Person

Ben de Guzman

Ben de Guzman is a left-wing activist that works to promote Asian American-Pacific Islander and LGBT interests. Guzman currently serves as the director of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Guzman previously served as the Community Outreach Specialist in the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning Affairs, where he was charged with agency’s constituent services and community engagement efforts.[1]

Guzman is a frequent donor to ActBlue, a 527 political action committee that serves as an online clearinghouse for Democratic Party candidates.[2]

Early Life and Education

Guzman is the son of Filipino immigrants and was born and raised in New Jersey.[3] Guzman attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and Spanish. While at Berkeley, he held leadership positions in a number of ethnic-interest student organizations and held a part-time job running a volleyball program.[4] Guzman has a Master’s from the University of Pennsylvania.[5]

Career

Guzman is the director of the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA). In this capacity, Guzman oversees initiatives on economic development, education, employment, housing, and health and human services for the District’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities.[6] In Fiscal Year 2020, Guzman’s annual salary as director of MOAPIA totaled slightly more than $105,000.[7]

Even as he serves as the Director of MOAPIA, Guzman is also employed by the Organization of Chinese Americans, a nonprofit that advocates for the social, political, and economic advancement of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.[8] He also currently works as a consultant at the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, an organization that fights for benefits for Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans who fought for the United States.[9]

Before his time as director of MOAPIA, Guzman served as the Community Outreach Specialist for the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Affairs. Guzman helped coordinate the first “District of Pride” LGBTQ cultural performance event.[10] He also served as both the Public Information Officer and the Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Officer for the agency. [11]

From 2005 to 2014, Guzman worked at the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance where he managed policy advocacy and member management.

Between 2000 to 2005, Guzman was employed by the Asian American Justice Center, an organization that advocates for affirmative action and left-of-center election-administration policy and engages in left-leaning advocacy litigation on behalf of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. [12]

Recognition

Guzman was named a Capital Hero by Capital Pride for his work on behalf of DC’s LGBTQ Community in 2019.[13]

In 2015, Guzman received a Community Service Award from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.[14]

Guzman was recognized as a Pride and Heritage Hero by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum-D.C. Chapter in 2010.[15]

Guzman served as a Host Committee Co-Chair for the 2018 Creating Change Conference hosted by the National LGBTQ Taskforce, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ interests.[16]

Guzman is also an alum of the 2011 – 2012 Rockwood Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Advocacy Fellowship.[17]

Writings

Guzman is a contributor to HuffPost and has regularly written on issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islanders and LGBTQ communities.[18]

In a 2017 article titled “All in the Family: Dismantling the Binary of Work-Life Balance,” Guzman questioned the traditional definition of “family” and discussed how the term can mean different things to different people because of their cultural inflections.[19]

In 2016, Guzman wrote a column that touted his efforts to protect abortion access. Guzman also discussed his attendance at a recent pro-abortion concert that featured social media photo filters that allowed guests to highlight their support of abortion. [20]

In 2013, Guzman wrote a column on immigration reform and expressed his support for increased low-skilled worker immigration and a weakening of enforcement powers of border patrol agents.[21]

References

  1. Rosenstein, Peter. “Comings & Goings.” Washignton Blade. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.washingtonblade.com/2018/12/27/comings-goings-41/ ^
  2. “Individual Contributions: Ben de Guzman.” Federal Election Commission. Accessed March 29, 2020.https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=ben%20de%20guzman ^
  3. “Ben de Guzman Biography.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/biography/ben-de-guzman ^
  4. “De Guzman, Ben. “Page Post.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bdeguzman/ ^
  5. O’Bryan, Will. “Pride and Heritage Hero.” Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.metroweekly.com/2010/05/pride-heritage-hero/ ^
  6. “General Questions about MOAPIA.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/page/general-questions-about-moapia ^
  7. “Public Employee Salary Information.” DC Department of Human Resources. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://dchr.dc.gov/public-employee-salary-information ^
  8. “Mission.” OCA National – Asian American Advocates. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.ocanational.org/mission ^
  9. “De Guzman, Ben. “Page Post.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bdeguzman/ ^
  10. Ben de Guzman Biography.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/biography/ben-de-guzman ^
  11. Ben de Guzman Biography.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/biography/ben-de-guzman ^
  12. “De Guzman, Ben. “Page Post.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bdeguzman/ ^
  13. Riley, John. “Capital Pride announces Capital Pride Honors award-winners.” Metro Weekly. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.metroweekly.com/2019/04/capital-pride-announces-capital-pride-honors-award-winners/?fbclid=IwAR1EPF2AYbvzwJr0i1iaxCGqSQa4eRiZunOQ9Ma7KALZOnspmbW9Pfpd7vE ^
  14. “Mayor’s Community Service Award & Ajay J. Ojha Volunteer Service Award Recipients.” Government of the District of Columbia. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/apia/page_content/attachments/Past%20Award%20Recipients%20List%202018.pdf ^
  15. O’Bryan, Will. “Pride and Heritage Hero.” Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.metroweekly.com/2010/05/pride-heritage-hero/ ^
  16. “De Guzman, Ben. “Page Post.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bdeguzman/ ^
  17. “Rockwood Leadership Looks Like…Ben De Guzman.” Rockwood Leadership Institute. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://rockwoodleadership.org/ben-de-guzman/ ^
  18. “Contributor: Ben de Guzman.” HuffPost. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.huffpost.com/author/ben-de-guzman ^
  19. De Guzman, Ben. “All in the Family: Dismantling the Binary of Work-Life Balance.” HuffPost. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/all-in-the-family-dismantling-the-binary-of-work-life_b_59849271e4b0f2c7d93f5523 ^
  20. De Guzman, Ben. “Accessing My Feelings On Abortion: NAPAWF And All Access 2016.” HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/accessing-my-feelings-on-_b_12039052 ^
  21. De Guzman, Ben. “Immigration Reform, Not Just for Some but for All.” HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/immigration-reform-not-ju_b_3112031 ^
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