Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Mansion Sold for $35 Million in Saigon

Earlier this month, a turn-of-the 20th century mansion in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) was sold for $35 million.  The asking price was $47 million.  

The 28,00 sqft mansion was built in French colonial style by a wealthy jewelry and pawn shop merchant.   The mansion needs some TLC due to age and neglect.  The undisclosed buyer bought it from the descendants of the merchant.  Some of the descendants are residents of San Jose.  This is big new  in Vietnam since real real estate transaction is rarely disclosed.   

A lot of Vietnamese-Americans in the Bay Area own real estate and have become wealthy in the last 5 years through an incredible hot market.  The largest real estate transaction in the Vietnamese-American community in the Bay Area  is by Tram Be (a bank CEO and investor from Vietnam).  He sold the interior mall of Vallco shopping complex for $120 million late last year.   He bought the interior mall for $64 million in 2009 as a foreclosure.

Monday, November 16, 2015



The I-SEA Film Fest (International Southeast Asian Film Fest, Nov 21-22, 2015) highlights the histories, imaginaries and identities of those with ties to Southeast Asia and its diasporas.

Featuring work by award-winning directors (Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or, Prince Claus Foundation, MacArthur “Genius" award), Oscar nominees, rebels and art-world stars, I-SEA  showcases world- class feature films, cutting-edge experimental shorts and controversial documentaries.

The Opening night gala will take place on November 20th at Artists' Television Access. The festival takes place at New People Cinema in Japantown from November 21-22nd, 2015--select screenings will have post-screening Q&A with filmmakers and panels.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ash Kalra on Creating Small Business Opportunities in Silicon Valley

Here in Silicon Valley, the economy is booming. The freeways are full and companies like Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, are making record billions of dollars in profits.  However, sometimes lost in the euphoria of the market boom are small businesses and start-up ventures trying to survive in a hyper-competitive environment. 

While on the City Council, I have certainly made an effort to support economic development. In my Council District is the thriving Edenvale Technology Park, the third largest economic engine of our city outside of north San Jose and downtown.  I have worked to ensure that we remove burdens and lessen taxes for companies who want to invest in our city by locating their research facility or manufacturing plant in San Jose. I have personally taken CEO's and COO's on tours of our city to identify locations where we can help them find their new home to grow. 

At the same time, I have been keenly aware of the need to also provide the same customer service and incentives for small businesses and start-ups to find a home here in San Jose. 

Earlier this year, I was pleased when the adopted city budget included a small business liaison in the planning department. I have learned over the years that it is often times in the planning department where businesses get mired in the bureaucracy of plan checks and building permit inspections. This new business ambassador was specifically tasked to focus on immigrant owned businesses. Approximately two-thirds of small businesses are immigrant owned and, often times, city services and resources do not find their way to these hard-working entrepreneurs. 

I have also worked to bring opportunity to businesses that often times been shut out of government contracts. While the Chair of the Valley Transportation Authority, which doles out many millions in private contracts a year, we initiated the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. It is through this program that we increased our target goals for contracts to be earned by women and minority-owned businesses. 

This year, I was proud to bring forward the same program for expanding opportunities to small and minority owned businesses to the city of San Jose. I am also working with Council Member Manh Nguyen to ensure that businesses the city contracts with, such as vendors at the airport, reflect our community and give an opportunity for minority-owned businesses to share their quality food and products. 

An thriving economy needs to work for everyone, not just those with special knowledge or relationships with the right people. Those who work hard to invest in our local economy deserve a fair shake. For seven years, I have worked hard to ensure we are creating an economy that rewards the hard work of small business owners and entrepreneurs. It is great to see, as the economy grows, that many of those businesses are thriving and positioned for long-term success.

