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Home Alan Lowenthal Republican politicians well represented at the 2013 O.C. Tet Parade

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Republican politicians well represented at the 2013 O.C. Tet Parade

Karina Onofre Banner

In the end, it was much ado about nothing.  The gay activists who had spent all week complaining about not being able to participate in the 2013 Tet Parade, which is held in Little Saigon every year and celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year, did not march in the parade, which the Orange Juice blog reported that they would.

However they did show up to the parade.  They set up west of the parade grandstand – I was standing east of the grandstand and never saw them – which means the 90% of the parade attendees who were east of the grandstand also did not see them.

But there were plenty of other politicians there, as seen in our picture slideshow above, including:

  • State Assemblymembers Allan Mansoor, Tom Daly and Travis Allen (who represents the Little Saigon area in the 72nd Assembly District)
  • Westminster Mayor Tri Ta and Council Member Diana Carey (who did not wear a black armband, as was reported by the Orange Juice blog – but she did carry a little rainbow flag)
  • Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater and Council Members Dina Nguyen (who was one of two lawyers who defended the parade organizers and defeated an attempt by gay activists to hijack the event); and Christopher Phan
  • Jeff Ferguson, a candidate for O.C. Judge in 2014
  • Ken Khanh  Nguyen, who rode in RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio’s car (Solorio was M.I.A.)
  • Matt Harper, Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem
  • Michael Vo, Fountain Valley Mayor Pro Tem
  • Midway City Sanitary District Trustees
  • The Westminster Unified School District
  • Robert Hammond, O.C. Dept. of Education Trustee
  • Westminster CRA (California Republican Assembly)

The parade was very well attended – families lined the parade route, which stretched along Bolsa Ave., from Magnolia to Bushard St.  The parade started at 9 am and ended past 11 am.

Some of the O.C. politicians who boycotted the parade included:

  • State Senator Lou Correa
  • The entire Santa Ana City Council
  • The entire Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education
  • Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
  • Congressman Alan Lowenthal
  • Apparently Supervisor Janet Nguyen was not there either – I heard her name mentioned by the announces but did not see her or her usual entourage

These politicians erred by blowing off the Vietnamese American residents of Orange County.  They chose apparently to side with a vocal minority instead of standing with the families who worked so hard to pay for the Tet Parade, after the City of Westminster demurred due to their fiscal problems.

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16 Comments  comments 

16 Responses

  1. Laura Kanter

    Would anyone like to help the writer with some of the facts, as she/he clearly made up their own version of what happened today. In fact, this writer’s description is so blatantly distorted, it can only be described as propaganda. The only thing accurate about the writer’s description of our presence was to use the word angry to describe us, as in “There was no hint of this week’s angry reaction by gay activists whose organizations were not allowed to march in the parade.” I guess the writer can say she/he is not lying; there were no angry gay activists present. What the writer failed to mention was that there were at least 500 hundred Vietnamese LGBT folks and allies, who responded to their exclusion from the parade with a colorful and graceful demonstration that reflected the Vietnamese values of respect and unity. The contingency included families with children and many older Vietnamese too. The Viet LGBT contingency and allies, waving American, Vietnamese AND RAINBOW flags and signs that said things like “We Support Every One, Love, Respect, and Unity” in both English and Vietnamese, lined half a block on the sidewalk and up the embankment behind it. As the LA Times reported “The Rancho Alamitos Vaqueros marching band, from Garden Grove, performed a special number for the LGBT groups. Children waved South Vietnamese flags, clapping along.” (I saw it with my own two eyes.) As far as politicians the writer overlooked, Assemblyman Tom Daly got out of his car, shook hands with folks from the LGBT group, and waved a rainbow flag. Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey carried a rainbow flag in solidarity as well. And finally, one of the boldest demonstrations of support came from State Assembly, Rancho Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio, who got out of his car, took a rainbow flag from a demonstrator, and used the flag to wave his car on without him, as he joined the Viet LGBT contingency and allies. The fact is that the glorious presence of the LGBT contingency could not be overlooked. The statement they made so beautifully and with so much wonderful color, is that they will not be excluded from their own community, even if excluded from a parade. Their exclusion by the hateful organizers resulted in placing them at the heart of the parade, and they rose to the occasion with dignity and strength. I do completely agree with the writer, however, that “This was most definitely a family event and the politicians who were there got some great exposure to a community that votes in every election.” Yep. We are making a list too. And we will remember who stood on the side of justice, even if the writer and photographer did not see us.

    I have pictures too – if the writer would like to add some that were taken from the other side of the street.


    • I saw none of that. And I was standing right by the grandstand. Where did all of this allegedly occur?

