.

Alvarado Middle School May Change Name

A public hearing will be held tonight during the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting.

The New Haven campus known to the community for decades as Alvarado Middle School may soon go by a different name.

A public hearing on the possible name change will be held during tonight’s Board of Education meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Up for consideration is renaming the middle school after Filipino-American labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz.

According to the school district, Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz were contemporaries of Cesar Chavez who helped organize the 1965 Delano grape strike, which led to the United Farm Workers movement.

An online petition has been created in support of the name change.

From the petition:

Roughly, 1 in 5 students in the New Haven Unified School District are Filipino, and 1 in 3 people in Union City are Filipino. Changing the name of Alvarado Middle School would serve multiple purposes. One being that we can honor forgotten Filipino heroes Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong, and their important roles in the fight for farm labor rights and civil liberties, work that reached the fields of Union City. Another reason is that we can potentially instill a great sense of pride and empower our large Filipino population, while also shining a light upon the past solidarity work of Filipino and Mexican people. It would be beneficial for all staff, parents, students and residents. Let's make history! 

But not everyone embraces the proposed name with open arms.

“Don't get me wrong, these men were great people and accomplished great things, but schools are a melting pot of kids from everywhere, and picking out two Filipino Men is not the right thing to do. Alvarado is a fine name and represents the history of the entire city, not just a single group,” resident Mark Hutchins wrote in an email.

The idea for naming a school after the Filipino-American leaders came last year when the Itliong-Vera Cruz name was submitted for the district’s independent study school. The school board instead went with the Decoto School for Independent Study.

Following the decision last August, school board members said they would consider naming another New Haven campus in honor of the Filipino community.

The topic is now up for discussion tonight.

The public hearing will be held 7:30 p.m. at the New Haven Unified School District office located at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Rd.

Are you in favor of renaming Alvarado Middle School after the Filipino leaders? Tell us in the comments below.

