The Honorable Steven Raga: ‘Not interested in any higher political position’

red line

red line

'I look forward to bringing more Filipinos into the Democratic Party.’

‘I look forward to bringing more Filipinos into the Democratic Party.’

Steven Raga welcomed his appointment as the Queens County Committeeman for the 34th Assembly District, representing Democrats in Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, and part of Woodside.

Raga, the founder of UniPro, has called the position “entry level” in the bigger political picture.

“It opens the way, but I am not interested in any higher position within politics,” he told The FilAm via email.

He said the appointment may “significantly” cut into his activities within the Filipino American community, but he believes, “I’ll be more helpful to the FilAm community within that capacity” as Woodside, which has a large FilAm community, is within his jurisdiction.

Raga was automatically elevated to the County Committee after he was unopposed for the position. Assemblyman Michael DenDekker and The Honorable Ellen Raffaele are the District Leaders for the 34th Assembly District, Part B.

Raga currently serves as the vice president of Filipino American Democratic Club of New York, which he helped found in April 2016. Raga was appointed to Queens Community Board 2 by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in March 2016 where he serves on both the Transportation and Environment committees.

“It’s exciting to finally have a Filipino American from Woodside representing us in the County Committee. I look forward to not just bringing the Democratic Party closer to the heart of the Filipino community in Queens, but bringing more Filipinos into the Democratic Party,” he said.

Raga’s first official Queens County Democratic Committee meeting as a member of the Committee was on September 22 where he voted on executive officer nominations, motions for judicial elections, and recommendations to the Board of Elections for new commissioners.

He explained “I was honored and proud to cast votes on behalf of Democrats in Woodside and Jackson Heights. Political representation is so critical for Asian Americans who are often left out of the political process. I hope to inspire the AAPI community to become part of their County Committee.”

Raga is the second board director of the FADCNY to serve on the County Committee level. Board director Cheska Tolentino also serves on the Kings County Democratic Committee as a Committee Member and a Judicial Delegate for the 56th Assembly District.

Tolentino served as a National Delegate for Democratic Party Presidential Incumbent Barack Obama in 2012. She was appointed by former Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz to Brooklyn Community Board 3, where her positions included Vice Chair of Education and Youth Services. Board director Ed Santos has also served on Manhattan Community Board 11 on the executive committee as Treasurer.

The Democratic Party is governed by various committees from the national level, to the state, and local community level. The County Level is the most local level of party governance. A county committee member represents an election district which is the smallest political unit, usually comprising of 700 to 1000 people, or 1 to 3 city blocks.

A member of the County Committee has the power to choose judicial candidates in some counties, to choose the Democratic Party’s nominee in the event of a Special Election in the event of a vacancy of an elected office, help craft the Democratic Party’s platform, organize their local neighborhood in support of Democratic candidates and officials, and to support their Democratic Club.

The FADCNY works to ensure that more Filipino Americans are appointed or elected to political and public offices such as County Committee, Judicial Delegate, and Community Board.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: