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Madison Nguyen: A Life of Service

Madison Nguyen has never given up on giving back.


Her family fled war-torn Vietnam when Madison was just four years old. They later settled in the Central Valley where Madison worked in the fields alongside her parents. She received her BA from the University of California Santa Cruz and a Masters from the University of Chicago.


It was while teaching at De Anza College that Madison first became involved in public service when she helped organize a voter registration drive that successfully registered nearly 5,000 new voters. She then ran for - and won - a position on the Franklin-McKinley School District Board of Education becoming one of the first Vietnamese Americans to serve on an elected school board. 

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In 2005, Madison made history again when she won a seat on the San Jose City Council, becoming the first Vietnamese American to do so. There she served with two Mayors and was able to make progress on a number of critical issues facing her district. (Madison’s Record of Effective Leadership)


Madison left office in 2014 and worked for non-profit and business advocacy organizations and in the private sector. Throughout it all, she never stopped advocating for San Jose residents. Madison was encouraged to run for Supervisor by the many residents who remembered her ability to put aside the politics to get things done.

Effective Leadership

Madison Nguyen knows how to get things done.

As a San Jose City Councilmember and Vice Mayor, she worked with leaders on all sides to make meaningful progress on the issues facing our community. 

  • She worked with community members and City planners to create more than 1000 units of affordable housing in her District. Her support was instrumental in bringing the Almaden Family Apartments, Corde Terra Apartments, Paseo Senter, Orvieto Apartments and Monterey Family Village to fruition.

  • She worked with residents to preserve 58 mobile home parks, saving the housing of more than 10,000 individuals in San Jose. These parks provide one of the few opportunities for truly low-income and affordable housing. 

  • She worked with two Mayors to bring traffic safety projects to her district, including major pedestrian improvements.

  • She worked with the Franklin McKinley School District and community partners to launch the Children’s Initiative, a “cradle to college” program to create a safe and fun environment where students could learn and thrive academically and socially.

  • She worked with the City of San Jose to support The Plant and the Sun Garden Shopping Center – two major new retail centers that brought jobs and opportunities to San Jose. 

  • She worked with residents to bring new parks and trails to neighborhoods that lacked green spaces, including Nisich Park, West Evergreen Park, Vieira Park and OB Whaley Ball Fields.   

We face so many challenges today - we need public servants like Madison Nguyen with a proven track record of making real progress for our communities.

CBS News: Our American Village:
Former San Jose Vice Mayor

"CBS News tells the story of 'Our American Village,' a first-person narrative series that takes us inside diverse communities across the country to show that there is more than one way to be American. Madison Nguyen is the former Vice Mayor of San Jose, California..."

September 16, 2022

Alumni Profile

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