Courtney March 07, 2013 at 06:43 AM
I think they should keep the name of the school the same. Naming the school after two Filipino men will cause bullying. The pinoys will think that they own the school and are higher class than everybody else. I'm sure there are other races that have great heroes too. Why name it after two Filipino men? The district should let the current students at AMS and incoming students.
Terry Bautista March 07, 2013 at 05:32 PM
I was present and not allowed to speak. The Renaming issue has not had a sufficient democratic process. While a board member shared that this issue started as a discussion point back in September, robocalls were made just two weeks ago. A public hearing is everyone gets to speak, limiting the numbers so the pros and cons had equal time did not reflect the overwhelming support to change the name. Itliong and Vera Cruz are American heroes. 1500 Filipino farmworkers were the first to sit down in the grape fields in 1965, and Chavez and his 2500 farmworkers joined a few weeks later. The grape boycott lasted many years and brought to the nation's attention that those who harvest what we eat, until now, don't always get their just due while putting food on our tables. These stories do not make it into the curriculum, if so, the treatment is minimal and shallow. I worked with many teachers in the 1970s to address omissions, distortions, and miseducation in textbooks. Our efforts to work with the State textbook committee and the Board of Ed found that publishers had more influence with dollars behind them.g I support the name change in the spirit that diversity is a challenge and a democratic process where all voices should be heard. This is not a race or ethnic issue. As for economics, the district could present the facts - what will it cost, how will it be overcome, how will the pro and con concerns be addressed once the decision is final.
Edward March 07, 2013 at 07:04 PM
As good as these men were in the Central Valley for the Labor Movement, What place did they serve in Union City or the new Haven Unified School District? Oscar Dowe kept Alvarado and Decoto from being anexed into hayward and filed papers to incorporate and was the first Appointed Mayor untill elections were held. Without the leaders like Mayor Dowe and others, we would be part of Hayward Unified School District and there would be no union City. Alvarado is historic, here in union City. We already named one school after a labor leader, why do we need to name another one?
DisappointedNHUSDAlumni March 10, 2013 at 11:31 PM
I went to Alvarado Middle School and I am totally against having its name changed. While these men may have been important for the labor movement, why do they above greater men deserved to be named for my alma mater. I also went to Cabello, and they shut that down. Now they want to change the name of the middle school I went to? So what do i have left that's remaining? I'm not trying to be emotional but the board is being unfair and they are showing racial discrimination, because they are indeed alienating children of other races from attending this school because now they will feel like they don't belong. Instead of promoting unification among student they are creating a racial bias will lead to bullying and depression. Child suicide is on the rise, and this will do nothing to stop it. In my days at Alvarado, I did not feel that I didn't belong just because I wasn't Hispanic, but I feel children who are currently attending AMS will feel that somehow being a race other than Filipino was inadequate and that was why the school's named. This change does not promote unification, but in fact supports the idea of racial superiority, which I think is sickening because I would hope we have come a long way from that. And I will be frank, that I am not racist, I embrace every culture but I feel like show this kind of bias would lead younger children, who are very impressionable, into believing there is a superiority and inferiority in regards to race. All I can say is I am disappointed
Edward March 11, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Alvarado is Historic. It is heritage and history of ther area. People move in, people move out, but, Alverado is a link to the "Begining". Decoto School, although an Adult school now, is still called Decoto. Why change a name for the "johnny Come latley" group passing through? Name the new Athletic field or gym after them but don't change the name of the whole school. it is not in the Name but in the ideals of Labor and fairness these men fought for. Teach the ideals and not just rename a school and forget about what they stood for. The Power of the many, to do and make change happen, is what should be taught.
DisappointedNHUSDAlumni March 14, 2013 at 06:07 AM
How overly ignorant of you. I doubt you have even been heard of on every continent.
Edward March 15, 2013 at 06:46 AM
Timothy, you have the order wrong. When the incorporation papers were filed, Mr Dowe was the named acting mayor, after one year the acting city councel elected Mr Ratekin. Mayor Kitayama was the first Elected mayor once the incorporation papers were approved and Union City's Charter was approved and an election was held. mayor Kitayama was the Largest Employer, owning Kitayama Nurseries. Mr. Dowe and Mr. Ratekin were employees of Pacific States Steel and lived in old Decoto. Mr. Dowe Passed away two years after Mayor Kitayama was elected at an Oakland "A"s Game of heart failure After losing his Wife Frances Dowe (Pertosa). He could not be the Third mayor. Go check it out at the Union City History Musium.
Edward March 15, 2013 at 06:55 AM
Why not name the restrrom at Arroyo park after them? It is right next to one of the last real farm fields left in Union City. You could even rename the Playfield and Tennis Courts at Cabellio School once it is sold off and gets torn down. .