The article is written by San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra for LSI

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bao Nguyen for US Congress

Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair & California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman and Michael Andraychak cordially invite you to a house party supporting the Honorable Mayor of Garden Grove, Bao Nguyen, Candidate for U.S. Congress (CA-46), on Sunday, November 15, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., at the home of Eric C. Bauman & Michael Andraychak, at 12777 Victory Blvd., in North Hollywood.
Bao was born in a UN refugee camp while his family escaped communist Vietnam to seek freedom and opportunity in America.
Michael Andraychak and Eric Bauman
Michael Andraychak and Eric Bauman
Bao grew up in the district and is a proud product of public schools. After graduating from UC Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in political science, then a master’s degree in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies from Naropa University, Bao came back home to Garden Grove to teach, before turning to public service.
Bao is trilingual in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. He served on the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education prior to his 2014 election to a two-year term as the first Vietnamese American Democrat LGBTQ mayor in the United States.
For more information, please visit

Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayer Vigil for Jenny Do and Gia Vy Truong

About 100 people gathered to pray  for Attorney Jenny Do and Viet Tribune Publisher Vy Gia Truong last Saturday at Huyen Khong Temple in San Jose.  Huyen Khong Temple is a small house converted into a temple to serve the spiritual need of the Buddhist community.  

The prayer vigil was organized by Lillian Dang and Ngoc Nhi.  It was conducted from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM by the head abbott of the temple.  Some of their close friends including Dr. Nam Tran and Councilmember Ash Kalra were there for them.

This coming Saturday, November 7, there will be another prayer vigil at the Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara for Jenny Do.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Jenny Do's Wish List

Attorney Jenny Do recently was diagnosed with stage IV cancer.   The prognosis is 3-6 months survival rate or less.

The community has been rallied around her to support her and her causes.   In the 2007, she was named Woman of the Year by the California State Legislature in her district and she received a number of  recognitions for her anti-human trafficking and charity work in the Bay Area. 


My Wish List

Your outpouring of messages, texts, phone calls and postings on social media since my diagnosis has lifted me up. Your prayers and wishes give me strength and courage. I apologize that I have not been able to thank and answer all of you individually, as I have been overwhelmed by your responses!

But dear brothers and sisters, this is not the time to be sad. If we shed tears, let us crystallize them into positive energy. There is so much left to do, so little time to do it. Here is my short wish list for the causes dear to my heart:

1. The welfare of the Friends of Hue (FHF -
) children and youths continues to be my priority concern! Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, the self-sustainability initiative of FHF’s outsourcing center, and our financially conservative operations, we don't need a huge amount of money to bridge the gap and cover the basic needs of our children.
My first wish therefore is that FHF continues to take care of the children living at the center and those we sponsor in the vicinity. I wish that we keep supporting them until they can fly on their own. Please help me continue the annual fund raising drives.

2. Next on my mind is the Ao Dai Festival (
). Its fourth edition will take place on May 15th, with or without me. More than just a celebration of the Vietnamese culture and history, ADF binds our youths to a common goal and empowers them for years to come!  I wish that this vision continues after I leave you, that ADF’s fourth edition isn’t the last, and that the torch is passed to willing and able volunteers who will carry on the tradition.

3. I have also fallen in love with the children of Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world. There I met Father Pedro Opeka, the founder of Akamasoa, an association that built 18 villages housing 3,000 families who used to live in cardboard boxes in the Antananarivo dumps.
I see in him the presence and beauty of human decency and humanity. Please trust this living Saint, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize in 2012. Send him your support (
). By donating $100, you can save a child from a garbage rummaging life.

4. Last but not least, I wish that our long-awaited, long-promised and long-dreamed Vietnamese-American Community Center of San José becomes reality. Oh, how I wish this to come true before I leave this world!

Its establishment has received the support of many City Councilmembers, community leaders, businesses, and individuals. Many plans have been proposed, many discussions have taken place, but the center still remains just a dream.

It is now time to make it a reality!

I have discussed with like-minded friends. In a few more days, I will describe our vision for a sustainable Vietnamese-American Community Center. It should be a place where the elders meet, where the youths gather and participate in healthy activities, where certain basic services are provided, and where people from different walks of life or cultures share experiences and enrich the community. It should also be a place where music and arts can thrive.

