Monday, October 31, 2011
Voice of Vietnamese Americans sincerely thanks all candidates and community leaders who participated in the Vietnamese American Candidates' Forum on Friday October 28, 2011, at Mason District Governmental Center. We had a great time with lots of productive exchanges. Best wishes to all candidates.
We thank Ellie Ashford, from the Annandale Blog, for the very informative report below:
Courtesy of Ellie Ashford - The Annandale Blog
A candidates forum Oct. 28, sponsored by Voice of Vietnamese Americans, focused on diversity, cultural sensitivity, and outreach to immigrant communities.
Most of the 14 candidates at the forum, at the Mason District Government Center, related some experience from their lives aimed illustrating their solidarity with the immigrant experience.
Robert Sarvis, the Republican running against Richard Saslaw in the 35th District, for example, spoke about how his mother had fled communist China.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair Sharon Bulova Sharon Bulova , who’s running for re-election, told the audience about a book she worked on, the Asian American History Project, which involved the collection of pictures and oral histories from local families. Her opponent, Spike Williams, had been scheduled to appear at the forum, but canceled at the last minute.
Among the at-large school board candidates, Lin-Dai Kendall Lin-Dai Kendall was born in Honduras, and Lolita Mancheno-Smoak Lolita Mancheno-Smoak is from Ecuador. Steve Stuban talked about his father, a Ukrainian, who was in a labor camp in Germany, and his own experiences at a Ukrainian school in the United States.
Ryan McElveen had been a teacher in China and told the audience he would “amplify your voice on the school board” and focus on educating “the global citizen.” Ilryong Moon talked about how he immigrated to the United States from Korea at age 17 without knowing English and went on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer and the county’s first Asian-American elected official. He said his first accomplishment on the school board was to restore funding for diversity training for employees.
“There aren’t that many people that look like me in Richmond,” said Del. Mark Keam , a Korean-American who represents the 35th District. “We can’t really say we have a true democracy unless we all have representation in government.”
From the left: Bulova, Feld, Kendall, Sheree Brown Kaplan, Mancheno-Smoak, and McElveen (Courtesy of Ellie Ashford - the Annandale Blog)
When asked how the county can improve civic engagement among people from diverse cultures, Bulova urged people to consider joining the county’s various advisory boards and commissions, which do not reflect the county’s population. “I consider diversity one of our greatest assets,” she said.
Mason Supervisor Penny Gross d about her support for small businesses and homeownership and cited her work in getting home purchase documents translated into other languages. Her opponent,David Feld , proposed an art and cultural center and vowed to make sure Mason District gets its fair share of investment dollars. Mason District “will be a model for the world,” he said.
Sen. David Marsden talked about his efforts to increase state funding for education and said one of his first legislative priorities will be to have the Sea of Japan co-designated as the East Sea in textbooks and maps, in response to requests from the Korean community.
Sarvis said his priorities include giving local school districts the right to set their own academic calendars, giving parents more rights in school discipline cases, and bringing more state funding to Northern Virginia.
Independent Jim Leslie , running in the 38th District against Del. Kaye Kory, told the audience he was born on a Seneca reservation and fought as a Marine in the Vietnam War. “I have the highest respect for the Vietnamese people,” he said. He also acknowledged that “my chances of winning are very slim” and called himself “the world’s worst politician.”
All seven of the at-large school board candidates, plus Mason District school board member Sandy Evans , expressed support for retaining the need-based funding formula, which provides extra resources to schools with higher proportions of disadvantaged students and English language learners. That results in smaller classes in many Mason District schools.
A couple of the candidates—Stuban and Mancheno-Smoak—also said it’s important to make sure classes aren’t too big and that no one should be in a class with more than 35 students.
Several members of the Vietnamese community talked about their concerns, including a desire to have the Vietnamese heritage flag, rather than the national flag representing the communist government, displayed in schools. Evans told the group the school board has agreed to use the heritage flag in schools and also said she is working on getting FCPS to offer Vietnamese language courses.
