sister Pilar and their family in Virginia Beach, VA. It was here that Sergio could begin to assimilate to American culture, learn English, and have a stable home.
After a few years, Sergio’s mother was able to save enough money to bring the rest of the children to the United States and reunite the family. As a single mother, she worked hard to raise six young children on her own. Knowing the struggles of working families first-hand, Sergio has devoted his life to helping others and finding ways to pay it forward.
LIFE OF PUBLIC SERVICE
Born to a military household, the values of service and love of country were instilled in him at an early age by his father, a Philippine police/military officer and his grandfather, a decorated WWII veteran. Sergio sought to continue the family tradition of military service but when his citizenship mistakenly became an issue, Sergio would find other ways to serve. Having to navigate immigration law and the legal system on his own would open his interests in the law and its power to help people.
Sergio would go on to graduate from the University of Florida with a double major in political science and economics just as 9/11 happened. Sergio would dedicate the next several years working towards a more peaceful world. He volunteered his time for youth non-profit organizations and worked with local churches and sports programs to develop peace centered community service programs in high conflict areas. From the streets of Oakland, CA to the refugee camps in Palestine and Israel, to the beaches of Estonia; Sergio worked to bring people together. Because of these life-changing experiences, Sergio was inspired to complete seminary school at the Unification Theological Seminary with a focus on inter-faith and inter-religious peace building.
His unique journey and travels have provided greater clarity in his vision of serving the public interest. Sergio would go on to graduate from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii. He has remained true to answering the call of service to the community ever since.
Steven Raga currently works as the Executive Director for Woodside on the Move, a 45-year old advocacy and education non-profit in NYC. Most recently, he served as Northeast Regional Manager for Policy & Advocacy for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Chief of Staff at the NY State Legislature, Campaign Manager for Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, and was previously Senior Strategist for Multicultural Leadership at AARP. Currently, he is also a NY State Advisory Committee Member for the US Federal Commission on Civil Rights, appointed under President Obama, where he has conducted investigations on housing, policing, education, and prison reform. He also currently sits on the boards of Queens LGBT Pride, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), and Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro) which he founded in Woodside in 2009. Steven also holds appointments as a Member of NYC Community Board and the Queens District Attorney Advisory Commission.
Steven is currently completing Cornell University S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management’s and Weill Cornell Medicine’s Dual MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program and an Executive Certificate in Social Impact Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. He holds an MPA from the Baruch School of Public Affairs via the National Urban Fellow Program, a Graduate Diploma in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo, a Masters in Public Policy & B.A. in Political Science from Stony Brook University, and recently graduated from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.
Lihue, Hawaii. Michael currently serves as Managing Director for the County of Kauai in Hawaii, the youngest individual in the County to be appointed to that position. He was formerly Planning Director and a Deputy County Attorney for the Kauai County. He volunteers as legal counsel at the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Kauai Philippine Cultural Center and Honolulu Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was also Vice Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) and a Board Member of the Sariling Gawa Youth Council. Michael served in the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, where he graduated with a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and a BS with honors in Geology and Geophysics and minor in Political Science.