Self-sustainability will be essential. This will require a strong organization to plan and manage the project. We will need a diverse and robust board of directors, an experienced management team, support from all sectors and seed funding to get the project off the ground.

In order for our wishes to come true, I will need your help beyond anything that you have extended to me in the past. Our community is strong; if we join force, we can move mountains!

Please share the dream with me. Let us make a gift to ourselves and to future generations.And please accept my gratitude. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friends of Hue Foundation Gala

Last Sunday, Friends of Hue Foundation held their annual gala at Dynasty Restaurant.  The event was sold out with 300 people attended an raised over $40,000 for the children of Central Vietnam to support their education programs and a  children's shelter.  FHF was started in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation.   

At the fund raising for FHF Gala last Sunday,  city councilmembers Tam Nguyen,  Manh Nguyen and Ash Kalra gave the organization a commendation from Mayor Sam Liccardo as well as from their respective offices.   Councilmembers  Manh Nguyen ad Tam Nguyen also congratulate Jenny Do (Chairwoman) on her candidacy for D8.  

State assembly candidates Cong Do and Councilmember Ash Kalra also praised FHF for its charity work in Vietnam.   Vy Truong, owner of Viet Tribune, shared her experience working with Jenny Do and praised her tremendous efforts in building  the shelter to its presence success.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Making of Garden Grove City Mayor Bao Nguyen

Bao Nguyen, who won the  mayoral race 10 months ago by 15 votes largely on the strength of the Vietnamese-American voters,  has been making headlines lately.

First, he decided to come out as the first gay Vietnamese-American elected official at the same time as he declared himself a congressional candidate to replace Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  Two weeks later, he shared with  an on-duty cop late at night in front of his house how he despises his fellow councilmen Phat Bui and Steve Jones.   The conversation was recorded by the policeman.  

To many Vietnamese-Americans, he is quite arrogant when he refused to ask Riverside City to rescind the sister-relationship with a city in Vietnam.

He does not have a chance in the congressional race since he could not raise money and he does not even live in the district.   He will also have a tough time in the re-election.   Phat Bui and Steve Jones will likely run for the mayoral office.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Potential Candidates for San Jose City D8

Now we know that Attorney Jimmy Nguyen has declared himself to be the front runner (via Mercury News) in the city council race for D8, who else is considering?

Litigator Jenny Do has mentioned her intention.   Meanwhile, businesswoman Denise Belisle is rumored to be thinking hard about a possible run.  Jim Zito is another potential candidate that has his name floating in the mix.  But at the end of the day, the most prominent name is still Pattie Cortese. She is motivated to run before she left for her Italy vacation.  

Anyway, it is too early to tell for the campaign cannot be official until December when the fund raising can begin.  This is a district with high voter turnout.  In 2012, there were close to 32,000 ballots cast.  In comparison, D7 had no more than 15,000 ballots cast.

LSI expects the race to have at least 5 - 6 candidates.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Attorney Jenny Do Runs for D8 City Council Seat

Overnight, the race for San Jose D8 city council seat just became exciting in the Vietnamese-American community.  Email was flying all night long in various e-groups as  Attorney Jenny Do mentioned her intention to run in around table discussion on air with Councilmember Tam Nguyen and  Council-elect Manh Nguyen last night.

A long time attorney, she is well known in the community and the philanthropic crowd.

Besides her legal practice focusing in health care insurance and compensation,  she founded the Green Rice Gallery in downtown San Jose.  The gallery provided a venue for Vietnamese-American artists. She was the curator for many well-received exhibitions around the San Francisco and Greater Bay Area. These exhibitions are designed to promote Vietnamese American arts and culture, as well as to raise awareness on social issues in the Asian-American community.   

She involves in South First Friday event to help promote downtown arts and culture in San Jose every first Friday of the month.

Her love for the arts also led her to run a very popular and successful wedding and special event design company in the Bay Area.   She recently sold the company for it grew too big where she could not effectively spend time on her legal work.

She has been a strong advocate against human trafficking before it became a nationally recognized issue.  She was a guest speaker at national conferences on human trafficking. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D) honored her with a special congressional recognition for her effort.

