Last month, on April 18, in a unanimous vote, the Milpitas City Council approved a recommendation to name a new city park the Delano Manongs Park. This followed a naming subcommittee meeting on March 2 where Mayor Carmen Montano and Vice Mayor Evelyn Chua recommended to Council that the park be named.
The Delano Manongs Park is located in the Milpitas Metro Specific Plan area and is four acres in size. It’s set north of Mabel Mattos elementary school along McCandless Drive. It contains a sports field, a dog park, picnic areas, walking trails, a playground, a pedestrian bridge, a potable water well, and public restrooms.
Said a City of Milpitas press release, “This project was a collaboration in part between the City of Milpitas and the Milpitas Unified School District and was funded in part through a grant from the Santa Clara County All Inclusive Playground Grant Program.”
The park’s name comes from the Delano Manongs, a historic group of Filipino farmworkers. As a result of the Delano Manongs’ efforts, American laborers saw vast improvements in their wages and working conditions. As of 1965, they were active for five years during the Delano Grape Strike, led up by community organizer Larry Itliong. The Strike was driven by the efforts of 1,500 Filipino-American agricultural workers — also known as manongs, from an Ilocano word meaning “older brother or uncle.”
Said Mayor Montano in the release, “This is an unbelievably historic event in Milpitas. It is only fitting that we designate this space to memorialize a great example of what it means to stand up for what is right and coming together to enable change.”
The farmworkers’ effort also set the stage for Cesar Chavez and thousands of farming families to found the United Farm Workers, America’s foundational agricultural labor union.
Said Acting City Manager Ashwini Kantak, “I am deeply honored to help lead a City that recognizes the historic role of American heroes like the Delano Manongs. I would like to commend the team from our Recreation & Community Services and Engineering Services departments for their leadership in planning and delivering this beautiful new park for Milpitas residents.”
Added Vice Mayor Chua, “I am excited that this green space will enhance the lives and well-being of residents in numerous ways. It is a great facility that will create a sense of community.”
The Delano Manongs Park will have a soft opening in June and an official opening come the Fall of this year.