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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Local/Global Politics of Boston’s Viet-Vote


This article recalls the incident in 1992 where City Councilor Albert ‘Dapper’ O’Neil of Boston made a racist remark towards the Vietnamese community. The incident points out the lack of political clout and education Vietnamese people have due to their poverty and refugee status. If we want to make a difference in the political processes we need to exercise our right to vote. Community-based organizations, Viet-Aid, have also helped Vietnamese population to overcome barriers in their ability to participate in political actions. The 2003 Viet-Vote Campaign goals are to empower the Vietnamese community through civic engagement. The Viet-Vote influence extends that of local politics as it also attempts to represent Vietnamese voice, power, and spotlight on different issues from jobs to bilingual education. The Viet-Vote campaign help increase voter participation in the fall of 2003. The impact of Boston’s Viet-Vote campaign is far-ranging and multifaceted as it help launch the Vietnamese American Community Center and the establishment of community development projects.

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