Other issues raised by the Vietnamese community include the need for job training and health services and the need to find a permanent home for the Vietnamese School, which now meets in local high schools.
They also want to be treated with respect. Genie Nguyen of Voice of Vietnamese Americans recounted a horrible experience she had at the Falls Church courthouse when she came to observe the trial of people who had been arrested in a police raid at the Eden Center in August in a crackdown on gangs and gambling. When Nguyen tried to find out the names of the defendants, she told the audience, she was searched, harassed, and threatened with being arrested.
Gross said ”that wouldn’t happen here,” and Feld called for more diversity and cultural training.
Source: The Annandale Blog - Ellie Ashford.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Location: Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003
Date: Friday, October 28, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Candidates running for Mason District Supervisor, Penny Gross (D-Incumbent) and David Feld (R), have confirmed their participation. Other invited candidates running for public office include Virginia State Senate, House of Delegates, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, School Board and Sheriff.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
For Immediate Release
October 20, 2011
Vel Hernandez, (703)362-7873
VVA at Mason District Council’s Candidate’s Debate
ANNANDALE, Va. --- Voice of Vietnamese Americans attended the candidate forum in Mason District, Va. on Monday, October 17 hosted by the Mason District Council with League of Women’s Voters in Annandale. Mason District Supervisor candidates David Feld (R) and Penny Gross (D-incumbent), among other candidates, were present and debated issues.
“Though lacking a high turnout from the Asian, Latino and other communities, the forum was informative. Provoking questions were answered with earnest responses from the candidates,” Genie Nguyen, VVA President, said.
Vietnamese Americans attended the forum included Ms. Nguyen, LTC Tuan Ton, Mrs. Thu Hang Ton and Mr. Nguyen Cao Nguyen. There were not any Latino American voters, nor other Asian American voters. As a result, though the discussion did cover many different aspects of the community, it did not include the voice from communities of color, Ms. Nguyen said.
Mason District, which is home to just under 116,000 residents according to the 2010 census, prides itself as a very diverse area with 22% who are Asian Americans. The district is also home to a dense population of Latino Americans. The diverse makeup of this bustling suburban district reflects the group of candidates, such as Ilryong Moon (Independent, Korean American) and Lolita L. Mancheno-Smoak (Independent, Latino American), who are candidates for At-Large School Board and who were also present at the event.
Voice of Vietnamese Americans thanks the Mason District Council and the League of Women Voters for organizing the forum. VVA would like to invite the event hosts and all members of the area’s ethnic communities in Mason District to come out and participate in VVA’s Candidate Forum of Virginia State Senate, House, County Board, Sheriff and other candidates, next week on October 28.
Date: Friday, October 28, 2011, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Venue: Mason District Government Center
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Government Center Phone: 703-256-7717, TTY 711
“Mason District is the home for thousands of Americans who represent different cultures and races, which illuminate the essence of our United States Constitution. We strive everyday to contribute positively to this community,” Ms. Nguyen said.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
We are seeking Paid Interns - Effective Immediately
Hourly compensation ($11/hour) is provided. Tasks consist of canvassing and phonebanking in the NoVA area, primarily starting late afternoon until 9pm. This is a temporary position through Election Day in November.
Qualifications: Those with past campaign experience or community organizing experience, especially with the Asian American community, are encouraged to apply -- but no experience is necessary. We will train you. Canvassers are team players, responsible, diligent and outgoing!
The campaign is headquartered in Fairfax, Va.
Please send your resume, which includes contact information and best time to reach you, to Vel Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Globalization is here. We need real global leadership. "No pain, no gain".
Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross debating issues with Candidate David Feld on October 17 at the Mason District Council Candidate Forum.
Candidates for School Board At Large (3 seats): Lolita I. Muncheno-Smoak, Ilryong Moon, Theodore J. "Ted" Velkoff, Ryan L. McElveen, Steven F. Stuban.
Voice of Vietnamese Americans attended the candidate forum in Mason District on October 17, at the Annandale United Methodist Church.
