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HG "Hanh-Giao" Nguyen

Running for: 

Council District 5

Campaign Website: 

1) PAC*SJ recently released its first annual “Endangered Eight” list of the most threatened historic places in San José. As a resident of the City, which of these eight places most resonates with you personally? Which of these would you use the power of your elected office to address, and how? 

Once in office I will use all my power to influence my colleagues to help preserve the Diridon Station Building. It is in good use for the people who work outside of San Jose or come to work in San Jose. This public transportation will become one of the most needed means to travel for the next generations. I also would like to find funding to help improve the interior of the station, like the lobby area, the restrooms, etc...

2) Is there a historic place or preservation issue not on our “Endangered Eight” list that you would nominate to be added? If so, what solutions would you offer as an elected official to address the issue/threat? 

Indeed, there's a historical movie theater located at 1194 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95116. This movie theater was originally built in 1949, and called The Mayfair Theater. In 1962, the theater was named Esquire the new management. In 1980, once again, there was a change of hands and it was called Mexico Theater since. I met Mr. Borges back in the 90's and was given a tour of this Mexico Movie Theater. It has been closed since then because of disinvestment and neglect. I would like to see this historical building revitalized and having fun and productive activities that can generate income for the owner(s) and sales tax for the City, County and State.

3) Do you believe that SB9, which allows by-right redevelopment of up to four new units on most single-family-zoned parcels statewide, is compatible with the preservation of older and historic homes and neighborhoods? Why or why not?  

With the current situation there's not much that we can do about the SB9. And in my district (D-5), properties with larger lots have built additions to the their houses and many have constructed another full size single family home in their back yards. Most of them were done up to code and blended in with the style of the current unit and thus it seems right to the eyes. However, in some other areas in my district, this housing style may not be compatible to the rest of their neighborhoods. I do not believe SB9 can be a good fit for all areas. I would look into all factors to determine what is best for a particular neighborhood.

4) In the past two years alone, at least five vacant historic buildings in San José have been lost to fire, and many more have suffered from chronic neglect and vandalism. How would you propose more effective code enforcement to prevent the continued loss of our historic resources to neglect? What additional measures would you propose to address these systemic problems? 

This unfortunate situation happens from time to time, especially in the historical buildings with the old technologies and flammable materials being used to construct the buildings... even the Sacred Heart in Paris was partially lost to fire. I would recommend to make more public awareness of the importance of having these buildings in their neighborhoods; engage the local people to take part in preserving these buildings by sending pictures and reports to code enforcement should they notice suspicious activities in the surroundings of these historical buildings; and last nut not least, I would recommend that our City would require the fire sprinkler systems to be installed in all historical buildings.

5) Do you believe the city should collect compensatory mitigation fees from development projects that result in the demolition of historic resources? Why or why not? If such a policy was instituted, how would you like to see those funds directed?

Of course. I would like to see these funds go to the City Department, agencies and non-profit organizations, that work actively on the development of the effective planning tools and surveys of the historic sites.

6) The City has long acknowledged that our Historic Resources Inventory-- a citywide survey of historic sites intended to proactively guide development decisions-- is incomplete and out-of-date. Do you support increased City funding and staffing levels to ensure that the HRI is an up-to-date and effective planning tool? 

I support this.

7) What role do you believe that historic preservation should play in creating and sustaining a vibrant and culturally diverse future for San José? Is there a particular project or effort you have undertaken--either professionally or personally-- that best embodies your vision for historic preservation in San José? 

I love arts and museums, and have participated in a few local organizations to help promote their programs and services to my community, such as the American Musical Theater of San Jose, The San Jose Historical Museum, etc..

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