Assemblymember Bonta, Speaker Pérez & Senate President Pro Tempore Steinberg Encourage Californians to Support Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Relief Efforts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), the first Filipino American elected to the California Legislature, held a joint press conference today with Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) encouraging Californians to support Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda relief efforts. Representatives from the Sacramento Red Cross, CaliforniaVolunteers and the California Office of Emergency Services also participated in the event to help inform Californians on how they can help victims of the Super Typhoon. Deputy Consul General of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon thanked Californians for their help during one of the worst storms in recorded history.

“As my Filipino brothers and sisters struggle to survive, locate their loved ones, and heal after this tragedy, I am encouraged that our state leaders, along with the rest of the country and world, are moved with empathy, concern, and a desire to help, and are turning those feelings into tremendous relief efforts,” Assemblymember Bonta said. “California is uniquely affected by the typhoon in that our state is home to the largest Filipino American population in the entire United States. There are approximately 1.5 million Filipino Americans in California; this represents 43 percent of the nation’s entire Filipino American population. Many came to the U.S. within the last decade and still have deep ties to the Philippines. I’m proud that our state leaders stand in solidarity in support of the relief efforts.”

“On behalf of the government and people of the Philippines, Consul General Marciano Paynor, Jr., thank you so very much for all of your efforts here in California toward providing relief for the Philippines,” Deputy Consul General Ascalon said. “The immediate response from Assemblymember Bonta, Speaker Perez, pro Tempore Steinberg and other officials and members of the community is yet another example of the true friendship our country has with California. It is great to see that when we are in need, California’s greatness, generosity and leadership is without hesitation.”

At the event, Speaker Pérez announced that the Assembly website will direct people to organizations helping to assist victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. The website, asmdc.org, also has links to help inform Californians on how to prepare for disasters here at home. Senator Steinberg’s website also has an informational link found here.

“As Californians, we have had our share of natural disasters,” Speaker Pérez said, “and we understand how horrific the cost can be—not just in dollars and cents, but in human terms. The photos and news reports have shown the devastation… And as with other recent massive disasters in Haiti and Japan, the people of California have been eager to respond.”

Senate pro Tempore Steinberg and Sacramento Red Cross representative Kathleen Weis informed people on what can be done locally for victims of the Typhoon.

“When we go about our daily lives and travails here at home, the stunning devastation suffered in the Philippines puts it all in perspective,” said Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. “The California sprit is to ask what we can do to help and then to follow through. But recovery in such massive disasters will take years. What we cannot forget is that long after the news coverage wanes and the cameras are gone, the suffering and the need for help will remain for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.”

“Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of devastation that is heartbreaking for the local community,” said Kathleen Weis, CEO for the Capital Region Chapter. “It is the generosity of our donors that help us to provide aid to those in need in the Philippines quickly so they can get the resources needed to recover from this tragedy. The American Red Cross is committed to help those affected.”

“Our hearts go out to those impacted by this devastating typhoon,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “We are working with our counterparts in state and federal government to closely monitor the relief efforts and ensure California is ready to help,” said Ghilarducci.  More information can be found at www.caloes.ca.gov.

For updates on Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and how to donate to victims of the storm, visit the Assembly’s website (http://asmdc.org), the American Red Cross website (www.redcross.org/ca/sacramento) or the CaliforniaVolunteer website (http://www.californiavolunteers.org/index.php/Disaster_Volunteering/SuperTyphoon_Haiyan/).