She also co-founded Homeowners in Action to help homeowners save their home against predatory practices by lenders during the housing crisis.   

In her spare time, she is responsible for Ao Dai Festival where she produces an elaborate production to showcase Vietnamese culture.  The bi-annual show attended by thousands of people and raised over $250,000 for a children shelter in Vietnam.  

She served on the Art Commission of San Jose and is currently a member of the American Leadership Forum in Silicon Valley.  The members of the forum include senior executives of hi-tech and biotech companies as well as political leaders like mayors of San Jose and Santa Clara County supervisors. 

For her philanthropic work in the community and her advocacy efforts, she was recognized as 2007 Woman of the Year in California for District 23,  a prestigious award bestowed by the California Legislature.  The state legislature identified her as one of those rare individuals who made a difference not only in her local community but much further beyond. 

She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of San Jose in 2007 and the unsolicited Belle Foundation grant in 2005.

She is an Amerasian and her story of gaining acceptance and her search of her American father whom she never knew was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

In San Jose D8,  about 22% of the registered voters are Vietnamese-American. 

It will be an interesting race and if Pattie Cortese decides to run, she will automatically be the front-runner.   According to Pattie before she left for her vacation in Europe,  she is motivated but her only concern is that she promised East Side Union School Board that if they chose her to be the board trustee, she would not run for office in 2016.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui vs. Sacramento City Council

A show down at high noon is expected on Tuesday July 14, 2015 between the Vietnamese-American anti-communist folks in Sacramento and the Sacramento City Council.

A press release was sent out by State Senator Janet Nguyen to alert the public about a Vietnam delegation visiting Sacramento.  She is urging the public to join her in protest against the city of Sacramento's effort to recognize a delegation from Vietnam. 

Since the Vietnamese-American represents less than 3% of the total population in Sacramento, the community is urging other anti-communist groups from Orange County to join the protest tomorrow. 

In response, Garden Grove City Councilman Phat Bui and some of his people will be arriving from Orange County to have their voices heard.

Councilman Phat Bui is a controversial figure in Garden Grove for some and a hero for others.  He is best known for his strong arm tactic recently against Riverside City when this city decided to establish friendship city with a city in Vietnam.  He vocally urged  his Vietnamese-American constituents to protest and disrupt any businesses in Riverside that have any dealings in Vietnam.

The Riverside City Council promptly ignored the anti-communist extremists and voted to have a sister city relationship with Vietnam.

And now with strong passion, he is urging the anti-communist people in Sacramento to remove any city council member who recognizes a delegation from Vietnam or even has the courage to suggest a sister city relationship with a city in Vietnam.

In Orange County, the anti-communist folks are vocal and often bring fear to elected officials.  The Sacramento City Council will either learn this either the easy way or hard way.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

San Jose D8 City Council Seat

With the 2016 election cycle coming up fast, the Vietnamese-American community is buzzing with names of potential candidates running for D8 city council.  This is district where Vietnamesse-Americans make up about 20% of the total registered voters.

Jimmy Nguyen, the candidate who lost to Rose H. in 2012 will try his chance again for sure.  Kim Trang, the business woman who owns a dental clinic, will enter the race only if Pattie Cortese decides not to run.  The well known and popular lawyer Jenny Do is being pushed by the community to run.  She is undecided for now.

It is too early and everything is still depending on whether Pattie Cortese will further her political horizon.  Like Daisy Chu in D4, her decision will influence the many potential candidates.  She is formidable just because of the name recognition and her long time associations with D8.   She is the preferred choice of Labor but at the moment, she is uncertain.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Manh Nguyen Wins in Landslide

With 80% of the ballots counted,  Manh Nguyen leads Tim Orozco 57% to 43%.   He will be a second Vietnamese-American elected official in San Jose City Council serving along Councilmember Tam Nguyen.

