Special Section Filipino Cannery Unions

Video Oral Histories

   [Video Interviews]  [Photos]  [Documents]

Activists from Seattle's Filipino American civil rights and labor movements discussed their experiences in videotaped oral histories. The links below lead to brief personal biographies and streaming-video excerpts of each interview.
Dorothy Cordova

Dorothy Laigo Cordova grew up in the Central District in a community dependent upon cannery and farm labor jobs. Active in Seattle's Filipino American community for more than fifty years, Dorothy and Fred Cordova created the Filipino Youth Association in the 1960s, the Demonstration Project for Asian Americans in the 1970s, and the Filipino American National Historical Society in the 1980s.

Fred Cordova

Fred Cordova was raised in Stockton, California. He came to Seattle in the early 1950s to attend Seattle University. Active in Seattle's Filipino American community for more than fifty years, Dorothy and Fred Cordova created the Filipino Youth Association in the 1960s, the Demonstration Project for Asian Americans in the 1970s, and the Filipino American National Historical Society in the 1980s

David Della

David Della grew up in Seattle. He became active in the Alaska Cannery Workers Association in the 1970s and was elected into the ILWU Local 37 lesdership in the 1980s. A former director of the State Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs, he was elected to the Seattle City Council in 2003.
 

Cindy Domingo

Sister of assassinated union leader Silme Domingo, Cindy Domingo was active in the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP) in the 1970s and in the 1980s headed the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes that waged a successful 9 year long campaign to prove that Marcos regime was complicit in the murders.
 

Lynn Domingo

The youngest of the Domingo siblings, Lynn joined the KDP while in high school in the 1970s, organized Asian American students at UW, joined ILWU local 37 and organized Alaska cannery workers. She remains an active member of LELO.

Frank Irigon

Born in the Philippines, Francisco Irigon grew up in Tacoma/Seattle, attended Seattle Central, and was active in the UW Asian Student Coalition in the early 1970s. Helping lead the demonstrations that preserved the International District, he was co-founder of the Asian Family Affair.

Bob Santos

Robert “Bob” Santos, is the most publicly recognized spokesperson and leader of the movement that began in the 1970s to preserve Seattle’s Chinatown/ International District. He served as president of the Catholic Interracial Conference, HUD Regional Director, and was Executive Director of Inter*Im from 1972 to1989, and 2002 to 2006.

Velma Veloria

The first Filipina American elected to a State Legislature in the continental U.S., Velma Veloria came to Seattle in the 1980s to organize cannery workers under the auspices of the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP). After a decade of labor activism, she turned to electoral politics and served in the legislature for 13 years.

 


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