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I chose change

Hello, this is San Jose Fire Captain Bien Doan and I’d like to share a personal story of mine.

For over 20 years I have served our community as a firefighter, and now as a Fire Captain for the last 11 years.

But 35 years ago when I was a young man, I was almost lost to the streets of San Jose. Just like many of our immigrant at-risk youth, I was on the wrong track and made some serious mistakes including shoplifting food and clothes.

My past experiences help me understand more about young people and what they're going through because I have been in their shoes. Now, I want to help them elevate and transform their lives as I did mine.

My life changed, so I know change is possible, for people and for communities.

I chose change.

Focusing on my new goals, and blessed with support from the community, I earned a degree in Psytech, became a mental health tech, was accepted into the fire department, and became the first Vietnamese immigrant ever promoted to the rank of Captain at the San Jose Fire Department.

To everyone out there struggling, my message is clear: change is possible. It was possible for me, it is possible for our youth, and it is possible for all of us.

From Santee to Alma to Seven Trees and more, we need to focus on supporting and encouraging our kids and our at-risk populations to help them rise up out of hopelessness, and with compassion instill in them the values and tools they need to change their lives for the better.

These are hard changes to make. But I know more than most about how to make the changes we need.

For the last 22 years I have offered my life in service to our amazing city and I am excited for the opportunity to help more as the next City Councilmember. If you agree change is possible, please join us and support our campaign at


Bien Doan

Candidate for City Council District 7


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