Steven A. Arevalo
Born at St. Joseph Hospital, San Francisco and baptized in San Jose, Steven A. Arevalo is the son of Jean Bondi, Salt Lake City, Utah and Isodoro Duag Arevalo, Jr., San Jose, California, and the brother of Marin Arevalo, Constance Mora, and Valjean Arevalo. On his mother’s side, he is the grandson of Laura White, Salt Lake City, Utah (a Mormon); father-side, the grandson of Isodoro Luna Arevalo, Atimonan, Quezon Province, Philippines and Mercedes Alcantara Duag, Batangas, Philippines.
His grandfather, Isodoro, arrived in San Francisco at the age of sixteen years in 1925. A member of the Gran Oriente Filipino, he co-founded the Del Pilar Lodge #24. Along with Steve’s grandmother, Mercedes, they owned the Traveler’s Café in San Jose and co-founded the Filipino Community of San Jose in 1932. Their son, also named Isodoro, was born in San Jose on 3 May 1928. He became a machinist, served with the United States Air Force as part of the occupation forces in Japan, and the first Filipino U.S. Postal Service employee in San Jose.
With his family actively involved in the Filipino community, Steve attended functions, and fondly remembers the Grand Oriente Filipino grounds at Morgan Hill. Through his parents and grandparents, meeting and getting to know the elders, such as the Grandmasters Ruste Severino of the Gran Oriente Filipino and Max Peralta of the Caballeros De Demas Alang, gave him a strong sense of appreciation of his cultural heritage and the importance of serving his community.
At San Jose City College he was a member of the Filipino American Students Association and at San Francisco State University with the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE). Joining the United Filipino Youth Organization (UFYO), headed by David Ilumin and Anita Sancez, future Executive Director of the San Francisco Civil Service Commission, Steve was involved in the youth programs and services provided by UFYO. In San Jose, Steve served as the executive director of the Filipino Youth Coalition, Inc., which provided youth activities, alternative choices through education, leadership development, and community service.
As member of the staff of Mayor Dianne Feinstein’s race for Governor of California he was the point person that raised over $100,000 among Americans of Philippine heritage in California. A co-founder of the Filipino American Democratic Caucus of the California Democratic Party, he served as its Political Director.
Not lost in the memory bank of Steve Arevalo are his family’s legacy and the fraternal societies’ social services at a time when the greater society once ignored and even hostile to his community. As he sees it, there are still many more bridges to cross. His commitment in that journey has been evident in his involvement and support in the aspirations of Americans of Philippine heritage seeking office, a few among them have been Carl Alfred Lindstrom, Jr.; Raymond A. Buenaventura, past Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem of Daly City, and Mark E. Pulido, Councilmember and past Mayor Pro Tem of Cerritos.