Letter: Hateful Graffiti Destroys Unity, Honor and Respect of Entire Community

COR, Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Supervisor Richard Valle, Assemblymember Bill Quirk and others urge residents to work together to strengthen relationships after hateful graffiti was spray-painted on Filipino-American establishments.


A message to Union City, from Congregations Organizing for Renewal and Our Allies:

Over the weekend, the Alvarado neighborhood and the Union City community were impacted by an act of vandalism targeting the Filipino community.  While the motives and situation of the person or people who spray-painted local establishments are unknown, there are a few things that we do know.

We know that acts of this nature are harmful to the entire community.  This was not an act against only Filipino community members; it is an act aimed at increasing divisive sentiments throughout Union City.  It is an act that is aimed not only at the vandalized buildings, but aimed at the very nature of unity, of honoring and respecting the many histories and lives that shape our community. 

We also know that, when there is harm in a community, it takes an entire community to heal and address the harm.  To restore trust, to restore wellbeing, to restore the human dignity of those impacted, it takes a commitment from every person. 

A commitment to restoration, not retribution. 

A commitment to listening as much as speaking.  

A commitment to pro-actively working towards something better, rather than reactively tearing ourselves further apart. 

As Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti said, “Justice requires that everyone should have enough to eat.  But it also requires that everyone should contribute to the production of food.”  So we are each called to contribute to the wellbeing of our community, so that we might each enjoy true wellbeing.

Union City is no stranger to violence, but we have worked together, East side and West, Latino and Filipino, Christian and Sikh, to build something better and bigger than any one of us alone.

As representatives of many communities, we speak with one voice as we call for greater determination to strengthen our relationships with one another, to create opportunities of understanding and shared experience, and to be generous with good will.

“For the work of the righteous shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, calm and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)


Fr. Jose Leon, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, COR Board

Assemblymember Bill Quirk, District 20

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Mayor of Union City

Rev. David Borglum, Minister, Fremont Congregational Church (UCC)

Deacon Dennis Davis, St. Leander’s Church

Rev. Drew Nettinga, Associate Conference Minister, United Church of Christ Northern California Nevada

