Madison Nguyen Recall: Political Machine vs Random Neighborhood Folks
Let me start by saying, I don’t necessarily support the recall, but I’m not entirely against it. Madison’s campaign was grassroots and got all the Vietnamese Americans in San Jose to respond to local politics, in many cases, for the first time. Her campaign also had its humble beginnings right in my parents house. But somehow between then and now, a whole lotta shit happened.
The first of which was the decision on the naming of the Vietnamese hood in Eastside: Little Saigon vs Saigon Business District. Personally, I don’t see the difference. Both are exclusive and both ghettoize the neighborhood (the old Jewish American connotation of the word Ghetto, not the Ice Cube as Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood meaning). So the fact that Madison was adamant against naming the neighborhood “Little Saigon” means something was going on in the background. There is a Little Saigon in SF, OC, VA, pretty much everywhere. Why there couldn’t be one, officially, in San Jose, confounds me. It SMACKS of the same xenophobia that hit Santa Clara when the council there rejected the Koreatown proposal, despite the fact that the stretch of El Camino Real filled with Korean restaurants, bars, and shops is already an F’N K0-town, whether they like it or now.
The other reason I am not out there campaigning against the recall like I did for the election of President Obama (coincidentally, the Silicon Valley for Obama group is officially against the recall) is because the two sides are completely lopsided. The pro Madison side is filled ENTIRELY with local businesses, politicians, LARGE political groups (like the Democratic Party), and other randoms from OUTSIDE the District that this affects. The people FOR the recall? I have no idea. Why? Cause its just a bunch of random people FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD who were able to gather up 7,000 viable signatures from the District and got this thing to ballot. If this doesn’t scream democratic process and grassroots coalition building, then I don’t know what does. Cause between the thousands of dollars spent on billboards and TV ads the Madison side is pulling vs the random stragglers on the street knocking on doors the anti-Madison group is putting together, I think its pretty obvious which side is speaking for the people of District 7…