On Friday January 29th more than 200 people turned out to support Phu Nguyen at his campaign fundraising dinner. Elected officials from across California were present to show their support forÂ Phu Nguyen who is running for California State Assembly to represent the 68th district. The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Van Tran who hopes to challenge Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in the 47th Congressional District.
Congresswoman Sanchez was there to offer her support, expressing her pleasure that Phu had taken her advice and decided to run for elected office. Elected state officials attending included Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, Majority Whip Fiona Ma, Tony Mendoza, Warren Furutani, Jose Solorio, Senator Lou Correa. Local officials including Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee KimOanh Nguyen-Lam, North Orange County Community College District Trustees Mike Matsuda and Leonard Lahtinen, Coast Community College District Trustees Lorraine Prinsky and Presiden Jim Moreno, Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee John Hanna, Anaheim Union High School District Trustee Jordan Brandman.
The fundraising even was successfull raising tens of thousands of dollars for his campaign. Phu spoke to his supporters about his family’s escape on a boat from Vietnam and how they survived thier journey to arrive in the United States with just $2. Phu has excelled his entire life, as a student, leader and businessman. He maintains hisÂ local community involvement as a Commissioner on the Orange County District Attorney’s Vietnamese Advisory Commission and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), a community-based organization that receives grants from government agencies and foundations for health care research and services that address the unique needs of the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
Phu is married to Yen Khanh, a math professor at Santa Ana College. They have an active two-year-old named Christopher and are expecting another child in the spring of 2010. Phu’s family is a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fountain Valley.
Phu’s outlook on life has been shaped by his family, faith, and the freedoms and opportunities his family embraced when they immigrated to the United States and settled in Orange County. Like so many other Vietnamese immigrants, Phu’s family fled Vietnam on a small boat in the early 80’s to pursue hope and freedom. Stranded at sea for nearly a month before being rescued by a Hong Kong fishing vessel, nine children on the boat died of starvation. By the grace of God and the sacrifices made by his parents, Phu survived the long journey. This experience continues to motivate and inspire Phu to live life to the fullest, never taking a day, or even a breath, for granted.
Phu’s philosophy in life can be summed up in a quote by John Wesley: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”