This past month has been extremely difficult locally, nationally, and internationally. At VietRISE we recognize that these events are not isolated but systemic, and we all deserve better, especially the people and communities that have been targeted by these acts of violence. In this time of immense sadness for the stolen lives of more people, and frustration at the inaction of our elected officials and institutions to follow through on promises of improving our everyday lives, we’re held up by the compassion and sincerity of our community.
As immigrant communities, working class people, LGBTQ+ and marginalized people, we often exist in places that were not meant for us but as the people who have come before us have shown, we always build powerful communities of support. Little Saigon residents showed up strong this past month–from young people mobilizing neighbors to vote in the primary election, to marching and demanding electeds to end the double punishment of immigrants and refugees, to encouraging each other to vaccinate and protect our loved ones from COVID-19. We have hope that a better world is possible.
VISION Act: 100 Little Saigon Residents March & Rally to Demand OC Senators Pledge Support for AB 937 & End ICE Transfers
On Friday, June 3rd, a multiracial, multigenerational, and multifaith coalition of Little Saigon and Orange County residents marched from Freedom Park to Liberty Park and back with clear demands for OC Senators Tom Umberg, Dave Min, and Josh Newman: pass the VISION Act and end ICE transfers. This action, led by high school students, impacted community members, and longtime residents, showed that it is long overdue for our elected officials to pledge support for this bill and ensure permanent community and family unification. Watch the full livestream of the action here.
Ways to Support the VISION Act:
COVID-19 PPE Distribution
Over the past few months, we’ve spent several weekends distributing free PPE bags from our office and by canvassing stores and homes. Dozens of local OC residents stopped by to pick up materials and new “Get Vaccinated” posters and stickers created by youth artist from Little Saigon Emily H. If you or someone you know would like a PPE bag, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. We are open Monday through Friday anytime for pick-ups.
Immense thank you to our Civic Engagement Team: Kenny, Niko, Khanh, Lillian, Thao-Vy, Minh, and Thu!
Introducing our Communications Organizer, Niki Nguyen
You’ve seen their flyers and graphics, perhaps even read the monthly newsletters they have been crafting and sending to communicate with you, our community. We are so excited to officially introduce and welcome our Communications Organizer, Niki Nguyen! Niki joined our staff team in January this year. Prior to joining, Niki had been a volunteer and leader at VietRISE since 2019. They canvassed to survey local residents about rent control and housing affordability, played leading roles in immigrant rights rallies we held in Little Saigon, was a participant in our 2021 OC Immigrant Rights Institute, and more.
Niki (they/she) is a Viet community organizer, born and raised in Little Saigon, OC. During their time away in college, they learned about their history through Asian American Studies and stories from community elders, and organized around issues related to gender, race, and immigration. Ultimately, this led them back home to Little Saigon; and now, their work is dedicated to envisioning and building anti-carceral alternative worlds rooted in community care and love alongside their communities. Outside of VietRISE, Niki organizes with young people in Orange County at @eore_oc for anti-colonial Ethnic Studies and police-free schools, frequently tries out TikTok baking recipes, and enjoys attempting to play new V-pop songs on the piano.