City of Carson culminates Filipino-American History Month celebration with special tribute to Union Leader Larry Itliong

FILIPINO AMERICAN labor leader and war veteran Larry Itliong

CITY OF CARSON – On October 22nd, the City of Carson and various organizations will join the entire community in honoring the life’s work and legacy of Larry Itliong – a Filipino American labor leader and organizer.

The day event will be held at Veterans Park from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. located at 22400 Moneta Avenue in Carson.  Youth winners, elementary through high school, of the Larry Itliong Essay and Poster Contest, will also be announced during the day event.

The day will culminate with a dinner at 6 p.m. to honor the labor awardees.  Attorney General Rob Bonta is set to deliver an inspirational message.  As a former assemblymember, Bonta authored Assembly Bill 7 in 2015 that designated October 25 to commemorate Larry Itliong.  AB 7 also encouraged public schools to teach about Itliong’s life and contributions to California.  Space is limited for the dinner event.  The fee for dinner is $50 per person.  To purchase dinner tickets, please call (310) 847-3570 or register through Activity detail | Online Services (

One of two Larry Itliong Labor Awardees is Gloria Caoile.  She is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Women Leadership Institute.  She was also a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and has served on the boards of several civil rights groups including the Filipino American Civil Rights Advocates and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.

The labor organization receiving the Larry Itliong Awards is the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO.  APALA is the only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers. APALA works to defend and advocate for the civil and human rights of AAPIs, immigrants and all people of color, and continues to develop ties within international labor organizations, especially in the Asia-Pacific Rim.

The Founders Award is being presented to Former Councilmember Elito M. Santarina.  In 2010, Santarina introduced the resolution to the Carson City Council to establish a day to honor Filipino American labor leader Larry Itliong.  Santarina was determined to spread awareness of the man whose contributions to the farm worker movement and eventual creation of the United Farm Workers that have long been overshadowed.  The resolution that ultimately passed established October 25 as Larry Itliong Day.  In 2018, Larry Itliong Day was declared as a holiday in the City of Carson.

Carson became the first U.S. city to recognize October 25, Itliong’s birthday, as Larry Itliong Day.  Four years later, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill requiring the governor to annually proclaim October 25 as Larry Itliong Day.

“The City of Carson is the first city to recognize the contributions of labor union leader Larry Itliong.  We are proud to have this annual event and proud to have been instrumental in the movement to get Assembly Bill 7 passed in Sacramento recognizing October 25th as Larry Itliong Day throughout California,” said City of Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes.

In 1965, Larry Itliong led the successful “Great Delano Grape Strike” to protest the low wages and miserable working conditions.  In 1966, he led the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and merged with the National Farm Workers Association led by Cesar Chavez to form the United Farm Workers union.

In 1970, Larry Itliong founded and became the president of the Filipino American Political Association (FAPA), the first national political Filipino American organization and a crucial alliance between Filipino professionals with 30 active chapters throughout the United States.

‘Stronger Together in CommUNITY and Heroism’ theme was inspired by Larry Itliong’s leadership with the Delano Grape Strike of 1965.  What he did to start the farm labor movement in this country is a great example of standing up for what’s right, using your voice, coming together in unison to facilitate positive change. (Jo Erlinda Maufit)