Northwest Asian Weekly
Rick Polintan has had over 35 years of community and union organizing experience since his migration to the United States in 1980 from the Philippines. He was a member of the Union of Democratic Filipinos, doing community organizing against the Marcos dictatorship and helping Filipinos in their struggle for immigrant rights in the U.S.
He helped organize healthcare workers in California and Washington State for the Service Employees International Union from 1986 until his retirement in 2011.
He is actively involved in leadership positions in several organizations. Currently, he is Chair of the 11th Legislative District Democrats; Treasurer and board member of Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE C4); member of the board of APACE PAC; Vice-President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Seattle chapter (APALA); and Vice-President of the Filipino American Political Action Group of Washington (FAPAGOW). Throughout his time working with APALA, he has raised awareness of the need for AAPIs to contribute to the election process and to contribute by voting.
According to David Della, former city councilmember and brother-in-law, “Rick does not seek the limelight. He is a man of few words, but has and continues to work tirelessly to empower others. Whether it is about workers’ rights, civil rights, social justice or political empowerment, Rick is always there, ready to support and lead.”
He is also an avid bicyclist and did the Seattle to Portland bike ride the last six years with his Filipino cycling group – the Life After Forty Bicycle League.
He learned his political activism and consciousness while a student at the University of the Philippines at the height of the protest movement against Marcos’ dictatorial rule and the Vietnam war in the early ’70s known as the First Quarter Storm.
In addition to his busy schedule, he enjoys life with his three sons, three grandchildren and his wife, Pacita Bunag. Pacita says that now that Rick is retired, he is “busier than when working.” (end)
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