This week Garden Grove Councilmember Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen, joined by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, led a group of other lawmakers and nail salon industry stakeholders in a meeting with Governor Newsom’s Administration to discuss nail salon guidelines to re-open safely. The nail salon industry is vital to the California economy and the livelihoods of many Vietnamese American community members.
“These small businesses are a cultural and economic pillar of our community here in Orange County and throughout California,” said Councilmember Diedre Nguyen. “I was proud to represent them and take their message straight to the highest levels of state government so that the Governor’s office could better understand their needs during this health crisis that’s doing so much economic damage.”
“I appreciate the Governor's Administration for their responsiveness to the concerns brought forward by the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus, Councilmember Nguyen and the nail salon industry,” stated Assemblymember David Chiu, on behalf of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. “During the meeting, stakeholders shared the challenges of accessing unemployment assistance and loans for workers and businesses. They also provided recommendations for safely re-opening and we are confident that the Administration will give their input serious consideration as they develop their guidelines.”
Assemblymember Tyler Diep (R-Huntington Beach), representative of the 72nd Assembly District, was invited to the meeting and provided the following statement: I appreciate the Newsom Administration for listening to our concerns, I am hopeful that the community will receive certainty as to when manicurists can go back to work and under what sort of guidelines soon.”
Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), representative of the 27th Assembly District, provided a statement following the meeting: I am grateful for the important and collaborative dialogue with the Governor’s Administration, and for the opportunity to shine the spotlight on a diverse industry that has contributed immensely to the fabric our state. California’s entrepreneurial salon industry is made up of small businesses that are predominantly owned and operated by women of color—most of whom are Vietnamese Americans—and their success is a testament to the self-determination of our refugee and immigrant communities. We need to ensure that proper guidelines are put in place to best protect salon workers and their clients so that these small businesses can continue to thrive.
Tam Nguyen, Christie Nguyen, Ha Duong, Johnny Ngo and Ted Nguyen, organizers for Nailing It for America, an organization of nail salon entrepreneurs who have donated thousands of personal protective equipment to Southern California healthcare workers responding to COVID-19, also attended the meeting and provided the following statement.
"The meeting with Governor Newsom's senior staff was edifying because we helped them understand the importance of the nail industry and the proud role that Vietnamese American's played in transforming the profession. We have submitted our recommendations for new safety guidelines and protocols with the hope that nail salons may reopen soon in a safer environment for all Californians.
Lisa Fu, Director of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, a statewide organization that educates and organizes nail salon workers and has also been responding to their needs during the pandemic provided the following comments after the meeting.
“We thank the leadership of the API Legislative Caucus and the Governor's administration for holding this important meeting. As a Vietnamese immigrant and refugee dominated industry, this was an important step towards informing a comprehensive reopening strategy for nail salons that protects the health, safety and workplace rights of everyone, including workers, small business owners, and their clients.”
Julia Liou, Chief Deputy of Administration at Asian Health Services, a community health center based in Oakland, participated in the meeting this week and provided the following statement.
“We thank the API Legislative Caucus for their responsive leadership and for the opportunity to collaborate with the Governor’s staff, key organizations, and stakeholders. Our collective priority continues to be health and safety, for the community, our nail salon workers, and their clients. We are confident that together we will forge a plan that ensures health and safety, while also promoting economic security for this community.
This article was released by Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen for Assembly 2020.