In a race where about 30% of the ballot cast were from Viet-American voters even though they only make up about 18% of the registered voters. Nguyen again shows that the Viet-American voting bloc is powerful.    This is one of the reasons why State Assemblyman Kansen Chu who represents D4 declined to endorse Tim Orozco, despite the fact that they both are heavily supported by South Bay Labor Council.

In San Jose politics, D4, D7 and D8 are districts that have strong Viet-American voting bloc.  It would not be a surprise that a new D8 councilmember next year is a Viet-American.

Even though Viet-Americans only make up 10% of the city population, they now control 20% of city council and many school board positions.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ronald Reagan Statue Unveiled in Orange County

On Friday June 12, 2015, at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley,  Orange County prominent political leaders and elected officials unveiled the statue of President Ronald Reagan.  About 250 people attended the event.

This is to commemorate a a popular president who had a special tie with Orange County and is well beloved by the Viet-American community for his support of democratic causes and stand against the oppression of communism.   The statue was privately donated.

The approval of the county to place the statue in the park where President Reagan launched his 1984 presidential re-election campaign was led by OC Supervisor Andrew Do.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Is Candidate Manh Nguyen a Lawyer?

Candidate for San Jose D4 City Council Manh Nguyen has been addressing himself as lawyer Manh Nguyen within the Vietnamese-American community.   It is strange since he never practiced law as a lawyer and he is not licensed by any state bar in the nation as a lawyer.   Of course, this does not prevent himself to call himself a lawyer.  With the recent flyer sending out to the voters, he also claimed the title of lawyer.

Of course, it is good to have the title to impress people, especially within the Vietnamese-American community where a high degree is always more favorable.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Manh Nguyen For San Jose City Council D4

With only 4 weeks away before the special election for San Jose D4, Manh Nguyen is picking up steam nicely with the endorsement from the Mercury News and a host of elected officials, including 4 local mayors and 4 city council members.   But of course the biggest endorsement of all is from Mayor Sam Liccardo.   Note that the ex-Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen was neither asked nor considered for endorsement by Manh.

The Vietnamese-American voters in D4  make up about 18% of the registered voters but their turn- out accounted for 30% of the ballots in the primary.  Can they deliver another Viet-American to the council?

Tam Nguyen was a pride of the community as the voters went all out for him.  His swearing-in was a celebration of the community with State Senator Janet Nguyen drove all the way  from Sacramento to help administer the oath.

Manh Nguyen will have a very good chance to win this race especially if the overall turnout is low.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Miss Nebraska USA 2015 - Hoang Kim Cung

Hoang Kim Cung, a reporter and fill-in anchor for NBC Nebraska, made history when  she was crowned Miss Nebraska USA 2015.  She became the first Vietnamese-American to win a beauty pageant  at state level.   She will be competing in the Miss USA Pageant this July in Baton Rouge, LA.   The winner will represent the US in the Miss Universe Pageant.

Hoang Kim Cung was born and raised in Texas.  She received her degree in journalism from UT at Austin.  At 23 years old, she is poised and mature beyond her age.  With a beautiful smile and a bubbly personality, she has a great career ahead of her whether she wins or loses.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Cao Dai Religion - A Lecture at UCLA

Gazing at the Left Eye of God from Both Sides of the Pacific: Caodaism’s Transpacific Transformations 1926-2015

Book talk with Janet Hoskins
Professor of Anthropology and Religion, University of Southern California
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
UCLA Campus
Caodaism is a new religion revealed to a group of colonized intellectuals in southern Vietnam in 1926 who fused Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism with French Spiritism, Theosophy and Catholic hierarchies. Its syncretistic mixture has always been dynamic, renewed and revised through spirit séances, and often mixed with nationalist aspirations. After 1975, many Caodai leaders went into exile, establishing congregations in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. The initial vision of “bringing the gods of the East and West together” has been adjusted to new historical contexts and political challenges. Contrasts between the founding generation in French Indochina and descendants and disciples in California are explored by assessing the relationship between syncretism and diaspora, and the construction and dissolution of religious borders.

