2017 Damayan General Assembly
On Feb. 4th, Damayan joined the thousands of people around the nation and the world in organizing and mobilizing in resisting President Trump’s immigration executive order by holding the 14th annual General Assembly. Despite the heightened hate and fear produced by the executive orders, the Damayan community gathered together to organize Damayan’s resistance and defense, elect the Board of Directors for the organization and for the Damayan Workers Cooperative (DWC), learn the facts regarding the executive orders, and stand in solidarity with all im/migrants.
The annual Damayan General Assembly is the highest decision making body in the organization. It seeks to elect the Board of Directors for both Damayan and for DWC and provide transparency and accountability on the organization to Damayan members and allies. The 2017 Damayan General Assembly began with a beautiful show of strength and pride with a Philippine folk dance performed by Damayan members, Eric, Judith, Edith, Doreen and Lyn. Following the performance, Damayan staff and board members presented on Damayan’s 2016’s accomplishments and financial reports. The presentation also sought input and approval from members on the 2017 plan of action and financial plan and had the Assembly vote on key issues impacting membership and the organization. This year’s GA featured a presentation and Q&A by ally board member, Karina Garcia, on Trump’s immigration executive order. Karina answered questions, clarified what the orders mean for Damayan members and stressed the importance of not spreading fear within the community through sharing false information.
The highlight of the General Assembly included the election of the new Board of Directors for Damayan Migrant Workers Association and the Board for the Damayan Workers Cooperative. Candidates for each Board presented their candidate speeches and answered questions from the Comelec (Commission on Elections). The newly elected Board of Directors for both Damayan and DWC represent the united front of Damayan’s organized resistance and defense. The dedicated members of the Boards will guide the organization and cooperative in continuing to build workers leadership, provide critical services, and in strengthening Damayan’s campaigns through political education, alliances and advocacy. The Boards also provide crucial accountability to the membership and community.
The 2017 General Assembly closed with a visual representation of Damayan’s strength, resilience and compassion, with members posing for a group photo holding signs expressing solidarity with the larger im/migrant and Muslim communities, including one sign that stated, “#NOBANNOWALL.” With the election of both Boards and the 2017 action plan in place, Damayan stands stronger than ever, ready to resist the present and future forces of hate, illegality, and fascism.
Pictures from the event will be posted on Facebook on Thursday, 02/09/2017!