Michael Wharton, Co-Chair: COR Board

Supervisor Richard Valle, District 2


Zinn May 03, 2013 at 04:41 PM
My experience with Filipinos is that they are a kind, hard working, generous people.
Union City May 03, 2013 at 11:37 PM
What do expect when Filipinos try to take over a Latino neighborhood?
Ivy May 04, 2013 at 12:27 AM
OMG really, you're really going to post such an idiotic question Union City? Why don't you get to know the real facts about the issue at hand. Not once was it ever mentioned that the renaming of a school was meant to "claim" a neighborhood. Get your head out your ass and open your eyes and realize this community is not Filipino, it's not Hispanic, it's not Indian, it's not Chinese, and it's not African American, but it is a mixture of all cultures. This neighborhood belongs to its members of the community not just to a certain race. It's because of people like you that cause hate crimes and a division in the community when there shouldn't be any because it is you that is naive to possibly even concieve truth. This is why a name change of the school is idiotic and the money should be put towards education and educating minds like yours.
Ivy May 04, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Oh and BTW, Union City, the question you posted is grammatically incorrect. If you want to get all hyped and down on something, then get down on educating your mind!
Edward May 04, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Ivy...This is not idiotic...It is reality. If this was a New, Un-named School, everybody would be pleased, of all races, because labor leaders helpted us working class people of every walk of life. The Naming of "Cesar Chavez Middle School" did not cause this kind of uprising, with Mexican flags and UFW flages waving in the streets, or even phillipine Flags and clinched fists. Why? Because the Name was Mutually agreed upon, because Cesar Chavez, was a great leader and hero to all workers. With Alvarado Middle School, the emphasis was on the Pinoyness (if I can coin a word) as compared to the Union Activisim the two heros of labor, they should be remembered for. They were Revolutionaries to the Growers of the Central Valley of California. The were leaders and heros to the workers. Instead of naming a NEW HIGH SCHOOL after them, they are re-naming a Middle School, with history and a historical Name almost everybody wants to keep. An Angery community has it's "Revolutionary Activists" who will break the law instead of Using the law with an "Injuction" against the "New haven Unified School District . An Injuction, to put it on the Ballot, because of it's historical name and the number of years it has had, with thousands of alumni, could work to stop the name change, but, it would be better if the School district just Built a new High School on the West Side of Union City, that is needed, and left Alvarado Middle School's Name alone..
Edward May 04, 2013 at 03:31 AM
I think he left the "Y O U" out betwean do and Expect. As a citizen of Union City, "You" should be thinking of how we need to get the School Board to build a new High School on the West Side, rather than re-naming an existing Middle School.
Edward May 04, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Then don't re-name AMS. This is all because they want to destroy the Spanish heritage of Union City, or more exactly Alvarado of Alta California. 97% of respondents to the AMS Pole said they " did not " want the name changed. yet with clinched fists and the political might of the 27%, they pushed it through anyway. The Revolutionary spirit of "La Rasa" is alive and well in "Union City". "Cinco De mayo" is on Sunday....Watch the "Fireworks". Enjoy what you sowed. If you want peace, Recind the decision to re-name Alvarado middle School and build a High School on the WEST SIDE of Union City and name it after those Labor leaders. A second high School is desparatly needed and with all the effort the comunity put into re-naming the middle shcool, they could have drummed up enough support to pass a Bond Issue to build a new High School that would make both James Logan and the New high School more able to help students achieve what Schools are suposed to help them achieve...GET An Education!!!
Edward May 04, 2013 at 03:55 AM
This article says..."We know that acts of this nature are harmful to the entire community. This was not an act against only Filipino community members; it is an act aimed at increasing divisive sentiments throughout Union City. It is an act that is aimed not only at the vandalized buildings, but aimed at the very nature of unity, of honoring and respecting the many histories and lives that shape our community. We also know that, when there is harm in a community, it takes an entire community to heal and address the harm. To restore trust, to restore wellbeing, to restore the human dignity of those impacted, it takes a commitment from every person. A commitment to restoration, not retribution. A commitment to listening as much as speaking. A commitment to pro-actively working towards something better, rather than reactively tearing ourselves further apart. " Then why, when the 97% spoke, they did not want the named changed, The Clinched Fisted Phillipino Comuity FORCED it's WILL upon everyone else and the "New Haven Unified School Board" showed little backbone to put a stop to this by calling for a "Citywide VOTE" on the Issue? This falls back on the School Board, who fails to lead in the effort for peace and bettering the School District. By not Building the needed High School on the West Side of Union City and instead, using a "Name Change" to gain National Recognition to hide their failings, rather than helping students to get a better Education.
