Former Sociology chair receives posthumous freeway namesake in California

For her remarkable contributions to the Filipino-American community, alumna and former Sociology department chair Alice Peña Bulos received the posthumous honor of having a section of California State Route 35 named in her honor. The road signs for the “Alice Peña Bulos Memorial Freeway” were unveiled in Daly, California on July 16, 2022.

California State Assembly Member Phil Ting originally sponsored the resolution to rename a portion of State Route 35 in Bulos’ honor in 2020, which was approved during Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

The resolution states, “It is my honor to recognize Alice Peña Bulos, who is considered the Godmother of Filipino American politics and empowerment.  Her career in community organizing epitomizes leadership not just in the Filipino community, but also throughout the state of California.”

Alice Peña Bulos, born on March 31, 1936, in Nueva Ecija, Philippines, received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social and behavioral science at the University of Santo Tomas, where she later served as chair of the Department of Sociology from 1967 to 1972.  Thereafter, she and her family moved to California. Over the span of four decades, Bulos dedicated herself to empowering generations of Filipino Americans to amplify their voices through civic participation. Her influence includes serving on the Filipino American Caucus for the California Democratic Party, the National Filipino Women’s Network, and the National Asian Pacific Democratic Council.

Bulos was an active member for various community organizations, she was a Charter President of the Fil-Am Democratic Club in San Mateo County and the regional chair of the National Filipino American Women’s Network. In 1993, she was an appointee of the Former US President Bill Clinton to the Federal Council on Aging, and was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 1995. As part of her advocacy, she stood for the rights and benefits of Filipino veterans of World War II. She also actively pushed for the address of social issues such as health care, domestic violence, and also the US residency application process. She was honored as one of the 2006 Woman of the Year for California’s 19th Assembly District for her remarkable contributions to society and her accomplishments. After a lifetime of service, she died at the age of 86 in 2016.

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