The forum was very informative, with provoking questions and earnest responses from the candidates. Mason District prides itself as a very diverse area with 22% voters are Asian Americans, and a dense population of Latino Americans, reflecting in Dr. Moon(Independent, Korean American) and Ms. Lolita L. Muncheno-Smoak,(Independent, Latino American) both are candidates for the School Board at large.
Vietnamese Americans attended the forum included LTC Tuan Ton, Mrs. Thu Hang Ton, Ms. Genie Nguyen, Mr. Nguyen Cao Nguyen. There were not any Latino American voters, nor other Asian American voters. As a result,the discussion did cover many different aspects of the community, but did not have the voice from ethnic minorities. Voice of Vietnamese Americans thanks the Mason District Council and the League of Women Voters in organizing the forum.
Voice of Vietnamese Americans would like to invite more ethnic minorities in Mason District to come out and participate in the coming Candidate Forum
Date: Friday, October 28, 2011 - 06:30pm - 08:30pm
Venue: Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 703-256-7717, TTY 711
Mason District is the home for many different culture and races, which illuminates the essence of our United States Constitution. We are striving to contribute positively to this community. Ethnic Americans would assert ourselves as "the US People", to advocate for the American core values which many refugees and immigrants have risked our lives to attain.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Video streaming by Ustream
Cathy Nguyen - a Vietnamese American, is among the panelists. Voice of Vietnamese Americans thanks Cathy for representing Vietnamese American Youth.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
VVA Praises 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates:
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman
“The decision to award the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize to three women…recognizes that democracy and lasting peace cannot be achieved without giving women the full opportunity to participate.” -- Human Rights Watch
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 11, 2011) – Voice of Vietnamese Americans takes this honorable opportunity to congratulate the 2011 Laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize: President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian human rights activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni rights activist Tawakkul Karman.
“It is very inspiring to learn that not one but three remarkable individuals this year were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, the most prestigious award given to those who promote peace,” Genie Nguyen, VVA President, said. “The world is, and will continue to be, a better and safer place because of the sacrifice these brave women have made in the name of peace and democracy.”
Typically given to one Laureate, and less commonly to two Laureates, the award this year was given to, for the first time ever, three women for their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
Last year, the Nobel Peace award was given to Dr. Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese writer and dissident detained in December 2008 who was awarded the prize while prison. VVA stands with Human Rights Watch in urging that the Chinese government release the 2010 Nobel Peace laureate Dr. Xiaobo.
“Voice of Vietnamese Americans sincerely thanks the Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognizing – in addition to the leadership by Dr. Xiaobo in establishing globally sustainable peace – the historic, world-changing impacts made by this year’s three women laureates,” Ms. Nguyen said.
Human Rights Watch said that this year’s triumph shows that women do play a role in democracy and peace.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Vietnamese American Among Presidential Appointed Leaders in
Education, Health and Cultural Awareness
VVA Congratulates Presidential Appointments to Key Posts
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 11, 2011) – Voice of Vietnamese Americans extends a warm congratulations to the individuals recently appointed by President Obama to serve in key posts in the administration, including the appointment of Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Dr. Nguyen, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has worked on studies to increase breast, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screening among Asian Americans as well as on tobacco use among Asian Americans.
“Voice of Vietnamese Americans congratulates Dr. Nguyen for his expertise in medicine and his leading efforts in promoting health and prevention throughout the AAPI community,” Genie Nguyen, VVA President, said. “The AAPI Commission is a formidable initiative by the president that promotes cultural awareness and helps improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and as the Commission grows with each addition of exceptional leaders across all fields of work, it is making impactful change throughout America."
Other recently appointed members to the Commission include Apolo Anton Ohno. For more information on the Commission and the full list of appointed members, please click here.
