Fil Vote-Michigan Executive Director Willie Dechavez (right) leads volunteers grouped at one table in calling voters and urging to get out and vote in the midterm elections held last Nov. 4. Among the volunteers in photo are US-born Americans.
Fil Vote-Michigan Executive Director Willie Dechavez (right) leads volunteers grouped at one table in calling voters and urging to get out and vote in the midterm elections held last Nov. 4. Among the volunteers in photo are US-born Americans.

FilVote Michigan reached out to more than 2,000 voters during a “telethon” it conducted last November 1 at the Fuji Japanese Buffet in Madison Heights.

During the “telethon,” the 31 participants called by phone potential voters and urged them to cast their ballots in the midterm elections held three days later (Nov. 4).

FilVote Michigan Executive Director Willie Dechavez said that most of the potential voters contacted by phone promised to go to the polls to cast their ballots.

The telethon started at 11 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m.

Most of the participants, who had free buffet meals, were members of the Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

FilVote Michigan is a newly launched, non-partisan movement tasked  to convince more Filipino Americans to participate in the electoral process by exercising their rights of suffrage.

JT Mallonga, national NaFFAA chairman, had earlier announced that FilVote is one of the federation’s priority advocacies, noting that of the 1.4 million eligible Filipino American voters, only 500,000 have been voting in elections. He called on all chapters of NaFFAA to launch FilVote in their states.

Heeding Mallonga’s call, Dechavez, who is NaFFAA-Michigan chairperson, formed a core group that made preparations for the launching of FilVote-Michigan.

Dechavez said that FilVote Michigan will also undertake activities aimed at persuading Filipinos and Filipino Americans (dual citizens) to register for the Philippine presidential elections in 2016.      

The APIA Vote and Fil-Am Vote volunteers, who speak Filipino and English, and their numbers of hours of service during the telethon were as follows: (2.5 hours each person) 1. Carmen Perez-Villanueva, 2, Annabel Debarr, 3. Phillip Debarr, 4, Vanetine Siega, 5. Jenny Headrick, 6. Devine Juco, 7. Marissa Radowick, 8. Chris Pruyt, 9. Greg Hombrebueno, 10. Flor Penner, 11. Lolita Guadez, 12. Connie Sumalde, 13. Carol D’agostino, 14. Ronald Ilagan, 15. Ed Navarra, 16. Dan Orille, 17. Manuela Orille, (2 Hours) 18. Fe San Agustin, 20. Joy Precher, 21. Sally Noveras, 22. Anamarie Shecly, 23. Keane Shecly, (1.8 Hours) 23. Ari Moses, 24. Loida Moses, 25. Diane Gonzales, 26. Mary Baste, (1.5 Hours) 27. Tony Antonio, 28. Percy Antonio, 29. Marlene Viola, (3 Hours) 30. Willie Dechavez.