maikerux3 May 04, 2013 at 06:16 AM
How about all y'all just accept the facts and move on with your lives? Y'all are some really addicted people to your beliefs, that's why y'all are upset. Change that addiction to preference and look at how the name change would benefit to the community as a whole not as a problem. Don't stay in this addictive state of power consciousness where you just stay mad at the people. Everything is about how YOU react to things that happen not about the thing that happened. Stop living in the past or worrying about the future, just live in the now and accept the things that happen. Appreciate and accept life as it is, no reason to make yourself get upset, that is just your addictive programming of the mind, not you. Be in that cornucopia consciousness
Tamerlane May 04, 2013 at 06:19 PM
maikerux3, In other words, just lube up and bend over? No thank you.
Allen Castillo Geronimo May 06, 2013 at 01:07 AM
@maikerux3 : I strongly agree. Just move on. Give up! They are gonna change the name whether you like it or not! Just accept the fact that it's gonna happen. This is a diverse city too. And what makes you think we're trying to take over the Spanish heritage?! We never would and never will do something like that. Right now, you 97% people whatever should just accept the change and move on with your bad- minded lives.
Dave May 06, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Edward for Mayor!!!!
Edward May 06, 2013 at 08:21 PM
The School District needs A New High School, on the West Side of Union City, that serves Local students and James Logan High School needs to have it's population reduced to get it more personable to its Students. Fremont has 5 High Schools that are local to each district so why does Union City have only ONE. We need Two High Schools and Union City is still growing. The New High School could be called "Itliong-Chavez-Veracruz High School". Everybody wins, including all of the Students of Union City.
Edward May 07, 2013 at 06:55 AM
maikerus3...Let's take the Name change issue to the Ballot Box. Everyone gets to vote and the arguments can be made.
Edward May 07, 2013 at 06:59 AM
The issue here is Re-naming a Middle School instead of giving the community the High School They really need. The School district just got a $29,100,000 Grant (29.1 million Dollars) That is enough money to move Alvarado Elementary 3 blocks to Cabellio School Property, Move Alvarado Middle School to Delain Easton Property, then, using the Combined Alvarado properties, Make a New High School for the west side. Pioner and Alvarado (at the Cabellio site) could be outfitted with portable buidings for the elementary Students while a Gymnasium would be built for Alvarado Middle School (at the Delain Easton Site) Get the support for a new "Bond issue" becase both "James Logan High School" Students and "Itliong-Chavez-Vericruz High School" Students would benefit. The New Haven Unified School District would rather re-Name a Middle School and blow the 29.1 Million on "Ethnic Studies" and graphitti repair than give the citizens what they need...A new High School.
Maria May 09, 2013 at 02:18 AM
It is so disrespectful to just vote yourself your homeland interests when the pioneers of Alvarado are still living in the area. Alvarado is a neutral name: no allegiance to any one country. The Portuguese just had their carpet swept out from under their feet. Three people voted and they are the majority. They rule. The teachers have to take furlough days. Child molesters are still teaching in the schools. No one cares for the children. Run for office to make sure your country is elevated. It was some Alvarado Filipino students who murdered the coin dealer in Fremont a few years back. We need to be reminded of this?????When is voting time again? Is Union City now be named Little Manila? The Portuguese and Mexicans were here way before anyone else. It's is a sad day because the Pioneers of Alvarado are still alive and we feel that we have the right to remove their flag to put your own! Is this the purpose of running for office in Union City?
Edward May 09, 2013 at 02:34 AM
The Coin Dealer, Ron Miller, who was murdered in his coin shop, was also the president of the "Fremont Coin Club" and he encouraged young people to learn about history through the coin hobby. He did not get an respect from those killers either. You also know, that like Hawaii and Alaska, the Phillipines was a US Teritory and could have become the 49th State Ahead of Alaska or Hawaii but chose indipendence instead. Anti American forces even closed our Bases in the Philipines. Now they bring their Indipendence flag and flaunt it in our face. If they had brought in American Flags and celebrated the labor leaders for their work for labor, this would not "fly in the Face" of the 71% of the citizens and student of Alvarado Middle School who ARE American by choice.