Janet Hoskins is Professor of Anthropology and Religion at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her books include The Play of Time: Kodi Perspectives on History, Calendars and Exchange (1996 Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies), and Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of People’s Lives (1998).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Free Hepatitis Testing on May 19, 2015

Dear Community Leader,

My name is Nancy Ngoc Hoang, and I am the Community Outreach Coordinator from the Asian Liver Center at Stanford School of Medicine. 

For Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19, 2015, we will be hosting a free hepatitis B screening (testing) for the Vietnamese Community at Grand Century Mall in San Jose. 

At the event, we will be giving away free gifts, sandwiches, and clothes.

We would really appreciate it if you could please help us by announcing this community event on your blog. Everything will be free.

Thank you for your help. 


Xin chào,

Tên tôi là Nancy Ngọc Hoàng, và tôi là Community Outreach Coordinator từ Trung Tâm Gan Á Châu tại Trường Y Khoa Stanford.

Cho Ngày Thử Nghiệm Viêm Gan vào ngày 19 tháng 5 năm 2015, chúng tôi sẽ tổ chức thử nghiệm viêm gan B miễn phí cho cộng đồng người Việt Nam ở Grand Century Mall tại San Jose.

Chúng tôi còn có tặng quà, bánh mì và quần áo miễn phí.

Chúng tôi sẽ rất cảm kích nếu bạn có thể vui lòng giúp chúng tôi bằng cách thông báo sự kiện cộng đồng này trên blog phát thanh của bạn. Tất cả mọi thứ đều miễn phí.

Xin cam on.

Trân trọng,

Nancy Ngoc Hoang, MPH 

Community Health Outreach Coordinator 
780 Welch Road, CJ130 
Palo Alto, CA 94304 

T: 408-326-9354 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

City of San Jose Proclaimed Black April Remembrance Month

Last Tuesday, at the City Council weekly public meeting, Mayor Sam Liccardo, together with Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Tam Nguyen and other members of the City Council, proclaimed Black April Remembrance Month in the City of San Jose to remember the Fall of South Vietnam in April 30,1975.

The Vietnamese American Roundtable, a nonprofit organization, composed mainly of many Viet-Americans born after the Vietnam War, accepted the Proclamation on behalf of the Viet-American community in San Jose.

The significance of Black April commemoration in the community is eloquently articulated by VAR on their Website -

Black April is a deeply meaningful and important occasion for the Vietnamese diasporas and is observed each 30th day of April. In 1975, this date marked the fall of Saigon and was the symbolic ending of the Vietnam War and the Government of the Republic of Vietnam. In the years following the end of the war, waves of tens to hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled the country as refugees--leaving as “boat people” to seek asylum and a new life in many foreign countries. Countless lives were lost in the open sea due to famine, disease, exposure, piracy, and more. Eventually, over 800,000 refugees were resettled in the United States and these communities have been thriving and growing ever since. The City of San Jose has the highest population of Vietnamese in any city outside of Vietnam.

Now, four decades later, the 40th Black April Commemoration aims to provide a respectful and meaningful opportunity to reflect upon the significance of a dark day in Vietnamese history and what it means to the millions of families of Vietnamese heritage that were forced to uproot themselves and start new lives in strange lands. Black April provides a unique opportunity for Vietnamese-American families to properly respect those who have sacrificed much for freedom and to help educate future generations of how their legacy was forever changed by the Vietnam War.

40th Black April Commemoration

April 16, 2015 - SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Vietnamese American Roundtable (“VAR”) would like to invite communities all across the Bay Area to join us for the 40th Black April Commemoration on Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 6pm-8pm, at San Jose City Hall – Rotunda, 200 E. Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95112. This is a Black Attire event. The event is free and open to the public.

Black April is a deeply meaningful and important occasion for the Vietnamese diasporas and is observed each 30th day of April. In 1975, this date marked the fall of Saigon and was the symbolic ending of the Vietnam War and the Government of the Republic of Vietnam. In the years following the end of the war, waves of tens to hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled the country as refugees--leaving as “boat people” to seek asylum and a new life in many foreign countries. Countless lives were lost in the open sea due to famine, disease, exposure, piracy, and more. Eventually, over 800,000 refugees were resettled in the United States and these communities have been thriving and growing ever since. The City of San Jose has the highest population of Vietnamese in any city outside of Vietnam.

