President’s Visit Evokes Pleasure, Pain for Silicon Valley Vietnamese
Culture, Demographics

President’s Visit Evokes Pleasure, Pain for Silicon Valley Vietnamese

Did President Obama seek to hearten the Vietnamese people or to make sales for U.S. companies By Sharon Simonson Pride and hope, disdain and despair fought for mindshare in Silicon Valley’s Vietnamese-American community this week as President Barack Obama visited the Southeast Asian nation and announced the end to a 50-year arms embargo. The population’s youth and the legions of Vietnamese people who turned out for the president, some waiting for hours in the rain “to see a car pass by,” cheered Loc Van Vu, who founded San Jose’s Immigration Resettlement and Cultural Center in 1976. If the president is pivoting to Asia, the Vietnamese are pivoting back, he said: “It looked like the whole country is looking west to America, freedom and democracy. “Let the Vietnamese have weapo...
70,000 New Homes But Still Not Enough
Demographics, OneWorldCities

70,000 New Homes But Still Not Enough

By Sharon Simonson Same as it ever was. Even with nearly 70,000 new homes built in the Bay Area in the last five years, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data, 2015 population counts exclaim the continuing and huge disconnect between demand to live in the region and the production of new abodes. To keep pace with population growth of more than 450,000 since 2010, the region’s five primary counties—Santa Clara, Alameda, San Francisco, Contra Costa and San Mateo—should have built 155,630 new homes, based on an average of three people per household. That’s 83,000 homes more than were produced.  The existing housing stock absorbed at least some of the difference, with the average number of people per home rising in every county. Nationally, the average number of people per ho...
East Bay Boom-o-rama; Silicon Valley Slip
Demographics

East Bay Boom-o-rama; Silicon Valley Slip

Has the pendulum swung? By Sharon Simonson East Bay suburbs are leading national population growth even as traditionally prestigious Silicon Valley residential enclaves are struggling to keep residents. Milpitas and Dublin each added more than 5 percent to their populations in the last year alone. Their East Bay neighbors Emeryville, Fremont and the far East Bay’s Brentwood are also growing fast. Fremont has added more than 18,000 people since 2010, reaching 232,000 residents in total. But in what might be an ominous sign, a string of Silicon Valley’s most remote and expensive western suburbs are seeing their populations plateau and even begin to decline. According to just-released U.S. Census figures, more people left Palo Alto last year than moved in, and the same was true in C...
Growth Happening Here
The Web

Growth Happening Here

By Sharon Simonson More Texas cites are growing faster than any others in the nation, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. But the East Bay's Dublin and Milpitas, with land to develop and existing or coming mass transit to job-centers, are adding lots of new residents too.
San Jose Wants Immigrants to Feel At Home
Demographics, Immigration

San Jose Wants Immigrants to Feel At Home

By Sharon Simonson An immigration museum in the vein of Ellis Island and “immigrant community centers” are among the approaches the city of San Jose is exploring as part of its immigrant outreach initiative and new Office of Immigrant Affairs. Many San Jose immigrants are afraid of the city’s police, don’t find their work environments welcoming and have mixed emotions about their children’s schools, according to focus group participants convened to advise on the new office’s mission and direction. San Jose City Hall hopes to position itself as a “change agent” for the San Jose community and a hub of communications and influence for immigrants’ benefit. In the balance is San Jose’s responsiveness to its fastest growing populations and its relationship with the highly skilled...
Pew Research: Bay Area Economics: Poor Get Poorer; Middle Class Shrinks
Demographics

Pew Research: Bay Area Economics: Poor Get Poorer; Middle Class Shrinks

Median incomes have fallen for everyone, but they’ve fallen most for the lowest income households. New research finds that income inequality suppresses economic growth. By Sharon Simonson  The middle-class is shrinking in hundreds of U.S. cities including the San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose-Sunnyvale metro areas, according to new Pew Research Center analysis encompassing three-quarters of the American population. In the Bay Area metros, not only is the middle class shrinking but fewer than half of adults now live in middle-class households, a change in conditions from five years ago. In addition, while more Bay Area adults joined the upper-income ranks, helping reduce the size of the middle class, median household incomes fell. The decline was greatest for lower-income house...
San Jose City Adds Vietnamese-American Small Business Advisor
Demographics, The Web

San Jose City Adds Vietnamese-American Small Business Advisor

By Sharon Simonson Xuan Ha, former director of San Jose's Vietnamese American Business Association, has joined the city of San Jose’s Small Business Ally Program as a small business coach. She speaks fluent Vietnamese. The Business Ally program helps San Jose entrepreneurs find the best location and then navigate the city permit process to complete remodeling or other work including new business registration. Immigrants own about half of San Jose’s 56,000 small businesses—those employing fewer than 35 people. Vietnamese-Americans, including refugees, immigrants and their U.S.-born children, constitute the largest Asian population in the city of San Jose with 104,000 people, according to the most recent Census Bureau statistics. Seventy-five percent are foreign-born and near...