February Newsletter: Lunar New Year, Events, and the Upcoming Primary Election

Written by VietRISE

February 15, 2024

Dear Community,

February is already well underway, and yeah, we can hardly believe that time has passed by that quickly too. We just wrapped up our annual strategic planning retreat and have many plans in store for the year ahead!

We are coming together to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the most cherished times of the year for Vietnamese communities worldwide. It’s a time of reunion, reflection, and renewal—a moment to honor our traditions, ancestors, and the bonds that unite us as a community. We uphold our community’s long commitment to human rights and justice, and we continue to stand in solidarity with the movement for a free, safe, and liberated Palestine.

Join us this month for our events, stop by our office to pick up resources, or volunteer! We wish you a prosperous Lunar New Year filled with joy and camaraderie.


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Welcome, Dwight!

​​We’re thrilled to announce Dwight Hứa as our newest Community Organizer! 🎉

In the past several months, many of you have probably crossed paths with Dwight at city council meetings or community building events. Since he joined, Dwight has dived right into our community organizing work with a profound sense of care—from leading Community Listening Sessions to mobilizing members for our noncitizen voting campaign. Dwight brings a wealth of experience, infectious joy, and positive energy to our community; and we’re stoked to have him on our team. Join us in giving Dwight a warm welcome! 🌟


Dwight Hứa (he/him) is the Community Organizer at VietRISE. Because of his heartful mentors, loving friends, and eye-opening experiences during his undergraduate career, Dwight planted the seeds of radical imagination to envision a future of collective liberation. He is still imagining and working towards this future, one that centers the joy of communities over profit and punishment. Moving from a small town in Michigan to Little Saigon, Dwight continues to nurture this love for community. Dwight can be found trying to get his friends to play card games with him, enjoying listening to new music, or searching for local thrift stores.

Mark Your Calendar & Get Involved

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Wednesday, 2/21 @ 6PM: Community Listening Session: Vietnamese Americans for a Free Palestine

Join us on Wednesday, February 21 at 6pm for a teach-in and discussion about the ongoing occupation, genocide, displacement, and extreme violence that the state of Israeli is enacting upon the Palestinian people. As part of this Community Listening Session, we will be  drawing connections between the struggles of the Vietnamese and Palestinian peoples by looking at how systems of oppression have affected both communities. Lastly, we will take action together  to support the movement for a Free Palestine!

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Volunteer on 2/24 and 3/2: Join Our Primary Election Outreach Team!

We’re looking for volunteers to conduct door-to-door outreach to Vietnamese voters in Little Saigon for the 2024 March Primary election. We will give two Get Out the Vote (GOTV) volunteer days on February 24th & March 2nd. Help us connect with and inform the community about the election!

Saturday, 4/15 @ 9AM - 1PM: Santa Ana College Expungement Clinic & Resource Fair

The UCI Law Immigrant Rights Pro Se Clinic will be hosting a free clinic at Santa Ana College for community members wishing to remove previous convictions from their record. Come learn how to obtain post-conviction relief with the assistance of experienced attorneys from Community Legal Aid SoCal, UCI Law, and the OC Public Defender’s office.


Election Date Magnets

Get ready to vote and stay informed with our 2024 Election Dates Magnet! Stick them on your fridge or any magnetic surface to stay on top of dates like when ballots drop, deadlines to register to vote, and when to vote for both the primary and general election in 2024. If you would like to pick up a free magnet, email indigo@vietrise.org or stop by our office between 11 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Campaign & Program News

2024 Primary Election

Our civic engagement team will be knocking on doors next week (02/13-03/05) to talk to Vietnamese voters about the upcoming primary election. We’ll share information on local ballot measures, how to vote, and where you can find free housing resources in Orange County. Remember these key dates for the election:

  • The last day to register to vote for the Presidential Primary Election is February 20, 2024.
  • Ballots will begin to be mailed to your homes by February 5, 2024.
  • Ballot drop-off locations will open on February 6, 2024.
  • Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by March 12, 2024.
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Supervisor Do Must Go

On Tuesday, January 23, VietRISE, Harbor Institute, and OC Justice Fund held a press conference before the OC Board of Supervisors meeting to demand Supervisor Do’s resignation and an independent investigation and audit into his ethical violations. Afterward, we gave public comments to voice our concerns about Do’s conduct.

Supervisor Sarminento introduced a proposal that would have reformed the county’s conflict of interest policies for elected officials and their top staff to increase government transparency. However, the item failed due to Supervisor Do’s absence (he left the meeting before the vote) and “No” votes from Supervisors Wagner and Chaffee, signaling a lack of commitment to accountability and transparency from the three Supervisors.

Our Executive Director also wrote an op-ed for the OC Register discussing the revelations around Supervisor Do’s corruption and why he should do the right thing and resign. Read the full op-ed here.


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OC Register - For the People, Not Personal Gain: Why Andrew Do Must Resign (opinion editorial written by our executive director, Tracy La)

$13.5 million. In Orange County, that amount could buy you 12 homes. Many people and their families work tirelessly throughout their lives to afford just one. This number is the total estimated amount that Supervisor Andrew Do funneled to his 22-year-old daughter’s non-profit organizations from county taxpayer funds over a four-year time span.” Read the full op-ed here.

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LAist - OC Supervisor Quietly Routed Millions More to His Daughter’s Group

“County records obtained by LAist show O.C. Supervisor Andrew Do directed an additional $6.2 million in taxpayer dollars to his 22-year-old daughter’s group without publicly disclosing the family ties.” In total, Supervisor Do has directed $13.5 million to his daughter’s organization, Viet America Society (VAS). Most of the money directed to the daughter’s organization came from federal coronavirus recovery funds. VAS was the second top recipient of the discretionary COVID relief program—surpassing the amount in funding entire cities received, including Fullerton, Santa Ana, and Westminster. Read the full article here.

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LAist - Orange County Will Give Out Millions to Fight Homelessness Before It Happens

Read more about a program VietRISE supported: “Orange County has approved a pilot program that sets aside $3 million to help residents at risk of eviction, which the county estimates will help around 200 households from becoming unhoused.” OC Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento will be funding about half of this year-long pilot program using discretionary funds available for his district. A UCSF study shows that unhoused community members believed that “either rental subsidies or one-time financial help would have prevented their homelessness,” as study participants reported a median monthly household income of $960 six months prior to becoming unhoused. Read the full article here.

Community Spotlight

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Celeste Vasquez, VietRISE Member

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Celeste for her courage, commitment, and care. Celeste has been a dedicated member and community advocate, attending nearly every recent VietRISE action and event, from year-end celebrations to public forums addressing local government transparency. Her warm energy and powerful voice have greatly enriched and empowers our community. We are privileged to have Celeste as a member. We appreciate you, Celeste!

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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