I am a mother whose fifth generation American children have ancestors from (in alphabetical order): Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Oaxaca Valley in what is now Mexico. Having a heritage that involves seven different ethnic groups who immigrated to the United States is not unusual among the so-called iGeneration.
I was born in the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, but live on Bainbridge Island, Washington, across Puget Sound from Seattle, where my parents lived their entire lives.
If you had met me through the Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School Parent Teacher Organization, you would know me as Rose Simiano-Ulloa.
Like most Generation X Americans I am of mixed ancestry, in my case half Italian, one-fourth Finnish, and one-fourth Japanese.
My father, Stephano (Steve) Simiano, was born in 1947 on Bainbridge Island after WWII. His father, my grandfather, Leonardo (Leo) Simiano, a first generation Italian-American, was born in 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the end of WWII after being discharged from the Navy, he moved to Seattle and ended up on Bainbridge Island with his wife, my grandmother, Angela Centioli, who was born in 1924 in Italy.
My mother, Lily Uyeda, was born on in 1949 Bainbridge Island, as was her father (my grandfather), Hisao Uyeda who was born here in 1923. My great-grandfather Kabuo Uyeda immigrated from Japan in 1914. My grandmother, Anna Korhonen, was born in 1929, in Jakobstad, Finland, and immigrated to the Pacific Northwest to be with family here.
What I am aware of most about my grandparents is that my grandfathers were native-born Americans but that didn't offer any protection from arbitrary persecution by the government.
In 1941, the U.S. entered WWII. My mother's father, Hisao Uyeda, his parents, and siblings were "relocated" to the Manzanar U.S. Government concentration camp ostensibly because the U.S. was at war with Japan. My father's father, Leonardo Simiano, was not put in a concentration camp despite the fact that the U.S. was at war with Italy. Even his wife, who was born in Italy was not put in a camp. And it bothers me that the U.S. Government was 100% under the control of the Democratic Party.
Fortunately, my Grandmother Anna, being a Finish immigrant, was not relocated and was able to keep the family farm operating during WWII. A few neighboring Bainbridge farmers helped her to keep things running.
I would recommend reading the 8-page brochure A Place to Come Home to: Bainbridge Island's Japanese American History and the 2-page brochure Art at Sakai: Honoring the History and Culture of Japanese Americans of Bainbridge Island.
By the time I was in high school, I "needed" to get off Bainbridge Island. After I graduated in 1994, my parents sent me to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I majored in computer science for three semesters.
While there I became aware of the ongoing effort to apologize to the Japanese-Americans in California. The book Snow Falling on Cedars written by Bainbridge Island resident David Guterson came out at that time. This brought up family memories so I visited the Manzanar Camp where my grandfather was "relocated." It is now a National Historic Site to remind us how unkind Americans can be.
This made me want to be closer to my family so that I could ask my grandparents more questions. Also, while computers were a kind of generational addiction in the mid-1990's, frankly I found everything about information technology boring though I recognized that more than a cursory understanding is necessary for smart 21st Century living. But I wanted to help real people.
So I returned home in 1996 and enrolled at the University of Washington School of Nursing in their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. After college I worked in Seattle's Virginia Mason Hospital. Though I took Continuing Nursing Education courses, in 2001 I started taking additional courses at the University of Washington Information School (or iSchool).
In 2005 I met my husband Ash(ton) Ulloa, MD ABFP. Ash had just begun working at the Virginia Mason Bainbridge Island Medical Center and when need his patients were hospitalized in Virginia Mason Hospital. Before we met, I hadn't paid much attention to the Medical Center. When I mentioned my family history, that started a conversation which we continued over time on the ferry to and from Seattle. Ash's father was mixed ancestry Filipino-Mexican, his mother was of Irish ancestry.
To make a long story short, we married and have two kids, a boy and a girl. I now work part-time training health care employees at all the Virginia Mason facilities on their IT system. I also work part-time as an RN at the Bailey-Boushay House run by the Virginia Mason organization.
Bailey-Boushay House was founded in 1992, as America's first skilled nursing facility that was planned, funded, built and staffed to meet the needs of people living with AIDS. Initially created as a way to address the housing and health care needs of people living with AIDS, today Bailey-Boushay continues to serve people with HIV/AIDS plus others who need end-of-life care with conditions such as cancer, ALS and Huntington's disease.
Maybe it's being naive, but my children are descendants of Italian, Finish, Japanese, Irish, Filipino, and Mexican immigrants. Their religious heritage is Catholic (including the unique Mexican and Filipino Marian variations), Lutheran (Suomi Synod), and Buddhist mixed with Shinto traditions. They live in a region in which Asian is the largest census minority classification followed by Hispanic, both reflected in their heritage. And I have been providing health care services to people my entire adult working life.
How could I not be a "Progessive" as we understand it in the Pacific States.
The core Progressive Pacific Message is that individual freedom is bound to one's personal responsibility to assure equitable communities. The ongoing mission is:
As knowledge and technology evolve in the 21st Century, the day-to-day customs and practices of individuals, their organizations, and their governments should be adjusted to assure the creation and maintenance of equitable communities which permit every person the opportunity to pursue personal productive goals while sharing with all other humans equality in personal dignity and human rights while enjoying freedom with responsibility.