Madison Nguyen: It’s Time for Accountability

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Sometimes you learn more when you just roll up your sleeves and do it yourself.

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a community leader who told me about a group of unhoused people living in a creek bed.  She found out they were struggling to access housing because they were mostly Vietnamese-speakers and one of them is 72 years old. She wanted to know if I would help her encourage them to fill out the necessary paperwork to apply for temporary housing.

I was happy to help and thankful for her compassion. But my experience left me concerned about how we, as a city and county, are spending our taxpayers’ funds to address the homelessness crisis.

Looking at recent news coverage, I am not the only one troubled by this.

Several weeks ago, both the San Jose and Sunnyvale City Councils questioned whether taxpayers and unhoused residents are truly getting the most out of the dollars we are spending on reducing homelessness.

In Sunnyvale, the city council halted a contract extension with a local nonprofit that provides supportive services and shelter beds. They were given six months to provide data on shelter bed usage and outreach services.

In San Jose, council members questioned the value of their homeless outreach services. Of the more than 1,000 unhoused residents the providers contacted, fewer than 10% eventually transitioned to any type of housing.

If we are to see meaningful progress on the challenges we face, we must make accountability and transparency a top priority.  We must make sure our strategies make sense and that our contractors deliver on agreed upon success metrics.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many members of our community. People want to help – indeed, voters have passed initiatives to address the homelessness crisis. Yet they are disheartened and frustrated that we aren’t seeing the results that they expect.  They did not write blank checks; they quite fairly are demanding results.

And this view isn’t limited to homelessness. We’ve had an affordable housing crisis throughout the county for over a decade. Working class families, seniors and students are being priced out. Voters passed measures, to the tune of more than a billion dollars, at the city and county levels to create more affordable housing, yet we are still in crisis.

What is going on?

To understand why we aren’t getting the desired results, we need to institute strong accountability measures.

First, we need to audit the expenditures and revenues of the large departments in Santa Clara County. It’s critical we identify the inefficiencies so we can put our dollars to better use.

We need to institute well-defined objectives and outcomes that our service providers must meet to continue receiving public funding.

As an example, some providers currently report outreach connections as proof they are meeting their contractual obligations. But are connections truly our end goal? Or is it moving people to housing? We need the deliverables to match what we want to accomplish.

Simultaneously, we need all service providers to work together. When leaders in Houston, Texas, were frustrated with slow progress on homelessness, they re-assessed their programs and realized that too few organizations were talking to and working with each other. Government leaders set out to end the “silos” and ensure everyone is working together to achieve their shared goals. We must make communication and collaboration a priority in Santa Clara County as well.

Last month, City of San Jose leaders declared a shelter crisis and homelessness emergency. I support this as necessary to cut through the red tape that delays creation of homeless shelter projects. But we also need to make sure that the services we fund are achieving our shared goals.

I am glad I had the chance to help connect the unhoused people from the creek bed to housing opportunities. But we spend millions every year on homeless service contracts - we shouldn’t have to rely on community volunteers to reach unhoused people who don’t speak English.

This is what I mean when I say it’s all about results: If we are to make real progress on the challenges we face, government transparency and accountability must be a top priority.

Madison Nguyen is a former City of San Jose vice mayor and council member. She is a candidate for the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District 2.



  1. Dear Community,

    I can not support any that CAN NOT FOLLOW RULES.

    It seems that the Campaign sign on the 101 Freeway Noth of the McKee Road exit went up before the allowed Date for Signage to be directed at the public.

    Having run against a terrible Elected Official who did nothing for District 5 including putting her signs out of the District, I take this violation pretty seriously.

    If someone is not going to follow Campaign rules and regulations before taking any Office, it is not likely they will be a good Representative for our Community.

    We need leaders that can be trusted to follow the law while representing our families in our Community.

    Carrasco, May be on the Ballot as well.

    A leopard does not change their political spots.

    This is my opinion.

    In Community Spirit,
    Danny Garza

    Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association and Gateway East N.A.C.

  2. Hello, Danny. The subject of this article was: Accounting for county expenditures to reduce homelessness :))

  3. This is typical of Ms Nguyen – all talk and no action. Her article is a collection of rambling disjointed thoughts.
    She accomplished absolutely nothing as a San Jose council member, nor as Vice Mayor, nor as Exec VP at Silicon Valley Organization.
    Incredibly, she turned her back on her Vietnamese constituency during the Little Saigon fiasco. Remember too, she ran a racist campaign against Ash Kalra for California assembly. Fortunately that did not go well for her. She was soundly defeated. I hope the same holds for her bid for County Supervisor.

  4. Why is everyone so hard on Ms. Nguyen? Seems to me she is a prototypical SJ city council member, positioning herself the same as the rest…

    Now, is the point she makes in the article sound and valid, or are we still angry about the Little Saigon affair? I think she lays out the premise pretty well, just the conclusion is doubtful in that somehow, this time, someone will do something with the audit results or that the audit results won’t be a set of unmeasurable buzz words written by consultants being paid by the hour. This is a never ending and unsolvable problem in the current political constellation and prevailing philosophy. The major causes of homelessness are drugs and crazy and the politicians persist in arguing, and pass ordinances based on the belief, it’s the evil landlords. It’s not the landlords.

    Are rents high, yes, but that’s because supply is artificially constrained, and demand is illegally inflated. Would making rent $2000 instead of $3000 get someone off meth or make them a viable candidate for a job that pays $75K a year? No. Reduction of harm does not work on either crazy or drug addiction, rental and building regulations do not create units they remove them, and open borders only lead to higher rents, lower wages and general exploitation of said immigrants who have second class citizen level rights.

