April Newsletter: Noncitizen Voting, Community Events

Written by VietRISE

April 11, 2024

Dear Community,

Spring, the season for rebirth, is now here. Our team spent the entire month of April planning for the rest of the year and connecting with so many community members from different walks of life. From our community listening session on Vietnamese (people) for a free Palestine, coalition retreats to advance our campaign to win noncitizen voting in Santa Ana, to supporting and attending the first Little Saigon Book Street celebrating Vietnamese American and Southeast Asian authors, and more, it has been so rejuvenating to be with the community!

Thank you for continuing to read our monthly newsletters. If you were forwarded this email, you can sign up for our newsletter here.


Expanding the Right to Vote to All Residents in Santa Ana

Our coalition, Santa Ana Families for Fair Election (SAFFE), held our first retreat of the year to plan our campaign to pass a ballot measure this November that would expand the right to vote to all residents in Santa Ana, regardless of immigration status. If you are interested in participating in this campaignfill out this interest form here.

Tự Lực School for Organizing

VietRISE’s Tu Luc School for Organizing is a 12-week after-school program designed for Vietnamese American youth aged 14-18 who are interested in deepening their understanding of social justice, activism, and community organizing. Through workshops, discussions, and hands-on activities, participants will learn more about power structures, develop leadership skills, and discuss Vietnamese identity and community activism. This program focuses on civic engagement, highlights Vietnamese American history, and strengthens participants’ connections to their cultural identity through language and cultural activities. Additionally, we provide three paid civic engagement internships in the Fall for youth who have completed the 12-week program. If you are interested in participating in this youth program, fill out this form to learn more when applications open this month.


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Learn More About ICE Transfers—Broken Stems Comic by Asian Law Caucus

Want to better understand what ICE transfers are, what it is like for community members to endure this experience, and how it disrupts and harms our communities? Check out this incredible comic by our partners at Asian Law Caucus.

Campaign & Program News

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UCI C-CAP Teach Program

Congratulations to our 2024 cohort: Ariana Vargas, Bradley Sien, & Clari Gao! For the past 10 weeks, our interns documented the 2019 Westminster and 2021 Santa Ana rent stabilization advocacy efforts through archiving related materials and conducting oral histories with community members and key advocates! Their dedication to maintaining the community’s history and stories represents a key need in documenting the community’s fight against housing injustice and the significant impact of multiracial solidarity between different communities in OC in ushering systemic change.

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The First Little Saigon Book Street!

March 23rd was the inaugural Little Saigon Book Street, which is a mini book festival that celebrates Việt and Southeast Asian voices and stories. The event had an incredible line-up of panel discussions, book signings, local nonprofit (including VietRISE!) and artist features, and more. Thank you to Little Saigon Book Street and Matilija Books for making this amazing event happen!

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Fountain Valley Day of Dialogue

On Friday, March 1st, Fountain Valley High School’s Student Advocates of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (SADIE) hosted their annual Day of Dialogue where community members are invited to speak with students on various social justice-oriented topics like mental health and allyship. VietRISE was invited as a presenter and shared our knowledge and experiences of using art in our advocacy and organizing within the Vietnamese American community. Students then participated in an art activity where they created their own collaborative “murals” to showcase the power they hold as community members to envision their futures through art. Thank you to FVHS’s SADIE for organizing a powerful event for their students’ growth!

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Highlighting Our March Membership Meeting

This month, all of our members were trained by our team on how to host a Political Tour of Little Saigon here in OC! Members learned about the history of Vietnamese immigration to the United States and the history of the Vietnamese American community in Orange County. Be on the lookout for upcoming Political Tours of Little Saigon!


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Liberation: Santa Ana, California to Vote on Expanding Voter Access to Noncitizens in 2024 Elections

“Powered by Santa Ana Families for Fair Elections, the non-citizen voting act represents one of the many struggles immigrants and undocumented residents face while living in the United States. Non-citizens serve as a pillar to the country, but are also one of the most exploited groups in the U.S., always deprived of the ability to vote during elections.

Phuong, an undocumented single mother who immigrated from Vietnam, said in a public comment to the Santa Ana City Council that she has contributed years of work, taxes and support to the city but receives nothing in return.” Read the full article here.

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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