Tonight, the City of Garden Grove will be considering a proposal from the nonprofit Trung-Tam Van-Hoa Hong-Bang to host the Tet Festival in Garden Grove. But the proposed host has some problems with the State of California that are not reflected in their proposal. According to a letter from state Attorney General Kamala Harris the organization is significantly delinquent in its filings with the state.
The city staff report on the proposal from TTVHHB indicates that the organization “has been a recognized non-profit, tax-exempt organization since 1997. Since that time, they have organized and managed the Los Angeles TET Festival at Narrows Regional Park in South El Monte.” The proposed agreement would have TTVHHB manage the Garden Grove TET Festival for the next five years.
An August 19, 2013 letter from Attorney General Kamala Harris indicates that TTVHHB has failed to file its tax returns and pay registration renewal fees to the state from 2007 to 2011. Until those records, and delinquent fees, are filed with the state, the state will not accept payment for the 2012 fees.
We also note, that missing from the agenda memo from Community Services Manager Kimberly Huy, there is no mention of the fact that the organization was not the sole producer of the Los Angeles TET Festival event. According to the proposal TTVHHB produced the event with another non-profit organization, A Plus Education Center. The proposal does not indicate what role their partner organization played in producing that event.
At a minimum the Garden Grove City Council should get an explanation from TTVHHB for their delinquencies with the state, and why those delinquencies should not be considered an indication of the organizational infrastructure necessary to successfully produce the Garden Grove TET Festival for the next five years.
In addition, we note that there is no non-discrimination language in the agreement prohibiting discrimination on the basis gender, ethnicity, disability,religion,sexual orientation, etc. Given the problems the City of Westminster had with the organizer of last-years TET Parade over the participation of a Vietnamese LGBT organization in the parade, one would think that the City of Garden Grove would be proactive and ensure that TTVHHB include appropriate non-discrimination language in their proposal before they move forward with the agreement. The decision of the parade organizers to discriminate led to a number of elected officials boycotting the parade.
We suspect that such language may be difficult for Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, who has been an outspoken supporter of prohibiting LGBT groups from participation in Westminster’s TET Parade. But Nguyen’s homophobia aside, the City would be well advised to ensure that they do not inadvertently facilitate the same problems created last year when the newly appointed organizers of the parade chose to exclude a Vietnamese LGBT group from participation in the parade.
The Council meetings begin at 6:30 pm in the City Council chambers located at the Community Meeting Center, located at 11300 Stanford Avenue.