Monday, October 10, 2011
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE APPROVAL
October 7, 2011
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
· Elizabeth Malory Cousens - Representative of the United States on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador
· Paul W. Hodes – Member, National Council on the Arts
The President also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
· May Y. Chen - Member, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
· Tung Thanh Nguyen - Member, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
· Apolo Anton Ohno - Member, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
· Marta Araoz de la Torre - Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee
· Jane A. Levine - Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee
· Janet R. Kahn - Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Elizabeth Malory Cousens, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador
Elizabeth Malory Cousens is Principal Policy Advisor and Counselor to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In 2009, she was Director of Strategy for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. From 2007 to 2008, she served as Chief of Staff to the United Nations Mission in Nepal. From 2005 to 2007, she was Vice President of the International Peace Institute, where she earlier held the position of Director of Research from 1998 to 2000 and was an associate from 1995 to 1998. Ms. Cousens was Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum at the Social Science Research Council from 2002 to 2005. She holds a B.A from the University of Puget Sound and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007. Ms. Cousens received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Paul W. Hodes, Nominee for Member, National Council on the Arts
Paul W. Hodes represented New Hampshire’s 2nd congressional district from 2007 until 2011. Throughout his life, Mr. Hodes has been both a performer and active member of the arts and entertainment communities. He served on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, as chairman of the Board of the Capitol Center for the Arts and Tricinum, Ltd. and as a board member of the Concord Community Music School. While practicing trial and entertainment law, he and his wife Peggo won two Parent's Choice awards with their band "Peggosus." Mr. Hodes has also worked professionally as an actor, producer, director, and playwright. He graduated from Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School with additional training at the National Theater Institute and the Herbert Berghoff and Uta Hagen Studio.
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
May Y. Chen, Appointee for Member, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
May Y. Chen is an adjunct professor at the City University of New York, where she has taught labor studies courses and coordinated labor exchanges with Asia for the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies since 2009. Previously, Ms. Chen was the International Union Vice President for Workers United, Service Employees International Union in 2009. She served as the International Union Vice President of UNITE HERE from 1999 to 2009, and Local 23-25 Manager and New York Metropolitan Area Joint Board Secretary-Treasurer from 2004 to 2009. In her time at UNITE HERE, Ms. Chen held a number of positions, including Assistant/Associate Manager from 1997 to 2004 and Assistant Director and Director of the Education Department from 1989 to 1997. From 1970 to 1979, she was an adjunct professor and teacher at several schools and universities in California, including the University of California at Los Angeles and California State University at Long Beach. Ms. Chen is a Founding Member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and continues to serve on its New York Chapter Board. She also serves as Board President of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund. She holds an A.B. in East Asian Studies from Harvard/Radcliffe College and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he provides medical care to a diverse patient population and teaches clinicians. He also serves as Director of the Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project and Principal Investigator of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training at UCSF, and in this role conducts research in health care prevention for Asian Americans. He has worked on studies to increase breast, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screening among Asian Americans as well as on tobacco use among Asian Americans. Dr. Nguyen was the volunteer Chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Team of the American Cancer Society in California. In 2002, he was awarded the American Cancer Society Control Career Development Award for his outstanding work in primary care and research. Dr. Nguyen holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University and an M.D. from the Stanford School of Medicine.
Apolo Anton Ohno, Appointee for Member, President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Apolo Anton Ohno is an American short-track speed skating competitor, an eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics, a 12-time National Champion, and America’s most decorated winter Olympian. He was named the U.S. Speedskating's Athlete of the Year for 2003 and was a 2002, 2003, and 2006 finalist for the Sullivan Award, which recognizes the best amateur athlete in the U.S. In addition, Mr. Ohno has been very involved in philanthropic activities, including participating in the Global AIDS Program (GAP) campaign to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, The Salvation Army, the Ronald McDonald House, and Nikkei Concerns, an organization that provides assistance to Japanese elders. In 2002, Mr. Ohno helped Senator Ted Kennedy launch the "Math Moves U Hippest Homework Happening" program, which gave students the opportunity to do math homework online with celebrities and athletes. Mr. Ohno is also a global ambassador for the Special Olympics.
