WASHINGTON, DC – The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is mourning the passing of one of the Filipino American community’s most remarkable leaders, Jesus “Jesse” Antonio Vizcocho, who passed away on March 11, 2023. Born in the Philippines on December 25, 1960, Jesse immigrated to Kodiak, Alaska in 1991. He later moved to Anchorage in 2003.
In 1997, Jesse became the first Fil-Am to be appointed as a councilmember for the City of Kodiak, where he served two terms and was elected Deputy Mayor of Kodiak in 2000. He served as president of the Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Alaska. He also recently became the vice president for Internal Affairs and a member of the Board of Governors for the Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC). For 30 years, he has served as a volunteer and leader of many civic, social, and religious organizations, including Community Volunteer Leader for the American Red Cross of Alaska and Government Affairs Director for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
NaFFAA National Chair Brendan Flores described Jesse as “an outstanding leader who wants nothing but to serve and empower those around him, especially our Filipino Americans. He was one of the biggest inspirations behind our Fil-Am Vote Program and was a good advocate for our Run For Office Program.”
Lou Vargas, Pacific Northwest Region President, added, “During NaFFAA National’s and Region’s visit to Alaska, Jesse introduced us to several elected officials he worked with and ensured our Filipino Americans have a seat at the table where decisions regarding our communities are made.”
NaFFAA National President Mariela Fletcher, for her part, said, “Jesse was the type of leader who was very committed to his role. His passion for civic engagement was unmatched. He lived a life full of meaningful service.”
Alaska U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski issued a statement, saying, “I was so saddened to hear of Jesse Vizcocho’s passing, and send my deep condolences to his friends and family. This is a loss to the Filipino American community in Alaska that I know is being felt deeply by all who knew him. NaFFAA plays an important role in advocating for and giving a voice to the Filipino American community in Alaska – Jesse was a leader in those efforts. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to know Jesse and learn from him about how we can all work together to make Alaska a more welcoming and vibrant place for everyone who calls our state home.”
Any donations to the Vizcocho family could be sent to Teresita Vizcocho at P.O Box 241304, Anchorage, AS 99524.
NaFFAA National and the Pacific Northwest Region will celebrate Jesse’s life at a Memorial via Zoom with his family to be led by PNW Region President at a soon to be determined date.