Now, four decades later, the 40th Black April Commemoration aims to provide a respectful and meaningful opportunity to reflect upon the significance of a dark day in Vietnamese history and what it means to the millions of families of Vietnamese heritage that were forced to uproot themselves and start new lives in strange lands. Black April provides a unique opportunity for Vietnamese-American families to properly respect those who have sacrificed much for freedom and to help educate future generations of how their legacy was forever changed by the Vietnam War.

40th Black April Commemoration is hosted by a collaboration of multiple community organizations, including newly-elected Councilmember Tam Nguyen (San Jose District 7) and Councilmember Ash Kalra (San Jose District 2). The program will revolve around the sharing of personal experiences through multi-medium exhibits, highlighting stories from families in the community, and performances that evoke thoughtful reflection of this important day.

About us: The Vietnamese American Roundtable’s mission is to connect organizations and professional individuals to share resources as well as networking and collaborative opportunities for the betterment of the Vietnamese American community.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Manh Nguyen, Another Chuck Reed's Candidate

It is now official,  former Mayor Chuck Reed and his hand-picked successor, current Mayor Sam Liccardo, have chosen Manh Nguyen to be the next councilmember for D4.

In a press conference held yesterday in front of the Petite Trianon, Nguyen was elated to accept the endorsement and complete support of Reed and Liccardo.  Notice the former Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen was not even invited to the press conference and that Manh Nguyen did not even consider her.

The special election will be in June to determine who will fill the seat that was held by State Assemblyman Kansen Chu.

It will be another proxy fight between South Baly Labor Council and Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Tim Orozco is a long time resident of D4 and is well known for his activities within the community and its neighborhood associations.   Manh Nguyen, similar to another previous candidate for D4, Tam Truong, is a candidate that was recruited to ensure that Sam Liccardo has the majority in City Council.  He can count on about 3,000 Vietnamese-American votes in the primary to be his. There were 10,191 ballots cast in the primary.

In a city where 10% of the population is Viet-American, another Viet-American city councilmember would elevate the the political power of the community to a next level.  There are three districts in San Jose which will always be under the influence of the Viet-American voting bloc - D4, D7 and D8.  LSI predicts that it will be a close race and the difference might be within a percentage point or less.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Major Endorsement for Manh Nguyen

Former San Jose City Mayor Chuck Reed and current Mayor Sam Liccardo will be at a press conference at 9:00 AM, April 15, in front of the Petite Trianon to announce their endorsement of Manh Nguyen in his quest to become the next D4 councilmember.

It will be highly contested race between Manh Nguyen, 62, and Tim Orozco. 55, this coming June. Labor will be for Orozco while Manh Nguyen will be the candidate of Chuck Reed/Sam Liccardo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Manh Nguyen Edged Lan Diep for Second Place

The official results barring a recount request indicate that  Diep lost to Nguyen by 13 votes.   The runoff in June will be between Manh Nguyen and Tim Orozco.

Nguyen already called Bob Dihllon to ask for his endorsement.  So far, Dhillon politely brushed him off.    Nguyen also had his Vietnamese supporters calling Lan Diep to pressure him to give him the endorsement.  The message to Lan Diep was if you want to be a viable candidate and get the Vietnamese-American votes next time around, you better endorse Manh Nguyen.

With only about 4,000 registered Vietnamese-American voter in D4,  Nguyen knows that he will need to get the votes outside his ethnic base.   LSI has not reviewed the final numbers yet, but from the returned absentee ballots,  about 3,000 Viet-Americans went to poll in this election.  The high turnout is much better than the average 25% turnout for the whole D4.

MANH NGUYEN1,94719.11%
RUDY NASOL5044.95%
TIM OROZCO2,24322.01%
JOHNNY LEE3883.81%
BOB DHILLON1,15711.35%
LAN DIEP1,93418.98%