Garden Grove: Districting Activist Kim Bernice Nguyen Announces for Council District 6

Kim Bernice Nguyen, the political activist whose sponsored the by-district elections map ultimately adopted by the Garden Grove City Council this spring, has announced she is running for city council from District 6. Below is the map of Garden Grove’s new by-district election system:

The city’s historic at-large system is being replaced with by-district elections due to a California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) lawsuit filed by Kevin Shenkman, a Malibu attorney who has turned filing such CVRA lawsuits against cities into a lucrative mini-industry. In this instance, Shenkman and his client banked $290,000 from Garden Grove taxpayers.

The change also expanded the council from four to six members (plus a directly-elected, at-large mayor). District 6 is an open council seat.

According to her campaign’s press release:

Ms. Nguyen has lived in East Garden Grove for 15 years and is a product of the Garden Grove Unified School System, proud Santiago Cavalier alumni and a graduate of the first AVID Class. While attending UC Santa Cruz, Ms. Nguyen would return to her old high school, mentoring working class students to pursue a pathway to higher education. After graduating with a degree in Political Science, Ms. Nguyen returned to her hometown for good and sought to become civically engaged. Ms. Nguyen ultimately decided to seek public office to bring a young, fresh perspective to the City Council.

“Serving and giving back to the community that has given so much to me has always been a goal.” Nguyen said. “My focus will be public safety, increase access to open space, and responsibly expand economic development opportunities.”

“East Garden Grove has historically been under-represented and underserved” Kim added. “I want to be a true community advocate for the area I have called home for 15 years. As City Councilwoman, I will diligently represent the 6th District and strive to build consensus with my colleagues to create a stronger Garden Grove. If elected, I pledge to hold monthly office hours in various areas of the district to personally hear your concerns.”

Ngyuen is bi-racial – her father is Vietnamese and her mother Latina – but she is running as a Latina: “If elected, Kim Bernice Nguyen would be the first Latina elected to the Garden Grove City Council in the city’s 60 year history,” says her campaign. This makes sense given the heavily Latino demographics of District 6:

  • Latino – 62.48%
  • Asian – 24.44%
  • White – 10.42%
  • Other – 2.66%

The demographic gap is narrower in terms of registered voters, 42.8% of whom are Latinos compared to 33.76% who are Asian.

Nguyen’s consultant is presumably (judging by the contact name on the press release) Claudio Gallegos, a long-time Orange County Democratic operative who has been an active participant in the council map drawing process in several Orange County cities. He helped Ms. Nguyen’s fine-tune her map, and has been identified by activists close to the matter as the true author of Anaheim’s so-called “People’s Map” submitted by Oscar Reyes. OC Daily hasn’t yet learned Ms. Nguyen’s party affiliation, but all signs point to her being a Democrat.

OC Daily has confirmed that Ms. Nguyen is a Democrat.


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