Empowered Community

We have seen tremendous changes and made great strides in our community in the last decade, and especially in these last several years, not only the business designation of Little Saigon, but a great number of worthwhile events, projects, functions and achievements were accomplished.

Just last month an annual scholarship and achievement awards just achieved one of its greatest successes in recent years – since 1988, thousands of deserving students in the local area were recognized for their academic achievement and community involvement. Many returning students can attribute their college and career achievement to the recognition and support they received from the community through the VASAA. The Vietnamese American Scholastic Achievement Awards (Le Phat Thuong) is a collaboration of all three Sacramento area junior colleges- ARC, CRC, SCC, as well as voluteer educators, parents, residents, businesses and professionals.

In addition, the very first business organization of its kind in our area- Greater Sacramento Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce- was established to meet the needs of businesses along Stockton Boulevard. Along with numerous community events. Little Saigon was at the center of Sacramento’s very best and exciting functions and happenings. To name a few- Asian American Peace Officer Association had their annual fundraising event on the Boulevard, we were proud to host the Betty Ong (September 11 hero) fundraising event.

In late November 2010, we welcomed our first ever Vietnamese American Congressman Cao Quang Anh along with BPSOS (Boat People SOS) director Nguyen Dinh Thang to Little Saigon as well as California’s first Vietnamese-American State Assemblyman and Sacramento’s Little Saigon Designation first supporter, State Assemblyman Van Tran. Notable political leaders and candidates such as Carly Fiorina, Sacramento county Captain Jim Cooper, Sheriff Scott Jones, Mayor Kevin Johnson, State Senator Pro-tem Darryl Steinberg, State Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, City Councilman Kevin Mccarty all were frequent guests and are big fans of the District, some were even spotted munching on Huong Lan Sandwiches and while others had their cravings for sweets satisfied by Bambo’s Che Ba Mau

In collaboration with Stockton Boulevard Partnership-a Business Partnership Improvement District- GSVACC, VACOS (Vietnamese American Community of Sacramento) and numerous other local organizations and participants- businesses, Stockton Boulevard residents and volunteers- participated in our annual TET Festival street Parade.

Community based support and participation are so integral and essential in nurturing a healthy and prosperous community. Many clinics and seminars were provided to the local residents and business on the boulevard, they included: SAC Financial Clinic, Sacramento County Safety Clinic, APAPA (Asian Pacific Islander Americans Affairs) Voter Education and Registration Drive as well as various Civic and Political involvement and outreach efforts.

Projects and events that are on the works for this coming year: Little Saigon Health Clinic, CPR Education and Training Class, Big Hearts Little Saigon’s Toys/Can Foods Drive, Voters Education and Candidates Forum.

Yet there ‘s still so much more to do and so many worthwhile causes and projects to contribute.

We’ve seen the successes and accomplishments of our community as well as the participation from our senior and first generation to our younger and second generation as well as everyone in between.

But there are still a lot of room for improvements, areas of concern to shed light on and struggles to overcome.

The economic downturn our country and State is going through affects everyone. We are not immune, as many businesses are still suffering, families are struggling to pay the mortgage and make ends meet, college graduates are finding little hope for employment, our seniors, the sick and needy are often overlooked and underserved, exasperated by the lingering language and cultural assimilation difficulties.

Our challenge and hope….

Open the dialogue, create deeper and honest conversation about our individual’s role in shaping the present and future of our community.

Let’s unite and connect our collective resources, talents and tools- bring together the employers with employees, the teachers with those who want to work and learn, the activists and leaders with the helpless and voiceless, the first with the second generation, our community with the mainstream- to help one another become a productive and contributing member of society as well as to reach our fullest potential and all the while feel fulfilled and proud of our own contribution.

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