Bob R March 15, 2013 at 06:15 PM
ATTN SCHOOL BOARD - What's concerning is that the school board appears to have no understanding of who the stake holders are regarding the naming of schools. It is NOT just the current students, parents, and teachers. It is also anyone who attended schools there in the past, and anyone who will attend school there and their parents. Attention School Board - The consensus in these comments and elsewhere is that it is a bad idea to change the name. The majority of stakeholders DO NOT WANT A NAME CHANGE.
Ed March 17, 2013 at 06:40 AM
According to the NHUSD site (community-board of education-agenda) renaming AMS is now an "Information" item and not an "Action" or "Consent" item. It seems there will not be a vote by the board to change the name this week. The question is will Canlas push her personal agenda again, and the board try to sneak the vote into another board meeting down the road in hopes, again, no one notices and in so avoiding all of the controversary?
vanessa March 22, 2013 at 05:49 AM
such bs LEAVE THE NAME!! its my past my kids future and a historic name. the people of the city dont want a name change. make something else and name it.
Ness March 26, 2013 at 05:45 AM
https://www.change.org/petitions/union-city-board-of-education-stop-the-name-change-of-alvarado-middle-school PLEASE SUPPORT OUR NO NAME CHANGE FOR AMS SCHOOL!!
Logan Parent March 26, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Now there are two online petitions. Hopefully both originators can combine their efforts. http://www.change.org/petitions/new-haven-unified-school-district-board-of-education-reverse-the-decision-to-rename-alvarado-middle-school
Edward April 03, 2013 at 05:22 AM
You know they are selling off "Cabellio Elementary" to raise funds for the School District and the adjacent park could be named after these two Union leaders without all this hassle. Just 3 blocks from Alvarado Middle School, this park has Lighted Tennis Courts, Baseball Diamond and is owned by the City. Here is a perfect oppertunity to name somehting that will change it's Name anyway. As a Union Member myself, I know there needs to be recognition without Alienation. It's time we take this off the School Board Agenda and put it on the City Agenda to rename the Park after the District Sells Cabellio School. After All, Cabellio School sits on old Agricultural land that used to be worked on by both Mexican and Phillipino (filipino) workers prior to being built. I know, I've lived here since 1971.
Edward April 03, 2013 at 05:23 AM
You know they are selling off "Cabellio Elementary" to raise funds for the School District and the adjacent park could be named after these two Union leaders without all this hassle. Just 3 blocks from Alvarado Middle School, this park has Lighted Tennis Courts, Baseball Diamond and is owned by the City. Here is a perfect oppertunity to name somehting that will change it's Name anyway. As a Union Member myself, I know there needs to be recognition without Alienation. It's time we take this off the School Board Agenda and put it on the City Agenda to rename the Park after the District Sells Cabellio School. After All, Cabellio School sits on old Agricultural land that used to be worked on by both Mexican and Phillipino (filipino) workers prior to being built.
Edward April 03, 2013 at 05:30 AM
You know they are selling off "Cabellio Elementary" to raise funds for the School District and the adjacent park could be named after these two Union leaders without all this hassle. Just 3 blocks from Alvarado Middle School, this park has Lighted Tennis Courts, Baseball Diamond and is owned by the City. Here is a perfect oppertunity to name somehting that will change it's Name anyway. As a Union Member myself, I know there needs to be recognition without Alienation. It's time we take this off the School Board Agenda and put it on the City Agenda to rename the Park after the District Sells Cabellio School. After All, Cabellio School sits on old Agricultural land that used to be worked on by both Mexican and Phillipino (filipino) workers prior to being built.
Edward April 03, 2013 at 05:35 AM
The Whites (Americans) may be a Minority in "your Mind" but they are the "Old Timers" here and it's their toes along with the Latino Americans, this action is stepping on. Many raised families and sent their Children to "our Schools".
Mark Hutchins April 09, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Refreshing this article. School District Blows the survey URL Address - Just got a robo call about an online survey from the school. Of course the URL is completely wrong. Is this survey from the District or AMS? Anyone have the correct URL? This is the exact transcript of the address portion of the message: ..."Vist the address HTTP Colon Backslash Backslash BIT Period LY Period AMSNAME"... Which I translate to http:\\bit.ly.amsname of course we all know that's wrong and substituted the backslashes for the frontslashes.. but still wrong. "Oops! Google Chrome could not find bit.ly.amsname" Survey which WE CAN'T ACCESS is open until April 12th. Credibility is gone with the district, and any on-line survey will not capture the interests of ALL the stake holders that are not reached via robo calls anyway. Apparently, the district believes this is a popularity contest. It is not and never will be a popularity contest, this is about common sense and that's all.
Edward April 09, 2013 at 03:56 AM
