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FilAm gets more votes than Barry as DC delegate

A Filipino American has garnered more votes than DC Council Member Marion Barry during the election for delegates to the Democratic Partys national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in September.

The Filipino American is 25-year-old Gregory Cendana who got more votes to represent District 1 which includes Barrys Ward 6. Cendana is executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).

Some 1,300 local political diehards converged on the University of the District of Columbia's campus for the quadrennial rite to select the 44 delegates for the Convention.

Although Barry took twice the time allotted for his own pitch, which stressed his four decades of work on behalf of D.C.'s Democrats, he picked up 138 votes, more than anyone he was running against except for Cendana who got 50 more votes.

District One encompasses Wards 1, 2, 6, and 8; it's how Cendana, a Ward 1 resident, ended up competing for votes with the likes of Barry and Evans. Thirty-nine other names also graced the Congressional District One ballot. Voters were able to select four women and four men. (Voters from District Two-which represents Wards 3, 4, 5, and 7-got to pick four women and three men.)
Cendana may not have begun the day with name recognition, so he adopted a strategy based on what he does have: organizing expertise. He set up his operation like a big-time political effort. A group of 20 volunteers organized events, knocked on doors, set up a website, spammed reporters with press releases, and tapped their personal networks.

Cendana was born to a military family in Guam, grew up in Sacramento, California and moved to Washington DC in 2008. His background is in progressive movement building, and his comfort with organizing landed him the role of president of the United States Student Association, which brought him from L.A. to D.C. in 2008 for a year-long term.

He started getting involved in local LGBT organizing with an organization Asian/Pacific American Queers United For Action.

Cendana decided that getting involved in District politics would be a way to embrace his new home. "One thing I learned when I moved to D.C. was that people were very disconnected," he says.

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