Residents Travel To The State Capitol In Massive Show Of Support For SB 895, California’s First School Curriculum On The Vietnamese-American Refugee Experience

(Garden Grove, CA) In a strong showing of support for Senate Bill 895 (SB 895), more than three hundred residents from throughout California traveled to the State Capitol to call on the Senate Appropriations Committee to support this historic bill. The backing of community members, Veterans and leaders from all corners of the state was especially important because the Senate Appropriations Committee is slated to decide the future of SB 895 in the next two weeks. The committee officially has until May 25, 2018 to decide whether it will approve SB 895 and allow the bill to advance to the full Senate for a vote.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, which is made up of seven members, is responsible for assessing bills for their financial impact. In the case of SB 895, the committee

is evaluating the initial cost to develop the proposed curriculum. Given its financial focus, it is rare for this committee to hear directly from the community, thereby underscoring the unique nature of Monday’s hearing.

As the champion behind SB 895, Senator Nguyen was the first to speak before the Senate Appropriations Committee and called on her colleagues to look beyond the financial cost and to focus on the historical and educational value of this bill. Senator Nguyen also presented the committee with over 6,900 signatures in support of SB 895. Senator Nguyen’s presentation was followed by hundreds of residents who provided testimony, among them Veterans and community leaders, who lined the halls of the State Capitol as they waited for an opportunity to voice their support for this bill. The feedback provided will be taken into consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee members as they make their decision to move the bill forward.

“My staff and I have been working around the clock to see this bill through the legislative process,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “I hope that the overwhelming show of support for SB 895 helps my colleagues understand the magnitude of this bill.”

To keep SB 895 at the forefront as the Senate Appropriation Committee’s May 25th deadline looms, Senator Nguyen is calling on residents to continue to advocate for this bill. Residents are encouraged to sign an online petition available at by May 24th at 5 p.m. The new signatures collected via the online petition will be submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee before their decision deadline.

Last month, SB 895 was successfully approved at a hearing of the Senate Education Committee, where more than 75 community members shared their stories of survival and loss. Among these stories were those of refugees, Veterans and a member of a Gold Star Family who personally experienced the impact of the Vietnam War. Recognizing the merits of SB 895, the Senate Education Committee unanimously approved the bill.

Introduced in January of 2018, SB 895 specifically seeks to make available a comprehensive curriculum that school districts throughout California can access when teaching about the Vietnam War and the post-Vietnam War era. SB 895 would require the curriculum to include written and oral testimony of Vietnamese refugees, including the experiences of Vietnamese Boat People and the members of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces.

“Since my election to the State Senate in 2014, I have been proud to spearhead meaningful initiatives like SB 895 that directly impact the Vietnamese-American community. SB 895 could change how our children learn about the Vietnam War era and the refugee experience,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “We need to continue to be vocal to ensure that SB 895 stays on its path to become law.”

Sign The Petition

“In an effort to promote a deeper understanding of the plight of Vietnamese-American Refugees, I have introduced Senate Bill 895, the state’s first model curriculum relative to the Vietnamese-American Refugee experience. The goal of SB 895 is to make available a comprehensive curriculum that school districts throughout California can access when teaching about the Vietnam War and the post-Vietnam War era.”