    Does anyone think that the billions being thrown at this problem are being wisely spent or measured in a way that will reduce homelessness? If there is someone, I have not heard from them, even these NGO C-levels say the problem is getting worse, they just think that means they need more money not a better strategy or a dismantling of the current highly profitable yet grossly ineffective homeless industrial complex in place now.

  5. Madison Nguyen was representative of district 7, I know this because I and many business in district 7 voted for her. So the little Saigon name that was named and set had zero involvement nor the authority to change a name that was found and decided. To this very day, the area with the same name remains as those that voted and were happy with the name, were not from outside of San Jose as protesters came from the oc, Fresno, and Los Angeles and its suburbs! At the time, she was the highest political viet American, as vice mayor of San Jose. Then we saw how really croupt sjpd im relations to its mayor was. Maybe she was exposed to the down and dirty of how the depth. Treats those of Asian background. I have first hand experience with that, as absurd and ridiculous, and I’m quoting here from a racists sjpd person that not only misconduct and criminally victimized me. Anyone can write and do what they want as she LAUGHED at the judges role to police reported statements. The judge too lazy will back and double down. To which, I’m nobody, these “thugs in blue ” have stalked, harassed, and had their weapons drawn on myself. With statements such as your kind doesn’t call 911 for help , 911 is called for us to come shoot you. I was then given 2 examples to which turned out true. So her loosing, girl dust yourself off and try again. As recent voted for you. Who cares about what outsiders think

  6. I can see now why SJ voters keep making the same mistakes over and over and you will live with the homeless forever.

  7. Dear Danny,
    You’re referring to the billboard along 101 by McKee. You are incorrect about it being a violation. San Jose code enforcement does NOT have any election regulations for billboards. Code enforcement regulates outdoor election signs that are in yards and along streets. They DO NOT regulate billboards. There are no election date restrictions for billboards. I suggest that you talk to San Jose code enforcement and get your facts sorted out before making accusations.
    Please report back with your findings.
    Truth Matters

  8. This article hits at the core of the problem. Where is the accountability?
    The County of Santa Clara operates largely under the radar.
    There’s constant coverage of San Jose City Hall. But not much about the County.

    How did the county get away with wasting $13 million last year on that new property they purchased for the Housing Authority Building? They bought the property and almost immediately decided they didn’t want it because it was a bad location.
    Then they sold it last year at a loss of $13 million. Taxpayer money was thrown away like trash.

    That money could have gone toward helping a lot of people.

  9. Something is desperately wrong when we have a 72 year old person living outside in Santa Clara County.

    This is an absolute disgrace.

    It’s called FAILURE.

    I’m tired of hearing current politicians asking for more money and another chance to get it right.

    Reading the attacks on Madison Nguyen ; especially calling her a racist ; let’s me know she’s probably a good candidate to consider supporting.

  10. The Little Saigon thing was over 15 years ago.
    Shall we call it Little Saigon or Little Saigon Business District?
    Now there are so many unhoused folks living all along the off ramps and on the side streets to Little Saigon.
    Try focusing on present day problems.

  11. This is what you need to know about Danny Garza NOT following campaign rules.

    Daniel Garza was an unsuccessful candidate for San Jose City Council in the June 5, 2018 Primary Election. Danny Garza for City Council District 5 2018 was his candidate-controlled committee. The Committee and Garza failed to timely file a pre-election campaign statement, in violation of Government Code Section 84200.5 (1 count). He was ordered to pay a fine for the violation.

    Then he dares to falsely accuse Madison Nguyen of a violation when billboards aren’t even regulated under local election rules.

  12. Go by Columbus Park and tell me these people are just “unhoused.” On our creeks and trails we have illegal camps everywhere, many occupied by ex-cons, drug addicts and people who want to hide out. If you job on the Guadalupe Trail from the Coleman Target entrance toward Columbus Park you will see people walking with baseball bats, hatchets – staring at you, and yelling nonsense. We have to stop using soft terms like “unhoused” or “encampment” in many, many cases. They are not that. They are illegal camps where there is constant criminal activity. These people don’t want your “supportive housing.” This article makes me realize she, nor does any other candidate have the courage and ideas to actually address the homelessness crisis that has destroyed quality of life in the Bay Area.

  13. Dear Community,

    Not being a Political professional, I did miss a bill.

    As soon as the FPPC informed me of the issue, the accounting issue was corrected.

    As far as the Sign on 101, I will check into that.

    I have nothing to hide. Ever.

    I am just like the Church always open for discussion.

    Thank you for reading.

    In Community Spirit,
    Danny Garza

  14. Maddy! One of the Measure B supporters that helped put this city in a spiral. She has been in over her head for a long long time.

  15. Madison capitulated to a hunger strike and completely blew the entire Little Saigon debacle. We need accountability, Madison couldn’t even hold herself accountable. The fact that this happened 15 years ago and so many still remember speaks volumes. Please stay out of government, Madison.

  16. Spoke to Ms Nguyen publicly during her visit to a senior mobile home complex (Colonial Manner) and asked her if she would be a disrupter to the business as usual County board of Supervisors.
    Her response was ” I’m a collaborator and not a disruptor” San Jose Watchdogs response “Well said” If that’s her in person reply and now with her logo (Time for results) who are her results for?
    More than likely for an easy cushy virtue signaling spot on board of supervisors. Check out sanjosewatchdog on YouTube. Her language appears to identical to our video.
    She did nothing as a council member other than eying her desire for higher office.


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