FilAms open their wallets for Kirsten Gillibrand fundraiser

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with host Loida Nicolas Lewis: ‘Grateful to Loida, her family and her friends.’ Photo by Elton Lugay

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with host Loida Nicolas Lewis: ‘Very very grateful to Loida, her family and her friends.’ Photo by Elton Lugay

By Cristina DC Pastor

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand attended a political fundraiser April 2, thanked Filipino Americans for their support, and spoke in support of people who are “rising up” against Donald Trump’s “hate-filled rhetoric.”

The fundraiser was held at the Manhattan residence of CEO Loida Nicolas-Lewis, a long-time supporter of the Democratic Party and a staunch campaigner for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

“President Trump has really taken on basic institutions in a way that makes New Yorkers feel anxious and concerned,” she began.

Gillibrand was a corporate lawyer who entered politics as a member of the House in 2006. She was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Clinton in 2009, and won in a special election the following year. She was reelected in 2012 securing her mandate and making her the youngest senator then at 43. She is up for another reelection in 2018.

She denounced Trump for promoting values that are “antithetical to our core values as Americans.” He has done this, she said, by taking on democratic institutions, such as the judiciary and the media, as well as the principle of religious freedom and the notion of America as the land of immigrants.

“He has taken on the judiciary which we always prized as (part of) the balance of powers having the three branches of government,” she said. “He’s taken on the media and doesn’t even let PBS
in (a) press conference.”

“He’s taken on religious freedom by having the Muslim ban by saying you can’t come to this country if you’re a certain religion.”

He has, she continued, taken on the notion that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and welcomes diversity.

Some of the guests who attended the fundraiser billed as ‘Sunday Funday.’ Photo by Elton Lugay

Some of the guests who attended the fundraiser billed as ‘Sunday Funday.’ Photo by Elton Lugay

“So a lot of things President Trump has done is really antithetical to our core values, values of who we are as Americans, and it’s making people uneasy,” she said.

She finds “remarkable” that through all the discord in Washington, “people are rising up.”

She was pleased, she said, to see that the January 21 Women’s March reflected the intersectionality of issues that Americans care about.

“What I love most about the Women’s March is that it was intersectional march which means all issues. So some people marched for Black Lives Matter, some people marched for women’s freedom, some people marched for immigration rights, some people marched for healthcare, some people marched for LGBT equality, some people marched with special needs kids. It didn’t matter what the issue was. We were all together being heard,” she said.

Gillibrand thanked Nicolas-Lewis for hosting her fundraiser attended by almost a hundred guests. She expressed thanks to FilAms for their “early support.” She said her campaign hopes to raise up to $15 million.

“I’m up for election in 2018 and I’m hoping that I don’t have a tough opponent,” she said. “Thank you to Loida and her family and all her friends. I’m very very grateful to all of you.”

One of the guests, Gloria Cabrera who owns a salon and spa in Midtown Manhattan, said she was very impressed with Gillibrand.

“In every question that was asked, she was very articulate and very knowledgeable,” she told The FilAm. “I’m seeing someone who is very presidential.”

Also in attendance was Attorney Connie Montoya, partner of a national law firm.

She said, “It is important for minority members of the legal profession, who are committed to advocating for the continued protection of immigrants and the advancement of civil rights, to support fearless and outspoken political representatives.”

She was particularly impressed by Gillibrand’s statement on the military where the senator proposed that officers accused of sexual misconduct be investigated by independent prosecutors to prevent being influenced by top brass.

While guests were predominantly Filipinos, Montoya noted how the event was a “very nice intersection of different types of people.”

Lawyer Connie Montoya with Gillibrand

Lawyer Connie Montoya with Gillibrand

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