2023 Year in Review

Written by VietRISE

February 21, 2024

As we begin this new year, it’s with deep gratitude that we share reflections, milestones, and campaigns that defined our journey in 2023. Last year has been a testament to the power of building community and struggling together in solidarity for a better world. It is also marked with a lot of community building, celebrating wins, and making space for grief and loss.

VietRISE started in Orange County, the heart of the largest Vietnamese enclave outside of Viet Nam, in recognition that our communities faced particular challenges and wanted and deserved more. We recognized the interconnectedness of our struggles with others locally and internationally, as people continue to fight to stay in their homes against eviction, deportation, and colonial occupation. Thank you for being in community with us, building with us, and fighting for a better world. We hope you enjoy reading about all that occurred in the past year, and we look forward to another year of bold organizing and building power alongside working class immigrant communities.

In community,



Celebrating Our 5 Year Anniversary
February 20, 2023 marked VietRISE’s 5 year anniversary! We hosted our anniversary gala with over 120 community members, leaders, and loved ones in attendance. Thank you to all of the individuals and organizations who we have had the fortunate opportunity to collaborate with over the years and for the lessons you have taught us.
Our Team Grew!

2023 was a year of so much growth for the VietRISE team. One of our co-founders, Vincent Tran, transitioned out of serving as the Community Engagement Coordinator and started his new role as our first Organizing Director! In October, we welcomed our newest Community Organizer, Dwight Hua, who has brought so much joy and light to our community. Read more about Dwight here.

Launch of Our Membership Program
In August, we officially launched our Membership Program! Our inaugural members consist of 12 community members who have been dedicated long-time volunteers and program participants of VietRISE. They continue to play pivotal roles in driving the growth of the program and our community advocacy efforts. We’re excited for our work together and look forward to growing our membership in 2024.
New Fiscal Sponsor

In December, we officially became a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) organization. Previously, we had been a fiscally sponsored project of the Korean Resource Center (KRC), a 501(c)(3) organization who has been instrumental in helping us grow our operations. We are deeply grateful to KRC for their ongoing support and partnership throughout the last five years. We look forward to continuing to partner with KRC on advocacy and community building efforts, and we’re excited to expand the services we provide to our community through support from the Tides Center!


Expanding the Right to Vote: Noncitizen Voting in Santa Ana
As a co-founding member of the Santa Ana Families for Fair Elections (SAFFE) coalition, we launched the campaign in August to expand the right to vote to noncitizen community members in Santa Ana, who make up nearly 25% of the city’s residents. After months of organizing, the noncitizen voting ballot measure is headed to the November 2024 election for Santa Ana voters to decide on. If passed, noncitizen residents in Santa Ana will be able to vote in local elections. Stay tuned for opportunities to support the campaign in the upcoming months!
Community Canvassing Outreach Programs
In 2023, we spoke face-to-face with over 2,000 community members by conducting two door-to-door canvassing programs led by our 8 incredible canvassers and numerous volunteers. We conducted outreach throughout the cities of Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Midway City, and Stanton. Our Mobile Home Outreach Field Team informed residents of their rights and local resources to defend against rent hikes and eviction. Meanwhile, our Community Economic Resilience Fund Field Team surveyed over 750 community members about their thoughts and ideas for building an equitable and environmentally-friendly economy in Orange County. In this campaign, our team heard from community members struggling to meet monthly rent and access essentials such as food and healthcare, and many emphasized the need for government assistance in areas like housing, food security, healthcare, and transportation.
Immigrant Justice Organizing

As part of the ICE out of CA coalition, we were a co-sponsor for and organized for the Harmonizing Our Measures for Equality (HOME) Act, a California bill that aimed to limit the transfer of immigrant community members to ICE custody in the state. The bill would have ended the cruel double punishment of immigrants who have already earned parole under existing criminal justice reforms and allowed them to reunite with their communities and families. The HOME Act had widespread support and due to incredible advocacy from our coalition, passed both the California State Assembly and Senate. Governor Newsom, however, vetoed the bill. We were disappointed by Governor Newsom’s decision but will continue to organize to end the double punishment of immigrant community members.

