On June 3rd voters in the First Supervisoral District will go to the polls and electÃ‚Â our representitive to the Orange County Board of Supervisors.Ã‚Â We will choose from three candidates, two Republicans and one Democrat.Ã‚Â All three of the candidates are Vietnamese-Americans, Janet Nguyen, Dina Nguyen and Hoa Van Tran.Ã‚Â The Nguyen’s are the Republicans and Tran the lone Democrat.
Democrats had been counting on former State Senator Joe Dunn to beÃ‚Â our candidate in this election, but Dunn chose to sit this one out.Ã‚Â Dunn’s decision left many in the party scrambling to find a candidate.Ã‚Â Some hoped Santa Ana Councilman David Benevides would throw his hat in the ring, he didn’t.Ã‚Â Paul Lucas flirted with running, some believed he was being nudged by Dina Nguyen and Van Tran in an effort to split the vote, but in the end he too opted out.Ã‚Â That left us with one person to carry the party banner into battle, Hoa Van Tran.
Support for Hoa amongst Democrats has been lukewarm at best.Ã‚Â Sure Frank Barbaro gave him $500 and folks like Wylie Aitken appeared atÃ‚Â a recent fundraiser and offered his support but none of our local elected Democrats have given him their endorsement.Ã‚Â Edgardo Reynoso, Lou Correa’s brother-in-law, is running Hoa’s campaign and yet Hoa can’t even get Lou’s official endorsement.Ã‚Â My question is, why not Hoa?
Republican’s have about a 25 year headstart on the DemocratsÃ‚Â in courting the Vietnamese community.Ã‚Â I remember back in 1984, when I was a Republican, and I worked for Dick Longshore’s State Assembly campaign, Dick worked closely with folks in the Vietnamese community.Ã‚Â Dick had a close relationship with Frank Jao, the visionary who essentially created Little Saigon, and there wasn’t a Democrat in sight.Ã‚Â All these years later the Democrats still haven’t made too many inroads into Little Saigon and the Vietnamese community.
Well it is about time that we as a party wake up and do something about.Ã‚Â The Vietnamese community has a tremendous voter turnout and we cannot simply turn our backs on it and cede those votes to the Republicans.Ã‚Â Loretta Sanchez and Lou Correa have seen some mild support in this community and have done some outreach but it pails in comparison to what “B-1 Bob” Dornan did and what Van Tran is doing.Ã‚Â The Republicans have a strong wellÃ‚Â oiled machine operating on all cylinders, in comparison we have the equivelent of a broken down moped.
We can begin to change that starting right now.Ã‚Â The best way we can do that is by supporting elected Vietnamese Democrats like Dr.Ã‚Â Kim Oanh Nguyen-Lam from the Garden Grove School Board and a Vietnamese Democratic candidate like Hoa Van Tran.Ã‚Â We also need to cultivate new Vietnamese Democratic leaders and show folks in that community that it is okay to be a Democrat.
Younger members of the Vietnamese community tend not to be idealogues like so many in the older generations.Ã‚Â The youth tend to have the same concerns as most of us,Ã‚Â healthcare, education, poverty and the environment.Ã‚Â WhileÃ‚Â a large portion of the older generation isÃ‚Â still focused on a war that ended over 30 years ago, still focused on destroying the “communists”.Ã‚Â They view the GOP as the party of “anti-communism”.
We need to change this.Ã‚Â While we must never forget the atrocities they faced, we need to get them to refocusÃ‚Â their energy on a new war.Ã‚Â We need them to realize that the Democrats are their best allies in this new war, a war that will fight for better healthcare, education, housing, transportationÃ‚Â and protection for seniors.Ã‚Â We need to reach out to them and inform them on the issues and the beliefs of the Democratic Party.
The best way to do this is by supporting the Vietnamese Democrats that are already out there.Ã‚Â The more Vietnamese Democrats that we help get elected the better chance we have at attracting Vietnamese voters to our party.Ã‚Â We can start by supporting Hoa Van Tran in his race for the First District.Ã‚Â
I too was hesitant to support him but that changedÃ‚Â after seeing his comments on Nguoi Viet Daily News over on the Total Buzz.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been with the community a long time,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. “They are not communists. They are respected in the community.”Ã‚Â
Hoa made this statement despite the fact that he knew it could raise the ire of activists in Little Saigon.Ã‚Â This demonstrates his courage and his independence.Ã‚Â Janet Nguyen, Dina Nguyen, Van Tran and Tri Ta, all Republicans, refused to offer any support whatsoever for Nguoi Viet, choosing instead to cower to the extremists.
There are some, mostly supporters of Janet Nguyen,Ã‚Â that are trying to claim thetÃ‚Â Hoa is a stealth candidate planted by Assemblyman Van Tran.Ã‚Â They call him a “Trannie”.Ã‚Â I have been assured he is not.
We as Democrats are best served by supporting Hoa Van Tran.Ã‚Â The First District is a Democratic seat and we must win it back.Ã‚Â Hoa Van Tran will help us do that and he will help open the door to Little Saigon for the Democratic Party.Ã‚Â I hope you’ll join me in supporting him and ask the you encourage our elected Dems to do the same.