      • Anonymous

        Right next to the grandstand when Tom Daly shook my hand, and Jose Solorio joined our group in protest. We were the 250 or so holding rainbow flags incase you’re confused. Did you miss Rancho Alamitos High School wearing rainbow colored leis and performing special number for the LGBT coalition? How about Diana Carey, Westminster City Council Member stopping by to pick up a rainbow flag to carry past the grandstand. Did you even attend the event? What kind of reporter are you?

        • If you were west of the grandstand then that’s why I didn’t see you. I didn’t venture over on that side.

          And of course I was there. How else did I take all those pictures?

          The only leis I saw were the ones handed out by the ladies from the Hawaiian Gardens Casino.

          I did see that Carey was holding a rainbow flag and I will fact I reported that over at my http://www.ocpoliticsblog.com blog.

          Were your protesters even from the area? Or did you bus them in?

      • Anonymous

        About two feet to the west of the grandstand, Dumbass.

        • Well the fact is that there were a ton of people there, literally thousands. I saw no reason to fight through the masses when I had a nice spot east of the grandstand to take pictures from.

          Your protest had no impact. Thousands of people went to the parade and had a great time and I doubt very many of them even knew you people were there and probably didn’t care either.

          The Tet Parade is not about in your face gay activism. And the behavior of the gay extremists is only going to hurt their cause.

          • Anonymous

            Honey, I know you like arguing with people, so this is the last time I’m going to respond, but 1) reporters don’t report that “nothing happened” without checking the facts first. Tonight we were on CBS and ABC T-E-L-E-V-I-S-I-O-N advocating for our rights. We did have an impact. You are obviously too myopic to not look two feet from your seat. 2) The Tet Parade is about the Vietnamese American community, ALL of that community. That means from the religious right to the bleeding-heart liberal. Every one of the protesters there today were local, grassroots, community supports who thought the discrimination of the Tet Parade Organizers was harmful to the community, and showcased a symbolic gesture of ill-will to the community. Most of us actually walked to the parade from our houses in the area. 3) The Hawaiian Garden Leis were handed out at the grandstand AFTER the Hawaiian Garden Limo passed our group, waved, and pulled out hundreds of rainbow colored leis in support of the 250+ LGBT people who you “couldn’t see.” 4) We did have an impact. Besides getting on T-E-L-E-V-I-S-I-O-N, after the parade today, we had hundreds of people stop by our booth at the Tet festival, and we have had e-mail and phone conversations with with many voicing the support for us, and asking how they can help. Stick that in your pipe . . . and smoke it.

            • So you made it onto a few news reports. What impact will that have beyond tonight’s news? The people at the parade did not care about what you were doing. They were there to watch a parade and that is what they did.

              You want to have a real impact next year? Get off your asses and help the parade organizers to raise the money needed to hold this parade. You did NOTHING to help this year and in fact cost the organizers thousands of dollars by suing them!

  2. Anonymous

    You’re intolerable. The parade organizers wouldn’t allow us to help. They completely excluded us from the entire process. However, we are VERY open to helping out next year. I’ll see you there. Oh wait, you’re not on the board either . . . are you?

    By the way, I recognize your, or at least Art Pedroza’s, picture from the photo credits above. You/he was standing infront of us taking obviously well-framed pictures the entire time. Let’s not forget that the main thing you, as a “so-called-reporter,” reported here: “The gay activists [. . .] did not show up.”

    Wrong. Dead wrong. :)

    • I did not see you and guess what? That means NONE of the folks east of the grandstand saw you either! :)

      Can you blame the organizers? Last year two men made out at the parade while marching in it. And this year when the organizers asked that such actions not take place the response of the gay activists was that they would do what they wanted to do.

      There were thousands of kids at the parade, including hundreds of Boy Scouts. The last thing they need to see is ANYONE of ANY gender making out in the parade.

      Get over yourselves. You tried to wreck this event and failed. And in the process you turned off a lot of people. This in your face activism reminds me of the unions, who according to recent press reports now have the fewest members in their history.

      This doesn’t work! It never will.

  3. Anonymous

    The organizers cost themselves thousands by practicing intolerance and discrimination.

    • No, they did not practice intolerance nor did they discriminate. They privately funded this parade and they asked your organizations to abide by their rules and you guys would not do that. Blame yourselves if you want to blame anyone.

  4. Anonymous

    Do you always have the last word on here? Do you ever let people voice their opinions freely, without undercutting them? It’s a fun little rhetorical trick to have the last word, but really? Do you think people are dumb enough to believe anything you have to say after you get basic facts wrong?

    • Wrong? The fact is that over 90 percent of the people at this parade didn’t see the gay shenanigans. And they didn’t care as they were there to see a parade, not a bunch of gay narcissists.

  5. Anonymous

    Talk about selective reporting … Bravo… But the truth always comes to the light

  6. Anonymous