Pardons for the People: Pardon Tin and An

In August, we launched the pardon campaign for our very own Immigrant Justice Coordinator, Tin Nguyen. The #Pardon4Tin campaign is an addition to VietRISE’s ongoing efforts to win pardons for our Vietnamese community members who are facing deportation. For the past few years, we have been fighting to secure a pardon for An Nguyen, another beloved community member through our #KeepAnHome campaign.

Read more about how you can support the campaigns to win pardons for Tin and An.

Holding Elected Officials Accountable
Defend Westminster

Just 1 year after the city avoided bankruptcy, Westminster City Council Members Amy Phan West and NamQuan Nguyen pushed to terminate City Manager Christine Cordon for not succumbing to every demand by the two council members. We organized with residents to condemn the undemocratic and authoritarian actions of the council members, and demanded transparency, accountability, and a more ethical and stable local government. More than fifty individuals sent in support letters to stop the dismissal of City Manager Cordon, and ultimately, we were successful and able to put pressure on the Westminster Council to vote against terminating the City Manager.

Do Must Go

In 2023, LAist reported years of ethical governance violations by Supervisor Andrew Do, from failing to disclose family connections when allocating $13.5 million of public funding dollars to engaging in “pay-to-play” politics. In response to the troubling revelations, Orange County-based advocacy organizations, VietRISE, the Harbor Institute for Immigrant & Economic Justice, and Orange County Justice Fund began calling for accountability in the forms of Supervisor Do’s resignation, an immediate and impartial investigation into reported ethics violations, and a comprehensive audit of all public funds allocated under Supervisor Do’s oversight. Over 200 community members have signed the petition to end the corruption in OC and demand the aforementioned demands are met. Our advocacy continues on in 2024 because our community deserves transparency and the ethical allocation of public fund that truly serve our community, not a few.


Support for System-Impacted Community Members

In late 2022, we hired Tin Nguyen, our Immigrant Justice Coordinator, to further develop our immigrant support services to system-impacted Vietnamese community members. In 2023, we supported and served over 40 community members and are proud to be alongside them on their journey to freedom and building community.

Support for Community Members Facing Eviction

Through our interactions with mobile home residents, we assisted 6 community members in finding affordable housing options, including connecting them with resources for affordable housing applications, and conducted mutual aid campaigns to support their immediate needs.

Political Tours of Little Saigon
We hosted 5 tours for 205 community members, with 170 of them being students. Through these political tours, we share our history, challenge and complicate existing dominant narratives, and show that Little Saigon is more than just a tourist destination but rather the center of political transformation for Vietnamese Americans. Thank you to all who joined us on these tours!
Capacity & Skill Building Through Fellowships & Internships
In 2023, we had three amazing fellows—Tu, Chloe, and Eric, a summer organizing intern—Tiff, and UCI TEACH interns—Vicky and Vivianna. Part of our goal as an organization is to cultivate the leadership of community members to continue to expand movements for social change. Each individual who joined us this past year for a fellowship or internship exhibited a deep commitment to the community in Little Saigon and liberation, grew their skill sets, and contributed profoundly to numerous ongoing campaigns.


Our work couldn’t have been done without our incredible partners, including, but not limited to:
And our philanthropy partners and supporters:

You May Also Like…

May Newsletter: All Eyes on Rafah

May Newsletter: All Eyes on Rafah

Dear Community, Here in the U.S., May is recognized as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To us at...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


VietRISE advances social justice and builds power with working-class Vietnamese and immigrant communities in Orange County. We build leadership and create systemic change through organizing, narrative change, cultural empowerment, and civic engagement.

VietRISE is fiscally sponsored by Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.



(714) 589-5496

14351 Euclid St. #1M, Garden Grove, CA 92843