Union City Resident May 09, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Edward - well written. Let's get down to the real issue.The elected school board did not honor, respect nor unify the community. They did not include the community in the decision to rename a school and now the city is in upheaval. What did they expect? City council members Navarro and Goscosco went to the school board meeting in support. Nobody mentioned it wasn't on the agenda legally, that they took an illegal vote and violated the Brown Act when voting. Then they tried to 'fix' their mistake which turned into a disaster and a joke.Not one single intelligent elected official or staff at that meeting said stop, this is illegal. Now the city is divided over the re-naming of a school. Now there are hate crimes being committed. Leaders do not divide a city. Shame on all of you. Now you speak? Where were you before. This has been going on forever. You are very late comers - Mayor Dutra-Vernaci, Supervisor Valle, Assemblyman Quirk? Leaders would have jumped in right away and deferred this anger. Bad job!!! BAD Leaders create Unity. Leaders are honest to the voters. Leaders show respect to past history and past leaders who have been honored and don't take the honor away to honor another section of the community instead. That's insulting to the other group. Letter to Editor is weak. Mayor Dutra-Vernaci, Supervisor Valle and Assemblyman Quirk haven't helped, haven't met with the people nor spoken sooner, you talk to a newspaper instead of the people. Afraid to meet the people?
Union City Resident May 09, 2013 at 06:26 PM
FYI, the Mayor and City Council do not make any decisions regarding schools or the school district. Only the School Board does. If we have another high school, we need another principal, vice principal, counselors, more new teachers for every class, all the same equipment as Logan - uniforms, sports equipment, theater, art, science equipment and labs, etc. The expense is prohibitive. I won't support another bond for the school district either. I don't trust any of them any more. That's why they put all the money in one high school only. Just FYI Too many people believe the Mayor and City Council make school decisions and they don't.
Edward May 09, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Remember, there are 6 houses at James Logan High School with 6 principals, 6 counselors ETC. for each house. Move 2 ot 3 houses to the new school and take the staffing with you along with the existing teachers. Split up the School staffing to go with the students and turn James Logan back into a community high School rather than a "SUPER SCHOOL" that is like 6 shools in one. Have you seen how backed up Both Alvarado-Niles road and Alvarado BLVD to Pasao Padre/ Decoto road gets at the School Commute Times from East to West? 2000 Students, parents teachers are commuting that could stay local and save on Green House Gasses and Foreign Oil. What will we do when Gasoline gets to $10.00 per Gallon? Cyber Commute to School? Maybe the brick and mortor Schools days are numbered. Home Schooling has worked for millions, so fa,r and maybe the teachers and school employees need to look for "other Work"?
Union City Resident May 10, 2013 at 12:44 AM
you could be on to a super idea! Online education. No ecological impacts. Everyone works at their own speed and capability. They get the best teacher every time because we can choose the lesson. Do anytime before midnight the same day if there is homework just like in college for those who sleep late and are always truant in regular school, no computer or too young and nobody at home, can go to computer centers. LOL You can name your own computer instead of school names. We can afford it better, cheaper for parents than school taxes, no administrators everywhere you look. Okay, I was just kidding...I think it's one issue at a time. School naming, school board, violating the Brown Act, address issues of recall, new elections, listening to the public, elected officials not following district policy, School Superintendent who knew or should have known it was a Brown Act violation, should be fired or not?, put issue on ballot by referendum or not?, let other elected officials write to editor instead of meeting with their voters?, Nobody trying to correct the errors made?, then discuss new high school. I agree with other letter - students being abused in school for maybe years now, bad test scores and they all say they know why but as educators they haven't fixed the problem yet, budget is non existent but we can afford all new band and athletic uniforms for the school with the new name LOL Taxpaying without representation
Edward May 11, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Here are some patch photos. you will notice the children marching with the" Filipino Advocates for justice" banner all the way up to the New Haven Unified School District office. Do you think these photos could have incited the Vandels and selected their target? Just a thought. http://storify.com/UnionCityPatch/a-collection-of-photos-and-reactions-to-alvarado-m/embed
Edward May 14, 2013 at 07:00 PM
May 14,2013 Union City, California. Police said the first suspect pushed both homewoners down to the floor and "forcefully removed the elderly female's jewelry." The second suspect found a young adult male locked in a bedroom, struck him in the head with the gun, ransacked the bedroom and took more property, police said. Both suspects fled on foot to a waiting vehicle, described as a newer model silver Audi sedan or BMW with chrome rims and tinted black windows. The vehicle was last seen being driven past Kitiyama Elementary School onto Medallion Drive, according to a Union City Police press release. Now this is about rich Black kids, with guns and driving BMWs, Attacking Elderly Whites in Union City. A little "political Vandelism" did not do this. This is a true "hate crime" against Whites yet it is reported as a "home invasion Robbery". They followed the Elderly White guy home from the store and pushed there way into the house and hurt everybody as they robbed them. Pre-selected an Elderly White Guy, because of hate" thencommited a crime against him and his family. The Political painting on a Political office was not a hate crime but a "political Statement". Get it Strait.


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