Wednesday, December 2
Bay Area Vietnamese Promote Uprising in Vietnam
Demographics

Bay Area Vietnamese Promote Uprising in Vietnam

Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group admitted to releasing toxins that killed more than 100 tons of fish along the north-central Vietnam coast; San Jose protesters want the government to kick Formosa out of Vietnam. They fear Vietnamese dependent on fishing and the sea will starve. By Sharon Simonson SAN JOSE—They march in a big circle holding South Vietnamese and American flags, singing in Vietnamese, a portable amplifier broadcasting the music, crackly and loud. The long Northern California summer day is ending, but at evening, sunlight still fills the San Jose City Hall plaza. Fifty people today, but some weeks, hundreds march at the corner abutting busy Santa Clara and Fourth streets, organizers assure me. It’s the eighteenth consecutive Saturday that they’ve protested the April ...
San Jose Author: Being Vietnamese in America Not So ‘Eazy’
Demographics, Events

San Jose Author: Being Vietnamese in America Not So ‘Eazy’

By Sharon Simonson SAN JOSÉ—For Vietnamese American author Trami Nguyen Cron, the irony weighs heavy. Vietnamese people, whether refugees or immigrants, typically have fled their homeland for the United States in pursuit of freedom for themselves and their families. But once resettled, they seek to control their children’s lives to an extraordinary degree, essentially robbing the children of the very freedom the parents often sacrificed much to gain. “Vietnamese people need to stop defining success as how much money you make or your professional title,” she says. “One of my challenges to my culture is to rethink its definition of success.” That is the primary message—but in no way the only one—she hopes to send with her first novel, “VietnamEazy,” released today by publisher Wellstone Boo...
Judge: Former Councilmember Madison Nguyen Guilty of ‘Political Miscalculation,’ Not Misconduct
Demographics

Judge: Former Councilmember Madison Nguyen Guilty of ‘Political Miscalculation,’ Not Misconduct

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Chiarello says San Jose City has had consistent open-meeting act problems when council people issue joint memorandum in anticipation of a vote; some violations are inadvertent, but under the law, it doesn't matter. By Sharon Simonson SAN JOSE—The Vietnamese American Community of Northern California has failed to persuade a state judge that former San Jose City Councilwoman Madison Nguyen and her council colleagues knowingly broke state open-meeting law in the days before a contentious 2007 vote to name a Vietnamese business district. But she and five other council people did unintentionally breach the Brown Act, Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Chiarello concluded in a tentative ruling. Moreover, while city attorneys argue the...
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

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? East Bay suburbs are leading national population growth even as traditionally prestigious Silicon Valley residential enclaves are struggling to keep residents. By Sharon Simonson 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 Campbell, ...
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

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...