726 People signed the petition to change the name of Alvarado Middle School. 71,480 citizens of Union City DID NOT. Less than 2% of the population is going to change the name of a School using political pressure on the School Board. Time to put a little pressure on the 726. Here is the petition and the names. See if your neignbor is trying to dictate to you what your childs School will be named and how it will affect the costs to the district and the race relations for the NON-Pinoy Students. Remember only 28% of Alvardo middle School Students are from Philipino Parents, the other 72% are having this ramed down their throats. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/support_the_renaming/signatures
Logan Parent April 09, 2013 at 04:05 AM
The correct URL is http://bit.ly/amsname Just filled it out
Edward April 09, 2013 at 04:46 AM
The Link works and you can voice how you feel. The correct URL is http://bit.ly/amsname Just filled it out Thank you Logan Parent
Edward April 09, 2013 at 04:49 AM
Then tell the SCHOOL in this .... The correct URL is http://bit.ly/amsname Just fill it out and comment before it is too late.
Edward April 09, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Then tell the School. http://bit.ly/amsname Just takes a minute to fill it out
Edward April 09, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Of the 726 people who signed the" lets change the Name" petition, how many "Anonymous" can you find and dupliucat names. There are not even 726 in favor of this Name Change listed, realy.
Mark Hutchins April 09, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Thanks for the correct URL. Hopefully the correct address will get distributed and the stakeholders will know about it. Stakeholders include current AMS students, teachers and parents, alumni of AMS, future students and parents of AMS, and generally the entire city population who pays taxes. I reiterate that this is not a popularity contest and it is not about who gets the most votes. To be honest resorting to a survey vote to determine renaming is a childish way to resolve this when common sense should rule and adults should make determinations on what is best for all of us. In addition I had no idea that school names were for sale, I'm sure that that corporate interests would respond if they were canvased. How about Pepsi Middle School, or American Licorice Middle School after local businesses since the name is for sale.
Ed April 09, 2013 at 05:47 AM
This sure is interesting. Is the survey the district's attempt at a "thurough study" as stated in the board policy that everyone but a few community members have ignored? A thurough study, defined as: "executed without negligence or omissions", would also involve an accurate acounting of the cost, not the low estimate of $10,000 the district has given. There is no way to confirm how many singular or dublicate names are on the petition, and I'm willing to guess some people have signed both the for and against petitions. What I'm still waiting to hear from either the board or one of the groups behind the name change is what is the extraordinary circumstance required by the board policy in order to change the name of an existing school along with where the thurough study can be found.
Edward April 09, 2013 at 05:49 AM
Name: Lorna Lardizabal Dietz on Feb 28, 2013 Comments: I am the Regional Chair of the NaFFAA Region 8 (National Federation of Filipino American Associations in Northern CA), for identification purposes only. We wholeheartedly support DIVERSITY IN ACTION through this Re-Naming Effort. The NaFFAA Region 8 Media Group (connecting media + community) has rolled out its supportive online efforts to instigate off-line actions. http://naffaar8.com/naffaa-region-8-supports-re-naming-of-school-to-itliong-vera-cruz-middle-school/ Let's support the communities in the New Haven Unified School District who are spearheading this effort! coppied from http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/support_the_renaming/signatures.. Outsiders are trying to Change the name also.
Edward April 14, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Hey Kids!!~ lets name that school!!! Lets see what funny names we can call the Middle Schools of Union City. Lets start with Cesar Chavez Middle School. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9sar_Ch%C3%A1vez How About "Lit'le Ceasars" after the Pizzas they try to bribe us with. http://www.littlecaesars.com/home.aspx. And how about the New name for the west side middle school they want to name Lary Itliong ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/us/larry-itliong-forgotten-filipino-labor-leader.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&; ) and Philip Vera Cruz ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Vera_Cruz ) Both were contrivercial like Marajuana so we could call it "Itchy BONG" because the school board must be "smoking something" to be so itch to change the name. Just look at all the posters of these guys to know they wanted change and nothing like implying legalization of marajuana to embody their revolutionary spirit. http://legalizationofmarijuana.com/ Hey Kids, It's your school. You Name the school for the 4 years you are there, then, the next Class gets to re-name it.
Michael Balgas April 18, 2013 at 06:19 PM
this is pure racism from a school who has always been biased towards Filipino students. who is footing the bill for the stationary changes sign changes we are the taxpayers that's who! instead of buying books or new computers our money is being used to fuel the fires of racism. the land the school sits on was donated by the Alvarado's and now you want to change it to appease your racist nature. this board needs to be replaced because they are not making smart decisions with our money!
Edward April 18, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Look this up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvarado,_California You will see the Historic name is being pushed out of the way by the Minority Pinoy Comunity just to show power over the rest of us. Pinoy Power VS AMS Cougars

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something