Showing posts from 2015

Minh Dang Appointed Advisory Council on Human Trafficking

This month, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint Minh Dang to be on the United State Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
Minh Dang, a resident of San Jose, CA,  currently serves as the Executive Director for Don’t Sell Bodies, which advocates on behalf of survivors of modern day slavery. 
By sharing her own story of growing up in San Jose and forced in sex slavery in the Bay Area,  Minh has worked to combat child abuse and human trafficking in the United States through direct service, community organizing, and political advocacy. Minh also provides technical assistance and organizational consulting to local, state, and national service providers and government agencies. Recently, Minh helped launch the U.S. Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking.

Jenny Do Recognized for Her Community and Philanthropy Work

On December 7, 2015,  Attorney Jenny Do was recognized by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and San Jose City Council for her community and philanthropy work in the Bay Area and Vietnam.   The proclamations were given by County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and City Councilmember Ash Kalra.

Jenny Do and her Commendations


Vietnamese American Service Center of Santa Clara County

Dear Neighbor,
The Office of the County Executive, the Santa Clara County Department of Behavioral Health, the County’s Department of Public Health, the Social Services Agency, and my staff have been hard at work gathering community input through stakeholder sessions and surveys to help create a design proposal for a future Vietnamese American Service Center. I had the pleasure of kicking off the Vietnamese American Service Center Stakeholder process back in September and look forward to seeing the operational and service model blueprint informed by your feedback.
Our most recent stakeholder sessions were held at the Social Services Agency on November 19 and November 21. Both sessions were rousing successes with community members and service providers both in attendance. There remains two opportunities to attend a stakeholder session on December 6th and December 8th – both sessions will be held at the Social Services Agency campus located on 1879 Senter Road.  Refreshments and heavy app…

New Year's Eve Party


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.



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.

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 …

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 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 …

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.

Ash Kalra for State Assembly


Jenny Do & Vy Gia Truong - Prayer Ceremony


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 w…

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.

Ash Karla for State Assembly Fund Raiser


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.

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.

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 mon…

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 Vietn…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Friends of Hue Foundation


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 …

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…

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 r…