Saturday, September 25, 2021

California Renames Its Park To Honor Fil-Am Community Leader Larry Itliong

California Renames Its Park To Honor Fil-Am Community Leader Larry Itliong


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Approved! One of California’s parks is renamed after a Filipino.


Who Is Larry Itliong?

Larry Itliong, commonly known as “Seven Fingers,” was a Filipino American community leader and activist who was engaged in the agricultural labor movement in the 1960s, particularly during the Delano Grape Strike.

Itliong became a leader of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) in 1965, a union made up primarily of Filipino immigrants who arrived in the United States during the 1930s. Around this time, Itliong, together with Philip Vera Cruz, Benjamin Gines, and Pete Velasco, organized a strike in California against table grape producers in an attempt to raise their earnings to minimum wage levels.

Workers received greater pay, medical insurance, and pesticide usage restrictions when the Delano Grape Strike ended in 1970.


Honoring the Filipino- American Labor Leader

The movement to rename one of the parks in Delano City, California to Larry Itliong Unity Park won unanimous approval from the City Council last June 21, 2021.

“Imagine the excitement of the Filipino community who have known about Larry Itliong to see a park named in his honor, that’s the vision we’re leading with today by supporting this,” Delano City’s Mayor Bryan Osorio Trujillo said.

The park’s name, according to community organizations like the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), is intended to honor Itliong’s accomplishments while also educating young Filipino Americans about what he did for the community.

The Park will also feature a mural created by Itliong’s daughter, which will be unveiled on October 25, 2021, the Larry Itliong Day in California.

Last April 13, 2021, San Jose, California renamed its park “Delano Manongs” to honor the labor and achievements of Filipino farmworkers Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz, and Pete Velasco during the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 to 1970.

The Filipino-American Organizations expressed their delight when the naming of a park in Delano after Fil-Am organizer and community leader Larry Itliong was approved.

Max Barrera, a civic planner who collaborated with municipal developers and the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) – Delano Chapter, spearheaded this campaign.


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