Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SJVFD Press Release on List 350

San Jose Voters For Democracy
P.O. Box O, San Jose, CA 95151 - 0015
Phone: (408) 679-8902

For Immediate Release

San Jose, Feb 26th, 2008

The Memo dated February 12th, 2008 (now cancelled) signed by both Mayor Reed and Councilmember Nguyen, would waste San Jose taxpayers' money and potentially lead to backlash toward the Vietnamese-American community. This proposal had stirred up disputes and critics toward Mayor Reed and Madison Nguyen from the public figures, Viet community and other ethnic communities in the city of San Jose. As a result, several members of the Viet community, including the well-recognized former Republic of South Vietnam Air Force pilot, Ly Tong, have staged a hunger strike over this issue.

The San Jose Voters For Democracy do not encourage any activity that might put the well-being of any member of the community at risk. Although we understand the level of emotion of the hunger strikers over the above proposal, we have informed the community members via a Press Release to the Viet media of our official stand regarding the hunger strikers. We hope Mr. Ly Tong will end the hunger strike for his own safety based on the new development that Mayor Reed and Councilmember Nguyen have taken back their flawed recommendation of a citywide ballot measure.

In addition, two other proposals have been put forward, one by Vice Mayor Cortese, and the other by Councilmember Chu and Councilmember Constant in their positive effort to resolve this matter with no cost for taxpayers and to avoid a potential backlash from the public toward the Viet community. On August 15, 2007, Councilmember Nguyen instructed the San Jose Redevelopment Agency to conduct an official survey of the stakeholders within 1000 feet of this area, promising that this survey would be the leading factor in the council’s decision on the naming. Therefore, we call for Councilmember Nguyen to not go back on her word. If the purpose of the business district’s designation is to honor the Vietnamese-American community, which has contributed greatly to the economy of the city in that particular area, their voice (as reflected via this survey) should be recognized and honored.

Although we strongly believe that the pending Brown Act violation regarding Councilmember Nguyen needs a thorough investigation from an independent third party since the public deserves to know the truth, we welcome the recommendations to rescind Resolution 74127 and call for the good intention to solve the matter from the City Council on this coming City Hearing March 4th. We urgently request that the City Council move quickly to adopt the name Little Saigon, which has been consistently demonstrated to be the people’s choice. The so-claimed “15 organizations" that Councilmember Nguyen ever used to be the ground for her compromised name SBD, were in reality only a handful of people (with 6 withdrew before November 20th Night) who signed a New Saigon petition as individuals, not on behalf of organizations at all. Further inquiry also revealed that many individuals of the recent “Declaration with 350 Vietnamese-Americans”, were not aware that their names were placed on the list, some individuals even listed with different names and some do not live in San Jose. If more than 4,000 of current Little Saigon supporters with their full names and real addresses do not represent the majority of San Jose Vietnamese-Americans in this naming issue, how then does the ratio of less than 10% represent the majority of our Viet community?

For more information, please contact Barry Hung Do at 408-679-8902.