Marta Araoz de la Torre, Appointee for Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee
Marta Araoz de la Torre is the former director of the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program at Florida International University in Miami. In 2002, she retired from the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles where she worked on educational programs. She is a co-author and editor of Heritage Values in Site Management and the editor of Assessing the Values of Cultural Heritage. Ms. de la Torre has served on the Board of Studies of the Wall Paintings Conservation Course of the Courtauld Institute in London, and on the Hamilton Kerr Institute in Cambridge, UK. She was also on the Executive Committee of the International Council of Museums and the Board of the American Association of Museums/International Council of Museums. Ms. de la Torre previously served on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee from 2003 until 2008. She has a M.A. in Arts Management from American University and a B.A. from George Washington University.
Jane A. Levine, Appointee for Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee
Jane A. Levine is the Worldwide Director of Compliance for Sotheby’s, Inc. As Sotheby's chief global compliance counsel, Ms. Levine is responsible for managing the company's compliance department and program including training and enforcement relating to art and cultural heritage laws, regulation and ethics, the auction process and many other areas related to the international art and auction market. Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Ms. Levine was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she served as the Art Fraud Coordinator and was a Special Trial Attorney assigned to work with the FBI’s Art Crime Team. Ms. Levine teaches a seminar on Art, Cultural Heritage and the Law at Columbia Law School. She received a B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Dr. Janet R. Kahn, Appointee for Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
Dr. Janet R. Kahn is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, a position she has held since 2002. Since 2000, Dr. Kahn has been a Faculty Preceptor in the Fellowship Program in Complementary, Alternative, and General Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kahn helped found the Integrated Health Policy Consortium in 2002, where she was on the Steering Committee until 2005, thereafter serving as Executive Director until 2011. In addition, Dr. Kahn was the Director of Integrated Health Care of the Community Health Center of Burlington from 2008 to 2010, the Director of Research of the Massage Therapy Research Consortium from 2003 to 2008, and a Senior Research Scientist at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women from 1997 to 2000. Dr. Kahn’s research focuses on equitable and affordable health care delivery models, the importance of massage therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, and supporting the well-being of veterans. Dr. Kahn has served on a number of boards, including the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health since 2009. Dr. Kahn holds a B.A. from Antioch College, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.
The White House · 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW · Washington DC 20500 · 202-456-1111
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 Phone: 703-593-7182
Voice of Vietnamese Americans Statement
VVA Urges Vietnam to Immediately Release Falun Gong Practitioners
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion
and UN Declaration of Human Rights Must be Honored
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct 4, 2011) -- Voice of Vietnamese Americans stands in solidarity with several social justice groups that condemn the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) for taking orders from the Communist Party of China (CPC) in imprisoning the peaceful Falun Gong Practitioners Vu Duc Trung and Le Van Thanh.
VVA urges the CPV to honor freedom of speech and freedom of religion and immediately release the two Falun Gong Practitioners, as well as all other dissidents, in observance of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Falun Gong is a peaceful and spiritual discipline that places a heavy emphasis on morality and the cultivation of virtue in its central tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Falun Gong identifies itself as the essential combination of Buddhism and Taoism.
Religious tolerance has been embedded in Vietnam’s culture and tradition. This practice of respect flourished during the Ly’s dynasty in Vietnam and has led to the golden era of Vietnamese Culture.
Voice of Vietnamese Americans condemns the Communist Party of Vietnam for obeying the order of the Communist Party of China, an egregious violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Voice of Vietnamese Americans urges the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to honor Vietnamese culture and rich history of religious tolerance and denounce all inhumane orders from the Communist Party of China, to truly be independent in any decisions made at the state level.
The People of China and the People of Vietnam demand a new era of freedom, democracy, and sustainable economic growth with human rights and equal justice for all.
The mission of Voice of Vietnamese Americans is to empower Vietnamese Americans by promoting civic engagement through community organizing and capacity building. Voice of Vietnamese Americans enhances, defends, and protects the American core values of human rights, civil rights, democracy, liberty, and justice for all.