October 13, 2011
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma
California Speaker Pro Tempore
12th Assembly District
California Assembly Bill 199 will help ensure that the contributions of Filipino veterans who fought side by side American troops are properly recognized and remembered by future generations.
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco and San Mateo Counties), announces the signing of Assembly Bill 199 this Friday October 14, 2011 at Bessie Carmichael Middle School in San Francisco. Bessie Carmichael, whose school population is 50% Filipino, sits in the SOMA district of San Francisco, home to many Filipino WWII Veterans. When this bill was originally introduced in 2004, 98 Filipino WWII veterans were still alive to tell their stories. Today, there are only 17 veterans still alive. Two previous versions of this bill were vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
AB 199, the Filipinos in WWII Social Studies Curriculum Act, is the first step toward ensuring that social science instruction in grades 7-12 includes the significant role of Filipinos in World War II. This bill helps ensure that our children and future generations learn of the contributions and sacrifice of these brave Filipino soldiers before we lose them in history. During World War II, the Philippines was a commonwealth of the United States. Filipino soldiers in the US Armed Forces were in effect US nationals, who fought side by side with American Troops.